Whew – I haven’t been this mad about an episode of Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills in a long time! I had to press pause several times during last night’s episode to yell. My poor husband!
As a longtime professional (haha!) Housewife-ologist, I am by this point almost impassive to the antics and goings-on, and rarely become emotionally engaged. I should also mention that while I am a fan of Lisa Vanderpump and I enjoy watching her, I am not an LVP-stan. She has often annoyed me with her inability to admit she’s wrong. And it’s been obvious many times over that she loves producing narratives behind the scenes in a way that makes this particular franchise inauthentic and hard to follow since viewers are kept apart from so much of what actually caused the drama.
HOWEVER last night I officially renounced my Lisa Rinna fandom. Now, I absolutely think LVP wanted to make Dorit look bad on camera over Lucy Lucy Bit PeeKay-BillsHeWon’tPay. But honestly, Dorit is a scammer and a fraud, and an all-around crazy person. Why else would she go out of the house looking like a cross between Tan-mom and an extra from Designing Women? Her hair this season can entirely be described as that 8o’s yearbook look you laugh about in a Buzzfeed retrospective. Or those early 90’s wedding photos people discretely take off the mantel to avoid remembering how they immortalize their love with a poodle perm and puff sleeves. I mean, if that’s not grounds for divorce and a re-do, I don’t know what is.
What’s worse is that Dorit, who can’t even afford to go on vacation, is PAYING people to make her look this awful. It’s not even fun bad. It’s just tragic, try-hard, awful, bad. Did you see that day-glo wannabe Erika Jayne mess Dorit wore to the beach? Who is she trying to be? An extra in a Jane Fonda workout video. Actually no, she’s the mom at Jazzercise tripping over her own feet. Because Jane Fonda is a legend whose workout video I still love and adore after I was introduced to them in middle school gym class.
What I’m saying is that Dorit does more than enough to make herself look bad. So, LVP doesn’t need to try. And LVP knows this. Furthermore, I think it is disgusting that out of one side of Lispsa’s enormous lips she’s talking about how LVP is grieving and the emotions of that are complex, while the other side is curling into a Joker grin. What I’m also saying is that LVP is the Jane Fonda of RHOBH while Dorit… well, just go pay your bills and stop pretending you can afford luxury vacations.
And I’m just tired of it all. This is the same storyline, over and over again, for seasons. It’s like everyone finally decided that while LVP’s defenses were down they’d go in for the kill. I’m not cool with that. Am I being dramatic like Dorit acting like her Bahamas all-inclusive resort vacation is the lap of luxury? Am I being dramatic like chartering a PJ to Solvang when I could’ve just driven my SUV? Yeah, maybe, but whatever happened last night incited a visceral reaction I haven’t felt since Yolanda Lemon-Lymes Of My Lives Munchenhorrors was on my screen wearing a dingy bathrobe crying about brain farts. No offense to those who love bathrobes (including myself, but I launder mine. And I’m smart enough not to buy it in white).
So with that diatribe out of the way, let’s break down the atrocity that was supposed to be friends reconnecting on a tropical vacation but which turned into the ‘Lipsa Wants To Play Oprah’ show
.For something so luxury, Bahamas this hotel had a clownish vibe. Also, it was a massive high rise, indicating that it’s hardly the exclusive resort Dorit wants us to believe it is. Still, the suite she shares with LVP is massive, which is perfect to avoid Dorit’s farts and snoring! As Dorit and LVP stand on the balcony, attended by their butler, Elvis, who will love Lisa tender by providing her a cat to pet to cope with the stress of her friendships, Dorit double-checks to confirm Lisa loves her. Lisa kinda does. Because Lisa only kinda loves everyone. Unless you are her immediate family. It’s ironic that she’s dog person, actually, because LVP really is like a cat.
The plan is to meet at Dorit’s suite for drinks on the balcony. Elvis will be loving people tender. Just kidding … no one and I mean no one is getting tender loving care on this trip. Most specifically LVP, although she probably does need a hug from Elvis. He can impersonate her friends.
Across the hall, Erika is greeted by her glam squad. One is brushing and ironing several giant sheets of fake hair, in preparation for a 70″ ponytail. Erika is apparently channeling an over the hill Ariana Grande for this trip. I also imagine that this is what the backroom of one of those Chinese wig sweatshops looks like – all these dismembered hair capes strung up everywhere like a Silence Of The lambs (or Kim Zolciak) fantasy.
Denise Richards realizes that she drastically misjudged the cast of characters she’s traveling with. She assumed “the pageant” wasn’t scheduled until the next day and shows up to drinks in a friend’s hotel room wearing exactly what one would wear to drinks in a friend’s hotel room: shorts and a t-shirt. With a ponytail. It was comprised of 10″ inches of real (frizzy, un-ironed) hair.
Denise is refreshingly unpretentious as she jokes to Camille Grammer about how her kids are rightfully embarrassed by their parents. So far I am liking this Denise. She has a sense of humor about her self, her circumstances, and her life that is in every way the antithesis of someone like Erika whose mere existence is a contrivance.
For instance, Erika jokes about her ponytail “If only we could find a man this long” – referring to the 70″, but really I imagine Erika was hoping that like a middle-aged Rapunzel she could hang it over the balcony for a prince charming to climb up. Someone to finally allow her a chance at true love. Unfortunately what will probably, forever, be at the other end of that phony hair is a paid-gay glam squad member. Hanging on for dear life as Mr. Girardi‘s debts (allegedly) require a reduction of the Glam Budget.
Lipsa literally trips into the room. Her first of many missteps. Because LVP forgot to tell her there was a step onto the palatial balcony. This will be the last time Lipsa waits for LVP’s instructions. Even if she falls on her face, she’s going at it on her own terms this time.
Kyle Richards is sharing a suite with Teddi Mellencamp Arroyave. It’s odd that everyone else is solo. During drinks, LVP and Kyle discuss grief away from the other women. Lisa warns Kyle that time is precious so she should do all she can to make amends with her sisters before its too late. Kyle is shocked that LVP’s emotions are so raw, and that grief is making her usually steadily aloof friend, emotionally irrational. Noticing a moment between friends Lipsa sidles over, wearing a leopard print dress that fits her like a second skin. She immediately starts to swipe.
Lisa mentions that Elvis promised to bring his cat over and Kyle slyly comments about Dorit hopefully being OK with cats since she is apparently “allergic to dogs.” Referring to the Lucy drama. This piques Lipsa’s interest like no other. She begs for more information but LVP doesn’t want to talk about that. She’s here to have fun with friends. Well, she thinks that anyway. ..
The next morning Lipsa is suddenly very aware of what happened with Dorit, and Lucy, and LVP. As she joins Teddi and Kyle for breakfast in their room, she is full of thoughts about how LVP is trying to use Teddi and Kyle to make Dorit look bad, and they have fallen straight into her trap! Teddi, staring down into her oatmeal, decides that yeah, Lipsa is right.
Lipsa was wearing skintight stripes in this scene. In the last scene, a leopard showed her spots, in this one the stripes illustrate an optical illusion of what a friend looks like. Or maybe that could be considered the Beverly Hills version of prison garb and she’s sending a warning to LVP that she’s in the friend doghouse? Who knows.
What is apparent is that Lipsa is on a campaign to either take LVP down, or at least insnare her into admitting that she tried to set Dorit up.
I really don’t care about another season of ‘take down LVP‘ or ‘teach LVP a lesson’ or ‘Out LVP is a manipulator,’ because the thing is Housewives fans are more loyal that dogs and we like who we like! It takes an awful lot of shenanigans and tom-foolery to lose us. And no LVP fan, or even casual acquaintance, is going to suddenly switch allegiances to Dorit!
The ladies spend the day at the beach. Most of them frolic in the sand but Denise and LVP get massages and bond over being adoptive parents. It was cute, and nice. And then over lunch Lipsa chooses to ruin everyone’s peaceful day by deciding to host a truth summit. What is she, a flat earther? Lipsa announces that everyone should clear the air by sharing any lingering grudges. Camille is glad she and Dorit have made amends. Teddi is glad her son and Dorit’s are better at solving problems than they are.
And LVP is sad that when her brother died Erika jotted down a generic sympathy card, and dropped in the mail without any further communication or follow-up. While explainig that she hoped for more from a friend Erika immediately gets defensive and practically snarls at LVP not to make her look like the bad guy before shoving her plate away, crossing her arms, and pouting. Camille defuses things by mentioning that it’s obvious that a crying Lisa is raw with grief, but even that barely softens Erika. It does spark a light in Lipsa, though, about how precarious LVP’s position is.
The thing is Erika had the opportunity here to make herself look good. I get that she felt like this was an unjust accusation from Lisa, but taking into account that Lisa is irrational with grief, she could’ve walked around the table given her frienemy a hug and said “I am sorry you’re going through this and I’m here for you.”
Instead, it is Lisa who has to, after wiping away tears, reach her hand across the table and say she wants to move forward. But Erika doesn’t really. Later back in her room she shows Lipsa a photo of the note she sent LVP. Because when dealing with slippery people one needs receipts and Erika is married to an attorney, so she knows. Oh. Lipsa smirks again at the toppling of Madame Manipulator, the ultimate supervillain she has built up in her mind.
Why would Erika conveniently have that photo on her phone? Why are all of these women so on edge, just waiting with bated breath to pounce on anything LVP does. It says something about LVP’s power over them and this show that they are always expecting any of her actions to be two-faced.
What’s actually wrong with Beverly Hills is that they’re all constantly manipulating each other. There are no safe zones. LVP is the person they can collectively project their own manipulative intentions onto while safely identifying as the manipulator. But everyone is constantly self-producing, and so fiercely protective of their image they never let their guards down enough. Really, though, they’re all mad at LVP for manipulating them by trying to manipulate her into admitting she’s trying to manipulate them.
Later at dinner Lipsa escorts some of the women to the bathroom in a coup which creates perfect timing for Teddi to mention that she feels LVP attempted to set her and Kyle up by having her employees bring up Lucy on camera, thus creating a situation where everyone is talking about Dorit and knowing Dorit did something, without Dorit being aware that they know.
Teddi now feels bad that she wasn’t up front with Dorit about what she knows. Lipsa returns to table incensed that LVP didn’t “protect Dorit,” instead of instructing her staff to embarrass her. LVP largely stays silent as the entire table-full of women argue about her intent and rally around a now sobbing Dorit. So, Dorit elicits mass comfort because LVP is a bad friend, yet everyone watched LVP cry with grief about her brother during lunch?
LVP tries to say Teddi was gossiping about it with John, her employee, who initially told Teddi off-camera, but Teddi is clear that she never said a word on camera until LVP had Lucy out at the rescue center. Teddi gets so mad she leaves dinner in a huff.
At the end of the table, Lipsa smirks like the cat who got the cream and announces that this was definitely a setup. A set-up LVP orchestrated to make Dorit look bad. But she was caught.
Only Camille, implacable Camille, doesn’t care. She calmly continues eating, and when Denise whispers that she doesn’t know what’s going on, Camille shrugs that it’s just a dog situation. Camille sums it up this way, which is the only way to sum this up: If the dog is biting her children Dorit had to give it up, but she should’ve simply given it back to LVP instead of being sneaky. Exactly. But everyone here is pernicious.
TELL US – WTF?