The glass doors of Villa Rosa slowly come into focus as Adrienne hobbles up to them. She barely has the strength to make it over the lily-strewn moat, but she feels the heat of the cameras at her back and knows she must press forward. This is her last stand, and even if she is riddled with bullet holes, she has to at least try to spill some blood on Lisa's white carpeting before she goes down for good.
Adrienne turns back to the hedge and grabs another Zing vodka shot from the human hand protruding from it, then downs the shot and takes a moment to look around. It feels great to have all these human bodies around pretending to be inanimate objects and serving her things. The other wives had thrown some lavish parties over the past couple of years, but none of them ever had body painting. And when it comes to ambience, body painting is about as classy as it gets — there are market values for a chocolate fountain or an ice sculpture at the center of a room, but an actual person that's willing to get naked and submit their entire physical self to the cause of making your party awesome? You can't put a price on that. (Well, maybe $50 per head plus the obvious perk of industry exposure.)
It's been a difficult couple of days. Kim is quickly learning that Paris is a very stressful city. Ducks get beheaded for sport, and there's always a rumbling Mercedes passenger van waiting outside that she somehow always manages to be the last to board. Now the ladies are all supposed to unwind with some shopping, but all Kim wants to do is go back to bed. She never fully adjusted to the time difference; she didn't trust herself to take Lisa's melatonin. She trails behind the others as they approach the doors of yet another tony boutique, naggingly aware of the flyaways on top of her experimental front-pouf.
Kim doesn't know why she's drawn to it, but as soon as she enters the store and sees the big black rectangle hanging on the accessories wall like a dark portal into deep space, she knows she has to touch it. She isn't sure what it is, but it speaks to her, and she's especially delighted and relieved when she realizes it's actually an enormous handbag. She lifts it off the shelf — it's even heavier than she thought it would be — and hangs it on one shoulder.
Editor's note: It may have seemed that former child actress Kim Richards, who has long struggled with sobriety during her tenure on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, was intoxicated on last night's episode. There are actually a number of explanations for her behavior.
Kim takes a deep breath and walks into the hotel suite. She's late, but her being late is kind of a joke now, so maybe this will end up being a fun way to break the ice. Everyone needs a defining characteristic that sets them apart from the crowd.
She sees them out on the balcony, smiling and laughing with such great diction and composure. She wonders at what point in their lives they figured out how to act like that, and why no matter how hard she tries she never seems to be able to replicate it herself. But that won't stop her from trying.
As she enters the balcony she stretches a smile across her face. It's time to smile. It's time to kiss people on the cheek. It's time to be in Paris and demonstrate all the great qualities she has to offer to this group of women.
It's a beautiful, hot day in June, and Adrienne Maloof is sitting by the pool as her blurry-faced children and husband take turns doing cannonballs. This is what Adrienne Maloof's life is like when she's not pursuing legal action against her friends and designing purses for Kohl's. She's a normal lady who just happens to have some stone lions adorning her multitiered swimming pool. Everything is pretty much totally peaceful and normal and then the choppers start circling.
"Adrienne? You smell smoke?" Paul shouts from inside. Her first thought is that Charlie's up to his old tricks again, until she sees the huge sickly yellow plume rising up over the hedges. "Wait a minute, that's a fire!" Paul says, his excitement uncontainable. "That's a fire! That's Lisa's old house!"
"I am very excited about Lisa's tea party. I haven't been to very many tea parties."
Marisa Zanuck steps out of the limo onto the winding path leading to Villa Rosa, her ivory pumps crunching down on the alabaster gravel. This would be her sixth time in the company of the ladies, and she's never felt more grateful to Kyle for welcoming her into the circle than now. Lisa's home looks stunning; it's a verdant monument to having everything in life figured out. Maybe someday she could have a house like that.
"I hope Brandi is having fun in Vegas; I have a business to run."
Adrienne Maloof wanders down the drafty, eerily quiet halls of the office building, double-checking her phone to make sure that she has the correct address for the California Accessory Group. This isn't where they had her go the last time she had to meet with them, and the building seems oddly vacant. Maybe they're just in the middle of moving in. Yes, that explains the ripped-out phone jacks strewn on the carpet. She's about to call Richard again when she hears a soft clatter of metal and foam core and someone cursing as a light flickers on in a conference room at the end of the hall. Phew. She thought she was on the right floor!
"I'm so excited I finally get to, like, hang pictures in my own house again."
Even if we hadn't seen the title card, in which she flips her hair and shrugs self-effacingly in a tight black dress as her name swooshes by, we'd know from the scrubby brown hills of the San Fernando Valley and the slightly off-kilter music that it was Kimmy Richards time on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Kim is hunched over, Gollum-like, on her living-room floor with her manservant Milton, surrounded by a volume of picture frames usually not seen outside an Aaron Brothers, deep in the kind of monomaniacal project mode that is all too familiar to us by now. She is organizing them by child. Milton isn't really helping so much as looking on, slowly realizing that this is not a group activity. "So this is Kimberly ... Whitney ... Kimberly ..." Kim recites each child's name slowly and deliberately, as if she's going through flash cards the night before a big exam.
This is Yolanda. I haven't been able to think of a succinct way to sum up Yolanda's damage until last night, so thank you, Kyle Richards, for the phrase "Dutch Martha Stewart." That's pretty dead-on, as long as we're talking '90s Martha Stewart — before the trading scandal and house arrest and sense of humor. Yolanda is a turbo–Stepford Wife who injects lamb fetus into her face to ensure her immortality and does burpees to pass the time between harvesting the chard and organic honey. She seems like she should be smart enough to not say things like "I'm afraid volleyball is going to turn my daughter into a lesbian," but then, that's what makes her so terrifying. Yolanda doesn't get very involved in the other housewives' lives; most of her segments on the show are about how every surface in her Malibu home is covered with David Foster's Grammys. One gets the sense that the couple only signed up for this show after they realized that that season-long MTV Cribs residency wasn't going to happen.
Kyle has come by to visit Yolanda because Kyle needs someone cold and outlandishly wealthy around to make her look like just a normal, down-to-earth gal. She discovers Yolanda on the staircase that winds through the lavender garden, wearing skinny jeans, wielding gardening shears, and carrying a woven wicker basket of freshly picked lemons. "Think you got enough lemons?" jokes down-to-earth Kyle, as she realizes how (psychotically? Psychotically) far the orchard extends. Yolanda explains that when she did the Master Cleanse a few years ago she was so invigorated in her new poop-free state that she decided she wanted to grow her own organic lemons. Oh, OK.
It's a new year, full of new beginnings and possibilities, it's supposed to get into the 70s today in Southern California, and it's the first time in what seems like a rhinestoneless eternity that we've come together to discuss our dear Hometown Housewives of West Los Angeles County. So, what has everyone been up to over the holidays?
Lisa Vanderpump has a new reality show on Bravo called Vanderpump Rules, which debuted after a surreal, seamless segue at the end of last night's RHOBH. It is about her West Hollywood restaurant SUR, which stands for "Sexy Unique Restaurant," and which she claims is a restaurant where one would "take [one's] mistress." Which is a strange way to sell the place where Eddie Cibrian's mistress works and is shunned for her sexual indiscretions on a daily basis by her coworkers. Anyway, I'm in because I am emotionally contracted to support everything Lady 'Pump does, but I'd be lying if I didn't say it just feels like Saddle Ranch all over again.
This is Adrienne Maloof. Adrienne's family owns the Sacramento Kings NBA franchise and the Palms Resort and Casino in Las Vegas among other things/ideas, and they are all very wealthy, or maybe they aren't. Right now Adrienne is suffering a bit of an undefined crisis, one that we now know ends in a bitter, very un-amicable divorce from her husband, Paul Nassif, and which has manifested itself in even more hostile and defensive behavior than normal. Like a closeted jock being unusually vigilant about anything that seems a little gay, only someone who has a lot of bottled-up turmoil will go out of their way to point out when "Uh-oh, somebody's crying." (She who smelt it probably dealt it or fears she will be dealing it in the near future.) Only someone with precious little else fulfilling and immaterial to hang onto in her life will offer an apology as unconvincing as this one. It's hard to admit you were wrong about your friend going to the tabloids when being the righteous whistle-blower accounted for so much of your self-worth.
"A lot of people at this table want to see you fail. I'm just saying." — Brandi Glanville
As you may remember from last week, Kim Richards organized a trip to Ojai for all the ladies for a weekend of healing, relaxing, and growing closer together. It went about as well as you can imagine it would.
This is Brandi Glanville. Brandi is the "hot" housewife, the youngest by a good margin, probably the poorest (if we don't count Taylor and her tragically byzantine financial ruin), and not even technically a wife — her marriage to actor Eddie Cibrian ended over three years ago when he cheated on her with LeAnn Rimes, whom he met on the set of a Lifetime Original Movie. Brandi's defining characteristics are that she has no cellulite and she speaks her mind, which usually involves either bleeped-out sexually charged comments or seemingly involuntary snipes at the other housewives. She suffers from what might be called Reality TV Tourette's. Brandi is a ray of sunshine on this television show, but that doesn't mean she can't occasionally, in her words, "cry and drink and take Lexapro."
This is Kim Richards. When Kim was a child, she acted in a lot of films and television shows, and she was very famous. She was able to buy a home for and support her entire family with the money she earned during that time. Because of this, she didn't have what many would call a typical upbringing.
This is Taylor Armstrong. On August 15, 2011, her husband Russell, who had been physically abusing her for years and who was involved in myriad shady business dealings, hanged himself in the guest room of a friend's house.
But that was ages — and a whole 20-episode season — ago! Life goes on.