The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
I’m coming down off the sugar high of eating an entire bag of mini Rolos and I’m kind of in a bad mood, so let’s get right to it. Who would you like me to be mean to first: Erika Jayne or that grotesque miniature pony? Alright, fine. I won’t be mean to that four-legged freak show that Lisa Vanderpump tries to buy on a whim for her husband’s 70th birthday because it’s a tiny little pony that’s forced to wear a tutu and have its mane dyed pink. It can’t make its own choices. It can’t even cook its own meals. I’m going to be mean to all of the people who allow it to exist for the cockamamie indulgences of the obscenely rich. That is some seriously messed-up stuff.
Okay, I know you’d like me to be mean to new Housewife Erika Jayne. I have a long history of being really mean to the new Housewives when they first appear, then changing my stance once I get to know them. That’s exactly what happened last year: I was mean to Eileen for about ten episodes because I thought she was boring, and now I really like her. She’s still the most boring of the bunch, but I’m cool with her. Erika, though, is something different.
It’s not that I hate Erika, it’s that she makes a really bad first impression. I don’t know if it was her tagline, “I’m an enigma wrapped in a riddle — and cash,” or her voice, which sounds like a Disney princess blow-up doll filled with helium, but I’m turned off by the way she presents herself. She’s not a mystery at all; she’s an attractive woman who married a rich older man who pays for her music hobby and her lavish music videos. That’s not so hard to figure out. That is a tale as old as time, song as old as rhyme (… Beauty and the Beast).
We’re nominally introduced to Erika as a friend of Yolanda’s, then the two go and get intravenous vitamin C together to boost their immune systems. Erika is savvy to how people on reality shows are supposed to act. She likes to “own it,” which is a trait that only Housewives actually value. She says, “Of course I look good. I have access to the very best. Am I supposed to look like a hag?” No, apparently she’s supposed to look like a Pekinese on her way to the Westminster Dog Show, because that is the look her stylist gave her before her interview segment, with her hair flat and pulled back on the top but frizzy on the sides.
Erika likes to say things to be outrageous, but nothing she says contains any real shock. Erika thinks she’s a rebel, but she’s really just a blonde who puts her sexuality on display. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. I watch Samantha Foxx videos on YouTube just as much as anyone else, but there’s something wrong with believing that sets you apart from the pack. It does not. It just makes you a woman who made Housewives singles before she was actually a Housewife.
Which leads us, beat by ear-crushing beat, to Erika Jayne’s music career. As of this writing, her 2014 “number-one hit” Painkillr (the E fell out of her purse when she got out of the limo) has 55,532 views on YouTube, two of which are from me, because halfway through I had to close the tab to give my ears a break and then I restarted it again later. Erika has a decent singing voice, but her music is as bland as her implants. The heavy synthetic EDM could be a track for Melissa Gorga or Kim Zolciak or any other of the 40-something women trying to make it in the music industry that we’ve had to endure over the years. (That said, “Tardy for the Party” is one of my all-time favorite jams.) Her music sounds like something you’d hear at a gay bar in Cincinnati, then immediately forget.
The person I’m really fascinated by is Mikey, her obviously gay “creative director” who probably works as a server at the WeHo branch of Turdburglar Mary’s (the endearing nickname I use for Hamburger Mary’s). Mikey, who regularly appears in the “Most Woofed in the Last Hour” tab on Scruff, has invented a dance move just for Erika called “pat the puss” and it is perhaps one of the greatest contributions made to the art of dance in the past decade. He’s just like Robin Williams in The Birdcage but instead of “Martha Graham” it’s “pat the puss, pat the puss, pat the puss.” Woof.
I can’t really say what kind of person Erika is, but contrary to all of that post-Rolo induced vitriol that I just unleashed, she does seem fun. We’ll have to see in the near-future when she actually starts interacting with real people.
Now I need to talk about Rosebud the mini pony. What can I say about this little dragon’s queef of a creature? I’m so sad that it exists with its potbelly and its bum leg. There is no need for a mini pony in this world. They can’t plow the fields or transport humans or gallop into battle or do any of the other cruel things we’ve harnessed these beautiful creatures to do for centuries. It’s just a weird little bauble for people to squee and swoon over in some rich person’s backyard. This is a gift you get for the person who has everything, a disfigured runt that’s both cute and sympathetic at the same time. You just want to scoop it up and snuggle with it for a few hours before taking it to the vet and euthanizing it so that it doesn’t suffer this cruel mortal coil any longer.
Lisa and Lisar’s trip to Columbus to buy a tiny pony for Lisa’s husband Ken is one of the great Housewife excursions I can remember, from them freaking out about the pony wearing a little tutu to Lisar catching a chicken and looking for someone, anyone, to praise her accomplishment. Kyle even makes a joke about a maternity tutu, which is perhaps the only funny thing that I’ve ever witnessed her say.
But we really need to knock it off with this mini-horse bullshit. They didn’t visit a farm. They were trapped on the Island of Dr. Moreau, where people do inhumane things to unsuspecting animals so rich people can buy them and turn them into gag gifts. When I buy a gag gift, it’s usually a bottle of V by Vicki Gunvalson — not a living, sentient creature that suffers from birth defects because it’s some unholy creation. I mean, can’t we just buy an Over the Hill hat at Spencer’s and call it a day? Now we need to breed new species just to amuse idly rich animal hoarders?
Ken’s 70th birthday party was kind of amusing. It was designed by chi-chi-chi Kevin Lee and it was the girliest 70th birthday party for a man I’ve ever seen. It looked like the Mad Hatter’s tea party, with the frilly hats and the upside-down purple flowers and purple, purple everywhere and not a drop to drink. (Seriously, I hope someone slipped some Jameson in my tea to help me through that onslaught of aubergine.)
The guest list was diverse enough to include St. Camille of Grammer, who shows up several times each season to smile her angelic smile and tell everyone they look amazing, which is the Housewives version of a papal benediction. The Widow Taylor Armstrong is also there, telling everyone that her mouth is smaller than Lisar’s (which is a lie) and that she doesn’t know how to unfollow someone — Yolanda specifically — on Instagram. When lunch ends, she calls a young PA over and says, “I have some questions about how to use SnapsChatter. Are you a Millennial?”
The Widow Armstrong does not like that Yolanda posts both ill photos and not-ill photos on her Instagram. I understand not wanting to look at people with needles in their arms while scrolling through a feed full of your friend’s vacations pictures, the latest posts from men’s underwear brands, and snaps of Oliver Hudson’s ass … but she could just click one little button to erase Yolanda’s posts. I don’t like the suspicion that Taylor is raising. If she thinks that Lyme Disease can be cured with some antibiotics and by “getting on with it,” maybe she should use all that time she’s spending on her phone to do some Googling.
When it starts to rain and the party moves inside, Lisar and Eileen, the soap-opera veterans that they are, decide to wrestle in the pool. Everyone else joins in the fun and then some jerk pushes Ken into the pool and it looks like he is going to die. Eileen, who is amazing, worries about his very expensive shoes, so she takes them off and throws them over the side. They all laugh at Lisa, whose pink thong is visible through her soggy white dress. The rain comes down in fat droplets that make little splashes, little explosions that spread out and rupture into concentric circles. They all blend together into a tapestry of unrest that the women float Ken upon as they laugh, buoying him about and laughing and laughing and laughing in the rain. Their laughter sounds like the neighing of tiny horses in a buttercup field.