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The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Reunion Recap: Gotta Be Startin’ Something

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

Reunion Part 1
Season 8 Episode 19
Editor’s Rating *****

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

Reunion Part 1
Season 8 Episode 19
Editor’s Rating *****

On the reunion special for our favorite show, Rich Women Doing Things, the rich women, well, they did nothing. They sat on a couch and talked. That is all they did for an hour. Okay, they also showed up at a predetermined place, talked to Andy Cohen while he was in a T-shirt that a trick left in his Sag Harbor rental, had whole teams of professionals make them beautiful, drank water from bottles out of straws, and then sat on a couch for an hour. And we watched. All of us, every single one of us dupes, watched the entire damn thing. There are still two more episodes left to talk about this boring-ass season. That’s like making a three-part opera cycle out of one Wizard of Id cartoon from last Tuesday’s newspaper.

As you all know, I hate the reunions. Well, that’s not true. I don’t mind the reunions. I hate writing about the reunions because – as I say every time – nothing really happens, no minds are changed, and we’re just left stagnating in the same brine of side-eye and misunderstanding that got us here in the first place.

There is one part of the reunions that I do enjoy, which is going around the horn and talking about what each of the women are wearing. Let us start with the magenta couch. Now, I don’t know if this is coordinated or not, but Lisa, Dorit, and Erika all wear the exact same jewel tone and it is amazing. The opposite couch we have Kyle, Teddi, and Lisar in black, white, and silver, which is also sort of coordinated in a way. I don’t know why these reunions don’t have a theme. I mean, even when you go to Olan Mills for a family portrait, they’re like “blacks and reds” or “white Oxford shirts and khakis.” Why can’t the Housewives get a brief and interpret it any way they want? At least there would be some visual cohesion to this affair.

I think what you would end up with is something like what Lisa, Dorit, and Erika display, which are three very different but also very characteristic takes on the same color. Lisa, with her unchanging haircut and makeup application, looks a little bit daring in a two-way sequin dress that is both magenta and gold, depending on which way you rub the genie in this particular bottle. She looks like the most expensive geode in the Museum of Natural History gift store.

Dorit, as always, is doing way too much. Her outfit is busier than the nation’s vibrators after Drake drops a new video. The dress, which looks like a deflated pink mylar balloon suffocating her body, probably looks great when she is standing up. However, a reunion is a seated affair. It’s a rookie mistake to pick something that looks like a sack of potatoes trying to hold in its stomach for a reunion. Then there are the extra long crystal earrings, but the problem is that one of the diamonds has fallen off of the bottom. Well, either that or it wasn’t supposed to be there, which seems like a completely idiotic design decision. Finally, there is a cluster of diamond-encrusted gold bobby pins all over one side of her head, the same side that is facing the camera, so it looks like her skull is trying to play the most boring game of Pick-Up Sticks that has ever been devised. Why is Dorit always putting shit on her head? I know that she views every inch of her body as her fashion canvas and she always wants to cram as much look as possible onto that petite build, but for the love of Brigitte Nielsen, please stop plastering stuff on your head, Dorit.

Meanwhile, Erika looks flawless with a high pony and one giant earring that sort of looks like if Cartier designed Uhura’s listening device. Her dress has a similar silhouette to Lisa’s, with the wide shoulders, but is accentuated with a plunging neckline and an undulating bit of black fabric that draws the eye down and then back up and out. It’s like a sports car transformed itself into a dress. I like the cars, the cars that go Va-Va-Voom.

On the opposite couch, Lisar looks great in her simple silver dress, which is classic Lisar: slinky, sexy, shiny, and maybe just a little bit wrong. What I didn’t like is that she changed up her signature hairstyle and gave us old lady Shirley Temple. She explains it’s the same hair she had in Playboy, so I shouldn’t be so mean to it. But it was like seeing a zebra without its stripes. Then it’s just a white horse, which is, according to Lisar, just what Dorit and company were riding at her party last season.

Teddi looks absolutely stunning. She’s wearing a simple, short white dress with a plunging neckline that looks smashing on her killer bod. Her hair is down and giving us natural beach waves that anyone with a Sephora.com account would absolutely kill for. It’s just what Teddi is always trying to convince us she is: simple, unfussy, and just a little bit basic. Also, for reading Dorit right to her face, I have decided that I officially like Teddi. There, I said it. Gosh, that really felt amazing, like finally getting off of the elevator so I could let a fart out.

Finally we get to Kyle Richards who has never looked younger, fresher, or more beautiful with her shorter hair. I know it was always her signature, but who knew that it was literally weighing her down? She looks amazing here, letting her shoulders breathe like she always does, and even her eyes look that much greener. Is she wearing contacts or did the hair do that? I don’t know.

As for what actually happened? Oh, who cares? I’m as over it as Erika. Erika is so obviously over this thing, it was a little bit uncomfortable to watch. I have spent a lot of time with Erika and I have never seen her look so physically uptight or uncomfortable. She was not playing with Andy, talking about her book and thinking it was weird that her family hasn’t read it yet. (To be fair, my boyfriend has also not read it.) She was not there for Dorit trying to bring Pantygate up again, she was not there for Andy saying she should duet with John Mellencamp, and she was not there for Lisa saying ad infinitum. A lot of fans have not liked Erika’s performance this season and this is not helping at all.

As for the Kyle, Dorit, and Lisa threeway fight, I still have absolutely no idea what it is about. It’s like all of these weird little slights, missed cues, and small miscalculations that have somehow metastasized into something pernicious. No matter if you can figure it out or not, it all boils down to what Lisar says at the end of the hour: “You guys need to let things go and move on.” Yes. All three of them need to unclench, let go of their hurt, give each other the benefit of the doubt, and try to be the friends they keep claiming to be.

What is so sneaky about all of this is that it reeks of subtext. When Kyle said, “I’d never heard of Dorit before,” she was accusing Lisa of favoring someone because she needed allies on the show. When Dorit said that Kyle told her that Lisa is controlling her, it reeked of Kyle thinking that Lisa has a meddlesome influence on what happens on screen. When Lisa lashes out at Kyle for being unfeeling toward her emotions, it’s her way to thwart that ongoing claim that she is the master manipulator behind it all.

The problem is they can’t come out and say any of this, so they hide behind who said what to whom at which dinner party and who left which party early and who ruined whose night. I wish they could just finally break that fourth wall and tell us all what is really going down. However, as long as they’re all pretending to be the great and powerful Oz, something that we’ve grown bored of by now, we’re just staring at the curtain waiting for Brandi or Lisar or maybe even Kyle to pull it down and let us see the bald little man who is hiding behind it.

So far, there have only been two winners at this reunion. One is Andy Cohen for finally snapping back at Dorit being mad that Kyle ruined her party for In the Back of an Uber Monthly, by saying, “It’s no Vogue,” which is what every sane person who watches this show has been thinking all along. The other is Teddi Jo Mellencamp, not only for talking about watching the show with her father and Meg Ryan (which must be a hoot and a half), but also for finally screwing it to Dorit. She tells Dorit that she thought they were friends, but then she saw how Dorit acted every time she texted or called. Finally, Teddi has grown some balls.

Dorit, always three mice short of a lab experiment, then turns it around and says that Teddi acted like one person to her face and another person behind her back. Um, hello? Then she says, “I’m not on trial here.” When Lisa reminds her that the very idea of the reunion means they’re all on trial, she retorts, “Well, not by Teddi.” But she is on trial by Teddi. She’s on trial by all of them. That is Dorit’s fatal flaw, that she refuses to see how her behavior can harm or affect anyone. She runs roughshod on all of these people and then, when they feel bad about it, she blames them for being hurt. That’s why, no matter what this fight between Dorit, Kyle, and Lisa is all about, I know whose side I’ll always be on: whichever one Dorit is not.

RHOBH Reunion Recap: Gotta Be Startin’ Something