The nightmare is over.
Here at the Real Housewives Institutes, we have never wanted a thing to end more than this season of The Real Magic Tricks of Hangover Begone Canyon. Well, there was that time when Kim G staged a one-woman sit-in in our executive offices, protesting acknowledgment as a real human being and not the mound of flesh on Gargoyle’s nose-given life. Maybe we wanted that to end more, but not by much. Seriously, all this season amounted to was a bunch of boring episodes capped off by Brandi behaving like an absolute lunatic, and then several petty and pointless squabbles about Kim Richards’s sobriety. Of course, in the finale, we got more of the same.
First of all, the Hamlin-Rinnas had a very strange ceremony in their backyard where they toasted the toppling of their daughters’ swing set, which their groundskeeper felled while everyone looked on drinking sparkling cider and toasting to the end of childhood. Uh. Okay. Sure. That’s fine. A little maudlin and strange, but there were group hugs at the end, so how can we really hate that?
Because they are totally related, we then cut to a book-signing party at Kyle by Alene Too, a boutique with a name so asinine that it is a joke that writes itself. This was not a Real Housewives book signing but something much more important. Kyle’s niece Nicky Hilton, the one who is not famous in Japan, wrote a book called Fashion 365. It’s about how if you draw a circle of fashion around yourself, everything around you will be fashionable. It’s because to Nicky Hilton, a circle has 365 degrees, so she wanted to name the book after her circle of fashionable friends who keep her very fashionable with fashion. Fashion!
Screw this book party, because there are only two things that are worth mentioning about it. First is St. Camille of Grammer, who arrived wearing a dress that was printed with the clouds of heaven where she lives. There was a shining face in the middle of her bosom, which was just like the reliquary of her heart. On the flared skirt under the bodice was a depiction of the earth, which the sun from her brilliant face shines down upon every day. It was absolutely perfect.
Then Estella, Maurice’s mother (I think we should call him by his Kim Richards name, don’t you?), introduced St. Camille to Prince Mario Marx, some sort of Danish aristocrat and communist whom she is carting around town like he’s a Judith Leiber purse that has its own apartment in Copenhagen. It turns out Mario Marx’s aunt is the Queen of Denmark, a honor which has about as much duty and responsibility as Miss Chrysanthemum, the reigning beauty queen of Apalachicola, Florida. Anyway, Prince Mario Marx totally looks like European nobility in that they all have really good dentistry or really good hair plugs but never both at once, and sometimes neither. He is very smitten with St. Camille because of course. She is wearing a tapestry that is woven out of ambrosia and scented with nectar.
That is all I remember of the book-signing party, but there was another party to go to. Adrienne, the Queen of the Maloofs, a race of mole people that live under the mountain, had another vodka line to launch, because that is the only time that Adrienne, Queen of the Maloofs, has a party. She doesn’t so much as gather her friends, she rounds them up in captivity and then markets them with some vulgar product. This time it was Hangover Begone, a brand of vodka that is apparently fermented from dog hair or something crazy like that. I don’t know, this whole party was so damn tacky.
However, I had no idea that the Maloofs, her race of mole people that live under the mountain, were so attractive. The males have words engraved on their toned chests and the females hang from the ceiling by swaths of fabric, as is their custom. And then, when the hour is right, they get their leader, the first sergeant at arms of the mole people, to disappear into a cloth tube and conjure forth the image of their queen, Adrienne. And that is how she appears: by magic.
Now, there is a lot to discuss at this party, but we must continue the story of St. Camille of Grammer, a woman who does not wear dresses but has bands of black fabric hover around her body in strategically placed rings. It’s as if she is Saturn and they are gaseous planetoids trying to keep people from sullying her with their hands and thoughts. She was wearing either that or the outfit she wore the last time she starred on MTV’s The Grind, the time when Eric Nies slowly lowered his paw across her as and told her that she was just like an angel.
Estella, Maurice’s mom, was there again, and she had St. Mario Marx with her. He was handing out tracts about how we can convert Scandinavia from socialism to straight-up communism. But then he saw his intended, St. Camille, and he couldn’t keep his hands off of her. And can you blame him? She is wearing that dress that at once repels people and draws them in. It is sewn with ambivalence. But it seems to be a true love match, with the two of them making out right there in the middle of the room like they are a 40-year-old mother of two and a 22-year-old Dutch college graduate sitting in a café in Amsterdam (which is how all good make-out seshes happen).
I’m so glad there was some love in the air, because everywhere else, there was hatred. There were just straight-up horrible feelings and enmity. It was sort of like the premiere party for Mortdecai. First Lisa walked up to Brandi and said, “I got your email,” in a very pleasant tone like she was going to start a conversation, and Brandi just flipped out on her. “I can’t have this conversation. My father is dying and he is the greatest person in the world and he is so much better than you and Ken and I just can’t have this conversation right now,” she screamed, pointing her finger in Lisa’s face.
This conversation sort of illustrates everything that is wrong with Brandi. First of all, it is her job to have this conversation right now because it is the finale party of the season and there needs to be some sort of closure. That is why she is there. She is contractually obligated. I’m not saying she can’t care about her father, but we all have personal problems when we’re at work; we just push them to the back of our minds and get our widgets made or mail delivered or bitchy reality-show recaps written and move on with our lives. That is what Brandi needs to do. And if the stress of her life is really so bad that she is having panic attacks every day, then there is help out there that she is not getting, and her condition will not be solved by avoiding one semi-unpleasant conversation with Lisa Vanderpump.
Brandi’s father can be a great person, and Lisa and Ken can also be great people. There is no reason to compare them. Lisa and Ken don’t have to be awful people to make her father a better person. Brandi just has no sense of scale or perspective about anything. Everything is either no big deal at all, like when she slaps someone, or it’s the biggest drama on the face of the Earth, like when she loses her dog. Sure, that is traumatic, but there is no way that multiple lives should be put on standstill so that she can emotionally grasp it. And if that is what it takes, Brandi needs to be medicated or up her dosage or consult a new psychiatrist or something. Seriously. If her anxiety is that bad, she needs some damn Lexapro (and, probably, to quit drinking).
My big question is, however, what does Brandi want out of this interaction? What was she hoping to gain? Lisa told Brandi that she was very sorry that her father was suffering because of course she is. But then, after Lisa said she was sorry, Brandi says that she is fine. Well, if she’s fine, then why the big production about how Lisa needs to feel sorry? And if the aim was to make Lisa feel sorry, then she accomplished her mission, so what is she mad about? Did Brandi think this was going to help them foster some kind of resolution? If Lisa’s point is that Brandi behaves unreasonably, does Brandi think that behaving even more unreasonably is going to help her case? Then, in the middle of talking, Brandi just walks away without warning. I just do not understand her at all. I thought I figured out how her brain works, but I have not. It is a mystery, like how St. Camille was keeping that Saturn dress on her body while walking around that party.
Now we must talk about Kim and Kyle and Kim’s addiction, and I really don’t want to. Can’t I just write Fifty Shades of Blonde, the story of a former sitcom star’s wife who meets a prince and then takes him home to her Malibu horse farm and locks him up in the stable and makes him pretend like he’s her love pony for about three years until eventually he turns into a unicorn? Please? Can I please do that instead?
Alright, I’m going to give you the quick version of what happened. Kyle told Kim that Lisar said that Brandi said that Kim needed an intervention. Then Kim wanted to check with Lisar to see if she told Kyle that Brandi said that Kim said she needed an intervention. But then Lisar said that she and Brandi talked about a lot of things but not really about interventions, maybe. So then Kim said that Kyle was a liar. And then Kyle said that Lisar wasn’t telling the truth and that Brandi is the liar. Then Eileen told Lisar to tell Kim that she told Kyle that Brandi told her that Kim needs and intervention so that Kim and Kyle can have some resolution. Then Lisar told Kim that she really did tell Kyle that Brandi said that she needed an intervention, but Kim just dismissed her and was like, “I don’t want to hear you tell me anything,” and Lisar got her feelings hurt. And then Kim asked Brandi if she told Lisar she needed an intervention and Brandi said no, but Brandi was lying.
Really, this whole thing was a stupid game of telephone about who told what to whom and who was talking to whom about what, but what it really comes down to, yet again, is that Kim isn’t addressing the real issues. She’s making the classic Housewife mistake of getting involved in the rules of order about who said what when and to whom instead of addressing the fact that she took a pain pill and went to a poker night and behaved like an asshole and then wouldn’t talk about it with anyone. That is the real problem here. There is also her monumentally flawed relationship with her sister Kyle that seems to be sending shockwaves through the entire show and bringing down everyone else like collateral damage. If Kim can’t see that she brought this upon herself, then there is not enough therapy in the world to help her.
Lisar was just exhausted by the whole night. They all brought the fight to her and she tried to stay out of it, she tried to stay out of Kim’s way, but she couldn’t. She was dragged in the middle of this Mexican standoff between the Sisters Richards, and she was cut bloodier than a calf at the veal factory. She got in her car and rested her head on her chest the whole way home. She did her breathing exercises in the back — inhale through the nose for five seconds, hold for five seconds, blow out through the mouth for seven seconds. In five, hold five, out seven. In five, hold five, out seven. Five, five, seven. Five, five, seven. Five, five, seven. Her heart began to slow, the tingling in her fingers and arms began to subside. Finally, she pulled into her driveway.
She got out and the car turned around and headed back down the street, caressing her with his headlights as she took off her heels and walked, barefoot, up the short driveway. She couldn’t go inside yet. She walked on the lawn around the back of the house, the grass cool and a little bit dewy. She padded the soft soil as she walked her way to the swing set, still laying on its side, like a great stegosaurus that had been felled by a predator and the meat picked from its bones. She looked at it for a second and the tingles came back, her heart started again, and she couldn’t help herself. She fell to her knees and began hammering at it with her shoes, the heels putting small dents in the wood, sending tiny splinters flying into the lawn. She pounded and pounded until she saw the lights snap on in the house and Harry appear at the back door, wrapping his robe around his naked body. “Lisa? Honey? What is going on? Are you okay?” She dropped her shoes and stood up and faced him, smiling so big she could feel it in her forehead. “Everything’s fine, honey,” she said as she walked toward the house, leaving her ruined shoes to spend the night soaking up the dew.