If being suspended 500 feet in the air, trapped inside a literal glass ball of emotion with the entire cast of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (all of whom are inexplicably wearing shorts-suits) with only Grey Goose, martini olives, and the meaty flesh of fame to sustain you sounds like a good time, then boy, have I got a show for you!
The second entry into RHOBH’s eighth season is a rather friendly affair, complete with reconciliations, ever so many fancy pajama sets we’re still pretending are daytime clothes, and more uses of the word “rehash” than at a THC-recycling convention. I hate to repeat anything Dorit says — and please know that I’m saying it with the neutral accent of a Pacific Northwest robot, not the pseudo-British lilt of a social climber with a Jolly Rancher trapped under her tongue — but I really related to her asking Kyle, “You’ve brought us all together, now what are you going to do with us?” It’s hard to tell just yet what kind of drama this season stands to offer now that it’s brought us all together, but for now, we at least have new taglines, which I present to you in no particular order, with commentary:
Erika: “Some people call me cold, but that’s not ice — it’s diamonds.” This is perfect. It says exactly what every single woman on this show wants to say most clearly and definitively: I’m very, very rich, bitch.
Kyle: “In this town, fame and money come and go, but friends should not.” I truly believe that Kyle thinks she means this. I also truly believe that if someone ever told Kyle she could never be on TV again, her eyebrows would just spontaneously fall right off her face.
Teddi: Having the best isn’t important to me, but being the best is.” That’s a very sweet sentiment, Teddi. This show is going to chew you up and spit you out like Mikey stress eating an entire pack of Nicotine gum every time he sees Erika so much as speak to a man younger, gayer, or hotter than he.
Lisa Rinna: “I don’t have to buy it… because I already own it.” I don’t know if this is referencing something specific, but as someone who’s very excited about her new Rent the Runway Unlimited subscription, I don’t love the “I actually OWN my clothes” elitism, Rinna, ugh.
Dorit: “I believe in an excess of everything — except moderation.” Sometimes I think I’m too hard on Dorit…and then she goes and says some shit like this. You can’t even have an excess of moderation, you gold-foiled tool. That’s like saying, “I love to indulge in sugar — except TRUVIA” or “I believe in ovals — except CIRCLES.” WTF are you ever talking about, Dorit?
Lisa Vanderpump: “The queen of diamonds always has an ace up her sleeve.” Perfect. There’s nothing Lisa loves more than diamonds, sleeves, and deeming herself queen. Keep it simple, keep it punny, and get us the hell to Las Vegas.
The trip to Vegas picks up right where we left off last week, with the dreaded Lisa Rinna entering the Presidential Suite where the other women are waiting. The funny (and probably most upsetting) thing about the dreaded Lisa Rinna is that she can be an absolute terror hurricane with the ease of a Vanderpump Rules kid loafing a jello shot straight down their gullet, but she can just as easily be breezy and delightful. She comes in, kissing cheeks, wishing happy birthdays, and forcing Dorit to not be awkward with her. “I don’t care what people say about me,” she says in her testimonial. “Because I’m Nice Lisa Rinna!” which really should have been her tagline. Erika is the last to arrive with hair: flawless, skin: flawless, general vibe: that of an S&M limo driver trainee. Adrienne Maloof is also there in the same ruched, blue satin dress she’s been sporting for a decade, and, well… an entirely different face.
The women finally head to dinner, where everyone gets to know new girl Teddi a little better. As soon as they sit down, Dorit says, “Not to embarrass you, but Teddi’s father is John Cougar Mellencamp,” because I believe Dorit’s body could be decomposing six feet underground while the rest of humanity is sipping moon juice in 3019, and this woman could still find a way to be embarrassing. Teddi explains that her job (excuse me, a job?!) is as an accountability coach; basically, people who are working toward health goals have to check in with her and be accountable. Teddi says it’s her responsibility to remind her clients, “You can do it and you are worth it,” which is certainly noble but also sounds like an incredibly cushy gig.
Dorit and LVP tease that if Teddi is a therapist, Lisa Rinna should go see her because her own therapist “clearly isn’t working” and she should “get [her] money back.” Teddi isn’t a therapist, and that is an incredibly rude thing to say to someone who’s in therapy, even if that someone is occasionally possessed by demons suffering from a particularly nasty bunch of hemorrhoids. But alas, snarky comments that happen in Vegas, stay in Vegas, because there’s no time to dwell on them. Camille has to cage-dancing in a VIP booth at TAO, and Erika has to gamble in a Gucci hoodie and a luxury pair of those-rolly-sunglasses-they-give-you-after-an-eye-exam, and Kyle has to carry her Birkin at the pool.
This season’s editing is full of quick cuts, so when there’s no central fight to latch onto, it’s a little hard to keep up. One minute, Rinna is insisting that her goal is to make her daughters “well-rounded, functioning adults” while the oldest one FaceTimes her to tell her that she has a tummy ache from the $280 Wagyu beef she put on mommy’s credit card while out to dinner in New York last night. And the next minute, Erika is buying Lisa Vanderpump face cream and promising to text more, just after making up with Dorit over the shared connection of gambling frivolously and treating 10 a.m. inappropriately, which is to say: drinking vodka-waters and wearing pajamas out of the house with 6-inch platform shoes.
Finally, it’s time to go on the “High Roller,” the luxury Ferris wheel LVP has been so excited about. Apparently, the attire was “Business-bitch optional” because Kyle is wearing a shiny pantsuit with dress shorts, Erika is wearing a double-breasted suit dress, and Lisa is wearing her 217th pussy bow of the season. The items on the agenda while riding in a large glass ball complete with pleather settees and full-bar are, of course, Kyle telling Lisa Rinna that she had a run-in with Harry Hamlin while hiking, and Dorit salivating to confront Rinna about… whatever it is she’s mad about from last season.
Dorit and Rinna step one foot away from everyone else and proceed to “rehash” their past transgressions. Rehash is surely a word I have used in my lifetime, as I am aware of its meaning, but it must be emblazoned on the Real Housewives family crest in platinum and diamonds for all the times it’s said tonight. Dorit says she doesn’t want to feel like she’s “in danger,” which Rinna appropriately rolls her eyes at, but she’s also down to take her lumps and move on with this dead carcass of a storyline. “I don’t want to force you into like me or trusting me,” says Rinna. “But I’m a good person, and I would like you to give me a chance to see me for who I really am.” Dorit finally relents that they can start over and move slowly forward, which these two mothers agree is “very grown-up of us!”
Then it’s Kyle’s turn to scoot Rinna to a non-existent corner of this glass sphere and tell her that Harry Hamlin was very intense with her about her sister shortly after The Bunny Incident of 2016. And you know what? Rinna is like, I’m sorry that happened, Harry adores you, he shouldn’t have done that and then they just… stop talking about it. Rinna says that she’s learned more going back and forth with these women than she has in the last 20 years, to which I can only say, yikes-a, but she also says “I mean, it’s hard to admit that you’re an asshole when you’re an asshole,” which is very funny.
The women head to dinner, where everyone has long, slightly phallic ice cubes in their drinks. They give them hand jobs, and rub them on their faces, and have a grand ol’ time with their frozen water dicks. Erika tells them about how she didn’t grow up with a father, and how that doesn’t bother her. Teddi trots out the annual “I’m having trouble connecting with Erika chant,” but unlike her other new friends, she doesn’t (thus far, at least) create a season-long witch hunt out of it; she simply acknowledges that something about Erika makes her feel self-conscious and perhaps she shouldn’t try so hard to make Erika like her. Self-introspection? Logical with spending money? Accountability for her actions? Oh Teddi, dear, you aren’t long for Lord Andy Cohen’s world, are you?