Last night we got a double dose of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, with the season three finale and the first part of the reunion airing back-to-back. Going into the evening, I suspected that they were double loading the two episodes because neither was really all that exciting and Bravo knew that people would complain if they strung it out for an extra week without delivering much. After watching the episodes, I suspect I was right.
The central problem, of course, is that Adrienne still won’t let Whatever Brandi Said be uttered on television, so the season’s entire arc is still about nothing, and it can’t ever really be resolved. Even though we’ve all read the speculation, the fact that it can’t be discussed means that there’s never any end game, which was particularly obvious in the reunion, where resolution is usually the main event. Still, though, we forge onward.
1. Taylor’s really trying to make this friends-with-David’s-ex thing into a storyline. It’s been mentioned in several past episodes that Taylor has issues with Yolanda because she’s married to David Foster, who used to be married to Taylor’s friend Linda. David and Linda got divorced in 2005, which was, last I checked, eight years ago. (Someone check my math there.) Yolanda didn’t get married to him until 2011, and no one’s accused Yolanda of breaking up David’s previous marriage, so I don’t have any idea what any of this has to do with anything, except for the fact that it gives Taylor a narrative to cling to.
2. In Faye’s own head, she’s a justice crusader. In Faye’s head, matching your hair color with your spray tan shade is the hot look for spring, so it must be a fascinating and terrifying place in there.
3. Kim was right, if late – Kyle was way more upset about Brandi’s treatment of Adrienne than her treatment of Kim. Brandi said some genuinely nasty things about Kim last season, and they ended up being mostly untrue. Yes, Brandi was under duress when she said them. Yes, Kyle and Kim bullied her and it was hard to feel bad for them. Yes, it was weird that the switch flipped in Kim’s mind right then and she started that argument in the middle of Lisa’s party. But that doesn’t make her any less right; Kyle’s gone to battle for Adrienne all season, it’s been one of the show’s only narrative arcs, and it was over something Brandi said that seems to have been true. When it was her own sister in question and she knew the accusations to be factually incorrect, Kyle’s crusade was nowhere near as zealous. I’m not sure that any of us really care at this point, and it probably should have been pointed out a long time ago, but Kim’s not wrong.
4. Adrienne actually showed up to Lisa’s party. Everyone grieves these things in different ways, but Adrienne said she had just been served with papers that night. She walked in and immediately collapsed in a pile of tears with everyone patting her hands and fawning over her. She didn’t even bother to greet Lisa or Ken at their vow renewal before making a scene. I don’t doubt that Adrienne was genuinely sad for what was happening, but it also seemed like she did take significant time to consider how to seem as sympathetic as possible, both on the show and the stories that were released about the split at the time. (Remember those false accusations of child abuse against Paul?) As soon as she was done making the scene, Adrienne showed herself out (both of the party and of the show) before Lisa and Ken even renewed their vows, which is the emotional equivalent of farting in a crowded elevator and getting out at the next floor.
5. Yolanda is not having any of Adrienne’s BS. And she’s right, of course, as she has tended to be lately, despite her jarringly retro sexual politics. Adrienne walled everyone off from her life, which might be understandable when you know that her marriage was crumbling at the time, except that she did it from atop the highest of horses. You can’t be holier-than-thou and a sympathetic figure.
6. After Adrienne left, everyone sat around and speculated about her prenup. It was the most Beverly Hills thing I’ve ever seen, and definitely my favorite moment of the episode. Maybe the entire season.
7. Lisa shouldn’t have had her vow-renewal as the end-of-season party if she didn’t want everyone to be an idiot at it. As much as I like Lisa, and as much as I agree with her in principle (people should keep their own drama to themselves and have some manners while at someone else’s ceremonial life event), let’s get real – this is Real Housewives. The last party is always full of bickering and screaming and tears. Lisa should be glad no one physically assaulted anyone else.
8. Still, their vow renewal was adorable. Even Giggy stood up at the altar with them! If I’m half as in love and half as beautiful as Lisa when I’m 51, I’ll think myself the luckiest woman in the world.
And now, on to the reunion…
1. Adrienne skipped the reunion. Andy seemed pissed that Adrienne didn’t bother to show up, and he went out of his way, in an obviously scripted and faux-dramatic monologue at the top of the hour, to rub in the fact that running away from the reunion was her “final” act as a Housewife and asked the group if they thought she was cowardly for avoiding the conversation. No one asked me, but yes, it’s totally cowardly. I’m also sure that Andy, as a programming exec at Bravo, is pissed at what Adrienne took away from the season by skipping out on much of filming and suing to make sure that Brandi’s accusations couldn’t be talked about in specifics.
2. Is Yolanda cold? Well, not everyone is super friendly at first, and it makes sense to go into a reality TV cast with your guard up. Also, Yolanda tends to have very strong opinions about things and shares them at will, which can make a person seem aggressive when you first meet her, particularly if some of the opinions are not the ones commonly held within the group. By now, I think we all know that Yolanda is honest and well-intentioned, if at times a bit old-fashioned. Also, I don’t know why she was sick as a dog in Kyle’s driveway. I didn’t follow that anecdote.
3. Is Taylor an alcoholic? Well, maybe.
4. “At the party for Kim’s new nose…” An actual thing that was said on television.
5. Kyle wants credit for not fighting with Brandi to her face all season. So, lemme get this straight. I can say nasty thing about someone in front of a camera crew for months, and then I’m allowed to demand credit later because I didn’t get in an argument with that person to her face? Cool.
6. I have very little patience to watch people argue about whether or not someone said something that wasn’t on camera. Did Yolanda say some not-so-nice things about Lisa in France when Lisa was acting like a bit of a jackass? Maybe. Probably, even. But if there’s no independent evidence of whether or not it happened, it just doesn’t make for good television. It’s like listening to someone tell you about this totally awesome dream they had, which is a conversation that absolutely no one ever wants to find themselves in. It’s almost as bad as listening to a reunion fight over tweets.
7. I’m pretty sure Lisa knows Yolanda said something nasty about her. Lisa’s not an idiot. She behaved a bit poorly toward Kim in France, and if anyone were going to say anything negative, it would have been a good opportunity to do so. Ignoring whatever Yolanda might have said strengthens Lisa’s position with Yolanda by showing that she trusts her, though, and it infuriates Kyle, who she seems to enjoy messing with. It’s a win-win, particularly since neither Kyle nor Kim can prove that Yolanda said anything. This is why Lisa is better at this show than anybody.