At this point, launching a new Real Housewives franchise requires something new, some novel approach or tone to distinguish it from the, what, 47 other Real Housewives editions, and so The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills has found its niche: It’s going to be the needy, sad one of the bunch. The most famous face on the show that premiered Thursday night belongs to Camille Grammer, wife of Kelsey, who was seen fleetingly. Boy, that guy could not get into the car that was taking him to New York and La Cage Aux Folles fast enough. He clearly did not want to be around as Camille told the camera, “I’m the powerhouse behind Kelsey Grammer… I’ve kept him alive, I’ve saved his life, and I’m still here.” Oops…
Camille, we know from the tabloids and from Housewives coming attractions, will see her marriage disintegrate over the course of this series. Sad? Yes, indeed. But she chose to endure it while letting the Real Housewives capture her living it up on private planes, sipping champagne and boogieing down with her gal-pals, while her kids at home are cared for by four — count ’em four — nannies. So pardon us if we don’t sob too much for her.
Sobbing is done better, anyway, by Kim, the single mom with four kids who was a child actress (Escape to Witch Mountain; Nanny and the Professor). Nowadays, Kim is adrift — kids grown, she’s looking to down-size, but she’s got intimacy issues (another Housewife member, Taylor, gives her the cold shoulder: oh, the agony!) and she picks fights with her sister, Kyle.
Also glimpsed on the premiere: Adrienne Maloof-Nasif, the hard-charging business-person whose family owns The Palms casino and the Sacramento Kings (she flies the Housewives to a Kings game so that Camille can bump and grind with the team’s mascot).
Taylor seems to exist to receive various chemicals into her face so that she can give the Housewives crew interviews about how petrified she is that her husband may leave her for any random 20 year-old.
Lisa is around to show off two things: her irritatingly yippy little dogs and her British accent. She will probably provide a public service by showing mass America that a British accent does not equal automatic intellectual superiority.
Check! Having crossed the premiere of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills off my list, I can urge you to do the same. We need not revisit these gals again, do we? Time to fire up the ol’ Kindle and resume clicking through Franzen’s Freedom…