The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills recap: I have other plans: steaks and strippers
Among the many, many things to be worried about right now, extremely low on that list — but definitely still on that list — is the rising suspicion that The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills are sitting on a whole lot of nothing this season. Especially with quarantine cutting filming short, leaving us with nothing but weird, at-home testimonial webcam angles, occasionally featuring the foreboding crotch of a House-husband.
Suspicions of RHOBH’s drama well running dry were briefly abated when the premiere ended with a juicy season preview featuring the debut of a new castmember: Denise’s Raised Eyebrow. And of course, we’ve seen the headlines that suggest something torrid this way comes with Brandi Glanville and Denise, and that something just might be exposed live within this season, which would be absolutely titillating. But with each new fanciful teepee or jewelry-slinging trunk show that Denise and her husband, Aaron-who-is-not-a-medical-doctor, storm out of, I wonder more and more if there’s any chance we’ll actually get to watch that drama play out.
Because while I don’t agree with the other women that Denise is being hypocritical for frequently talking about sex, but preferring to do that less frequently in front of her children… I am starting to see that she seems very eager to never appear out of sorts on camera.
Denise and Aaron insist that they’re not upset… about anything… ever! But they take that extreme chill to a different place when they further insist that because they’re not upset, no one else should be upset either. And while they might technically be correct about that, you really can’t just tell people how to feel. (You especially can’t do it in the condescending way that Aaron does, saying that he treats people with cancer every day, so he shouldn’t have to deal with this… Dr. Boockvar would never.)
I understand Denise’s position of not wanting to hang out with people who are disgruntled over minor issues all the time. But then, y’know… Denise will probably have to go ahead and quit her job if that’s the case. And she just might! We’re basically watching a contractual struggle of wills play out right now, which could possibly be interesting. But you know what guarantees to be interesting…
Doctor’s appointments! And this episode is full of ‘em. After Denise and Aaron finish storming out of Kyle’s backyard party in favor of going to a strip club and getting a big steak — it’s never clear if both things are happening in the same place — and after Lisa Rinna sprints back to the house to relay that information, somehow leading to the rest of the women doing a small amount of pole dancing inside the decorative teepee… the rest of the episode is mostly just the Housewives puttering around L.A. getting their errands done. Kyle accompanies Kim to get her breast implants taken out and tissue checked, which is always a sensitive subject for their family since Kyle’s mom died of breast cancer. And then there’s the very different vibe of Lisa Rinna and Erika going to another plastic surgeon’s office to get hooked up to what appears to be a vibrating iron so that they can keep their stomachs flat and their asses… well, not flat.
I simply cannot describe the cackle that I sustained for two straight minutes as, for two straight minutes, Lisa Rinna explained to Erika her deep, emotional connection to the character of Roxie Hart. All the while, two devices were electrocuting her butt cheeks so that they moved like she was twerking, while the rest of her body laid completely still, except for her mouth which was, again, having an emotional conversation about the art of theater. “Fame is a high,” Rinna says as her butt cheeks move in different directions like a malfunctioning Disney World animatronic. “It’s all about her, and that’s her dream,” she exclaims as her butt cheeks are slammed together by two Olympic-grade curling stones. “And I can relate to that so well… the audience loves me, and I love them for loving me,” Rinna coos as her butt cheeks finally come to a resting place. Fame is a high — but not nearly as high as her electrocuted ass is going to be walking out of this doctor's office.
Elsewhere in Beverly Hills, Garcelle is finally moving into the new house she’s been building for the last year. I was relieved to see that the finished inside has a level of glamor and fun to match Garcelle’s personality. But I simply can’t understand why, if building your own house and having complete control over the way it looks, one would design the outside of it with all the personality of a saltine cracker? Perhaps there are some shutters and hedges on the way…
Garcelle talks about having a date coming up, but we don’t get to see it; instead, we’re treated to even more domestic scenes. Dorit is designing a closet that fits 226 pairs of shoes, but she has 229! Rinna is sashaying down a street in one of Sutton’s designer gowns for some reason! Aaron is teaching Sammi to drive because he may be condescending to other women when defending his wife, but he does seem to be a very patient and laid-back dad!
To cap off the episode, Sutton is throwing a trunk show at her new store and everyone except Garcelle is attending. Which means this will be the first time the other women have seen Denise since she catapulted off of Kyle’s plush yard cushions, and she and Aaron started a fun little tradition of threatening to squeeze each other’s hands off because they’re in such a hurry to leave behind arguments that they’re not upset about.
The other women mill about the trunks of jewels until Sutton drops the bomb that both Denise and Aaron will be coming tonight, and everyone gathers around a table to discuss. Everyone agrees that the way Aaron spoke to them at Kyle’s party was offensive, telling them to take a good look in the mirror, that he hopes they’re happy with themselves, etc. Even Garcelle said it was unnecessary earlier in the episode, and she’s the only one who seems to be able to correctly keep in line that Denise liking to go to strip clubs and Denise not wanting to talk about threesomes in front of her children are not contradictory ideas.
So when Denise and Aaron show up, proclaiming over and over to each other that they hope everyone has moved on…
Everyone is ready to talk about every single detail about what went down at Kyle’s party. And in a move I truly could not believe, the moment that Aaron and Denise approach the table and Kyle floats the topic by saying that she feels bad about what happened — Denise asks Sutton where the restroom is. And then she just… goes. Leaving Aaron behind with five angry women just blinking at him from the other side of the table. She is either that clueless about the women she’s put herself in league with, or she had three-to-five coconut waters on the drive over, I really do not know.
Kyle immediately tells Aaron that she thinks it would be weird not to acknowledge how they abruptly left her party the other day, but she’ll wait until Denise comes back to discuss it, and Aaron seems mildly okay with that. But Erika is not interested in waiting. “Aaroooon, you let us have it,” she coos, seeming to sort of tower over him from the other side of the table. “You told us that we were bad people and that we should look in the mirror, and are we happy with ourselves.” Aaron blinks. “It’s open to interpretation — I never call people ‘bad people,’ I just observe.” Erika says it felt like he was talking down to them, asking if they were happy with themselves, and Aaron replies in his L.A. monotone: “Are you?” Erika says that she is. “Okay great, then you solved that problem.”
Okay, that was actually pretty funny. After seeing Aaron mutter, “636… 9… 6… good, numerology is good,” about the address of Sutton’s store as he walked in, I understand that he is quite literally operating on a different plane than these women (and maybe every other human on the planet). So maybe the guy just needs to stay home from their little get-togethers. Or if they really have a dinner to attend after this event like Denise says, just get a drink at the bar next door. Because he is only making things worse for Denise’s goal of just letting things blow over, which is absolutely never going to happen.
By this point, Denise has returned from the most ill-advised bathroom visit in Housewives history to find Teddi asking Aaron how he thinks his tone sounded the other day. Aaron asks why they have to nitpick everything, and Teddi says, “Well if you’re going to be the moral high ground all the time…”
And that really seems to set Aaron off, asking Teddi, “Moral high ground, really? Do you really want to go there, seriously, do you want to do that?” Erika asks Aaron if he wants to go there.
“Do you?” Aaron responds in turn.
WHERE ARE WE GOING?!?! I would absolutely love to go anywhere but this conversation about nothing!!! But even though Aaron says he “can go anywhere, down, around, and backwards,” where he actually goes is outside with Denise, to the car waiting to whisk them away from yet another conversation they don’t want to be apart of. And like I said, I get not wanting to rehash a dumb fight. But with these women, leaving in the middle of a dumb fight just means that same dumb fight will be picked right back up the next time Denise contractually has to see them again. Which is basically what Dorit says when she chases after Denise and Aaron hoping to mediate because she has blissfully stayed out of this argument.
Between that and speaking Italian with a hot young jeweler — and cooing the name of her former Italian fiancé within spitting range of PK in her at-home testimonial — Dorit has somehow come out swinging as the most enjoyable Housewife this season. Italian hotties aside though, I most admire Sutton’s boyfriend Michael during all of this, who never once enters into the fray, and ends the episode at the charcuterie table eating salami, hollering out to the women when they try to get his attention: “I’m just over here eating salami!” Aren’t we all, Michael… aren’t we all?
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
Bravo’s guilty-pleasure franchise meets California luxe