In the series premiere, Camille waxes ridiculous, Kim brings the crazy, and Lisa feeds her dog in bed

By Karen Valby
Updated October 15, 2010 at 01:06 PM EDT
Housewives Beverly Hills
Credit: Adam Olszewski/Bravo

Did your face hurt after watching? Poor Taylor, probably a lovely woman underneath that Beverly Hills mask, with skin stretched like a balloon and those odd lips just begging for a release of some kind. Then she trusted Adrienne’s husband to inject what looked like swollen olives under her skin. Anything to keep her disturbingly aloof venture capitalist husband from leaving her for a 20-year-old. “So what’s the latest with your little company?” he deigned to inquire over dinner. Oh honey, I say leave him.

Okay, a quick rundown of these West Coast broads, each of whom would eat my beloved Vicki Gunvalson on a slab of raw tuna for lunch. (Except for maybe Kim, who would just stare moodily off to the side while Vicki yapped at her about insurance quotes.) Taylor still has some Oklahoma running through her, which might explain why she seemed the most authentic of the group. As discussed, her husband struck me as kind of a creep, but she seemed to have a sense of humor about herself and the cuckoos she calls friends.

Everything about Adrienne scares me, from her strange little lower half to her high-hat hair, from her mincing walk to the way she can kill a man with one quick toss over her shoulder. She’s known Taylor for three years, which apparently was enough to earn the right to be godmother to Taylor’s daughter Kennedy. (The names on these kids! Portia, Pandora, Mason, Lollipop.) Adrienne is a Maloof, and for all I know the Maloofs own my alarm clock. Go Kings.

Lisa is a nut, but fine company. The series got off to a rollicking start with a scene of this kitty cat of a woman feeding her dog Gigolo breakfast in bed. (What was he eating by way? Please tell me that mound of brown wasn’t a prune.) Lisa is the Bethenny of Beverly Hills, only older and richer and dizzier and less caustic. Hmm, she’s nothing like Bethenny, is she? But I imagine she was cast partly for comic relief. And for that idiot Cedric, the supposedly gay houseguest who has no intention of giving up his five-star accommodations.

Camille was inoffensive—though Kyle might beg to differ—and ridiculous. She has four similarly beleaguered-looking nannies for her two rosy-cheeked children. She tries to fly commercial every now and then, for the Earth’s sake. She is a former stripper dancer for MTV, and she is more than just Kelsey Grammer’s wife! She just needs a chance to spread her wings and… grind true love with a giant stuffed mascot. In the meantime, she’ll have you know that she saved Kelsey’s life and interviewed surrogates to bear their children and interceded on behalf of the Frasier cast and managed to get some underwear on her husband. “Cover your rat,” she murmured in a strange non sequitur at lunch. Say that again, Camille, and Adrienne will have you killed.

NEXT: A frantic nervous laugh that would make Liza Minnelli cringe!

The Richards Sisters are an odd pair. I’m going to hate myself for saying this, but I rather liked Kyle. One suspects she was a terrible mean girl in high school, but she seemed kind of sassy and fun last night. (Plus points for having what appeared to be a normal-ish face.) She’s married to a real estate hot dog who looks like a very, very handsome John Turturro. She has four girls and if someone looks at her the wrong way on the street she will go ahead and get pregnant again just to spite them. Her older sister Kim, who perhaps spends too much time living in the past, worries me. Single, house-hunting, with a frantic nervous laugh that would make Liza Minelli cringe, Kim has not recovered from her child actor days. And she will not rest until Paris steps aside and acknowledges her original fabulooshness. Kim went on the girls’ trip to Sacramento but spent the day grimacing and muttering “former child actor” to herself. Taylor, sensible woman that she is, did not engage the crazy. Kyle has had it with her sister’s awkwardness, and if it takes a slap in the face in the back of a limo, then that’s what she will do in a future episode.

Women of Beverly Hills, where have you been all my Bravo-watching life?

What did you think? Will this new chain store of Housewives fill up your guilty pleasure tank? Did any of these women charm? Would you rather be trapped in an elevator istening to Camille talk about how dancing makes her feel free or Kim reminiscing about that scene with Erik Estrada?

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The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

Bravo’s guilty-pleasure franchise meets California luxe

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