The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills recap: Six degrees of Michael Bolton
It’s episode 2 of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills‘ new season, and that can only mean one thing: it’s time to rank taglines with absolutely no rhyme or reason (although rhyming and reason are certainly categories which may be taken into consideration).
With this particular bunch of taglines, it seems like access to the Housewives’ security cameras and a direct line to the FBI agents who monitor their phones might be helpful because there is a lot of next-level passivity being thrown around that we won’t technically understand until season 9 catches up with the live drama that we’re supposed to already know has happened. It’s a real labyrinth for the mind—all accompanied by women twirling around in sparkly gowns against jewel-tone backgrounds!
But have no fear; in between the psychological warfare, all your favorite tagline tropes are still there, such as: not knowing how puns works, inserting contractions where they don’t belong, and bragging about being rich with exactly zero self-awareness. Let’s get to rankin’:
TEDDI: “I’m not afraid of hard work, but I’ll never do your dirty work.” Oh, Teddi, dear—I try not to be too hard on you because you are, in the end, harmless. But the cheapest editor on Fiverr could tell you that using the same word twice in one tiny sentence is the quickest way to tank a Housewives tagine. Of course, if Teddi hit the intonation on “hard work” and “dirty work” just right, she might just convey the point she’s trying to make about a storyline we haven’t even watched yet. I will give you one guess if Bravo’s most normcore Housewife is able to nail that delivery…
ERIKA: “Most people talk about their fantasies—I’m living mine.” Erika gets deducted major points for comparison’s sake alone. Need I remind you of “I’m an enigma, wrapped in a riddle and cash,” which was a play on a Winston Churchill quote??? Making me feel bad for not having the money to fund my fantasy of becoming a mesh bodysuit-wearing glamazon who sings about vaginas isn’t great, but… being boring is a much, much worse tagline sin.
KYLE: “In Beverly Hills, the truth always has a way of rising to the top.” Again with the bore—now featuring Kyle’s signature sanctimonious spin! I would give Kyle a few extra sassy points if “to the top” was a reference to her ascension center diamond-holder status though…
DORIT: “In business and in life, I wear many hats—and hairstyles.” Listen, I know it’s a shock to see Dorit listed so high, but you have to admit: Dorit calling out two of the worst things about herself in her opening tagline is a bold move. That would be like if my tagline for The Real Housewives of This Brooklyn Apartment was like: “In personal and professional life, I’m aaaalways late—and there’s never a good reason why, so don’t ask!” (I assume it’s obvious that should be read with the voice of a drunk, pseudo-British kitten).
LISA RINNA: “In the game of life—it’s Rinna take all!” If the worst thing a tagline can be is boring, the best thing it can be is succinct. And yes that is a mostly well-deployed pun you’re hearing there!
DENISE: “My problem with the tabloids? My real life is so much juicier.” Am I, admittedly, a lover of self-appointed question-and-answer sessions? Yes. But I also love the suggestion that Denise’s life is more bananas than the bananas version we’ve been told. (My fear, however, is that this tagline might prove to be a bit of an overstatement.)
LISA VANDERPUMP: “You can stab me in the back—but whilst you’re there, kiss my ass.” That noise you just heard is LVP snaaaapping. The O.G. B.H. queen always goes all in on taglines, and from top to bottom, back to front, ass to sass (arse to sarse?)—this one is perfect. It’s petty, it’s shady, it somehow fits, like, 13 British pronunciations into 14 words, and most of all, it reminds us that LVP doesn’t need loyal subjects to reign supreme when she’s got a loyal network instead.
Of course, my favorite Housewife this season is the newest, prettiest girl in town, but for some reason, her tagline has been left out of the lineup. So I’ve taken the liberty of giving her one myself…
LUCY LUCY APPLE JUICE: “Most people want to take a swipe at PK—but this bitch actually did it.”
All taglines told, it’s pretty clear this is not a season where we need to worry about there being enough drama to sustain it. Episode 2, however, starts out in the blissful before of last week’s “TWO MONTHS EARLIER” chyron with still-mostly-BFFs Kyle and Lisa heading out for some pulling and prodding. They both mention over and over throughout the episode how they love having fun together, and y’know what—I love them having fun together too. This is one of the longest standing friendships in Housewives history, and I don’t want to cheer on its dissolution…
But this sucker is already broken, so bring in the kitchen screams, I guess. Sure, LVP and Kyle have a good time taking hookah-pulls of laughing gas while Lisa gets needles full of Juvederm shot into her neck (a thing! that happened! on camera!), but they’re also taking little jabs at each other all episode.
So I guess the friends we’re supposed to buy now are Erika, Rinna, and Dorit??? It’s weird, and not just because they all seem to be dressed for a through-the-decades costume party when they arrive at lunch. Erika is wearing a scrunchie, Rinna is wearing gilded pants (that I was into), and Dorit…well, Dorit is wearing her now-signature crunchy curls swept up to the front-left quadrant of her head, and a sequined skirt with a cropped Givenchy hoodie. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I actually long for the days when Dorit was just wearing tinfoil in her hair and blatantly ignoring the sleeves on motorcycle jackets
Erika orders a beer at lunch, and everyone acts like she has just pulled a Tamagotchi out of her pocket they’re so thirsty to be nostalgic and relatable, talking about the “keg handstands” at “outdoor parties” of their down-home youths. Some intern sneaks a picture of Dorit’s adorable teenage face with all its original parts (including original crunchy curls) as she reminisces about drinking in high school, saying, “I think I gagged and probably vomited the beer at one point or another,” which absolutely sounds like something a human person would say and not a robot with no adolescent backstory programmed into its robot brain.
But all of these women have tufted ottomans the size of dinner tables in their six walk-in closets now, so the conversation quickly turns from beer to how they simply must have a getaway to unwind from all the stress of maintaining so many closet ottomans in so many homes. Dorit conveniently comes up with the idea to go to a new resort in the Bahamas that is clearly starting a guerilla Bravo marking campaign, and assures the others that she’ll plan everything. Which, on my scale of unwinding, planning a group trip comes just after “preparing freelance tax returns,” and just before “watching cable news with my parents.”
At home, Dorit tells PK that she’s just come up with an idea for a girls trip over lunch with Rinna and Erika—the two women PK used to talk shit about all the time—and he responds that surely she won’t invite Teddi, the woman he’ll now talk shit about all the time. But Dorit responds nobly, with her fake British accent at full mast, “Actually I waaaas thinking of asking Teddi,” like she’s just come up with a way to turn Starbucks straws into homes for turtles that also create reusable energy.
Teddi, meanwhile, is in her natural habitat—sprinting up a mountain—with Lisa Rinna. She tells her about how when she moved to L.A. she wanted to be an actor, but when her manager told her she’d need to lose weight to get roles, it sent her into an unhealthy spiral. Getting out of that bad place is what’s inspired her to do the accountability work that she does now. Hate her or feel indifferent towards her, you gotta give Teddi props for getting on this show and turning what sounded like an incomprehensible small business into an incomprehensible small empire.
There’s plenty more inspiration to go around this episode too, as Rinna returns home and has a conversation with her youngest daughter Amelia, who talks openly about her struggles with Anorexia and road toward recovery last year. I worry about the pressure of being so exposed at such an early point in the recovery, but it was certainly brave of Amelia to be so open, and she should be very proud of the hard work she’s done.
And for even more inspiring transformations, look no further than new cast member Denise Richards, who made it through four years of marriage with Charlie Sheen and a bunch of years post-marriage with Charlie Sheen so that eventually she could live in a peaceful house in Malibu, dating a hot man who runs—you guessed it—an incomprehensible small business. When Denise met Aaron at his “clinic where he does a lot of frequency work and balancing the body” she thought he was “hot as balls”—which is not how that phrase works! But Aaron is hot, and later at a dessert party at Lisa Rinna’s house, Erika tells Denise that thinking about her and Aaron having sex is “right up there with [her] favorite porn.” Denise says knowing Erika thinks about them turns her on. I’m pretty sure they both mean it, and I am… interested to see where this goes!
Then Lisa Rinna releases the information that Aaron’s ex-wife, Nicollette Sheridan, also used to be married to her husband, Harry Hamlin. Harry and Nicollette were married for about a year until, as legend has it, “she went to a Michael Bolton concert at the Hollywood Bowl, and…left with Michael Bolton.” What a reveal! This is exactly the kind of content one hopes for out of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. It’s like finding out that one of the Real Housewives of New Jersey went to prom with Bruce Springsteen, or Nene Leakes is cousins with T.I. Give me that C-list dirt, baby.
The ladies toast to Michael Bolton, without whom, Rinna might have never met her husband. Unfortunately, LVP wasn’t able to make it to this edible-flower-eating party because she’s feeling emotionally depleted following the tragic death of her brother. On top of that, she’s just found out that poor Giggy will have to have a pacemaker put in, and Lisa’s not sure how much more she can take. But when she mentions the Bahamas trip, Ken insists that she go, hopeful that she’ll return with a fresh outlook…
But as we know, these trips are rarely relaxing, and though this one gets off to a glamorous start (I can’t even with Dorit acting like she chartered that private plane with the name of the resort they’re staying at emblazoned across the side), it’s also…tense.
As Dorit starts to tell the women about their individual accommodations, she says that she’s inviting LVP to share the presidential suite with her, and Lisa’s kind of like: thanks but no thanks. Except without all the thanks. She tries to say that it’s because Dorit has “a terrible snoring problem,” but she very clearly just doesn’t want to stay with her. And that’s quite clear to the other six women listening in, as well.
What say you? Will Erika be able to keep the “I’m tigers, but tropical” vibe she planned with Mikey (the best closet ottoman of them all) when she and LVP get into it next week? Will all these foreboding taglines finally ignite in the Bahamas? Is there a third Rinna daughter that can adopt Lucy Lucy Apple Juice to add to their menagerie of puppies? Last person to say what Erika’s new testimonial wig (you know the one) looks like in the comments is a rotten egg! I’ll get us started: a swan that has fallen over and can’t get up…
Bravo’s guilty-pleasure franchise meets California luxe