Feb 2, 2011

'The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' recap: Champagne or Sparkling Cider Anyone?

I watched this show with anticipation because unlike most of the other cities they have used, Beverly Hills itself is actually very entertaining.   I also feel a kinship to the city because I love living here, so it was always fun to see places I go to hang out and even people I know (or at least, know of) on the show as well.  Of course, as with most reality shows, you take it with a grain of salt- or an entire dead sea- since most of the scenarios were usually blown wayyy out of proportion.   But still, super entertaining and fun to watch...I think Kyle and Lisa are my favorites.

Image credit: Isabella Vosmikova/Bravo
SISTER, SISTER: In the end, Kyle and Kim finally had each other's backs. (On the other bench, Taylor glared at their hand-holding. Now, now, jelly belly.)


See, Kyle acts jealous. Camille's not saying the woman actually is. And if Kyle dare take offense to her season-long trashing of her and her husband well then that's really Kyle's catty problem, isn't it? Somebody smash this champagne flute on my head. Donatacci continued to dodge and slither from any accountability last night, all the while insisting that she held herself accountable. Andy pushed her to own some of her awfulness, and just as she was ready to admit that perhaps she shouldn't have insinuated that Mauricio was a womanizer she tossed the blame off on Allison Dubois instead. "I've known Mauricio for many years and he's always been friendly," she said. Oh for the love of... The problem is we viewers didn't get to see all her philanthropic work and all her charming interactions with her children and the way she pushes papers around in the production company office.
She did allow that claiming she had a Jesus Complex was stupid, pure stupidity!, but it was actually Deirdre's fault she said that and she would never have said it if Faye Resnick hadn't given her that fake smile and it was soft core, not hard, so leave her alone, she's Italian. Kim finally spoke up and revealed that the Hawaii spring break conversation was as benign as Kyle has long claimed. Is Kyle a bully, Andy wondered. "Not normally," said Kim, looking anywhere but at her sister. "I've never seen her be a bully before." But then Camille turned to Kim and dropped her ace. "I've seen her bully you," she said. Oh, it's so on.

Hey, is it Cedric's turn for airtime yet? He's doing his hair in a new way and he's taking acting classes and he hasn't yet told us about the time in Paris when his one-legged dog, his only family in the world, was beaten to death by a ruthless pimp. Why did he have such a brutal falling-out with Lisa and Ken? Apparently Ken made the mistake of asking the young man to pick up his socks off the floor.  And they had the nerve to pay Cedric for his company with puppy dogs and flowers. They treated him like a dog really, like Giggy!, which I gather means he only ate the highest cuts of meat and slept on the softest beds and was brought to fancy parties in cute little outfits. Of course he's angry! Lisa endured his assassination of her with her usual aplomb.
Moving on, I know it's inelegant to keep pounding on Taylor. (Lest I be one of those trolls on the internet she so despises. Bloggers, she is going to go Okla.... yeah, yeah, we got it.) But there's something about her that rings so weirdly false. She clamps her mouth shut when she should take responsibility. She's a genius when it comes to deflection, her eyes getting extra sparkly and vague. Altered states, other factors at play, the stress of kids and work. She will smile through her tears, damn you. "You forget to pay attention to things that are the foundation of your marriage," she explained after a viewer questioned her passionless existence. (They neglected vanilla ice cream? They forgot about how much they both like Mexico?) Kim broke in with a weirdly lucid and thoughtful observation, noting not unkindly that in any scene of Taylor pulling up to a party she would leave Russell in the dust. Kim, I don't know if you have a drinking problem or a pill problem or what. But something was different about you last night and I think it's that you were sober. It becomes you. Taylor meanwhile wants you shipped off to a sanitarium in Alaska.
The men of Beverly Hills made a brief appearance. Single Gary? No such luck. Camille and Kim were relegated to the back row, Kim scanning the room for some floor-to-ceiling windows out of which she could gaze miserably, Camille winking and making pouty--faces at Nick in the wings. What? She's Italian! When Andy asked Russell about Taylor's grief over their struggling marriage, the man sat up straight, ready to prove to us at home that he was really a good guy. Well you know kids and the economy, you know, and he doesn't have the energy for a 20-year-old, enh enh, hey Mauricio, forward along that naked fan picture will ya?, enh enh. Oh Russell, stuck being you.
Good thing Ken was there. Does that man think his wife hung the moon or what? He lambasted Cedric, visibly shaking as he claimed not once, not twice, but three times how much he detested the parasite of a man. He took advantage of his angel of a wife and for that he must die. Or at least be denied any future on reality TV. Lisa is the best person he knows, he knows everything about her, for heaven's sake they have sex—"a couple of puffs and a big grunt!" said Lisa—three times a year. Ken, you're adorable, and somehow you make a skull and crossbones diamond brooch work.
Finally it came time to discuss the fractured bond between the Richards Sisters. (Kathy Hilton, get your feet out of that pedicure tub and come mend fences!) Kyle first tried to half-heartedly spin their season-long tension as sisterly playfulness. "I think that Kyle's tough on Kim," Camille interjected meanly. "I know that Kyle's been tough on me." (You... better..., I found myself barking at home, pulling down my tube dress as I lunged for the TV.) Kyle admitted that maybe she's a little too strong. Maybe she's been too tough. She started crying, and not Taylor crying through a fat smile, but actual nose-running crying.
Kim was fascinating to observe during this whole exchange, exhibiting sudden cool and restraint. She very eloquently resisted Andy's prodding and refused to comment on all the hurled accusations in the limo. "Like I said I really don't want to discuss that night at all," she said. "It's behind me and I want to move forward with my sister. I love her and I want to make everything right." At that point Kyle asked Camille to switch seats with her. And Camille, in her first genuine act of generosity all season, did so without a word or a smirk. The sisters held hands and insisted on their right to privacy. Lisa lovingly interjected, as she had all night on behalf of Kyle, and tried to prod the conversation forward. Taylor suddenly spoke up, droning on like a sedated Elizabeth Taylor. "This is a long history and there's a lot of scars..." A frustrated Andy finally up and asked Kim if she had a drinking problem. "No," [pregnant pause] "there's nothing I want to talk about that night at all, thank you." The sisters hugged, though Kyle looked rather cold in that final embrace. I can't tell if she was just worn out by the whole drama, or if she resented having to stay mum, or if she was frustrated by her sister's inability to own up to her drinking problem. So many questions! Where is my Richards Family: The Early Years TV movie?!
Regrets, they've had a few. The limo ride, Cedric, Paul's forgotten razor, Taylor's threats of an Oklahoma spanking. Maybe Camille regrets a teensy bit that Allison Dubois swore she'd let the Housewives' children cruelly suffer and perish were they ever abducted. "There were some things said that weren't very nice," she allowed. And really, Camille just so sincerely regrets the whole rift with Kyle. "I'm so sorry," she said, her eyes searching for the teleprompter her publicist had set up in the foreground."I've had a really tough year and that's no excuse." Her eyes narrowed and widened at Kyle, as if it took all of her will to bite back one last "But you know, I'm not a liar and you're a bully and this whole season was a set-up and you brought up New York again at my nice dinner party."
What's just so funny about their whole hatred for each other is that she'd really love to be friends with Kyle, or at least sit next to her at a party. Hilarious! Maybe they could bully a new Beverly Hills Housewife together next season? Oh Lord, I just had a terrible thought. You don't think Bravo would reach out to Allison Dubois? No. They wouldn't dare! Would they? Hold your electronic cigarette in the air if you think this would be a good idea.
Next week: Bravo wrings the teats of these women one last time, bringing us lost footage. Happy now Camille? You'll finally get the scene of DD prostrating herself to you on the beach and the viewers will understand the context for your Jesus complex. No thanks! See you in New York everybody.
What say you? Did you too find yourself cringing as they replayed that dramatic limo show-down? Were you touched by Kim and Kyle's tears and refusal to rehash the horrible episode? Did you find Kyle's plea to sit next to her sister as touching and spontaneous as I did? (Or do you think it was a strategic move aimed at garnering viewer sympathy?) How delightful are Lisa and Ken as a couple? Maybe we shouldn't blame Russell for his wooden charisma and tin sense of humor? Perhaps it's a condition, poor thing. Until we meet again Mauricio. Please do the right thing and resist taking Camille on as a client.

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