First, I want to get something out of the way: I have no idea what a “Ladysitter” is. Because in last night’s Real Housewives of Beverly Hills episode, someone named Justin who seems to be Kyle’s assistant was instead captioned as her “ladysitter.” And even after I looked it up, I still don’t get it. And I don’t like it.
Speaking of things I don’t like, this episode of RHOBH was not the best. But they can’t all be winners. Taylor can’t be in a suitcase every week. Then it would get old and they’d call it The Suitcase Show. But it was fine, and there were some moments, so let’s all get in the suitcase together, ideologically, and explore them, shall we?
The episode started where last week’s left off, with some delightful “batshit auntie”–style behavior from one Kim Richards, who made Adrienne and Paul Maloof wait on their private jet for her as she chose her most Don Knotts-ian white pantsuit to wear to their trip to Sacramento. When Kim finally made her entrance on the jet, Paul erased any doubts you and I may still have had about his affability when he delivered a rapid series of eye rolls, hand gestures, and varied exasperated expressions to the camera that could communicate to an orangutan — even one that didn’t know sign language — “This woman, Kim Richards, is a REAL NUTTER BUTTER, and what’s more, she’s drunk before noon.”
Here is where I need to mention that yes, I am aware of the rumors that Kim is a meth user. The season’s sizzle reel features one Housewife’s accusation that Kim is not merely drinking, but “Winter’s Boning,” as the kids say (no kids say that). Her behavior actually seems more like the result of a good old-fashioned Hollywood cocktail of former-child-star-crazy, delicious pills, and actual cocktails, but I could be wrong: I’m no doctor! I’m not even qualified to be a ladysitter. Believe me: I checked.
So, Kim, who is a lot of fun to watch on a reality show but completely tragic and Fraggle-like in general, got on the jet and tried her best to empathize with the Malooves en route to the last Sacramento Kings game. If you remember from last week, the Sacramento Kings are not a “Cherry Poppin’ Daddies”–style nineties swing band, despite their name, which sounds a little Zooty-Suity to me. They are, instead, a sports group owned by Adrienne and her formidably wealthy family, and the Kings are moving from Sacramento to Anaheim, which is a point of contention among their fans. At least, that is the conflict that Bravo tried its best to convey, with a series of lingering, throat-shovey shots of protesting fans, expositional graffiti, and repetitive voice-over. Leave it to the network behind Work of Art to “man-splain” sports. But, look! I appreciate it! I didn’t know what was going on otherwise. It’s called knowing your audience. Hear that, Patti Stanger?
Whether it’s Bravo-manufactured, paranoid, or a legitimate reaction to the actual circumstances, Adrienne and Paul feel like they’re not completely safe at this last game. The camera finds a sign somebody has made in the crowd that uses “Maloof” as an acronym for something not very nice, and there are errant shouters expressing sentiments like “We’re not happy about this sports thing, and it’s your fault, Maloof!” or things of that nature. And it all rings a bit phony to me, but, again, I don’t know this world from Mole People or the Amish, so it could be an actual phenomenon.
What I do know is that the idea of taking Kim Richards, of all people, into a potentially volatile situation is not only a terrible idea, it is a hilarious one. In the car on the way over to the stadium, as Adrienne talks about her mixed feelings about moving her beloved “Sacramento King Guys,” Kim’s version of “listening” is nodding and then, with nary a twitch, empathizing suchly:
“I don’t like new restaurants. New people.” Kim says, causing a pleasing, Looney Tunes bulldog-esque shocked reaction shot from Paul, whom I now find terrific. “I just like my routine. Are those chocolates?” This is a real thing that Kim said in the car on the way over to the game. It was terrific.
Later they settle into Adrienne’s game box (Wait, now … What’s it called when you watch an event from a private suite? A sky box? A sky box.) and there’s some more Kim-sanity; apparently, I can’t just transcribe everything Ms. Richards says in these recaps and submit an invoice, although that would be more fun for me. So I’ll move onto the other girls, however reluctantly. But before I do, I want to say two things: (1) Unlike Paul, I wanted to hear the end of Kim’s “I was at a cigar bar after I rode my horse and I saw a woman there in Louis Vuitton and her nipple was hanging out” story, (2) Every time Kim puts on her granny glasses to read texts on her phone, I get a flutter in my heart that was, at one point, filled with happiness I only got from human contact.
So, in the world of the non-Kim women, here is what else happened. Kyle Richards spent this episode organizing a benefit for something called the Lollipop Theater Network. That sounds like a kind of emotional rehab or community service for mentally disabled criminals founded by somebody under 50 who’s a little too into The Wizard of Oz, but it’s actually a very worthy cause that helps kids with cancer. So, good for Kyle, in all sincerity. But bad for Kyle for putting together what looked like the worst party I have ever seen, and that includes some pretty shady weddings I’ve had to smile through my Spanx to get through. There were savory lollipop-themed hors d’oeuvres (which is French for “no thanks”), and a sad-looking dance floor, and it was held in what looked like an awkward, cavernous space in downtown L.A. Plus, the event looked sparsely attended, which was admittedly Kyle’s fear (and that of her ladysitter’s!), and what’s more, there was a crapola silent auction from which she ended up raising $15,000 by the end of the night. Look, I don’t want to speak out of turn; Kyle raised fifteen thousand more dollars for children with cancer than I ever have with just one shitty-looking party, so frankly, who’s the caboose? But don’t these women — the non-bankrupt ones — spend that kind of pizza dough on a pair of sunglasses? Based on the preview footage for next week’s episode, we know that Camille’s friend pays $25K for her sunglasses, and those sunglasses look dumb! I’ve seen handsomer specs on dogs during Google image searches I routinely do of “Cool Dog Wearing Sunglasses” to brighten my spirits! By the way, Camille was barely in this episode. She bought a surfboard or something. I hope she didn’t fall off of it with a case of “the Klonopins.”
So, back at Kyle’s event, there was also Taylor Armstrong, who, I should mention, appeared earlier in the episode at Kyle’s home to express concerns that one of the Housewives (namely, Lisa: the only one smart enough to recognize the whiff of a grifter since Cedric did a number on her and Ken) may have leaked gossip about her marital problems and her weight loss to the press.
I do not mean to speak ill of the dead-looking when I say that after watching Taylor choose to sell her heartrending story of abuse and loss and financial misery to ET and Dr. Phil last week instead of to more respectable, lower-paying news outlets, I wouldn’t be surprised if Taylor leaked the story to the press herself. And what’s more, one didn’t have to be in Taylor’s “inner circle” and privy to her “personal life” to “leak” the “scoop” to the press that she’d lost weight. Even Kyle’s dog greeted her at the door like she was a savory sack of delicious bones. (Note to any Bravo insiders reading this: first of all, hello! Please don’t sue me for having a former guest from this season’s Millionaire Matchmaker on my podcast this week, even though he talked in detail about exactly how Patti Stanger is made out of snakes in real life. And secondly and perhaps more important: Can you please look into putting sunglasses on Kyle’s dog for a future episode? I would really like to see that.)
So, Taylor casually mentions to Kyle that it had to be Lisa who spoke to the gossips, because “everyone in her life” signs confidentiality agreements, which is janky and shady; and Kyle, who consorts with the Morally Corrupt Faye Resnick on a chummily regular basis, also has Elliot Mintz in her Rolodex and mentions him to her bony pal as a means of setting up, Chekhov’s gun style, Mintz’s very tan appearance at Kyle’s fund-raiser later in the episode. This didn’t really pay off, but it was of middling entertainment value!
Let’s get to the big event, or at least talk about the “meh” event that Kyle and her ladysitter put together. One more thing about a ladysitter: It is not a manny! That is a thing, too, and one which we learn more about once we meet …
The new Housewife! Brandi Glanville! Brandi has a manny, but more about that in a bit. First of all, what you need to know about Brandi (and I define the word “need” in very loose, diaphanous, blousy, and flattering terms here) is that she was once married to a man named Eddie Cibrian, and Cibrian left Glanville for Leann Rimes, who is really hard to look at in a bikini now. Brandi made her debut appearance on this week’s episode, and what an appearance! Wearing a black minidress from the “apparel” section of the Fredrick’s of Hollywood catalogue paired with a crutch and a giant leg cast, Brandi hobbled into the party like she was limping onto a yacht. And, if we are to believe the editing on the show, the other ladies jumped on her, gossip-wise, like she was a bag of bones in front of Kyle’s dog.
There was a lot of chatter from the peanut gallery of Kyle, Lisa, Taylor, and M.C. Faye Resnick (M.C. stands for Morally Corrupt!) about how stupid it was that Brandi was wearing a stiletto heel on her non-injured foot, considering that she’d broken her leg by falling off a similarly high shoe. What a personal failing! Let’s all get out our villager torches and get a’scorchin’! “Who gives a shit?” responds Paul, astutely and winningly. To which Kyle reacts by calling Mr. Adrienne Maloof “my little buttercup” TWICE, because Kyle is either (A) drinking enough mojitos to blur away the fact that her party seems like a drag, or (B) a big fan of the film ¡Three Amigos!.
While the ladies lit up with demented, Mean Girls–ish glee over Brandi’s crippled gam, Lisa said something about how the new girl’s claim to fame is being left by the Brandi-proclaimed “No. 1 douchebag of all-time.” And that’s just a true fact. That is why Brandi is famous, and that is why Brandi is on this show. And her backstory does justify the fireside glow Taylor and her teeth got during her/their exposure to the anti-Glanville gossip.
Maybe Armstrong is comforted by the fact that the star of NBC’s The Playboy Club once took the initiative to be with a woman who is arguably gamier looking and more upsetting spiritually than Taylor. Wait, what am I saying! Nobody is more spiritually upsetting than Taylor, if only because she is responsible for my having to watch a full hour of the television show Dr. Phil last week, and I find his mustache and voice to be seizure-causing in a Pokemon-ish sort of way.
Oh, and Kim wasn’t at the party. She was “tired” from the “trip” to “Sacramento.” Cut to an image of Kim in my mind, watching her old Disney movies in her bedroom on a loop, wearing her Homer Simpson granny glasses over sloppily lined eyes (so if she walks past a mirror she won’t be depressed), and speeding through a box of tissues and a box of Zin like she’s about to make it to the finish line of the Sad Lady Marathon. Idea. Maybe the producers can set up a Kim Cam, for whenever she’s “too tired” to attend events with the other girls? I’m just brainstorming here, but I’d really like some more Kim and some more dogs wearing sunglasses on this show. Again, this is just here in case anybody from Bravo is reading this. Again, hello, and I love your programming, Most Eligible Dallas notwithstanding.
Back to Glanville: Population Brandi. According to some tabloids, she is friends with Cedric the (reasonably) Entertaining, and that sets her up as a potential foe to Lisa. Remember when Cedric, Lisa’s gay houseguest from last season, turned on her and lied about stuff? Well, he did, and it was some classic Kato Kaelin shit (Hey, M.C. Resnick, there’s a reference just for you!). So, Brandi has that alliance, and there’s talk that Cedric might even be her manny? Why are all mannies now absurdly named? I’m looking at you, Zanny the Manny! Nancy Grace’s recently exposed areola won’t blind me to the fact that you still exist!
The other drama at the Lollipop Event came — or tried to come — from Lisa Vanderpump confronting Taylor … sort of. It wasn’t so much a confrontation as it was a direct statement made ideally out of concern for another’s wellbeing but — less optimally but still forgivably — it was actually a result of Lisa’s inability to resist calling out the reverse-elephant in the room that nobody seemed, until then, to be directly and seriously addressing. Even Kyle laughed after joke-asking a disturbingly thin-looking Taylor, “Are you hungry?” in response to Armstrong complaining that people were saying she wasn’t eating. To contrast, here are some of the things that Lisa said to Taylor, in addition to “I know we’re not friends, but if you need help, I’m here for you”: I’m concerned about you”; “I’m concerned about your arms”; “You’ve lost a lot of weight”; “Every time I’ve seen you, you’re in tears.” Very direct, all true statements from the glossy lips of one Duchess Von Vanderpump, who, we should remember, was a video vixen in a very important New Wave video from the eighties. So even if Taylor was right and it was rude or mean-spirited or anything other than awkward of Lisa to speak directly to Taylor about something that’s upsetting to anybody with eyeballs, I’d still be on Lisa’s side. She was in the video for ABC’s “Poison Arrow,” which is an awesome song, and she got to lip-synch to the part that the lady speaks! And she blew into her powder compact, and it was fucking magical, and now there’s a GIF of it. Hooray! G-d Save the VanderQueen, everybody.
Anycooze, that was about it for this week’s episode. Next week, Brandi tells a table of women that she’s no “super-slut,” more Camille, and there is some jumping about on trampolines? Look, I don’t know what’s going to happen. I can only hope that there will be some cool-ass dogs along with me for the ride. Until then, fair readers!
Julie Klausner is the author of the book I Don’t Care About Your Band and the host of the podcast “How Was Your Week.”