This week on our favorite show, Rich Women Doing Things, the rich women did things. They had birthday parties featuring the casts of both of their television shows with a $500 cake shaped like an aqua Birken even though you know it was mostly rice-crispy treats and fondant and probably tasted like a box of stale Nilla Wafers you found in the basement of Blue Stone Manor. They did photo shoots for their new brand of hair extensions where they held the bounties of a dozen scalps in their hands and the end of each one looked like Beetlejuice’s shrunken head at the end of the movie. They listened to their husbands say Norfolk like it was “Nor-fuck” and everyone laughed and laughed and laughed as if Borat just said “Ah-my wiiiiiiiiiffffff.”
Mostly what the rich women did, however, was freak out about Diana. But before we get to Diana, we must interrupt your regularly scheduled programming to test the emergency broadcast system. The emergency is that this season is boring and the test is Sheree Zampino, a friend of Garcelle’s whom we met briefly last season. (For the record, she pronounces her name as if it rhymes with Marie, so not the same as our once and future champion Shereé Whitfield.) Sheree was married to Will Smith, whom Garcelle dated, and wears a fringed caftan to birthday parties, so you know that she knows all the lyrics to both “Get Jiggy With It” and the Three’s Company theme song.
Sheree just busts out of nowhere and now you can’t avoid her, like targeted ads for baby seats the day after you ordered a pregnancy test from Amazon. It’s like the producers got back from that drawn-out Mexican vacation, confiscated all of the women’s phones, and did FaceTime screen tests with anyone who answered and had a little personality. Ali Landry, apparently, did not make the cut, but she was pretty enough to get name-checked when arriving early to Garcelle’s birthday party with the Kung Minkoffs.
Sutton, a Kookaburra sitting in an old gum tree, does a lot of weird shit this episode. I can’t get a read on this woman. Whenever I try to figure out her behavior, I feel like a vampire must feel when he looks in the mirror. That she shows up at Dorit’s, eats a jalapeño cookie, then talks about her hormone implant that balances out her testosterone should all make sense, but when you try to take it apart, it makes as much sense as a community-college course on differential equations. Why is she doing any of these things? Does one have an effect on the rest? Is this really about not getting a good seat on the private jet?
Yes, yes, it is. But Sutton’s pettiness is matched only by Diana’s, and the two of them are racing to a microscopic level of pettiness like they’re Ant-Man and the Wasp trying to bone on a lube molecule. Diana sends a text message to the group chain saying that she’s on bed rest because she’s been bleeding for eight months after four surgeries to save her uterus. Even though everyone reads the text like it’s The Emoji Movie 2: Rashomon, all we get is that she spelled Garcelle wrong and wanted to tell everyone about her limping uterus so that Garcelle wouldn’t think she was rude.
Jesus. A billion eye rolls and then send your assistant down the block to the Amazon Fresh to pick up another case of eye rolls and leave the store without paying because the robot overlords are watching our every move. Diana thinks that Garcelle called her rude when what she said was she thought her shooting down Dorit when she was asking about her book that is really a hooker catalogue was rude. (Hooker Catalogue is the name of my since-deleted Tumblr.)
Because of this text, everyone thinks that Diana will skip Garcelle’s party just like Denise Richards did. (I’m with Erika; there was no way she was showing up knowing the cameras were going to be there and she might have to talk about Brandi Glanville’s cooch to the other women.) First to arrive are Crystal and Rob. Then we’re joined by Erika in a short leopard dress and a ponytail that just got out of the men’s steam room at the West Hollywood Crunch. (IYKYK.)
Then we get the real winners of this party, Kyle and Dorit, who show up looking like they are a bunch of D-list X-Men dressed up for the Hellfire Gala. Kyle is wearing what is essentially a one-piece bathing costume with two boob strips and a fabric sheer that is supposed to be a skirt. Mutant power: The splits. Dorit is dressed in the skin of an old boa constrictor fashioned into a jumpsuit complete with gloves. Mutant power: A prehensile ponytail.
Just as everyone is settling into their spots and playing the home game of Is It Cake?, Diana Jenkins and her man-husband Asher arrive, both wearing the pelts of a recently slaughtered Snuffleupagus and at least one ridiculous hat but possibly two. There is also a $250,000 diamond Birkin in the mix, snickering at the nearby dessert. Diana gives Garcelle a passive-aggressive gift of her book, which is now out of print. Garcelle would never pull an Erika Jayne and throw that book in the trash. She’s probably the one selling a used copy on Amazon for as much as a Birkin cake costs.
Everyone is a little surprised to see Diana considering her uterus was falling out and sending WhatsApps to the text chain, but she tells Kyle she isn’t there to jab at people; she is there to drop nukes. Yes, she has an agenda, and that agenda is pissing off everyone.
Sutton, an ATM that dispenses twice as much money as it should, takes the bait and asks Diana to go for a chat. She starts with, “You’re supposed to be on bed rest, but you’re here, which is confusing, and you should clear that up.” Should she? She doesn’t owe anyone an explanation. Why is it any of Sutton’s business?
The rest of the “conversation,” however, I feel a little bit bad for Sutton. Diana unhinged her jaw and swallowed that woman in one bite. Maybe she should have been wearing Dorit’s outfit? I’m sure plenty of people at home were like, “Yassssss, hunty. Dra-MA ma-MA. Snatch that bitch. [Three clacks of a fan.] Get her, Jade. Boots the house down gag sickening, 100,000 doll hairs.” I think this might have been the most boring fight in all of Housewives history. Sure, Sutton tries to say something, and Diana says, “Bop Bop Ba,” and starts mocking her. Sure, she calls Sutton fake. Sure, she also calls her boring and then makes fun of Garcelle and is generally awful. The problem is she was awful to no end. Her awfulness is bland on the face of it.
When Diana starts mocking her, Sutton says she can’t have a conversation. Do I find Sutton’s fawning and sincerity tiring? Yes. But Diana has to at least listen to it. That’s what she’s getting paid for. Instead, she showed up determined to be mean to Sutton, and she was. Rip the mask off that monster cause the Scoobies have solved this crime. Nothing is interesting here. Diana is just being mean for its own sake. She is not responding to anything Sutton has said or done; she’s being exactly what Sutton called her: an asshole. If there is going to be a fight, I want both sides to make points. I want people to have a point of view. Not Diana; she’s just like a classroom bully.
When we watched her signature line in the trailer — “Do you want a new villain? Here I am.” — it seemed like an interesting provocation. Now that we see it in context, it put me to sleep faster than going to the opera on an edible. A real villain does not call herself a villain. An interesting villain doesn’t even think she’s a villain. She thinks she’s the hero and people just don’t understand her. Diana is not giving us layers, she is not giving us sense, she is not giving us vulnerability. Sutton calls her a soulless person, which is the one insult a drunk Kyle Richards Umansky cannot abide by. But as soon as Diana sat down on that couch and chose violence for no good reason, we saw her soul leak out of her body like so much steam from a kettle, making a lot of noise on the way out but ultimately containing nothing.