The Real Housewives of Miami
You may or may not be old enough to remember (for Boniva’s stock price, I hope you are), but the TV networks used to have a Friday night special every year to show kids all the highlights of the upcoming season of Saturday morning cartoons. I specifically remember one of live-action Punky Brewster & Co. introducing the Punky cartoon and the rest of NBC’s Saturday morning lineup. That is exactly what this episode feels like. It’s as if it’s saying, Here is this new thing, here is this other new thing, here is this next new thing, and pretty soon you’re going to get to see them all and see them all together and you will actually love all of these new things that we have to offer.
Yes, the return of RHOM after eight years away is less of an episode of Housewives as we know it and more like an extended “Meet the Cast” page on the website. The very beginning of the episode is very strange. There is no plinkety intro music, no shot of each woman and then the group holding whatever it is they hold in Miami. (A sinkhole? A Don Johnson?) Most remarkably, there are no taglines, at least not yet. The show feels more like Peacock’s other recent dalliance into the Andy Cohen diaspora, Real Housewives UGT. There is loud music, neon colors, and something a little fresh and new as if to say, “This is not your grandmother’s cable subscription even though you are probably logged in with that to watch this for free, so maybe it is.”
The opening scene gets all the OGs of the series together for lunch. “Hey, bitches, never thought you’d see me again,” Marysol Patton says. She is correct. I did not think that I would see her again because she was the most boring part of the original program. Now that her mother Elsa has passed (rest in peace), she lost the only interesting thing about her. She shows up at lunch with Alexia Echevarria, the self-titled Cuban Barbie. They are both wearing red and not really looking like a day has passed. Next to join them is plastic surgeon’s wife Lisa Hochstein, wearing a mint-green lace jumpsuit that I would want to wear for my drag debut if only I could fit these 200 pounds of recapper sausage into that two-ounce bag.
Adriana de Moura walks in and she is hardly recognizable from the last time we saw her feuding with Lea Black in 2013. Maybe it’s because her hair is lighter now, but there is no mistaking her voice, which sounds like vultures descending on a horde of zombies in a bouncy house. There is one empty chair, and it is filled by Larsa Pippen, who was only on the first season of the show before getting fired. If Adriana looks slightly different, Larsa has an entirely new body. She has a new face, bigger boobs, a big ass, and a sort of quiet confidence she lacked during the Obama administration. It’s like she had her consciousness downloaded into a Kardashian. Adriana has also noticed and lets us know that Larsa is basically a Kim Kardashian look-alike.
The ladies tell us that they’re all still friends and have always kept in touch, but it seems like how you keep in touch with your work bestie from three jobs ago. You have lunch maybe once a year and occasionally like her pictures on Instagram and that’s it. It’s not like they’re all up in each other’s business. Larsa moved to L.A., did an episode of Selling Sunset, and never looked back until she saw another reality TV opportunity on the horizon. And we’re supposed to think she and Alexia do more than exchange Christmas cards?
Throughout the episode, we get updates from everyone. Adriana is divorced from the man we saw her marry in season three. Marysol is married to a guy named Steve, which tells you everything you need to know about him. They’re only “friends of,” so we don’t get too deep into it. Lisa is still married to Lenny even though he thought about divorcing her and had an “emotional affair,” which is a knife that she continues to twist into his taint every night when he’s asleep. She has two kids now after years of battling with infertility (she does not mention her surrogate). She also has an enormous house on Star Island where she and Lenny are still throwing raves and getting complaints from the neighbors and it all makes me very sleepy.
Alexia’s husband Herman died; she shuttered the magazine they ran, and is now running a beauty salon with her younger son Frankie. She’s engaged to a very handsome “gringo” who has two teen daughters. His name is Todd, which is the Spanish word for white. They live in a 10,000-square-foot apartment in the sky with a car elevator, and you can just see this whole place being confiscated by the Feds someday. At the end of the episode, we find out that her late husband Herman might have been gay, or at least bi. Apparently he had a lover when he passed, whom Alexia’s gay bestie Johnnie has met, and she reaches out to talk to this man. During the scene, she seems less interested in talking to this dude than having a story line, but that is why she is in this business.
Of the originals, the most interesting, of course, is Larsa. After leaving the show, she amassed more than 2.5 million Instagram followers as Kim Kardashian’s best friend and frequent sidekick on the show until everyone in the family mysteriously unfollowed her across social-media platforms. I have still never watched an entire episode of KUWTK, so I’m a little at sea here, but The Sun has a good explainer at the end of this article. Apparently, some think she was sleeping with one of the Kardashians’ dudes, and that is why she got the axe. She also might have broken up an NBA player’s marriage. Don’t hate the player, hate the game. That game is basketball. Hate it because it sucks.
Larsa seems not interested in being here and barely defends that she is now making her money as an OnlyFans model. She says she’s not getting her Larsas or her Pippen out on the paid social-media site, but she does talk about how she is selling feet pics. I mean, there are only 59 posts and it’s free. How is she making $10,000 a day off of it? Also, I’ve been out here giving out my dirty feet pics and a lot worse on Grindr for free. Maybe I should just put all these recaps behind an OnlyFans paywall, and you just get my booty shots as a bonus.
Alexia is the most upset about her new business practices and continues to harp that she thinks that Larsa is dirty. I don’t know. It’s all very slut shame-y and sex-negative for my tastes. The only sex negatives I want to see are the ones from the Tommy Lee and Pamela Anderson sex tape, okay? (SNAPS!) Alexia brings it up again when the women go to Larsa’s house party. Newbie Dr. Nicole points out that people are posting recipes and other things on OnlyFans. Sonja Morgan even has an OnlyFans, and she’s a bottom who always ends up on top. It can’t be that bad. But come on! Do you know anyone who uses the site for recipes? (P.S., If you need gay porn OF recommendations, my DMs are open.) Alexia shouts, “But how do you make your money?” Yes, Alexia, it’s sexual. Who cares? Get over it. Once again, from Alexia, this feels like a hollow argument that is just a way for her to get more screen time.
What I would really be upset about is this party that Larsa throws. It’s a Hot Girl Summer–themed party, and it’s just the cast and a handful of Larsa’s friends, and by friends, I mean assistants and maybe someone who won a fan contest on Instagram. All of that staff and no one could tell her that the fishnet body stocking she wears was already rocked by Phaedra Parks on Real Housewives of Atlanta like a decade ago?
The party is clearly sponsored by PrettyLittleThing, and Larsa gives all the women matching sweatsuits and makes them take a picture in them. She says she just likes to wear matching clothes because it reminds her of a sleepover. Um, no. This is contractually stipulated in her branding deal, and I applaud Alexia for being like, “I am not wearing your sweatshirt when it is 90 degrees outside; you’re dumb.” I mean, the bartender and the lifeguard are majorly hot, but no amount of man meat could get me to turn myself into a walking billboard. Ha. JK. I would do that for even a man morsel. I would do it for a man crumb.
The party is a good chance to meet the rest of the cast. I’m not allowed to say that Julia Lemigova is my new favorite Housewife, but she is the last Miss USSR and married to Martina Navratilova and lives on a farm and is chic and cool and pretty and I love her. Guerdy Abraira is a party planner who married her high-school sweetheart, a very sexy firefighter, so she is also definitely on the radar. Dr. Nicole Martin is not only pretty and a doctor, but she is also married to a very handsome lawyer and lives in a $40 million house. What’s funny is she’s not a plastic surgeon or a dermatologist or one of those exciting doctors that you usually see on Housewives. She’s an anesthesiologist, which is a boring doctor, but those boring doctors always cash in.
That’s everyone. We’re all acquainted. Thank God, because other than catching us up on everyone’s lives, the episode offered no hint on the direction this season could take. We’re not sure who likes who, who hates who, who feuds with who, or even where this drama will take us. Regardless, it’s nice to be back in Miami, where the only thing hotter than the pool parties are everyone’s husbands.