Last season on the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills there were mermaids! Weddings! Bickering! And what will sum up this new season, I believe: “If you can’t be my friend, then please don’t be my enemy!”
Yeah, I bet they’re all enemies by the end of this. (And oh my god, if $25,000 isn’t on this season, I will call shenanigans and demand a rematch. She would be amazing to watch with the new wife, Yolanda.)
Let’s catch up with the fabulous Ms. Vanderpump, who has moved from her palatial estate across from Adrienne Maloof to a “quaint” little cottage (shamefully tiny at 12,000 sq ft) at the end of the “block” in their exclusive gated community. And let me just say that I literally gasped out loud and paused the screen at the sight of her gardens. Flawless. Fuh-law-less.
It seems that she and Brandi are friends, Lisa with her because Lisa has that mother-hen quality, and Brandi with her because she isn’t a dummy and wants to climb the social ladder. It also looks like Brandi – who is in her mid-thirties – has had a brow lift? WHY. Why??
Anyway, they wander through the closet and bathroom, which are massive and gorgeous and filled with beautiful things with everything in its designated space, and Brandi has a moment of “Wow, I am not in this league.” We see evidence of this even more when Ken arrives, Brandi tease-flirts with him, and gives them both a house warming gift.
Which is…a set of rubber sheets and a tequila gun. What on earth, woman. This is a Vanderpump. You get them a tasteful orchid bouquet or send along a bottle of fantastic champagne (pink!) with a hand written note on heavy vellum, possibly an actual human person for them to rule and a small parcel of land (nothing under 600 acres, of course) not some cheap-ass shit from Hot Topic. I am embarrassed for her.
Turns out that Lisa is throwing a “small party” for the anniversary of her restaurant, Villa Blanca. All of her friends are coming. Which means no Adrienne. That whole accusation last year that Adrienne made claiming Lisa sold a story to the tabloids really sealed the deal there. (I am Team Lisa all the way, guys.) Lisa doesn’t think about her anymore, in the “this isn’t on my mind” way, not in a “I’ll show that plasticine harpy who’s boss!” way.
Over to a normal looking house (by Beverly Hills standards, it’s still pricey and beautiful by any standards) it’s time for a visit with Kyle. We learn Kim is out of rehab (good for you, Kim) but they’re still not close. And then all I hear is a thrumming bass line and “Oh, yeah” because Mauricio, the hottest husband in the history of the Real Housewives franchise, has come in all scruffy and sweet and I’m sorry, Kyle, you were saying something? Could you move out of the shot; you’re blocking the man candy.
Mauricio takes her outside to surprise her with a brand new Maserati. No big, just a perfect convertible in gun-metal grey with a base price of about $122,000. Little something he picked up on the way home. No more mom-van for Kyle! Ha, like she had one of those, please.
(Mauricio? I’ll do whatever she’s doing, and I only need a bicycle and some Hot Pockets. Call me.)
Adrienne and Paul fake that they care about each at an early dinner. Adrienne immediately points out that Paul is going to be a jackass ordering; he chats with the waiter, trying to figure out what the chef – who he evidently knows – had served the last time they were in. He reads Adrienne’s irritation and just goes with a basic sauce. Look, I eat out at fine restaurants often, and waiters and chefs enjoy people that love food and want to have a good dining experience. You want pasta and sauce without any thought, hit Olive Garden.
(This is not to say that rearranging a menu item because you want this, don’t want that, can they just sub in blah is acceptable behavior. But if you’re allowed to create something, then let the man pick the damn sauce he wants.)
Taylor calls, Adrienne immediately answers the phone, and Taylor asks for a fun day of shopping with just the two of them. She’s gained 10 pounds (which she needed) and needs a nice dress for Lisa’s party.
Oh. Hmm. Well. Paul assumes (rightly) that they weren’t invited on purpose, but Adrienne thinks that sounds mean, which can’t be right. I mean, she can move past her accusation, why can’t Lisa? Hey, here’s a thought: maybe you’re not entitled to go to a private party just because you know someone, and maybe they just don’t want people there that have been awful to them? Crazy thinking, I know. (I have major issues with entitlement, can you guess?)
Time to meet the new wife, and ho.lee.ship. Yolanda. Yolanda is a Hollander (Dutch), curvaceous, regal, and has a killer house on a hillside overlooking the ocean with acres of perfectly groomed gardens surrounding it. Nordic Goddess that she is, she is also deeply and fundamentally romantic, going out into her roses to snip the perfect buds to put on the coffee tray for her husband, a nobody by the name of David Foster. (Good lord. Um, he’s a MoFo, if you didn’t know.)
She was a former model, but the kind that has retained her good looks in that Hollywood way. (Where they hit 40 and then every one sort of starts looking like each other? Polished with a fine chamois and cat-like?) She has three children, who are also unbelievably beautiful, and loves her family fiercely. As she carries a tray of coffee (with the floral arrangement) to her “love” in his office, she fawns over him to the amusement of the sound guys he’s working with. She doesn’t want jewelry, we’re told, she wants love letters. Um, he got off EASY for a Beverly Hills wife. And I seriously love that idea. I’m smitten with her, I can’t help it.
Kim’s turn. Well…she’s not in the right zip code any more, but hey! She’s been sober for a month, good for her! She takes her youngest daughter over to her sister’s place – not Kyle, but Kathy, the mother of Paris Hilton – to try on some of Aunt Kathy’s cocktail dresses for her upcoming Prom. Oh, that’s nice! A little lookee loo through Auntie’s closet for an old, but nice dress…
Um. In Kathy’s sunroom are dressmaker dummies with couture gowns displayed in a ring. (There is also a garment rack with a good twenty gowns, as well.) These people do not live lives like you and me. A big ol’ awk-ward happens when Kyle shows up, making Kim uncomfortable. Things are visibly strained between them. They want to be close,but neither knows how to make it happen so we get a lot of squirming and longing looks and eyes rolling. So it’s riveting television, is what I’m saying. No, it’s not. It’s sad.
A few blocks over where the dogs for fighting are raised is Brandi’s shit hole. It’s like, a 3000 sq ft ranch from the eighties, oh my god, you guys. She is so brave. It has clearly been remodeled on the inside and looks like a normal suburban place (which must be awful for her. Please, light a candle in her name to help her get through this.) Lisa pulls up in her Bently, wondering if there are any loose roosters in Compton (that’s where she must assume she is) and struggles up the broken sidewalk in her Louboutins to the front door.
Not going to lie, I laughed my ass off at this moment. The sidewalk is tilted, there are a few weeds poking through the cracks and there are even overhead power lines. It’s like Mumbai, you guys. Ha.
Lisa is greeted both by two puppies and Brandi (who you can tell feels ashamed of her house in comparison, not that Lisa is the type to rub her wealth in people’s faces or demean anyone for their lack of). They chat about the upcoming party and how Brandi is nervous about seeing Taylor and Kim because of all their bickering.
Cut to Kyle’s house where her really cute little Portia is helping plan her birthday party. She’ll be this many: four. (Where is the LadySitter from last season?) Portia calls Taylor to invite her.
Portia: …who’s this?
Taylor: (laughing) Who’s this?
Moms? I know y’all think this is cute, but just dial the number, greet the other end, and then hand the phone to your child. That is how they learn how to use the phone, by watching you. Sorry, I’m old school.
They call Kim but get her voicemail. They call Lisa while Lisa is still at Brandi’s, and Portia says, “Hello, darling,” in Lisa’s voice, and it is freaking adorable. Okay, this is a cute child. Lisa utterly melts over this. Oh, and has this on speaker phone, so Brandi can hear that Kyle is having a child’s party. Brandi, not wanting to be secretive I suppose, says out loud, “Hi, Kyle.” Speakerphone makes me uncomfortable, too.
Kyle flinches. And then offers an invite to Brandi and her two boys, wanting to do the right thing. Brandi accepts but feels terrible about that, because I honestly don’t think she meant to finagle an invite. Lisa tells her to not worry and just go. “Let’s start mending some bridges here.”
Taylor and her ten pounds (she must have left them in her other bag) hits a boutique for just the right LBD, waiting for Adrienne to join her. It’s been nine months since Russell killed himself, and it’s been fraught with financial problems and law suits. Oy. She’s struggling, she says, but the woman has a 35 cm alligator-skin Birkin bag, and those are one of the most exclusive things on the planet, and I’m not making that up. Tens of thousands of dollars. THESE PEOPLE, I TELL YOU.
Blah blah, they pick out clothes but we want the meat: Is Adrienne pissed or hurt that she wasn’t invited? Taylor seems really “concerned” about all of this, but she just wants the skinny, pun totally intended. We also find out that Paul wants to be “bi-coastal” (is that what they’re calling it now?) and open a practice in NYC, too. It’ll be hard, but eh. Taylor clucks her tongue, because goodness, won’t Adrienne miss him terribly?
…huh? Oh! Right, right. Yes, it will be such a hardship for her. Um…look at these bangles! Mostly Adrienne is just baffled by Lisa, because Adrienne put it all in the past so they could keep being friends. Girlfriend, Lisa cut bait, okay? You accuse someone of being nasty-dirty and underhanded and think you’ll still be friends? Yeesh. Adrienne just thinks it’s all very “Mean Girls.”
Oh, how I want her to show up at the party and have the hostess hiss out, “You don’t even go here!” And then asks the guests to raise their hand if they’ve been personally victimized by Adrienne Maloof.
It’s time for the party, and it’s beautiful. Just a tiny little affair, hardly a shindig, really. Just a handful of close friends, $5000 a bottle champagne, literal angels on loan from heaven to serve the guests, free breast lifts at the buffet, naked, greased men as sentries, and a sack of gold coins as a party favor. (It’s almost embarrassing how poorly done this whole thing is, how sad. THESE PEOPLE, I AM TELLING YOU.)
Yolanda swans in being perfect and full of compliments for everyone and gives cheek kisses galore. Kim’s next and is given a large glass of water (oh my god), and let’s all take a moment to acknowledge that for the first time in RHOBH history Kim has not only arrived somewhere but has done so on time. Slow clap for you, lady. Even if you perpetually look frightened like you don’t know which table you can sit at.
These two polar opposites are introduced and have a few moments of painful chit-chat about where they live, but later we’re told they “bonded.” Um, okay. Kyle arrives in a fantastic red dress and on Mauricio’s arm (her best accessory, amirite?) and also meets Yolanda. Somehow the Hollander Goddess stands next to the Russian-Jewish-Mexican Mauricio and the world doesn’t explode from so much deliciously beautiful human. I don’t know how this was even possible.
Taylor hops out of a limo with an awkwardly large box of white flowers. Oklahoma? Listen up, sister. You send that shit to her house or have it delivered ahead of time; get your head in the game! OK? Elle a, aitch oh em a? Oklahoma? Yow.
More introductions as Brandi arrives, flirting with the naked sentries. Brandi, oh Brandi. She’s totally a sober Anna Nicole Smith, you know? Pretty, dumped into situations that are over her head because of her being pretty but not having the training to know what to do? So this chick walks up to Yolanda and starts in on some nervous chatter, not Brandi’s strong suite, and says, “It’s a small town. You know everyone, you’ve slept with everyone… It’s all good.”
Yolanda says later, “I was speechless!” (They don’t clutch pearls here. They clutch their Pearl Futures.) A flash around the party and the whole room is filled with the crème de la crème of Hollywood high society. The movers and shakers. The lovers, the dreamers, and not me. Brandi isn’t going to do well here, folks. But how does Kyle feel about seeing Brandi again?
“I actually like seeing her face! Both of them.” ZING!
Kyle? You need to fire Bruce Vallanch. I know you had him write up some potential one-liners for you but they are as stale as the bread in Kim’s pantry.
Kyle breaks things down to brass tax for her sister: are you coming to Portia’s birthday party or not? Hem, haw, well, the family wants to spend the day together. Kim? Kyle is your family. Just say no, own it, and move on if that’s what you want. Of course this isn’t what happens and they sad face one another until Brandi comes over, and Kim drifts away. Way to face your problems, Kim!
Although… Kim may just not legitimately like Brandi. Which is fine. Brandi needs to stop escalating things by assuming she’s the source of all ill will (even though she probably is.) I don’t know, guys, I feel like we need some “I feel” statements from these ladies.
Yolanda joins the girls, and they all talk about what their signs are, what that means, yadda yadda, and how Yolanda and Kyle are not only both Capricorns, they share the same birthday. Wow! The others are all Libras? Virgos? Skeletons? I’m a Half-Eaten Taco, myself. (We’re crazy about salsa, buying shoes and bottling up our feelings. Who’s with me, ladies? Right!? Everything Pink! I feel dead inside.)
Some crazy-ass sculpture thing arrives at the party. The needle stops on the record, and everyone turns to stare at it. Okay, it’s a bizarre floral arrangement that looks like poop pillars with some yellow calla lilies dripping off the top of the pillars and some garlands of orchids. This thing is literally six feet long and four feet high. It is so ugly, I can’t even. I want to even, but I cannot even.
Lisa reads the card: it’s from Adrienne, wishing her many more anniversaries with Villa Blanca. And now everyone knows that she knows that they know what we know: Lisa excluded Adrienne on purpose. What. A. Batch.
Lisa actually says that was very sweet, reads the card, and doesn’t share what it says because she is classy like that. She does say in voice over that it’s strange to send flowers to an event mid-swing, especially when they weren’t invited to it. Why not send it to Lisa’s house?
Taylor, because she is secretly the biggest gossip of them all, pretends to think it’s awful when two other people start mocking the truly hideous flower arrangement. Taylor? We see you laughing, and we saw you talking before the cameras came over, please. They all talk about how it’s a “calculated move” like this is the gee dee 38th Parallel. Taylor just wonders (mm hmm, you’re very altruistic) if this was a genuine gift or not.
THESE PEOPLE. I AM TELLING YOU, GUYS. It is a delight to watch.
More sad moments with Kyle and Kim not actually talking but wanting to, and I want that to go away. That feels real and poignant, and I watch this show for the crazy bling, weird lady parties, and man candy, okay?
THIS SEASON: oh my god, if you don’t think this is the best version in the franchise, I don’t understand what happened to your brain. Holy drama in the form of Suzanne Summers talking about her lady bucket and vaginal dryness (whyyyyy), Lisa renewing her vows with Ken, giving him his yearly sex and him having an actual heart attack (Have you seen Lisa’s padonkadonk?).
Brandi confronts one of her ex-husband’s mistresses (side note, I was on a flight from LA recently with LeAnn Rimes and wanted to hiss at her. But I didn’t. First class out of LA is a treat with who all you’ll see.)
Yolanda is a Hollander Goddess and calls down the wrath of Tyr, Son of Odin, and everyone sues everyone else. OH, AND PAUL LEAVES ADRIENNE. Guys. Guys!! Who didn’t see that coming?