The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
Oh, boy. Last night’s episode was a zit-squeezing, lap-dancing, rose-picking, racecar-driving, husband-shouting mess.
But first: Hello, beauties! I’m filling in for Julie this week while she takes a well-deserved break, but she will be back next week, don’t worry. I usually recap The Real Housewives of Atlanta, Scandal, and Orange Is the New Black because my goal in life is to make sure my grandmother will never be able to explain my job to the residents of her assisted-living community (“She’s on that computer all damn day, that’s all I know!”), and you can read a lot more about me here. Julie is both a friend and a role model, so I will try to live up to her brilliance as I write about this pack of frothing, well-appointed hyenas.
Carlton put on her best tartan plaid breast separator and jangled into the Hustler store to buy some new chonies, with her husband and mother-in-law in tow. Don’t worry, you guys, her MIL has “caught babies out of her vagina” so it’s completely normal for Carlton to spend an afternoon wrapping her razor-sharp hip bones in shiny elastic and thrusting the whole affair into the cherubic face of a matriarchal senior citizen. A salesperson, who can only be described as Christina Ricci cosplaying as a Monster High doll, explained what “DTF” means, everyone discussed the merits of side-boob and under-boob, then Carlton brought the entire afternoon to a dignified end by slapping on an American-flag bikini set and rhythmically bouncing her ass cheeks all over her mother-in-law’s leg. USA! USA! She was smart to have grandchildren, the salve for any aging wound, like, for example, your baby boy marrying a vampire. Without them, Carlton would be bound to the stripper pole of her own playroom while a priest doused her with holy water, shouting, “The power of Christ compels you!”
The Housewives shows get pejorative comparisons to high-school drama a lot, and Yolanda’s “zit on my anniversary OMG” plot point didn’t help matters much. Yolanda, I love you, but who cares? Can you not stare that zit into submission, or have a level-headed conversation with it about the appropriate time to sprout? She garnered some sympathy from her second-favorite daughter, Bella, who was too busy recounting how terrified she was the first time she met David to focus on her mom’s skin intrusion. It feels like every time Yolanda mentions David to her kids they have a post-traumatic emotional disconnect while she white knuckles it about how much she loves him. “ISN’T HE GREAT, GUYS? ISN’T HE THE BEST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED TO US, YOU GUYS?!” “Yeah, mom, sure.” I like Bella — she has a face that says, “I took notes in the margins of that Menendez brothers book.” Brandi, the “expert specialist in skin imperfections,” called and talked YoYo down by telling her to put some Visine on it, to which YoYo replied, “Put the Vuh-zeen, right on the thing?” like someone was talking her through the instructions for assembling a flux capacitor.
Lisa wandered around her rose garden with a basket the size of a wagon wheel, and Ken wheezed behind her so that she’d have a receptacle for her incredibly important thoughts about friendship. She wondered out loud if she should stop nagging Brandi, and Ken, sunning his downy chest thatch through a shirt unbuttoned down to his groin, said that Brandi just needed a boyfriend to take care of her. I’m not down for this finger wagging, patriarchal load of tripe that insists every drunk, emotionally unstable woman needs a good man to settle her down … unless that man is a licensed therapist, in which case bring him on, stat. Is Lisa in a fugue state when she appears on this show? Why else would she think it’s a good idea to get two women who clearly hate each other together for a civilized dinner to work out their issues? It’s not that she needs to stop nagging Brandi — she needs to stop mothering her, and planning play dates with women who would one-inch punch each other to death if the opportunity arose.
Kim wanted to show Chad a video of her dog at Doggie Outward Bound, and I sort of cackled when I realized the horrible, kicking dog trainer sent her an actual DVD instead of a YouTube link or something. Kim, sitting on her son’s lap, was overjoyed to see the untrained chomping death machine that is her dog running around with other dogs and not killing them (not because he’s a bad dog, but because she is a terrible dog owner). I was hoping Kingsley would unearth a little bindle and run off into the sunset, but he just sort of did dog stuff. The trainer, on the other hand, definitely went out to that desert to swallow mushrooms by the handful, right? The way he ran around in a wetsuit, leapt off boulders, and ran toward the camera reminded me of every single 11-year-old boy I knew in 1988 who had managed to sneak the family camcorder out for an afternoon to record a really cool “movie.” Chad humored his mom, and tried to calmly explain to her that when you treat a dog like a baby it acts like a monster, but Kim just smiled, looked up at the sky, clapped her hands and said, “Again, again! I love it when he thinks he’s a baby!” Kim is learning to let go of her children by latching onto this dog, and it’s all going to end in tears (or a pool of blood).
Yolanda doused her face in Vuh-seen and put on her best monochromatic outfit for her anniversary dinner at Nobu, where David Foster displayed astounding new levels of dickheadery by telling the server they ran out of something he ordered when he was there the other night. The way he cast a sidelong glare at her as some attempt at mock indignation did little to mask his actual indignation, and the fact that he is the sort of person who thinks everything should be available to him all the time. I’ve served people like him, and there is never anything you can do to make these Masters of the Universe types happy. What did he want her to do, hop in a time machine with Doctor Who and make sure he could gorge his slack face with shrimp tempura? If I had a TARDIS I would go back in time and break every single one of his fingers with a hammer. I’d wait until he was a teenager, calm down. He also ordered for both of them, which is oppressive and old-fashioned, not romantic and charming, but one of us lives in a mansion with a see-through refrigerator so maybe I should reconsider my bitterness. YoYo gave him a book of full naked pictures of herself subtly emblazoned with “FOR YOUR EYES ONLY” on the cover, which the RHoBH camera people really took to heart as they did zoom shots over his shoulder. David Foster, in turn, gave her a Hallmark card. I mean, he did take the time to sign it “Love, Your Husband” and he tried to convince us that he loved Yolanda for her spirit (“I fell in love with the physical first … but then the heart and soul … but she’s hot.”), but in the end I still resent that Yolanda the Danish Goddess still feels she has to pique the interest of this amphibious Ben Vereen crusher. Happy anniversary!
Kyle slithered in for a short scene to remind us that her hair is shiny, and she tried clothes on people for her fashion presentation. She doesn’t want to call it a fashion show because that’s too much pressure, okay? She rubbed a single fingerprint off a display case (Stars, They’re Just Like Us) and jokingly reprimanded an employee that I legitimately thought was a mannequin until he laughed, while Joyce sauntered in with Ivette, Queen of the Universe. Wait, what? Did we hold elections for that already? Have the Hunger Games begun? Brandi came in with friends Jen and Etirisa flanking her like an updated Charlie’s Angels, and Joyce wasted no time pissing Brandi off by talking to everyone in Spanish. All of the clothes were too big for everyone, which gave Kyle an opportunity to brag about being a size four and feeling like a plus-size model. There are three types of people I will never like: adults who show off their Christmas and birthday presents on Instagram, grown-ass women who do full splits at parties in a blatant attempt to attract attention, and skinny people who claim they are fat. Kyle is two for three, but I would never follow her on Instagram, so let’s just assume she’s the goddamn worst and put her on the shitlist anyway.
Then, Kim went to a Formula One race track with her kids for some reason? The good people of the Gentry Lee Racing Team knew better than to put her behind the wheel, but Kim had a grand ol’ time sitting in the passenger seat and screaming about how much fun she was having. She joked that she feels like she drives crazy, but do you remember a couple of seasons ago, before she went to rehab, when she took that terrifying trek on the highway? Not looking at anything, talking on the phone, reaching over the passenger seat for things that weren’t even there, and putting on makeup? It’s not really a joke. She got that far-off look in her eye the way my nana used to do before we realized she was spiking entire pitchers of orange juice with vodka, and rattled off a nonsequitur about her grandmother letting her drive when she was a 12-year-old, which only made me sad as I realized Kim has lacked adult supervision for most of her life. She seemed happy to whizz around a track in her high-heeled wedge sneakers, though, replicating the actions of Kingsley in her Kingsley-free world.
Carlton and her assistant Elizy watch the contractors map out the stage they’re going to build in her den of iniquity. The walls have been painted red because it’s a passionate color, but they should have been left a matte jizz white for all the juice that’s going to be sprayed in that room. When the contractor described the dimensions of the stage, Elizy shook her shoulders up and down instead of speaking, like a bobblehead with no spring, or a person whose name has too many or too few letters.
Finally, everyone gathers at SUR for dinner at Lisa’s request, even though Brandi becomes very “dark and depressed” when she learns that Joyce is going to show up. Lisa has invited old friends Martin and Mohamed, Yo’s ex, as a buffer, because it’s apparently better to rustle up a couple of permanently buzzed dudes who throw fantasy-themed parties with live mermaids to play referee instead of letting two adult women work shit out on their own. Brandi and Martin make jokes about how Joyce should be called Joycelina or Joycesita to prove they’re not even a little bit racist, ha-ha! And Lisa refuses to sit at the head of the table now that Carlton has pulled that power bitch move out of her hat. Everyone shows up — Yolanda, Mohamed and his fiancée Shiva, three French hens, two turtle doves. Joyce and Michael walk in late, and Brandi is already on edge because she feels like she was snubbed by Joyce, who merely said, “Hello” and not, “Hey, chica, cómo estás? Chica, te ves tan bien esta noche!” or something equally ethnic.
What happens next is a litany of yelling, fuck-offs, and fuck-yous. Joyce said getting to know the group was tough, and Mr. Joyce jumped in to say, “Yeah, bitches be frontin’ on my wife!” or something else that I completely made up. He’s like a human sloth, and when he talks I just slip into a little bit of a coma. When people fight like this I can barely detect one shrill voice from another no matter how many times I rewind the DVR, but the gist is that Joyce gets all trumped up and talkative when she has her husband to defend her in her battles, Brandi called Joyce stupid, Joyce told Brandi she was “blonde but shouldn’t act like a bimbo,” Joyce called Brandi a racist bully, Brandi reminded Joyce that her babies are Cuban, someone once told Mohamed he shouldn’t ski because he was Arab, and Mr. Joyce wants to leave the planet.
What do you think — were there sides to be taken here, or did everyone behave badly? Was Mr. Joyce right to step into this fight?
Next week, Brandi is depressed, Carlton gets a tattoo, one of the mannequins in Kyle’s store falls over but she finds a way to press on, Joyce complains about Brandi to Lisa, and Kyle and Joyce’s hair gets tangled up like one of those Pinterest braids that looks like a set of ribs, forcing them to form a King Rat of rampant idiocy. Well, that last part is just a daydream.
It’s been a pleasure to watch with you! Have a safe and happy New Year’s Eve, everyone.