It was the first day of school yesterday in my area, and undoubtedly thousands of kid teetered nervously off to school make new friends, learn new things and discover their places in the world. We did the same last night with the Real Housewives of DC, just with less learning and more gauche name-dropping.

I’ve watched too many episodes of too many kinds of Real Housewives to be surprised by anything at this point, but we did get one unique thing (and lots of schadenfreude) out of last night’s premiere: Michaele Salahi, a woman who many of us already disdain for her tabloid-ready uninvited romp at the White House (and more recently, for falsely claiming that Whoopi Goldberg “abused” her on The View). Most housewives become famous for their lying, scheming and relentless social-climbing after they make their Bravo debuts. So far, Michaele is the first (and hopefully the last) to do it before the show ever airs.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We can’t make fun of the housewives without meeting them first.

Mary: Mary’s a native Washingtonian born of lobbyists (aren’t they all) who made sure to mention her familial friendship with the Kennedys within the first three minutes of the show. After that, her first order or business for this episode was a family portrait. She claims to have five children, but they didn’t sit still for long enough for me to count, so I can’t verify that. She also has a husband who is badly in need of a haircut.

Lynda: Lynda runs the top modeling agency in DC, which sounds suspiciously like running the top surf school in Cleveland. She spent most of her intro lusting after male models, and then we met her boyfriend Ebong. He’s 6’5, half her age, and seems like a sweetheart. Good for her. I don’t remember how many kids she has, only that she says deliciously awful things about the other housewives, which is all that’s really relevant anyway.

Stacie: Stacie’s a Harvard grad who’s now a very successful Sotheby’s real estate agent, and she’s also the only non-white housewife on any of the shows except Atlanta, despite the fact that all of the shows are filmed in diverse metropolitan areas. She has two kids and a husband named Jason, and the entire family appeared to be reasonably sane and intelligent in the short time that we saw them. Another first, eh?

Cat: Cat’s only been stateside for two months as a result of her marriage to a husband whom she is currently divorcing (although that tidbit won’t come about until later in the season, if at all). Her accent is splendiferously indeterminate, but she claims to be from London and I have no reason not to believe her. Her then-husband is a White House photographer who has worked with both the Bushes and Obamas, and he’s barely allowed to utter a word for the entire hour. For her part, she is “writing” a book.

Michaele: Well, well. What can we say about Michaele that isn’t painfully obvious or just plain painful? In her short minutes of introduction, she managed to refer to the Oval Office as the “oval room,” remind us that she used to be a model, and tell us that she really, totally has, you know, substance. She and her husband run a (failing) vineyard and do something (sketchy at best) with polo, but mostly she found it important to tell us how much she likes staying in hotels, ordering room service and having her face-spackle professionally applied. Incidentally, it would appear that no one actually knows how to pronounce her name – it was said two, possibly three different ways during the show.

So, on to the story lines. Michaele and Tareq are in charge of “America’s Polo Cup,” which I put in quotes because I’m not sure if it actually matters or not, although I’m guessing not since it appeared to be held on a rather scruffy public soccer field encircled by a chain-link fence. They had Michele Jones speak, who we now know they tried to use while crashing the White House, and then we had a montage of Michaele hugging people while extolling the philosophical virtues of the embrace. Except she didn’t use words that big, because I don’t think it occurs to her to do such a thing. I’m not sure that much occurs to her at all. Also, she takes the pinky-swear very seriously.

Lynda had a bit of insight on Michaele and the legitimacy of the polo event. She said that in the past when she had a business relationship with the Polo Cup (which includes a fashion show at some point), no one from her agency ever got their paychecks. She then referred to the cup as a “goat rodeo,” which means I’ll love her forever. Based on my crack Googling skills, it appears as though Lynda isn’t the only person that Michaele and Tareq never paid, including the charity which is supposed to benefit from the event. You can read all about that here.

Soon we found out that not only is Michaele a tireless striver who puts first-season Alex McCord to shame, but she also doesn’t know the definitions of words like “lobbyist.” But that doesn’t stop herself from telling actual lobbyists that she, too, is a lobbyist! Lobbyist! Lobbyist! Maybe if we say it enough times it’ll sound like jibberish, and then we’ll know what it’s like to be inside of Michaele’s head!

Next, Mary, Lynda and Ebong got together to discuss Mary’s impending birthday party. They’ve invited Cat and Stacie to the event, but not Michaele because obviously they’ve met her before. And then, like magic, it was time to get ready for the party. Mary has a biometric finger-scanning lock on her closet in order to keep out her daughter, which is actually sort of awesome. What’s decidedly not awesome is that Mary grew a conscience at the eleventh hour and decided to invite Michaele.

Lynda went ahead and called Michaele “second-tier” on the record, which seems true no matter how mean it might be. She’s known her for fifteen years and has basically nothing positive to say about her, and she also seems to think she has an eating disorder. I think it’s far more likely that she just does a ton of cocaine, considering her manic coke eyes and her inability to sit still. But hey, that’s just speculation, in case the lawyers are reading this.

At the party, Mary thankfully managed to distract me from the social-climbing trainwreck that is Michaele by getting birthday drunk and sauntering up to Stacie and Ted Gibson (who does Michelle Obama’s hair) and extolling them with her ideas about salon integration. Mary seemed serious, but she also seemed three sheets to the wind, and they both did an admirable job of neutralizing the crazy lady.

Speaking of Stacie, she was up next. She was planning a cooking-class party at her house for the girls, and she actually managed to be an adult (sort of) and invite everyone the first time around. I have to add the “sort of” because she made a dig at Michaele’s weight and I’m generally against snarking on people’s bodies, but I think I’d probably be reduced to that sort of immaturity as well if I was forced to spend time around that woman. Since Stacie seems like easily the most intelligent and reasonable of these women, I’ll let that slide.

Things moved quickly on to Cat, the British expatriate who has that very British way of insulting people and getting away with it. Since most housewives on these shows use the in-your-face insult technique, this characteristic could end up being very valuable to her. She and her husband also don’t like the Salahis (knowing what we know now, these people all sound like excellent judges of character).

We didn’t spend much time with Cat, though. It was back to Mary, whose husband has been picked as a stylish dude by the Washingtonian because Mary’s BFF is the person that gets to choose who ends up on the list. Both Mary and her husband agree that he’s not actually all that stylish. Or stylish at all, if those pink paisley pants are taken into consideration. Although I’m not really sure how BFF-y Mary and the publisher are, considering that she mispronounced her last name at the awards ceremony.

Speaking of the ceremony, Lynda was also chosen as a stylish DC person (Stylesetter? What did they call them? Did they really make up a word?) and landed the cover of the magazine. She’s friends with the Dwight of the DC housewives, Paul, who gave Lynda another opportunity to talk smack about Michaele and her weight. She encouraged her gay bestie to confront Michaele about her weight by insulting how she looks in clothes while fitting her for an event the next day.

I think Michaele and her husband are likely some of the most loathsome people on any of Bravo’s shows, but Lynda’s preoccupation with her body seemed perhaps just a tad bit…envious. Besides, the owner of a modeling agency would be the last person to ever show genuine concerns over how thin someone has become. Paul, for his part, tried to be as diplomatic as possible while still continuing the drama, as I’m sure he was instructed to do by the producers. Obviously, Michaele denied having an eating disorder.

And then it was finally time for the cooking party at Stacie’s house that we had all been promised earlier in the episode. The party got together all of the newly minted Housewives to drink sake and then look at iPhone pics of Joe Biden. I wonder if Cat will ever go an entire episode without name-dropping everyone that her husband has every met; somehow I doubt it. Cat talked a blue streak about the Obamas and how close her husband is with them, and then she let it slip that, uh, she hasn’t actually met the president. Ever.

Cat managed to distract everyone from her lack of presidential face time by talking about her distaste for Tyra Banks, but then managed to show her hand by getting back to the subject of the Obamas and how the president didn’t attend her husband’s awards ceremony or RSVP to their wedding or ANYTHING, HARUMPH. No matter if you’re a republican or democrat, you have to wonder how wise it is to trash talk your brand new husband’s boss on television all the while insisting that your husband take partial credit for his election. Maybe that’s why he’s divorcing her. It certainly wouldn’t be a bad reason.

Considering that the woman has been married to this guy and in the country for all of two months, I’m not sure why anyone took her political opinions as anything beyond petty griping about social slights from a man far more important than she’ll ever be. That’s what this show is all about, really: the overwhelming desire to be someone in a city filled with someones, and that’s not something that appears to change on either side of the political divide.

Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • HandbagReport

    I always enjoy your recaps! Do you think RHODC has more substance than RHONJ? I know it’s too soon to tell.. All of them make for great recaps, so keep doing what you do best! ;-)

  • suz

    Owh-h-h-h no-o-o-o-h-h-h! This show was so repulsive, I couldn’t bring myself to actually watch the entire thing. I just dipped in here and there to get a feel so I could read your recap. These women are so much more loathsome than your recap portrays….with the possible exception of Stacie. I guess right after the dreadful (and scary) Salahi people is that woman Cat. I’m so happy to hear her new (and famous???) husband is already divorcing her. What really bothered me was the trivialization of and disrespect for the Presidency. I’m kind of shocked Bravo would stoop this low….showing Obama as the object of really petty gossip. Yuck. Someone mentioned second tier……My guess would be they are all at least tenth tier. I won’t/can’t watch this show…..but, of course I will read your recaps and, now that I have a sense of them, will know these women are more horrible and/or pathetic than you describe …..Oh yes….and you forgot to mention that Mary is the grand-daughter of Arthur Godfey. She looks just like him.

    • There were actually so many cringe-worthy moments in the episode that I couldn’t fit them all, and this is still the longest recap I’ve ever written. About ANYTHING. I’m trying to stay away from politics as much as possible to avoid commenter squabbles, but Cat’s attitude about the presidency was atrocious. She was married to the guy and living in the US for TWO MONTHS when this was recorded, how come she has all these opinions about her husband’s relationship with previous presidents when she wasn’t even in contact with her husband while they were in office? Clearly her soon-to-be-ex has good reason to be divorcing her, I’d be so embarrassed to go in to work today if I were him. The president didn’t go to your wedding? BFD.

      And then there are the Salahis, who I heard Bravo wanted to cut from the show after the White House stunt. I’m not sure if I believe that, but if they did want to cut her, I can see why they didn’t. She’s far too woven in to the plot line.

      As for Mary, I can totally see the Godfrey resemblance. I must have missed her saying that while I was typing. There were actually moments last night when I had to pause the show because too much stuff was happening that I wanted to include, which almost never happens. It was wall-to-wall crazy.

    • Relli

      I agree. I think Bravo’s made up world of “Bravoleberties” and the stupid crap their shows center around are a great break from reality, ironically. However bringing our government and our President into is just gross, Andy Cohen clearly has no boundaries. I would feel this way even if it were a Republican president, its just a bad bad bad idea and further makes us look even more ridiculous on a global level. I will not watch this mess but as always I will be here for the Amanda report on whats going on. Thanks for keeping up with all of this for us!

      Side note: when the Goat Rodeo people initially crashed the party i became obsessed with finding information on them and read every article out there. I KNEW Bravo’s claim they were in no way associated with the RH was FALSE, becuase this couple was the epitome of every single person on these shows but to like the 100th power. This skeezy couple really believes their every lie, its truly very sick.

  • Laura

    Just by watching the first episode you can tell that these DC ladies try so hard to prove they are someone (socially speaking). They’re almost competing against each other to prove who has more connections to the White House. Who cares who they are and who they know? I don’t, but I really enjoy reading your recaps Amanda.

  • Beth S.

    Amanda… no Project Runway updates anymore? I don’t watch any of these Real Wives shows, but I love PR and it’s just not the same without your astute and hilarious (and snarky, of course!) commentaries. So sad…

    • Nope, at least not for this season. Not many people commented last season, so we’re trying out Rachel Zoe Project instead, which seems to be more popular. Sorry!!

      • PhotoGirl

        Oh, I would love to have you recap Project Runway, too! I will be watching that instead of the DC housewives.

      • A lot of people have contacted us about the Project Runway recaps, so we’ll see what else is going on in the television landscape when the show starts its next season. If it runs at a time when I’m only recapping one or two other shows, we might start it up again.

      • Chris

        Oh, I really like Project Runway – and will try to watch it. But I understand that you like to have a break after so many seasons.

      • adrienne

        Don’t like Zoe, LOVE Runway!! I even miss the first half of Bethanny to watch Project Runway and hope they show an immediate rerun of Bethanny so I don’t miss her either. Love her too much, but have to make a sacrifice of somebody!

      • Well where were you guys last season when no one was commenting on my Project Runway recaps?? That’s how we gauge popularity, so if there’s something you’d like to continue to see, please comment on it! It helps us decide what to write :-) We’ll definitely reconsider doing the PR recaps next season.

      • shortstuff

        Good idea. RZ needs a recap. You’ll be better than Cutblog.

  • gpc

    Amanda, love your recaps. Can we also get a recap of handbag sightings amongst the ladies?

    • The only ones I remember from this episode are Mary with a Marc Jacobs patent bag at the beginning of the episode and Cat with a Louis Vuitton duffel of some sort while her husband was photographing her. Anyone else see anything good?

      • JenG

        Thanks for the handbag update because as soon as I saw the bag I wanted to know who made it.

  • PhotoGirl

    Alright. Against my better judgement, I watched because I wanted to be au courant when I read your recap. Now I need a brain bleach, please.

    With the possible exception of Stacie, I think the DC housewives are all quite loathsome.
    I still don’t understand why Michaele and her husband aren’t in jail. As for Cat, I think we ought to test some of these new anti-immigrant policies on her, for starters. Deportation on aisle 12!

    Bravo’s disrespect of the President leaves me speechless. They’ve lost a viewer here.
    That being said, your recap was, as ever, fabulous.

  • Bestremywigs

    Dead @”I think it’s far more likely that she just does a ton of cocaine, considering her manic coke eyes and her inability to sit still. But hey, that’s just speculation, in case the lawyers are reading this.”

  • JenG

    Thanks for the recap!

  • mochababe73

    I recorded it on my DV-R, but I haven’t watched it yet. Loved your recap. Too many people that I know have said it was boring and were not feeling it. Maybe that’s we we’re going to see only 7 episodes.
    I like watching the housewives when they are living “fabulous” lives. I love to watch them interact with their families. I like the drama, too, but in small doses.
    When Bravo announced this franchise, I knew that it would be boring. Who actually finds DC exciting. I was interested since I will be moving to VA next year.
    I say let’s rid ourselves of DC and Atlanta. Let’s keep OC, NY, and NJ. I want to watch the Beverly Hills ladies as well. Should be fun.
    By the way, apparently Lynne Curtin is out on the OC wives. Alexis has a friend that is going to be a new housewife, Peggy Tanous. Vicki is coming back along with Tamra, Gretchen, and Alexis. I can’t wait until January.

    • I know some people that thought the DC Housewives were boring too, but I sort of loved it. MUCH better than New Jersey, IMO.

      And I’m so glad to hear that Lynn’s gone, she was terrible. I’m kind of ready for the OC housewives again. I didn’t like the last season so much, but they’re a lot more fun than most of the other housewives.

  • bf

    Love the recap!!!! I am blown away by the social climbing of these ladies!!! The comment from Mary ” How did you land a rock star like that?” referring to Cat’s husband was crazy! These women make the other housewives look like pussycats. I think this show is going to make us ALL look a Washington in a new light. I can’t wait!!!!!!!!!!

  • Stefanie

    Loved your recap!

    And the thing about the RHDC is that it’s just never going to work. Anyone who actually is even moderately important in DC is never going to be on the show. So, of course, the only people Bravo could get are like the social climbing Salahis.

  • Amy

    i agree with laura on the social climbing, but you have to admit, compared to the craziness that has been NJ and some aspects of NY housewives, at least its enough to tolerate, but i did get bored watching it,…

  • Handbag Lover

    I love your recaps and yes, i liked this show better then RHONJ but this show is boring. I hope there isn’t a season two.

  • Misty

    I refuse to watch this show because of the Salimies (not a mis-spelling) who were rewarded by Bravo for breaching national security. Last night I watched Jersey Shore, which depicts people with far more class than any of these housewives. Imagine, Snooki has a higher social ranking than Teresa, Danielle, or the Salimies.

    • Ellz

      hahahahahaha you’re right Snooki does!!

    • I would totally hang out with Snooki. Can’t say the same for any of the other ladies you mentioned…

    • suz

      Salimies……perfect!!

  • RY

    @HandbagReport: Are you serious? Is there any substance in any of thes shows? They play on insecurities, envy, greed, pride, loath, etc.. in short they are perfect example of all of the 7 deadly sins and then some. The only substance they migh have is the substance abuse. I wonder how did this sane Harvard grad African American woman ended up in a pool with white trashy peroxide blondes. She definetely does not belong there. Get out girl, while you still have you dignity intact.

  • PhotoGirl
  • S

    I found them boring and I hardly find any other housewives franchises that boring. The lady who made up the anorexic rumor is clearly envious. And without the Michaela plot line – what would this show be? All those ladies are such social climbers and Stacie is no exception. She was way too “hook us up” and mentioning how she new Obama before his election. Yuck. They’re all Luanns. So calculated and phony. Maybe they’ll grow on me? And seriously it bothered Stacie that much that the Bristish girl didn’t like Tyra? I can’t stand it when anyone of any race feels the need to defend all people of their race. I’m Indian and I don’t feel the need to like all Indian celebrities (as few as there are).

  • Bagolicious

    Unbelievable what disrespect to the President and the Presidency to be pulled into this train wreck of a mess of a show. Shameful. And that Cat Woman needs to be pulled aside and given some “Chocolate City” lessons of etiquette, as she’s clueless as to what the boundaries are. She needs to be de-clawed.

  • adrienne

    Refuse to watch this show. I can’t stand the thought of exhibiting even more BS from our country’s capital. It’s painful enough to read the newspaper and watch the news without watching “important” peoples’ wives make a mockery out of their possible positions in any social circle involving what makes our country run. Lobbyists – want to know nothing about them. Nothing good can come from this show. Just more exploitation, debauchery & wagging tongues that could eventually put us in some kind of jeopardy somewhere down the line.

  • K

    This show is really boring just like RH Atlanta. I likely won’t watch this season.

  • Jo

    As always.. Great recap, Amanda! However I must say this: my heart goes out to you as you plan to write the recaps this season for RHODC. I have a feeling the political and racist remarks/drama will get worse as the season progresses (well, I guess that’s expected in DC, huh?). Hopefully it won’t be as bad as RHONJ!

    I haven’t decided whether or not I want to watch the whole season. I wasn’t too impressed from the first episode but then again, maybe I had much higher hopes. Perhaps the second (or third) episode will be better.

    • I like this a lot better than RHNJ already, and I’m going to try and stay away from political stuff as much as possible since we want the recaps to be fun for everyone to read, no matter their political persuasion. And if not, well, it’s only eight episodes! Brevity is the soul of wit, so I think that that alone might help the DC housewives tremendously. They’ll be gone before their schtick wears off, which is something that probably would have helped this season of RHNJ greatly.

  • Jo

    Also, I wonder if Bravo needed some sort of government approval for what to not to film/what not to air, etc?

  • Dave Z.

    I am surprised that so many of of the comments are so anti-RHDC. Each of the franchises (NY, NJ, OC, ATL and now DC) are wonderful examples of at least one of the Seven Deadly Sins. NY has Avarice and Pride. NJ really hits the Hate button. And DC is Envy. So why all the hate for this show and not the others. I think they all deserve some love because they illustrate the entertainment quality of watching trully flawed people make asses of themselves. (There are a few exceptions, of course, or the few of them that seem normal may only seem so because they are sharing the screen with some of the most pathetic examples of humanity ever to disgrace a television screen).

    As for the completely uninformed opinions spouted about our President, SO WHAT???? Presidents are the ultimate sacred cows. Being the President opens one up to abuse. Obama has and will deal with much uglier things then whatever this pack of hyenas has to dish out. He is the President. He can take it.

    So put away your knives my lovelies. Sit back, relax and enjoy the train wrecks that are the Real Housewives of DC. I know I am.

    • suz

      It’s not about The President….it’s about the disrespect for and trivialization of The Presidency. I think it’s really interesting every time there is a negative, angry comment on this blog. it seems to be written by a man.

      • Dave Z.

        As this was my first visit to this blog I can’t comment on the whole “every time there is a negative, angry comment on this blog. it seems to be written by a man” thing but I really want to know what about my post was negative or angry. I think I was more positive then most of the people before me. As compared to some of the post thrown up by some of the people before me…I was an utter bastion of positivity. I was damn near Mary Poppins as compared to some of the rather unhappy earlier posters.

        But who knows, maybe I’m not reading it right.

  • arlene

    I’m in the minority but liked DC way better than NJ. My friends and I will keep watching. Keep up your recaps of the housewives and Rachael Zoe . I have no interest in project runway. I need to tell my friends to post comments so you keep up the good work, I know they read you all the time!!!

    • I do too. I loved the episode. I know a lot of people didn’t, but if it keeps it up at this rate, DC will be my favorite of the cities. Easily. Watching idiots try and talk about politics is a special level of schadenfreude, even when they’re disrespectful.

      And please tell your friends to comment! We love comments, and it really does help us figure out what we should do more or less of.

  • adrienne

    Amanda – don’t know why I didn’t comment on PR last season. Maybe didn’t know you were here about that, or perhaps I was busy trying to win a handbag from PurseBlog! :-)
    I think I found you when I was embroiled watching RHNY (especially after the Kelly meltdown) and started reading all kinds of blogs about them.

    If you start again recapping Project Runway, I know know where to look and will be on the lookout!
    Thanks for the great comments and some of the great “zingers” you come up with!

  • bisbee

    Great recap as always – I don’t know if I enjoy reading them more before or after I watch the shows!

    D.C. Housewives promises to be just as filled with ridiculous situations as the others…but I agree – I like it better than NJ already. And…since I’m almost local (40 miles away) I’m sure I’ll enjoy this for some of the same reasons I like the other shows that are based in D.C. – I like seeing familiar locations…

  • mochababe73

    Finally watched the show. It was okay. Since my hubby works in DC, he watched it as well, and called me. He said that what the women say that is true. No one cares how much money you have in that area. It’s all about who you know. I told my husband if this is how women behave in DC, I am not pumped about moving there. These are not like any type of woman that I would EVER want to hang with. That Cat woman is has the nastiest attitude I have seen in any of the franchises.
    Also, I found out that Lisa is out on the Atlanta wives. Two more wives are going to join NeNe, Kim, Sheree, and Kandy.

    • Since I live in Atlanta I keep up with the Atlanta housewives gossip, and here are some details that I’ve heard so far: Lisa might appear in this season here and there but there are indeed two more women coming in. One is Phaedra Parks, a well-known Atlanta attorney who was also one of the producers of “Tiny and Toya,” and the other is Cynthia Bailey, a model who has been on the cover of Essence and been photographed by Annie Leibovitz for Vanity Fair. I’m glad to see that they chose two women with legit careers to add to the Atlanta cast.

      • Matthew

        When does Atlanta start? What about BH? I have no idea what they’re all doing with Housewives going forward. I liked RHoDC much better than NJ. NJ is kinda killing me right now. Sooooo boring. End already. For the love of all things good.

        I really liked Lisa. Sad to see her go. Happy to see Lynne from OC go. She’s almost as dumb as Kelly from NYC, but well, she’s not.

      • I haven’t heard any concrete dates for the Atlanta housewives, but I’ve heard October. If the DC housewives have an eight-episode season and end on Sept 24 with a reunion the next Thursday, then October sounds exactly right. I Beverly Hills comes right after Atlanta, then it’ll be January or February, depending on the length of the Atlanta season.

  • Melissa

    I have not lost hope for the RHDC yet. I’m throughly over the New Jersey women, so perhaps my optimism is a result of shear contrast and novelty… The biometric finger-scanning lock stole the show IMO, and I’m loving Stacie and Lynda. Here’s to a new cast and season!

  • qudz14

    this franchise is almost a breath of fresh air compared to jersey; coming from jersey i never thought id say that lol. please keep up the great work! and your title quotes are hand selected perfection =)

  • lolanyc

    Love ZOE!!! glad there will be a recap! Ive never watched project runway once yuck!

    As for the DC housewives.. OMG what a waste of my time I hate it!! I dont like 1 woman!! I even like jersey better.. not much more.. but politics on a housewives show?? It isnt the right place at all! I like vacations, clothes, clubs, dancing beaches!! Happy stuff! LOL

    I may sit this one out watch my Zoe and flipping out!

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