The upshot of last night’s episode of Real Housewives of Miami was this: Joanna and Marta shouldn’t be living together, Ana should sign her divorce papers and get it over with and no one should pick a fight with a drag queen at a night club. If all of these Housewives would just listen to my advice, I could solve all their problems. For a small consultant fee, of course. I have rent to pay.
Usually, Real Housewives franchises start with a lot of marriages and then descend, over the course of seasons, into the morass of tension, mistrust and eventual divorce that is so common on reality TV. In Miami, though, it seems like we’ve jumped head-first into that middle part – exactly how many of these women are married and planning to stay that way? Two? I don’t have a problem with that like some people do (Real Housewives long ago morphed into something other than a show about married women), but it’s interesting how to changes the dynamics of the show.
The episode opened with Joanna trying in vain to have sex with her fiancé, who was waaaaaay more interested in sending emails on his Blackberry (people still have Blackberrys? And choose them over banging supermodels?) than getting it on. Elsewhere in the apartment, Marta announced that she wanted to move out and go live in an unused wing of Lisa’s house, which also enraged Joanna. You’d think that getting your sister out of your (seemingly small) apartment would make intimacy between Joanna and Romain easier, but what do I know. Maybe Marta running around, giggling about seeing her fiancé’s penis is not at all related to Joanna’s difficulties getting him to participate in sexytimes. I very nearly typed that sentence with a straight face. Almost!
Speaking of delusions, our next stop was at Karent’s office, where she Skype’d Rodolfo her philandering telenovela-star boyfriend. He suddenly couldn’t remember any of his interactions with Ana and told Karent to shut down anyone who makes accusations about his misdeeds before they’re even able to explain themselves, and Karent totally agreed, citing his charm and wit as a reason that so many women seem to think he’s interested in them. Isn’t that a convenient course of action for everyone! Karent, who seems desperate to cling to her delusion of Rodolfo’s fidelity no matter how clear it might be that he’s fooling around (or at least trying to), will simply continue to run away from any conversation that might indicate otherwise. That’s totally sustainable in the long-term, right?
Our next stop was at Adriana’s gallery to hear some idle chat about how she’s having a party at her gallery and she went to the Sorbonne, which is all well and good. She didn’t even mention her crazy bow blouse, which struck me as exactly the type of weird-expensive thing that the owner of a modern art gallery should wear. Even in idle scenes about nothing, I like Adriana. Which is good, because Real Housewives is often idle and vacant.
Over at Lisa’s house, she and the maid were outside by the pool, chillin’ and talking about life. Lisa’s inherently an irritating person (shallow, no job, big fake boobs, plastic surgeon husband more than a decade and a half her senior, lack of self-awareness, etc.), but you can tell a lot about a person by how they treat “the help.” We’ve seen plenty of Real Housewives treat everyone from waiters to nannies to their assistants like crap, sometimes in a fairly transparent effort to demonstrate to the audience how much they’re “above” the little people, that I find it hard not to like Lisa for clearly not thinking that’s the path to Housewives stardom. Her maid, Daysy, also seems pretty cool. She even brought her a vodka Red Bull out by the pool. That’s the kind of maid I want – one who brings me drinks and tells me when I need to reapply my lipstick.
As if Lea were in some sort of silent competition with Lisa to see who could treat their maid better, we then stopped in to watch her do her maid Freda’s hair and give her a swimming lesson. Freda lives with the Blacks and has her own full apartment within the house, plus two part-time housekeepers and a driver at her disposal, so Lisa’s going to have to step up her game if she’s going to win the Maid Wars. Lisa acts as her maid’s personal trainer, but she might want to move up the free plastic surgery schedule if she’s serious about competing.
Next up were Joanna and Romain again, who went to the INS office to get Romain’s citizenship. He came out with a certificate and a tiny American flag, but apparently only a tenuous grasp of what the oath meant. (Hint: Accepting American citizenship doesn’t mean you surrender your citizenship from your birth country.) In an extremely speedy ride in his white Ferrari on the way home, Romain explained how he had worked his way up from nothing to owning a successful nightclub for 10 years, which just goes to show that even meathead douchebags who drive their penis extensions too fast are people too.
Over at Lea’s house, she was trying to enlist anyone and everyone to help out with her annual charity gala. Things got super awkward when Elaine Lancaster, Miami drag queen extraordinaire, showed up late and then made a big deal about whether or not Marysol would be doing PR for the party like she did last year. She wouldn’t be, of course, but simply hearing that didn’t stop Elaine from hemming and hawing over a slight done to him a year prior by someone whose participation in the event had ended. I guess if you’re a drag queen and you don’t bring the drama, you’re really not much of a drag queen at all. Also, that was a very fancy hairdo Elaine had going. If only I could find a hairspray with that kind of hold.
It was then time for the preparations for Romain’s anniversary party to begin, and our first stop was at Ana’s house, where she was trying to cover her puffy cry-eyes with Chanel makeup in her kitchen. Ana had been crying because her boyfriend is angry that she’s not divorced yet, which is a reasonable issue to have since she and her husband seem to just be sitting on the papers, and Ana in particular sounds unwilling to move forward with ending her marriage any time soon. If I were in her boyfriend’s position, I’d be pretty pissed too. The most important thing we learned in the entire scene, though, (and maybe in the entire episode) was that Preparation H is for your ass, but it doesn’t have ass in it. So now you know, in case you didn’t before.
Over at Lisa’s sushi pre-party for the Mynt anniversary, Joanna and Marta were already getting into it over Romain. Marta seems pretty immature (she’s a grown woman, why doesn’t she have her own place to live?), and she’s constantly irritated that Romain…exists? I don’t know exactly what her problem is with him, based on the footage we’ve seen so far. Of course he’s a bit irritated that his fiancé’s freeloading sister is crashing at their place and in their business all day. He’s at an age where it’s completely reasonable to be irritated by that lack of privacy. It didn’t take long for them to get in a full-on shouting match over nothing while everyone else teetered around awkwardly and at sushi around Lisa’s kitchen island. For some reason, the fact that she and Lenny didn’t bother to do a huge spread just for the benefit of the cameras felt sort of endearing. You know, just some sushi while everyone hangs out in the kitchen. Maybe Lisa isn’t nearly as hatable as she seemed at first.
Thankfully Adriana showed up to distract everyone from fighting, and then Lisa asked for a Red Bull and champagne (she calls it a chambull, you guys) and someone finally mentioned the elephant in the room – Elsa’s scary plastic surgery. That this show went over a season without no one admitting that Mama Elsa apparently went to a very shoddy doctor (who probably did Marysol’s terrible nose job, let’s be real) is unreal to me. It was talked about in a reasonable way – everyone felt pretty bad that whatever had been done had obviously been botched, but the fact remains that it’s kind of jarring to look at her face if you didn’t know what to expect beforehand. It feels good to acknowledge that. Don’t mess with your faces, kids. And if you do, less is more.
After acknowledging that Lisa’s home had been figuratively built on fake tits, everyone was off to Mynt, where the step-and-repeat lights up. That seems like a questionable choice if you want your picture taken. (Never let anyone light you from behind. If you only learn one thing from me, let it be that.) Inside, Joanna and Romain were already a little chippy, but then Lea and Elaine showed up and at the very least, Joanna had some other controversy to pay attention to for a few moments. She insisted that Elaine and Marysol talk, and despite coming to no appreciable agreement, the entire thing was still fairly civil. Still, I would never advise getting into a fight with a drag queen at a night club. It’s their natural habitat. Elaine kept it classy, but if she had started taking her earrings off, I’m pretty sure she could have burned that place down with the right kind of glare.
She didn’t even have the opportunity to try, though, because pretty soon it was time for The Joanna Show again. She caught a glimpse of her sister’s ex-boyfriend in the DJ booth at the club (which should have been predictable, since he’s…the DJ at the club) and absolutely lost her drunken mind. We only saw Joanna go berate Romain for allowing him to be there (remember, the ex-boyfriend works there), but from Marta’s reaction, it seemed as though we might have missed Joanna flipping out on the ex himself. Bravo blurred his face for the split second that we saw him, which probably meant that he was unwilling to sign a release to be on the show and Bravo couldn’t use the footage of whatever fight he had with Joanna. That’s the only rational explanation for Marta coming in during Joanna’s fight with Romain and shouting “HOW COULD YOU DO THAT YOU IDIOT” over and over again, so that’s what I’m going with.
That’s where the episode ended, and hopefully Marta will move out sooner rather than later because I’m not sure how much I can watch two grown sisters bicker like 12-year-olds. I know that’s the relationship that so many siblings revert to when they’re having a disagreement, but in this case, the solution to the problem seems to be pretty clear – let Marta move into part of Lisa’s big empty house! They can hang out with the maid during the day and Lisa’s husband would probably be grateful for someone to distract his wife for a little while.