The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
We interrupt your regularly scheduled Rich Women Doing Things recap for this paid television announcement. “Hello, my name is Elvis, and I am a butler at the Baha Mar Resort and Casino on New Providence Island in the Bahamas. No, Rihanna is from Barbados, which is not the Bahamas. Here on New Providence Island we have an enormous complex featuring three hotels, a 100,000-square-foot casino, and more than 2,000 rooms. Yes, that means while some of the suites have their own butlers and some guests are treated to lunch and massages on a private island, you will most likely not get that. You will be next to a cramped pool with about 3,000 other people who will most likely be Canadians in cargo shorts past the knees and Crocs. But don’t worry, all of the fountains shoot high enough that the droplets reach the stratosphere. Doesn’t that sound like paradise?”
While the rich women’s trip to this resort looked magical, there is no way that Erika Jayne, Kyle Richards, or Lisa Vanderpump would ever set foot in that enormous eyesore of a resort if the bill weren’t entirely being footed by someone else and they weren’t contractually obligated to be there. Obviously the resort kept them away from the rabble, so even while they were at dinner, cheek to jowl with a church group from Missouri and a woman from Arkansas who is about to enter her third marriage, it looked like the whole thing was very luxurious.
When Erika gets to her room her three-man gay glam squad, including creative director Mikey, is there waiting for her, brushing out a 70-inch ponytail. Erika tells us that all of these women could afford a glam squad but they’re just too cheap to hire one. I appreciate Erika’s dedication to the character of Erika Jayne. She started out being on the show with a certain level of fashion fabulosity and now she’s stuck delivering it year after year. She’s kind of forced everyone to up their fashion and glam games, as Denise Richards disastrously learns.
The first night in the Bahamas, Dorit invites everyone for drinks in her huge suite. Lisa is wearing a green caftan and looking like late-career Elizabeth Taylor, which is a compliment. Erika is in a gorgeous tiger-print pajama suit and said 70-inch ponytail, which is the mother that gave birth to the litter of all of Ariana Grande’s ponytails. Kyle is in a multicolored flowing dress, Lisar is in the slinkiest leopard-print dress I’ve ever seen in my life, and Dorit is in a stupid red bikini top and sea-anemone–print pants with a giant red bandeau in her hair. She really does look like Lisa’s dog Schnooky. Denise shows up in a white tank top and sparkly white shorts feeling horrendously underdressed. The poor thing. Doesn’t she watch the show?
Dorit is the only other woman who seems willing to spend the money on a glam squad. The difference between Erika’s glam and Dorit’s glam, however, is that Erika’s is worth the money. The next day on the private island, Erika looks like an ’80s pinup fantasy in a vintage Body Glove one-piece, a pair of Oakley-esque shades, a silver mesh cover-up, and the ponytail, this time braided. Dorit is in an acid-green mesh pantsuit and bikini and looks like she is wearing an electrocuted poodle on her head. How can someone spend so much money and still end up looking so mediocre? Every other woman on the trip looks better dressed than her and at a fraction of the cost.
Anyway, we’re not only here to talk about the fashion (though I do request a GIF of Erika in the water wringing out her ponytail), we’re also here to talk about drama, and it all seems to be revolving around Lisa Vanderpump. Erika and Lisa had a small skirmish at lunch when Lisa told Erika that she thought her note of condolence about her brother’s suicide was “standoffish” which Lisa says is something “you have been trying to get over.”
Immediately Erika retreats back into her shell and tells Lisa that she meant every word and that is how she expresses her sympathy. In typical Erika fashion, she gets mean when she gets mad, but I understand where she’s coming from. She sent a very nice, handwritten note, which is a lot of work for people these days. It was not a text or an email, it was something she had to put a stamp on and (have an assistant) take to the post office. I think it was completely sufficient. She also took a picture of it because she knew it would come back up because Lisa is “slippery.”
Lisa says she thought they were closer than that, which is a sentiment I can understand. As Kyle says, Lisa is wracked with grief and that doesn’t always lead to logical reactions. I can excuse her on this one. Lisa quickly apologizes and says she loves Erika and that she did nothing wrong. It seems healed over.
But the essence of Erika’s argument with Lisa dovetails nicely with this whole Dorit Lucy Lucy Apple Juice fiasco. (Why is the dog’s name not Lucy Lucy Apple Juicy? Does no one know how to rhyme anymore? Does no one appreciate parallel structure?) Erika says to Lisa during the fight, “Don’t make me out to be the bad guy.” It seems like every one one of these women is waiting for Lisa to make them out to be the bad guy and doesn’t want to let her do it.
We all know the basics of the fight: Dorit got a dog from Lisa’s shelter and had to get rid of it and didn’t give it back to Lisa. Dorit was obviously wrong, even though she will never admit it. Lisa has been refusing to talk about it on camera, other than bringing it up privately at dinner with Dorit and her husband PK, a pigeon eating dried puke off the sidewalk.
Kyle makes a joke about the situation at the party in Dorit’s room in front of Lisar who is like, “What is going on?” When they won’t tell her she says, “Well, cheers to keeping secrets,” which is another GIF I could really use. The next day at breakfast, Teddi and Kyle tell Lisa about how Dorit’s dog came up at Vanderpump Dogs and Lisar immediately says, “You guys were set up.”
This is the moment that Lisa Rinna has been anticipating for the better part of two seasons, ever since Lisa embroiled her in that Munchausen’s fight with Yolanda Bananas Foster. She knows that Lisa plays dirty behind the scenes and was waiting for the precise moment when she would finally be revealed.
Lisar posits that Lisa told the guys at the store to tell Kyle and Teddi about the dog Dorit dropped off so that Lisa could say, “I don’t want to talk about it,” and she could punish Dorit while still coming off like a saint. That is exactly what happened and both Kyle and Teddi see, in that moment, how Lisa set the whole scenario up.
Teddi says she sees a pattern in Lisa’s behavior, and she’s only been around for a season. Kyle sees this setup as a way for Lisa to “protect her relationship with Dorit, but keep her hands clean.” When they bring it up at dinner with the whole group, Dorit is upset because she thought she and Lisa buried the whole thing.
Lisa is also upset because she says that she has been trying to protect Dorit from this whole mess. If that is the case, she never should have allowed her staff to bring it up while the cameras were on. She also never should have brought it up again on camera with Dorit. She then blames Teddi for gossiping about it and telling everyone, but Teddi didn’t hear about it on camera the first time and she was very careful not to tell anyone else about it. The only reason it came up on camera and Kyle knew was because Lisa’s two Johns brought it up at Vanderpump Dogs. This lands squarely at Lisa’s feet, like one of Schnooky’s organic dog food turds.
Lisar is at the other end of the table telling everyone that it smells like a setup and smiling with the face of a woman who has been waiting two years for her moment and knows enough to grab it like Barbra Streisand clutches a bedazzled white microphone. This seems to be the culmination of something that has been in the works for seasons. It’s a subtext that was started way back during Brandi Glanville’s reign (say her name three times and she shall appear), and it is finally becoming text. All Lisar can do is smile, each toothy tile like a full moon reflected in the Bahamian sea, and all of us waiting for the tide to come in.