The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
The strange thing about this episode of Rich Women Doing Things is that all the women are right. Denise is right to leave an event when they keep talking about some stupid slight from eight episodes ago. Lisa is right for chasing Denise out of Kyle’s party when she leaves, uncomfortable. Dorit is right to chase Denise out of Sutton’s store party and to try to talk Aaron out of meddling in their business. Erika is right to hold Aaron accountable for the gross way he talked to the women at Kyle’s. Kyle is right to talk to Denise and Aaron about what went wrong at her party, even though it goes sideways. Teddi is right to just stand there being pregnant and keeping her damn mouth shut for a change.
The only wrong things in this episode are Garcelle skipping out on yet another group event (I love her, but, girl, you’ve got commitments!), Sutton wearing a pair of fuzzy cha-cha heels that even Dawn Davenport would hate, and Aaron not getting the hint and continuing to ape around the fringes of the group like a testosterone golem made of mashed potatoes and used condoms.
After a hiatus of several weeks, the show picks up right where it left off, with Denise and Aaron storming out of Kyle’s family barbecue, to which no one’s kids really came. Lisa runs after them barefoot and wants to talk to Denise about what’s going on, but Denise says she’s done with it and wants to talk to Lisa one-on-one about her problems with the group. Right move. She then says she and Aaron are going to go have a steak and go to a strip club, which, let’s be honest, if there were one thing I could do post-COVID, it would be to go to a strip club and eat a steak with Denise Richards. Come on.
Lisa thinks that’s weird and tells the rest of the ladies about it, and they also think it’s weird, particularly because Denise got mad that they’d talked about three-ways in front of her kids but she’d talked about happy endings on the show. I believe I’ve said this before, but Denise feels like her kids will never hear what she says when she’s not around them, because she is never going to allow them to watch the show. The rest of the women don’t see the distinction, because to them everything they say on the show is public and their children are going to find out about it. Is Denise naïve for thinking that? Probably. Is she allowed to think that and want the women to behave differently in front of her kids than they would when the kids aren’t around? Certainly. Are they then allowed to get annoyed about that? Of course. But you know these Beverly Hills ladies; they’re like an asshole eating a thong, and they sure aren’t going to give this fight up without a fight.
What I am living for is the Kyle vs. Denise fight that is certainly brewing. Kyle says in her stripper-pole tent that Denise hates her now, and Denise is in the car wearing a ringer tee and a pair of chunky heels, like she’s 1996 Drew Barrymore about to do a photo shoot for Sassy, talking about how Kyle is an idiot. What’s really interesting about this face-off is that the women on the show seem to take Kyle’s side, but the fans at home seem squarely on Denise’s. It will be interesting at the inevitable Zoom reunion to see if Kyle changes her tune once she sees how everyone has reacted on Twitter.
The middle of this episode is full of our rich women doing things. Dorit talks about designing her closet, which can fit 226 pairs of shoes and she has 229, so she needs to get rid of, according to her math, four pairs of shoes. I’ve actually grown to like Dorit a bit this season, since she’s out of the central conflict for a change. However, the Dorit who says, “I feel like my closet is going to be too small,” is my least favorite Dorit. I love the Dorit who lived in Italy for 10 years because she fell in love with a man and was probably having a very chic and sophisticated life we’ll never see. I hate the Dorit who thinks she needs to perform her wealth and fabulosity in the most basic of ways. It’s like your skinny friend who always eats half a salad every time you go out with her. We get it, bitch, you’re skinny. We don’t need this overt display to convince us.
Erika and Lisa go to a plastic surgeon and get something that looks like an iron placed on their bodies, and it, I don’t know, shocks their fat into submission? They say it feels good, but it seems like a bunch of mini-electroshocks and that can’t feel good. But I will try anything. Does that iron come in a full-body size, because I need those zaps from my comfort-food head down to my Sour Patch Kid toes.
Denise’s daughter Sammi knows how to drive, and I am not going to make fun of a teenager (hey, we all evolve) but her saying, “Hamburger break. Hot dog go,” is one of the cutest, silliest, most amazing things I have ever heard and I can’t believe that Charlie Sheen’s daughter came up with that on the fly and it was sitting under both our noses and feet this whole time.
Kyle’s driving with her sister Kim and, hooooo boy. Kyle rolls through a stop sign and thinks she’s getting pulled over by a cop, and apparently her legs and feet go numb at the prospect of a ticket. She better thank her BLM that she is a white woman of wealth and privilege, and if she feels that kind of fear about being pulled over for a traffic violation, imagine how Black Americans feel every damn day of their lives.
Seeing Kyle and Kim getting along together again warmed my heart, though, even if Kim is looking more and more like Goldie Hawn in The Banger Sisters every damn day. Kyle talks a lot about losing her mother to breast cancer and how terrified of dying her mother was and how she put all of that burden on her children and, honey, the darkness. I had to turn up the contrast on my screen just to see what was happening there for a moment. Also dark: Kim talking about her first boob job, 30 years ago, when she didn’t even want to get one but her boyfriend talked her into even larger implants than she wanted, which was no implants at all. That was sadder than a sack of Joe Exotic’s euthanized tiger’s bones.
Oh, and you want to hear about darkness? What about Garcelle’s father leaving her when she was 3 and then writing her a letter just before he dies and sending it to her mother. Then the mother “misplaces” it and Garcelle never gets to see it but knows there is a letter. There’s a story there that we will never know the ending to. It is probably a story where that letter ended up “misplaced” in a fire or in the trash or torn up into a million tiny pieces and scattered over the kitchen floor so they looked like stars in an alternate universe.
When Kyle talks about her mom, we see her in a new Zoom confessional, and I am happy to report that the lighting, sound, and general integration of it is far superior to what we have so far seen on Real Housewives of New York City. Denise has a Zoom confessional too, with Aaron lumbering into the frame like one ball dunking out of a too-tight Speedo. That means she’s participating with the show again. Does that mean she’ll be at the reunion? Does that mean she might come back for another season?! My fanny is all aflutter at the possibility.
Speaking of Aaron and Denise, they both show up at Sutton’s event to see Italian jewelry made up of serpents and sharks and shit. (Sidebar: The sign in front of the store says “Sutton Est. 1971.” That means Sutton the person, not Sutton the store, right? Because we know that store just opened and that must be false advertising.) Denise looks the best she has all season in an off-white leather jacket, a basic black blouse, and tight black leather pants that end in some strappy high heels. Aaron is the only one of the husbands to show up, and Kyle thinks the reason Denise brought him is not because they “have a dinner,” like she says, but because she wants her attack dog there. I get it! Denise likes that Aaron takes care of her, and she needs some taking care of because all the women are against her, except Garcelle, and she is as absent as Donald Trump’s face mask.
The problem Denise creates is that she then leaves Aaron alone with the whole group of women. Kyle says something like, “I want to talk to you and Denise about how you left my house the other night, because it was awkward, but not until Denise gets back.” Um, why even say that? Just ask him about how he cures cancer with devices that heat your hands up to 100 billion degrees or some shit and then when Denise gets back spring it on them. However, infinity points for when Denise walks up to Kyle and Kyle says, “Sorry about the other night,” and she says, “You left my party, so it’s all good.” As Peter in The Great would say, “Tooche.”
However, I totally back Erika being, like, “So, Aaron, you really gave it to us the other day.” Maybe that wasn’t the right tactic; maybe she should have just told him that his mansplaining and talking down to them made her uncomfortable and rude. Then Aaron responds with the same kind of gruff condescension that caused him problems in the first place. By the time Denise arrives, they’re right back into it.
They storm off again, and Denise says she’s over talking about it. The problem is that this fight isn’t about “Did we say threesomes in front of your kids?” anymore; the fight is now about how they handle it. The fight is about how Denise takes off whenever they try to bring it up. The fight is about how Aaron acts like a jerk trying to defuse the situation, one he shouldn’t be involved in. As Garcelle says, Denise can be right, and Aaron should stay out of it. Both can be true.
But again, everyone is right. Denise is right not to make a scene at Sutton’s event. Kyle and the crew are right that they need to talk it all out for it to be good, even if Denise is over talking about it. Denise is also right that they have talked it to death and should let it go. Dorit is right to try to get Aaron out of it and have Denise to talk to the group alone. Michael, Sutton’s boyfriend, is right to just hang near the food table and eat salami, because that is exactly where I would be. They’re all right. Everyone is right and no one is wrong and it is, I say, absolutely maddening.