There is a reason Bravo will never air the Real Househusbands of Anywhere USA. That reason is Kyle and Carl’s conversation in the backyard at the (yawn) Studio Fifty-Forest Party. As soon as Kyle walks down the stairs, Carl pulls him for a chat, to use the Love Island argot. They very calmly go to the other side of the party, settle into some quiet chairs, put on their big-boy pants, and have a constructive conversation about what is going on with their friendship. Kyle apologizes for going too far with Lindsay the week before, Carl accepts it, and they continue to chat. There is no yelling, there is no wine throwing, there is just a hug at the end as all of the women feel relieved they didn’t claw one another’s thoraxes out.
The problem with the conversation, however, is that it doesn’t address the real problem. They sit down, and Kyle says he got angry because Lindsay was mad about Amanda. Carl is mad at Kyle for how Kyle talks to Lindsay, and if that’s because she is mean to Amanda, then it’s all solved. Yes, these dudes’ diagnosis is that their girlfriends can’t get along, and if they can solve that, they should try to solve the Middle East crisis next. But the ladies are not the actual problem. The actual problem is Kyle thinks Carl has changed. He has a girlfriend now, and he wants to spend more time with Lindsay; he’s sober, but that hasn’t translated to gains at work. Kyle’s problem isn’t Lindsay, it’s the change, and Lindsay is just a symptom of that change.
For Carl, his concern is that Kyle and Amanda don’t take their relationship seriously. He thinks Kyle doesn’t even like Lindsay, and, well, that’s true. The other problem is that Kyle can’t say his best friend is dating a gaping maw of need because that person is also his friend. And maybe Carl doesn’t like Amanda — I don’t know. The one thing I do know is that Amanda and Lindsay’s alone time next weekend will not go nearly as smoothly.
Why? Just look at Lindsay and Paige’s chat at the party. Yes, Amanda has been trying to make inroads with Lindsay since season two (remember Kyle’s 17-page email about how no one follows Amanda on Insta?), and Lindsay has always rebuffed her, but they’re in the strangest place ever. Lindsay is mad because Amanda said she thinks Lindsay has sway over Carl and they’re moving too fast. Lindsay is waiting for Amanda to come to talk to her and apologize even though Amanda has already apologized by text. But Lindsay concedes that Amanda may not know how mad Lindsay is, so why would Amanda come and talk to her?
Also I know why Amanda wouldn’t go to talk to Lindsay. What happens every time Lindsay talks to anyone? Have you ever put your face too close to the oven when you open it up, and you’re hit with a wall of unrelenting air that will singe off your eyebrows, eyelashes, and nose hair? That’s talking to Lindsay. Why would Amanda melt her face off with oven fire unless she absolutely had to? Lindsay thinks she is calm, chill, and fun, but she has never gotten along with the Bedsore Sisters, and, honestly, she’s never really tried. With Danielle and the guys, she didn’t need any more friends in the house. Now, with Carl, that’s all she really needs. Why even bother making up with anyone?
Speaking of which, when Lindsay mentioned Amanda said she and Carl were moving too fast, Paige pulled Ms. Frizzle’s Magic School Bus right up to that disco party, positioned Danielle on the pavement just before the front wheel, then rolled right over her in slow motion and taught the class all about guts. Now Lindsay has to talk to Danielle about her relationship and its timetable. When Danielle admits, yes, she said we’re moving “hella fast,” Lindsay looks at her with this face like Danielle just said Tinashe is the fastest-selling female solo act of all time.
It is fast for Lindsay and Carl (a.k.a. Larl). Yes, they were friends for six years, but that is very different than a relationship. I’m not saying it’s wrong for Larl; I’m just saying Lindsay has to acknowledge that it may be fast, and instead of making her friends feel insane for questioning her relationship (see scorching oven of death above), maybe she should try to explain to them why it may seem fast but it’s actually good for them. Insisting everyone be happy for you and approach your relationship the way you want them to is just like Nicky Hilton: It’s never going to work.
That seems to be everyone’s biggest problem with Larl. If you question anything about it — its sanctity, timeline, and durability — then Lindsay will fire up her oven mouth and spout at you like she’s reenacting the end of Moana. To prove that they’re serious, Lindsay tells Danielle they want to have babies together. Okay. Fine. That may be true. It doesn’t mean that you should be moving in right now or that you have the perfect relationship. That line is when Danielle gets her face singed, when she delivers the “You’re so defensive it’s annoying” line that we saw in the trailer. But that’s all the unraveling of the friendship we get.
Ugh, can we just cut to that part because, well, the rest of these jamokes are boring me? Sam may have some vast insecurity issues, but this Southern Charm reject just doesn’t feel at home here. Chris is nice and cute, but he’s such a dweeb. I love a dad joke and altering the Happy Birthday song to make it your own, but that’s all he does. What about all the footage of him flirting? Oh, Jesus and Nicki Minaj wept. Telling girls lies about him and Oliver? Asking girls if their eyes are yellow? I mean, snatch it together, Chris.
Gabby is a fun new edition, but did you see this girl’s photo wall at her party? It was like one glittery panel, a bunch of leftover Fourth of July napkins, and not even one selfie stick. I’m sorry, but that party was wiggity, wiggity, whack, as Kid and Play would say at the pajama jammy jam. There was no music, no booze, and hardly any decoration. If Kyle and Amanda did not walk in dressed as if they were going to a key party at the SPCA, the whole thing would have been a bust. They gave Gabby a 65 out of 100. A D grade? Oh, no way. She did not pass. She is on academic probation for the rest of the summer until she can pull her grade above 35.
The only one who passes the party is my favorite new housemate, Karma Brown. Yes, it’s really just Ciara in an Afro wig, a ’70s dress, and the flyest sunglasses ever worn last century, but I loved her dedication to the bit. She trots around that whole party, talking about herself in the third person, and generally just trying to stay out of the drama while cultivating it. Can we get Karma every weekend? I bet she actually picks up after herself too.
The final argument of the episode is about Lindsay and whether she wants to go to Montauk. Danielle and the Bedsore Sisters all think she really wants to go, but Carl keeps her back. I can see how Lindsay would be torn. She wants to go with Danielle and whoop it up like she used to, but I bet what made Montauk fun was the drinking and the boys. Now Lindsay has a sober boyfriend, which might not be as appealing. And know what? That’s fine. That’s normal and healthy. Why is Danielle so pressed to go out in Montauk anyway? Why didn’t one of them say, “You know what, let’s just go have two glasses of wine nearby and catch up.” Why can’t that be fun? Instead, they’re off with Gabby and Sam, which I would call the B Squad, but this summer, Gabby has not earned anything about a C+. I love Carl, I love Lindsay, and I love Larl, but they need to be honest about how their relationship is really going and what they each want out of it, or it’s going to last about as long as Kyle and Carl’s very boring conversation at the party.