The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills premiere react: 'Stronger Than Ever'
The previous season of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills quite literally revolved around the nonexistence of a pair of panties. So even if season 8 was just the women sitting in a circle, playing “Telephone” with the phrase “PK is a reanimated Mister Potato Head but the potato is a testicle, and the little plastic arms and legs are testicles, and the eyes are also testicles, and the mouth is just the visceral feeling when you hear the word ‘moist'” it would have still been a step in the right direction.
And hey, so far, so good. In Tuesday’s season 8 premiere, there was not a single mention of undergarments, unless you count the inexplicably visible pink bra straps under Kyle’s inexplicable off-the-shoulder button-up top, or new cast member Teddi Mellencamp’s (that’s right, daughter of John) Las Vegas romper, which I’m fairly certain was just a slightly elongated lace panty with sleeves. Actually this season might be the opposite of the last 20-episode slog through PantyGate — there were undergarments everywhere, and no one commented on them!
Other things that were everywhere in this premiere: house renovations, adorable children who are totally being raised to be self-sufficient and not at all being catered to hand and foot, lip gloss so slick you would buy a Honda Civic with 200,000 miles from it, flashbacks to Lisa Rinna annoying the s— out of everyone with ease, ponytails high enough to buy a bodega’s entire stock of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, a bounty of Househusbands, Erika’s creative director Mikey somehow both abbreviating and elongating every single word he says, and ever so many “plane moments.”
But before we can get to the plane to Las Vegas that will truly kick off this season’s action, we must painstakingly check in with this season’s six cast members as they sip scripted champagne together, renovate their closets, and show off their Birkin bag(s) around town. Atlanta may have the humor, and New York may have the grit, and Orange County may have whatever the hell Kelly Dodd is, but there is no match for the carnival of aesthetic riches that is The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. These hills have eyes, and those eyes have mile-long mink lashes, and those lashes are encrusted in diamonds, and those diamonds are carrying a purse dog wearing Gucci loafers.
We start with Erika, of whom I am a fan, but still, hearing her tell Mikey on the phone that she was working on a ballad in the studio last night is a touch concerning. It’s hard to work a dollar sign and 17 Xs into a ballad title, which makes me think a ballad is perhaps not for Erika Jayne. But I did enjoy seeing her new office, which is mostly a gorgeous dressing room the size of a city block, and I also enjoyed Erika and her assistant trying to figure out if it was better to use the “regular” WiFi or the “5G” WiFi — stars, they’re just like us! Except they have glam squads the size of soccer teams on their payroll and say things like, “This moment is fleeting, this moment is incredible, given to very few; so I’m gonna maximize my motherf—ing time.”
I’d like to just take this fleeting moment to thank the RHOBH editors who are simply the messiest bitches in the biz, absolutely living for drama. As soon as Erika Jayne gets done gushing about how many amazing things she has going on in her life, the scene immediately cuts to Lisa Rinna puttering around her house, looking for a rat that’s been trolling her. Rinna tells her teen model daughters that she has a vitamin-drip coming, and Delilah says, “Thank god, I love them,” in that droll California-teen voice that suggests a lifetime of mouth-breathing dry air and salt water. These girls are very entertaining to me, and I gave a real LOL at the little Mean Girls cough Delilah offered when her mom said, “We need [the vitamin drip], we’re busy.”
But even that cough can’t top the shady editing of Rinna talking about how important she finds it to keep the girls grounded in their newfound success as they’re literally draped around her cavernous bedroom, silent scrolling Instagram while a concierge doctor gives them IVs and a nurse shoots their pimples up with cortisone.
Grown-up teen star Kyle Richards meets grown-up horse girl Lisa Vanderpump for lunch, where she shows off a new blue Birkin and talks about her scripted show. Kyle, every producer’s favorite pet, proposes a girls’ trip to Vegas for the combined birthdays of Erika and Dorit, and when LVP reminds her that Rinna’s is also in that timeframe, they decide, sure, why not have three enemies celebrate their births together.
Dorit and her husband PK are the absolute worst-of-the-Housewives-worst in my opinion, but she’s going a long way toward earning some points back by trotting that little Jagger around town to various prestigious children’s activities. The li’l nugget is talking now, and boy is he ever! Dorit is taking him to a new music class, and he’s concerned about the guest list. “I don’t know which friends and their names,” he tells his mom, and suddenly I realize I relate more to a 3-year-old and his social anxieties than to any of the glamorous women and their various panty- and Xanax-related hysterics.
The music class is being hosted jointly by new cast member Teddi Mellencamp, her gorgeous legs, and her hot husband. In her testimonial, she laughingly says that she met her husband via a one-night stand, which given that he is now her legal and actual husband makes me wonder what Teddi thinks a one-night stand is. She definitely knows what a horse is and finds a number of opportunities to mention to new friend Dorit that she grew up riding horses and is a former equestrian. Dorit and Teddi get along swimmingly, and frankly, this children’s music party seems way more fun than any number of the White Great Gatsby Moulin Rouge with Psychic Poker parties that these women usually host. (Recap continues on page 2)
Now it’s time for Kyle by Alene Too to debut just the weirdest blouse and another new (red) Birkin. Her top has a collar so wide that it’s basically an off-the-shoulder, but the button-up shirt is so tight that she has to wear a cami underneath it. If this is the next cold-shoulder — another trend of which Kyle is a huge proponent — I quit. Perhaps Kyle got an honest look at the shirt when Erika took her into her office’s vanity mirror room (a thing!) and turned on all 1,000 bulbs. In unison, Mikey and Erika say, “If you look good in this light, you look good anywhere.” Sure, who needs retinas when you got that poppin’ highliiiiight. Presumably that room is where Erika’s “Madonna and Child but Make It Fashion” and “Culturally-Appropriating Harajuku Barbie” testimonial looks got their start.
Kyle apologizes for never making it to Erika’s Dancing With the Stars performances, and Erika tells her that it was a great experience, but also tough to be a fish out of water. Well, Erika, if you enjoy the challenge of being uncomfortable, you’re in luck, because Kyle wants to take you and a handful of your closest enemies to Las Vegas! Over at the Kemsley house—where everything has been renovated from 10-years-ago modern to two-years-ago modern — PK is complaining about how “last time I saw Erika, she was really horrible to me.” Which is preeeetty rich coming from a man who gossiped about her vagina for a fortnight. Dorit counters, “Lisa Rinna deliberately came after me, and she did it to defame my character and to hurt me,” which, yes, but gah it is so hard to feel sympathy for Dorit even when she’s right.
I did think it was nice that Dorit put in the effort to bring a coupl’a horse-lovin’ gals together in Teddi and Lisa Vanderpump. LVP does her usual aggressive peppering of questions, complete with standard follow-up: “One thing about me is if you don’t have a sense of humor, we won’t be friends.” Or more specifically, if you don’t have Lisa’s sense of humor. But Teddi assures us she has a dry wit, so she seems down to (British) clown. Dorit and LVP explain the old drama to the new girl: Rinna is always going after them and Erika refuses to like them as much as they want her to. So in celebration of those beautiful female friendships, they’re all going on a birthday trip together. And wouldn’t you know it — Teddi’s birthday is tomorrow too…
Pack your dancing rompers, gals, it’s time to go to Tao!
The packing montage is always my favorite, as someone is inevitably forced to talk to a dog about their potential outfits, but this time my favorite part was Erika and Mikey determining her “plane moment” — I’ll give you one guess which creative director said, “I was thinking this Gucci ensem with white pumps for sheezy” — and also determining that the “Moschino moment” she has all lined up in her closet is “not for these women.”
What is for these women: private jets and presidential suites at the Palazzo. Although, the presidential suite ends up being for the hosts, LVP and Kyle, plus friend-of-the-wives Camille, and not the alleged birthday guests of honor. That move, plus Kyle freaking out about Lisa spilling wine on her Birkin bag which she very clearly knocked over herself, doesn’t have Kyle looking so good. But I’d say she makes up for it by pointing out that is impossible to know what Dorit’s real hair looks like, correctly comparing her to one of those creepy dolls where you could cut their hair and then crank out more hair. Between her enigmatic hair and her mystery-flavored Dum-Dum of an accent, Dorit would be the hardest Guess Who? card ever. (“Real Housewives Guess Who?” product idea, called it!)
While Erika and her nicely-rested-from-business-class glam squad explain what DSLs are — we all went to middle school, Erika — Kyle tells Camille and LVP that she ran into Harry Hamlin on a hike and he said, “So what are we going to do about your sister? She obviously can never be around this group ever, ever again.” That’s super creepy, but worth it for the flashback to last season’s most Hall of Fame-worthy moment: Lisa Rinna’s single tear caused by the harsh return of a plastic-wrapped bunny full of bad juju.
Everyone heads to the presidential suite in ensembles that are tight, black, and sparkly. Teddi officially makes her RHOBH glammed-out debut, and let me tell you, she is coming in hot, and nearly nude in a sheer lace bodysuit that makes LVP want to see her naked. But there’s simply no time for a new cast striptease hazing because Rinna has finally entered the building, ready to face all the people who are mad her about…you know what, I’m not even sure anymore. Let’s hope this season they make it a little more memorable.
What are you expecting from this season, dear reader? Initial thoughts on Teddi Mellencamp and Teddi Mellencamp’s romper? Has Dorit’s accent gotten better or worse? How many Birkin bags is too many Birkin bags in one year? Do you miss Eileen as much as I do? Sound off in the comments!
We wrote a react for this episode, which means we’ll just be checking in occasionally, but if this is a show you’d like to read about each week, please let us know! You can email email@example.com with your feedback and suggestions.
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