The Real Housewives: Ultimate Girls Trip
For those of you who aren’t seasoned enough to recall the time when the feature film Mean Girls was an international sensation (or a Gen-Zer with taste), a quick summary of the relevant plot points for this recap: Lindsay Lohan plays Cady, a homeschooled white girl who transferred from “Africa” and is now being introduced to the barbaric dynamic of high-school social dynamics through a trio of Karen Smith, Regina George, and Gretchen Weiners. Gretchen Weiners is a faithful sidekick to high school’s ultimate girl boss, Regina George, dutifully rationalizing all of her cruel reactions and smoothing out her sharper edges to the general public until she finally cracks over something as absurd as sweatpants and goes on off-topic rants in class:
“Why should Caesar get to stomp around like a giant while the rest of us try not to get smushed under his big feet? What’s so great about Caesar, hm? Brutus is just as cute as Caesar. Brutus is just as smart as Caesar. People totally like Brutus as much as they like Caesar. We should totally just stab Caesar!” —Gretchen Wieners
What I am saying is Cynthia Bailey is wound-up, clingy Gretchen Wieners, and Kenya Moore is controlling Regina George. The problem for Cynthia, however, is that she doesn’t have an entire high school on her side, so she ends up looking inanely silly having a fight about a corny and superficial vacation icebreaker instead of vocalizing the issue that she is really having. Similar to how she had to sell Ramona to Kenya, she had to sell Kenya to the other women behind the scenes, and now that things have settled and Kenya seems to be reaping the rewards of Cynthia’s diplomacy, she feels unfairly pushed out while Kenya holds court. I get where her resentment is coming from, but it is a little bit outsize for the infraction, especially when you consider that it is literally only day three of a weeklong trip. If the options are to let Kenya feel well-liked for a few days until she goes back to being public enemy number one in Atlanta or to have your face stuck on “sour” while she is in the middle of a protracted journey in divorce court, you would be well-advised to go with the former approach. Because honestly, paid or unpaid excursion, no one wants to be on vacation and chastised about how late they were to come downstairs and eat macaroni and cheese.
That said, it’s very amusing to watch Kyle navigate these sorts of dynamics. She is so unsettled by Cynthia’s churlishness; it speaks volumes to the way that Kyle feels the need to be in control of conflict the way that she is in Beverly Hills. This is the smallest of all possible hills to die on, but she literally cannot let it go and move on to the next alcohol-laden excursion. Unless she was going to help Cynthia get her Miss Universe saga out to the people during story time, Kyle just needs to be fine with being the bad guy.
Within that ensemble, however, the record for being unable to let a conflict go goes to the New Jersey clan. Nine seasons later, Melissa and Theresa are still at odds as to how Melissa and Joe got on the show and their loyalty to each other; I honestly don’t even know if they entirely like each other despite them having repeatedly claimed that they’ve mended fences. Theresa keeps mumbling something about The Godfather and how they have to operate by a family code. That family code, apparently, involves loudly discussing how you have phone sex with your fiancé on national TV; put “No, I use my hands!” in the Bravo GIPHY Rolodex now.
• I just wanted to take a brief moment to compliment the style choices taken by production here. A soca playlist B-roll and transition cards and getting a soca artist to do your theme song? Two thumbs up.
• I won’t pretend to be super well-versed in the world of high-end spa treatments, but why were they wrapped up in paste and aluminum foil like salon highlight strips?
• Quick aside, but for a group that drinks as much as they do, I am surprised that Kyle still needs assistance on how to make a margarita. You have been getting professionally intoxicated for about 13 seasons at this point, after all.
• Also, the girls go on the world’s most perplexing volleyball jaunt. I get that Ramona always has her eye on the prize, but I feel like the premise of an athletic activity implies that most people with breasts will be wearing bras or some sort of supportive material. I feel like we were treated to the weirdest B-roll for a Sandals resort somewhere.
• I always get fascinated when I discover white hoteps in the wild. I didn’t know that white people did their own version of “we were kings and queens,” albeit in earlier lives. Has that astrologer at Kyle’s event ever told someone that they were a beggar or destitute, or does everyone have illustrious lives of fantasy?
• Who is sending Luann Bolo’s leaked OnlyFans vids that made it onto Reddit?
• I choked on my torta when Cynthia called Luann de Lesseps “European.” Luann and Dorit are both Bravolebrities who grew up in Connecticut and bummed around Europe after college and since then have been able to get away with the most absurd charade of faux-international airs that are about as legitimate as Drake’s British accent. That said, we were treated to the return of the Countess’s absolutely chaotic French, which is always and forever a treat!