Let the group flagellation begin.
Can you imagine what it’s like to sit there on that couch as the cameras finally blink on and the taping of the reunion starts in earnest? What must it be like knowing that over the course of a day, you will be attacked, shouted at, asked unfair questions by Andy Cohen, made fun of by Americans tweeting insipid questions, and placed in an uncomfortable and emotional situation? It must be like lying on the gurney being wheeled in for your third electroshock treatment. You know how bad it’s going to suck, but you’re just trying to smile long enough to get through it and hope you forget most of it in the morning.
God, I really hate these reunions. I think the women see them as a way to get redemption or settle scores, but none of that ever really happens. Being on these couches is like trying to play badminton with a turd. No matter how much you try to play offense or defense, you’re still swatting at a lumpy mess that is only going to smear on your racket and land with a soft squish at your feet.
So, yeah. I never really have much to say about these specials because we get no real resolution from them. Nothing ever happens other than shouting and finger-pointing and recriminations and accusations. It’s like all the worst parts of a courtroom drama, except no one is ever guilty. Or is it that no one is ever innocent? I can’t even tell anymore. Let’s ask Matlock.
This reunion started on kind of a bad note when Yolanda Bananas Foster had to talk about being sick with Lyme disease, and how that has been negatively affecting her health for the past several months. She sat on the couch, looking glamorous and flawless as ever, but was squinting through something uncomfortable. It looked like she had a migraine or really bad gas, and she was just trying to make it long enough without having to put her head in her hands and rock herself back and forth until her equilibrium returned. God, I felt bad for Yolanda.
This is especially true because she is a class act. She answered every question well and had good responses for everything hurled at her. She said that she doesn’t feel like it’s her job to fix Brandi, but helping her comes from an honest place in her heart where she wants her friend to have a better life. What is wrong with that? When asked about Gigi being a major model, she brought up how well Bella was doing, so she won’t feel left out of the attention. She told the other women that she recognized the low blow Brandi delivered when she said Bella was an alcoholic, but she didn’t let it derail their conversation. That only happened because Yolanda is wise and mature and seems to have a whole lot of other stuff going on that she needs to focus on that has nothing to do with shouting about fake slaps on a boat in Holland. Poor Yolanda. Get well soon.
There was some news that came out of the reunion. Kim and Kyle haven’t spoken in three months because Kim’s dog bit Kyle’s daughter, and she had to have surgery. It looks like we’re going to hear much more about that in parts two and three of this marathon of group flagellation. But I did actually feel something when Kim told Kyle that she was kind of fine with the way things were right then, by which she meant the two of them not talking. The look of stony acceptance on Kyle’s face (along with her perfect shade of lipstick) almost conjured up something in me that felt a little bit like sadness and sympathy. Sadness and sympathy for Kyle Richards? Surely that can’t be.
That wasn’t the most shocking new,s though. The most shocking news is that Lisar made at least $1 million doing an ad for Depends adult diapers. Yes, she went on television and let everyone know that she sometimes pees herself and she wears diapers for it, and she got $1 million. Do you know what I would do for $1 million? I would certainly do that. I would admit that I ate those Olean chips and I sometimes get anal leakage. I would promise to star in every Summer’s Eve ad for the next five years. I would do the Chuck Norris Total Gym completely naked wearing a clown wig in an infomercial that would air every night on basic cable for the next decade and let everyone laugh at my ever-growing midsection. Heck, I would have dinner at Brandi’s house! That’s how low I would go.
That’s the only other thing that we learned last night, and it is a lesson that we have learned for the past 20 episodes of this season: Brandi is kind of an awful person. The only difference now is that she is an awful person who has done something inexplicable to her face.
Here is the problem with Brandi, wrapped up in one exchange. Kyle says that she knows that Brandi gets drunk in public at other times when she isn’t around the Housewives. Brandi asks when. Kyle mentions something about her birthday. Brandi retorts with some lame joke about how Kyle smokes pot. Kyle says, “At least I don’t walk around naked with my tampon string hanging out.” Now, this is surely a low blow, but it is a very specific allegation about a very specific incident (if you want to see, click on this link at your own peril). Brandi’s comeback is, “That’s because you don’t get your period anymore, bitch.”
Let’s unpack this, shall we? Here is what always happens. Someone lodges a direct complaint against Brandi, citing a very specific example of how she has behaved deplorably (this could be getting drunk, throwing wine, slapping someone, etc.), and instead of addressing the allegation, Brandi just insults the person making the accusation. All this does is make the audience think that the allegation was true, or else Brandi might have had a better explanation. Also, the rejoinder has to be punctuated with her saying “bitch.” I can see her wagging her hand and making her fingers snap together just like Jesse Pinkman would at the end of everyone one of these statements.
This pattern happens again and again, and it shows why Brandi is just completely defenseless on this show. She cannot argue. She cannot match these women point-for-point because she has no points to make, or she’s just not quick enough to present a case explaining herself. Instead, she relies on her crass humor to try to see her through, but it just makes her end up looking like a mean chump.
The other thing is, her own behavior often contradicts whatever point it is that she’s trying to make. She accuses Kyle of getting physical with her, but she actually slapped Lisa. Was the slap bad? No. Was she joking around? Yes. Was the way that she slapped Lisa as incidental as the way that Kyle grabbed Brandi’s arm? Yes! If she doesn’t see that, then she is just crazy.
And don’t get me started on her getting all offended at Andy likening her to playing with a dog that bites you. That is exactly what Brandi is. He’s not calling her a dog, necessarily, but I think that Brandi doesn’t entirely understand how metaphors work. I don’t know if that’s her problem or ours, but there it is.
God, I am so sick of talking about how awful Brandi is, but every week she goes and gives us more ammunition for starting to hate her. Lisa and Kyle are really coming for her this reunion, too. Lisa, who is usually a little aloof at these affairs, has her briefs filed and her evidence entered in with the court. She is ready to have Brandi convicted in the court of public opinion. If Brandi hopes to stay on the show, this is not the way to do it, because Andy Cohen is going to pick Kyle and Lisa over her a million times. It was sad when Yolanda had to get up and go home to lie in her bed and recover, because we all know that the wrong woman walked out of the studio that day.