Image Credit: Adam Olszweski/Bravo The problem with the new cast of Housewives is that none of them are friends. This is a regular complaint about the franchise but it strikes me as a deeper issue in D.C. There seems to be no real reason for any of them ever to gather, and Paul’s birthday comes but once a year. (Nice toast, Paul. You and the divine Aunt Frances lifted up an otherwise dullsville hour of TV.) Instead we got scattered random scenes of minutiae from not very interesting or likable peoples’ lives: Mary really believing that she’s speaking Spanish (“shampoo the rugs,” she said in her best Speedy Gonzalez accent) to her patient maid Rosa, Stacie’s husband talking penis volume nonsense, Michaele squealing over obnoxious handbags. There were quick flashes of the Potomac and the White House but nothing about these women is defining their locale, and so far their rapport and antics lack, what’s that word?, oh yes, sparkle.

That said, I do like Lynda. She’s little and tough and she scares me in those glasses. I believe that she is a shrewd businesswoman. I understand why Ebong is attracted to her, and I would like to try some of her Crisco-laden eggs. She strikes me as a scrapper, and an elegant one. I like Stacie too and appreciate that she shook the action up by having the ladies all join her for Sunday dinner at Aunt Frances’ house. Frances got the line of the evening when Paul showed up at the door and asked the woman what she was drinking: “Everything I can, but right now I’m drinking Scotch.” Cat was again an insufferable guest, alternately skittish and disdainful. She immediately asked for a drink, and then winced as she smelled it. “I just opened a bottle of wine that looks like it might have been here a 100 years,” she sneered to Paul. No. She. Didn’t. She sulked during dinner, and then left before peach cobbler. Who is this woman? “I did genuinely feel a little out of place,” she said later. “It really was not my kind of scene.” (You stink Cat.) Stacie rather reasonably wondered if the woman was unsettled by being a minority in the room. Jason more likely nailed it when he figured Cat was just stuck being rude.

I’m finding Michaele and Tareq, and their sweaty quest for attention, increasingly unbearable. The red carpet under their lawn chairs, Michaele’s jodphurs, the way she finishes every sentence with a fake squeal, the way he commandeered what should have been a simple trail ride and turned it into a polo lesson, his lame attempt to pass off beer as chardonnay for the cameras, their limo, her fur, their toasts. They are gross. Their grossness should not be rewarded with a spotlight. From here on out I’m going to try to say as little about them as possible, keeping mentions of them to a sentence or two.

With that as my mission statement, here are two sentences on Michaele from last night’s episode: “People think I’m in my 30s.” No they don’t.

What do you think PopWatchers? Did you more want to slap Cat upside the head when she grimaced over Frances’ house wine or refused the collards? Does Tareq give you the willies? Does Michaele’s protruding clavicle? Does it normally take a few episodes for a new Housewives to find a rhythm or is D.C. doomed?