This week on our favorite program, Rich Women Doing Things, the rich women did things. They had thousands of dollars of ice hacked up into little tiny bits so they could create the world’s tiniest sledding hill in one of their front yards for some kind of charity luncheon featuring Jamie Lee Curtis. They spent $2,272 on shoes for their kids at a designer-sneaker store and saw a pair of $9,800 sneakers and asked, “What do they do? Can they do the dishes?” They would never ask that of a Louis Vuitton bag which, really, can only carry a bunch of your dumb shit. They put their daughters in a Dior-pattered designer sweater to go to a Hanukkah celebration because it is never too young to teach your children the lesson of helping to publicize a multimillion-dollar global luxury brand that doesn’t care about you.
But mostly what they did was fight about Diana and Sutton, I guess. Or talk about Diana versus Sutton. It’s so weird how none of the women on the show want to have any of their own drama. They protect each other from talking about their foibles by focusing on and commenting on the drama that all the other women are going through. They are like scavengers. They are drama hyenas, picking the flesh off any carcass that falls at their feet while laughing the whole time.
A prime example of this is when Garcelle finally confronts Erika about when she told her son to “fuck off” in the previous episode. Erika immediately apologizes for speaking to Garcelle’s adolescent son like an adult, which is not how we are used to seeing Erika handling situations, so it is as wonderfully refreshing as it is apt.
But as wrong as Erika admits to being, Kyle chimes in and tries to deny what Garcelle is feeling. “I’ve known Erika for seven years, and I never once have I seen her lose her composure one time,” Kyle says to Garcelle, insinuating she should cut Erika some slack. First of all, Garcelle has not been around her that long, so how would she know this? Second, even if this is her only lapse, why should Garcelle excuse it when it’s a lapse against her child? Kyle is trying to tell Garcelle it’s not that bad so she should just get over how she feels. It’s very similar to the last episode when she jumped into Sutton and Diana’s fight. She also took Diana’s side in that instance. Is there not the wrong side of history that Kyle doesn’t love? Is she going to come out next as a proponent of plastic straws?
I think this is what Garcelle means when she says Kyle “jumps ship.” This is definitely a phenomenon that we have all noticed, but I don’t think Sutton is picking the right word to describe it. What Kyle is doing is boarding a ship she has no business boarding by constantly trying to mitigate everyone’s feelings and decide what is worthy of debate. She thinks she’s the Mitch McConnell of Housewives, but she had that turkey dangle of a neck tied up long again. In fairness to Kyle, she isn’t the only one who does this. Garcelle did it to Crystal both when she told her she couldn’t be “violated” by Sutton and when she used the word “dark” to describe something Sutton said.
Garcelle’s friend Sheree sums it up perfectly: “In this moment, she just needs you to be neutral.” Yes, Kyle. Shut up and let the grown-ups have their feelings. Just let Garcelle talk to Erika, let them get this out of the way, and let it move on without comment. Is that possible? I promise you won’t lose your executive-producer credit over it.
Can we have a minute for Sheree Zampino, who is a jewel dropped from heaven by the Catholic Jesus himself? She only opens her mouth three times in the whole episode, and each time it is to drop some truth and wisdom that shatter my soul. She is like Yoda but with a better wardrobe. The next thing she says is how she would also love a three-way with Garcelle’s son Oliver and, yes, it is creepy to lust on your friend’s kid like that, but have you seen Oliver? Also, both she and Erika are harping on about this in front of the group and no one does anything but laugh and clink glasses. Do we need to get Ronan Farrow up in this piece?
Sheree’s next truth bomb is when she is out to lunch with Kyle and Garcelle and Erika’s drinking comes up again. Erika says she has new medication that doesn’t mix well with alcohol. Kyle says she is happy Erika is letting her extensions down and being more vulnerable with the women. (Again, it’s like she’s an EP giving an employee a performance review.) Garcelle says, “Aren’t you afraid it’s going to lead to alcoholism?”
I see Garcelle’s point. If Erika is getting this wasted on the boat and at her birthday party, isn’t it a problem that should be discussed at some point? But Kyle is right and saying someone’s an alcoholic is a label that no one wants to give and no one wants to bear. Just look at how it worked out when Kyle called Kim one in the back of the limo. Then Sheree steps in with the perfect thing to say, noting Erika’s behavior towards Garcelle’s son, “does not speak to a person who is in control.” Yes. Exactly. Give this woman a diamond. Give her a spinoff. Have her host all of the panels at BravoCon. Make her Andy Cohen’s next egg donor. Amazing.
Sheree is right; Erika’s drinking is out of control. She basically says what Garcelle did but took that toxic label out of it, which I think will make it easier for everyone to stomach. (But not Erika’s stomach. That’s full of sneaky margaritas.)
Speaking of the right place, I don’t think we can ever get the Flopasarus Rex Diana Jenkins to the right place. During her scene at home where she sits around with her child bride and the rest of her family, I was so bored I started doing my taxes on the coffee table. I was so bored I thought about actually watching The Kissing Booth trilogy. There is nothing that could possibly happen to Diana, short of her being arrested for actually serving as the sex broker for celebrities, that would make me interested in her.
And then, ugh, she sits down for lunch with Sutton, a grand old flag and a high-flying flag (and forever in peace, may she wave). “What are we doing?” are the first words out of her mouth. Sis, we are making a reality-television program. This is part of the gig. If you don’t want to be here then maybe you should pack up your mansion and move to Liplickia, a mystical island powered by lip-licking.
Just like her initial fight with Sutton, this restoration lunch is boring to watch because Diana has no interest in participating. She isn’t going to apologize, she isn’t going to forgive. She will eat her truffle pizza and give Sutton a hard time because she decided she hates this bitch and is never moving forward with her. I mean, sure. In real life, she would never have to talk to Sutton again, and we would all be fine. But this is the Reality Television Arts and Sciences. It is about conflict and conflict resolution, and Diana is interested in neither.
If she wanted to clash with Sutton, as Erika has, at least that would be interesting. But Diana is not even listening to her. She is just negating everything Sutton says. She is making no good faith and is just there to torture her innocent little victim. Diana says that how Sutton provoked her at Garcelle’s party was inappropriate. When Sutton sat down and was like, “You say you’re on bed rest, but you’re here and [17 million cat farts],” it was stupid, but that was the only provocation.
Sutton quickly apologizes and says Diana needs to apologize to her. For what? Oh, for mocking her, for making mewling noises, for being generally offensive and dismissive, which was way worse than anything Sutton did. I think Sutton calling her a “motherfucker” and saying she’s soulless let her off easy. I would have hit her right over her too-round face with that Birkin cake before even one “Oh, poor baby” passed her saliva-slicked lips.
Diana tells Sutton she’s not being genuine, which is usually the opposite of Sutton’s problem. If anything, she is too sincere, taking everyone at face value and not understanding that people aren’t always as good as they are in Pollyannaville, Georgia, or wherever the hell she grew up. Finally, Sutton says, “You want to talk about being fake and phony. You gave me a hug.” Diana admits it was the fakest hug she had given in her life.
What, exactly, is Diana’s problem? Is it that she will just make up any argument to piss Sutton off? She hates her so much it defies logic? Sutton tells Diana she should be ashamed of herself for misleading her. “For what?” Diana asks. “For not letting you walk all over me? For not letting you clean your feet on me? For not letting you abuse me?” Abuse her? Are we talking about Sutton here, a Doberman pincher with an anxiety problem? She’s so tame that even when she masturbates, the nuns won’t say she abuses herself. Where is Diana even getting this? I can see how each fight has two sides, but it’s as if Diana is just making this shit up, saying it enough, and next thing you know, it will be on Fox News, telling us Sutton is the one who stole the election for Joe Biden.
Diana very insincerely asks, “Who is Sutton?” (It’s not an invalid question. I’ve been watching her for three years, and I still don’t feel like I fully understand her.) Sutton tells her that she is loyal to the end. “So you say,” Diana responds.
“That I know,” Sutton answers.
“So you say.”
“That I know.”
“So you say.”
“That I know to infinity no take-backs punch buggy yellow LILAS, and this one cried wee wee wee wee all the way home.” Sutton gets up and leaves because, as she said, they were playing ping-pong, and Diana was not interested in listening, reacting, or acknowledging the natural laws of physics. Sutton gets up from the table, picks up her alligator Birkin, and strolls out of the restaurant, the cheetah on the back of her sweater making a remarkable impression. As she leaves the restaurant and gets to the hot sun on the sidewalk, she falls into a heap and starts sobbing. She wasn’t upset by Diana, and she wasn’t scarred by what she might have said to her; she was crying because a great weight had been lifted off her. She was crying because she could breathe for the first time in weeks, and that breath came in deep, heaving sobs. She cried because she was finally free.