The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
On this episode of our favorite show, Rich Women Doing Things, the rich women did things. They attended a Birkin bag birthday party while mispronouncing the word “Hermès.” They ignored their husbands when it was time to carry $300 worth of groceries to the car, and pretended like they actually love the hamburgers at the supermarket even though they have probably never eaten one. They annoyed their children in the middle of their at-home Japanese classes by cooking dinner on the other side of the kitchen island, even though there are presumably other rooms in the house in which this child can study. They gave each other birthday gifts, like a ring right off of their finger, a luxury Snuggie made out of cockapoo fur, and sexy silk pajamas for nights of experimentation with THC sex oil.
Mostly, however, the rich women once again fought about Crystal and Sutton and Violation, a new perfume by Mike Pence. Before getting into that, though, can we just take a minute to celebrate how good Kyle Richards is at her job? Yes, she is not the splashiest of Housewives, but her dedication to the reality television arts and sciences is unparalleled. She can find her way into a good storyline and we barely even see the puppet strings that strangled LVP and threaten to throttle Lisa Rinna. During the party at Lisa’s house, Kyle sees Sutton disengaging and starts whispering, “What’s wrong?” She then moves Sutton away to get a drink and presses her further. Kyle just digs in, digs in, digs in, pressing her for answers while Sutton tries to weasel away, and next thing you know she’s in the backyard insulting Crystal’s pants and making the whole season. Kyle Richards is a national treasure.
Now, let us not get it twisted, she is not as much of a treasure as her sister Kathy, who thinks that Hunky Dory is an actual person and not just a figure of speech or an excellent David Bowie album. Kathy is the oblivious reality star who invites Crystal and Erika over to her palatial estate to play tennis, or at least pretend to play, while just lounging around the house in her pajamas without a stitch of makeup on, and finds that a Continental breakfast of fresh fruit and croissants has just appeared in the living room like she lives in an entire Holiday Inn Express. Also, can we say a requiem for Crystal’s friends who, much like her cousins, were there for filming purposes only and then shuttled off back into obscurity as soon as Erika totally whiffed her last tennis ball.
Let us also speak of Kathy Hilton’s Scooby-Doo bag of tricks that has carpet samples, flats for a pedicure, drying mist, a potion that cures L.A. traffic, a luxury Port-a-John should she need to use the facilities while at The Ivy, one of Kim Richards’ children’s diplomas, a recipe for Coq au Vin that she got from Valerie Bertinelli last time she was over her house for dinner, and the last known whereabouts of Shelly Miscavige. She goes over to Kyle’s to talk about Kim because the three sisters can’t all get along at the same time. If they were to, it would be like Mercury going into retrograde during Scorpio season and the sun would leak out of the sky and the horizon would look exactly like Dorit’s oversized tie-dyed jumpsuit.
Oh, Dorit. If Kathy Hilton is the MVP, Dorit is the opposite of that. (Q: What is the anti MVP? A: PK. Sick burn!) On the ride over to Lisa’s house for the party we have to endure Dorit talking about how she is now designing in the bridal space while wearing four barrettes that spell out D.I.O.R. on her skull because there is not a surface on her body she can leave unlabeled. She probably has a Gucci G shaved into her pubes. She tells us that a designer contacted her to help her make more fashion-forward wedding dresses because this woman loved her style. Sorry, Dorit does not have style. She has labels. There is a big difference. But, once again, Dorit managed to add absolutely nothing to this episode.
Kathy Hilton, however, has apparently watched Kyle Richards’ MasterClass on “Seamless Reality TV Production,” because as soon as Sutton sits down at Garcelle’s impromptu birthday party cum Harry Hamlin cooking demonstration, Kathy says, “Hey Peeping Tomasina.” That is the nickname she gave Sutton because she saw Crystal naked. It is funny. Sutton says it’s not, but she is wrong. Come on. If you can’t laugh at yourself, how in the hell are you gonna laugh at anybody else? Can I get an Amen? (Amen!)
When she hears this, Sutton says, “Great. That’s what we’re going to start with?” She then tells us in confessional that “Tomasina is not funny, and it has to stop.” In that moment, I finally understood who Sutton reminded me of: my aunt Sharon. My mother is the oldest of nine children and she has six sisters. (Yes, like a U2 record, I am Irish on both sides.) Sharon is the third from oldest and was dour and moody growing up and all anyone did was pick on Sharon. Even the younger kids picked on her because Sharon never thought it was funny. She would get up on her high horse and tell everyone to stop picking on her. She would go and rat out my mother and her other siblings to my grandmother, who would then punish Sharon for being a tattletale and still Sharon would rat them out. The more she ratted, the more they made fun of her. The more angry it made her, the more hilarious everyone else thought it was. But if she could have just laughed she might have had a better shot of getting along with the rest of the gang.
Instead, Sutton, like my Aunt Sharon, sits at Garcelle’s party putting on her too-red lipstick in a Dior compact, with tears welling up in her eyes for no good reason. This is when Kyle whisks her away for an intervention that is really a storyline-generating conference. Sutton tries to tell Kyle she wants to leave to be with her puppy. “That’s not it,” Kyle says, showing UnREAL how it’s done. Finally, Sutton says she doesn’t like being somewhere where she doesn’t like people and has to pretend she does. Girl, that is the gig! As I always say, Sutton is not made for this world. Not only doesn’t she understand the assignment, she’s in the wrong damn class. She seems to be in Remedial Home Ec when she should be in World Ferocity 101.
She starts crying and says that Crystal is talking about her behind her back and looking at her smugly across the table and, yes, Crystal does have a resting smug face, but Sutton seems like a land mine that went off when no one stepped on it. Kyle says in confessional, “This is not the Sutton I know. She is being very emotional and, frankly, irrational.” Not the Sutton you know? Lady, do you even watch this here program? Emotional and, frankly, irrational is so much Sutton’s brand that I’m surprised Dorit hasn’t tried to wear it on a headband. I find Sutton to be more exhausting than an Ironman followed by dinner with Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara (talk about resting smug faces), but she is good for this show. She brings a chaotic Loki energy to the proceeds that I kind of love. Can we syphon some of this off, put it in Kathy Hilton’s purse, and have her transport it to RHONY please? Thank you.
When Garcelle comes over, Sutton says she isn’t crying, that it’s just her allergies, but she is crying. That is what is so weird about Sutton. She keeps trying to deny the reality of her emotions to keep an even keel, but everyone can tell the keel is ass over teakettle. Garcelle finally says, “Sutton, I thought we were past this,” because, well, we all thought we were past this. She then asks the big question, which is, “What do you need from Crystal so we can move on?” She says she needs nothing from Crystal, which is another lie.
Sutton then tells Crystal, who has been calm and ice-cold this entire time, that she didn’t like that she used the word “violate.” Sutton says to her, “The word ‘violate’ is crazy to me. What planet do you live on?” Crystal, without even blinking, sees where she can deliver the fatal blow: “Not yours.” Soft. Simple. Withering. Genius. Mean? Yes. But oh man, that I had the audacity and composure to behave like Crystal Kung Minkoff in that moment. Then, colder than one of Ramona Singer’s vodka sodas, she just sort of shrugs and walks away.
In a normal circumstance that is not reality TV, I would say that Crystal should have seen a woman who is struggling and tried to calm her down and explain herself. But this is a show, and so I love her for this. And in Crystal’s defense, this is really all she’s seen of Sutton. She has rarely seen her be calm, sweet, and generous like the other women have. She’s mostly seen her going off the handle about stupid shit. Why would she want to be friends with a person like that, someone who just won’t let this one silly word go?
Then it all turns a corner. Crystal says that she doesn’t know what is wrong with Sutton but knows that she’s jealous, and then she puts that on PerioDT (which is also a plaque psoriasis medication that is advertised on Bravo). I’m sorry, but jealousy is never the reason people don’t like you. It could be because you are cold, dismissive, mean, uncaring, unyielding, or otherwise bitchy. It could be because you once said or did something rude. It could be because you are friends with someone that person hates or it could be because you post too many stories on Instagram. It could be a million reasons, but I have never found the reason that one person hates another to be jealousy.
Sutton then storms out and says that she’s done. When she’s halfway across the lawn, with producer Kyle hot on her tail, she says, “What am I jealous of? Your ugly leather pants?” I don’t know, I thought that the leather pants were cuter than, well, just about anything Sutton has ever worn on the show. (I should take that back, Sutton wears some great pieces, but they are not right for her. Just look at the frock she wore to the party, a jungle print with a huge cat on it, which was very cute, but made Sutton’s head look like the paper tag at the end of a very glamorous teabag.)
As Sutton continues to spiral like a helicopter maple seed falling to the forest floor, Crystal just stands there, by herself, with a subtle smile on her face and a shrug trying to tug her arms out of their sockets. Crystal is rooted, curious as to how she got there, in a large backyard in Beverly Hills, the grass slowly sloping down before it just drops off into a canyon. Who knows what could be at the bottom? Coyote bones, In-N-Out wrappers, the evidence to find the Black Dahlia’s killer, everyone’s common sense. Crystal thinks about going down there, joining the detritus, getting herself out of this place, but instead of moving her body she just moves her mind down her torso, down her legs, through the leather pants, through the soles of her feet, and roots her mind right into the ground, searching for something down there that not even the worms would eat.