I’m not even sure how to start this recap of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, except to say that in the grand tradition of the entertainment industry and famewhoring in general, the show went on as planned last night. Of course, that was in spite of the suicide of Taylor Armstrong’s estranged husband Russell, who had been featured prominently as part of one of the season’s major plot lines.

The premiere episode was recut slightly to feature a scene where all of the housewives gathered to discuss the death, but then things went on almost exactly as planned, based on what I’ve heard about preview episodes that had been sent out before Russell’s death. It remains to be seen how the rest of the season will handle the suicide, but let’s get to the business of last night’s episode, shall we?

We started on a very somber, very recent note. All of the Housewives (minus Taylor, plus a few husbands) gathered together at Adrienne’s house to talk about their feelings and thoughts on Russell’s suicide. Lisa and Kyle both thought that the problems stemmed from the pressures of the family’s financial collapse, and they all said that they had never felt any kind of personal connection with Russell, perhaps because of the negative things that Taylor had said about their relationship. All of the cast mates also expressed a hope that Taylor didn’t feel responsible in any way, because the choice to end his life was Russell’s alone.

The choice to get out in front of the suicide and address it first prevented us from having to wait all season for the other shoe to drop and Russell’s death to come up as part of the plot, which was a choice that I appreciated. It seemed as though relatively little editing was done to the premiere other than editing in that few minutes of footage, so it’ll be interesting to see if, when and how often we see or hear about Russell as the show moves forward.

And then, almost inexplicably, it was back to our previously scheduled Real Housewives of Beverly Hills shenanigans, already in progress. Lisa and Giggy met up with Lisa’s daughter Pandora at a hair salon to have various treatments and fancy things done. Giggy sat on Lisa’s lap and rested his chin on the nail table, practically daring everyone at home not to melt. Meanwhile, Pandora’s boyfriend was back at the house, asking Ken for Pandora’s hand in marriage. We all know my feelings about that sort of thing, but since I like Lisa and Ken a lot, I’ll let it go.

Our next stop was Kyle’s house, where she and Mauricio were packing up to move to a new, bigger house. Somehow that lead to talk of Kyle and Kim’s relationship, which is still completely broken. Kim has chosen not to return Kyle’s calls, although she thinks they’ll solve things and have a great relationship again one day. She just doesn’t know when that day will be, which resulted in some teary regrets on Kyle’s part. Berating your sister for being an alcoholic on a trashy reality show: Perhaps not such a great idea.

Then it was on to Camille’s house, where she was tooling around the enormous grounds in a golf cart to go say hi to her horse and check out the giant mountain of furniture that had apparently been freight shipped to her from her former house in the Hamptons by Kelsey. The mountain also contained her “Hamptons Shoe Wardrobe,” which shouldn’t technically be capitalized, but it sort of feels right, yes? It seemed to be comprised entirely of out-of-style strappy lime green sandals, which sounds about right based on the average taste level of a Real Housewife. And speaking of people who don’t talk, Camille and Kelsey are also on that list.

Of course, we had to head to see the Maloof-Nassifs next, who were terrorizing their private chef over some party menu. Paul wanted maybe guacamole, or maybe something with apples, or maybe sweet potato fries? But no Waldorf salad, because apples and mayo is crazytown, you guys. Who would eat something weird and exotic like Waldorf salad? Paul couldn’t imagine such a thing. The chef seemed ready to stab both of them with his Lime Green Knife of Insanity, a feeling that most of the household staff must have often in the homes of Beverly Hills.

Naturally, the party that would include the offending apple-mayo salad would also include our Housewives, which meant that Kyle needed to go shopping. She met up with Taylor at a boutique, and seeing Taylor walk into the frame was oddly jarring. I had fully prepared myself to not see her in the premiere at all, although I’m not sure why I assumed that she would be completely removed from the first episode; Bravo never said that she would be. Her first scene involved some uninteresting gossip about running into Lisa’s former permanent houseguest Cedric and how Lisa isn’t very nice to her. Kyle thinks its because Lisa is British and not particularly warm, I think it’s because she just doesn’t particularly like Taylor. I guess we’ll find out who’s right later in the season. (I think it’s me.)

Our next stop was Adrienne’s house for the party preparations, and it seemed as though I missed an earlier mention that the party was a screening for Camille’s episode of “[Bleep] My Dad Says,” probably because I was trying to evaluate Adrienne’s newest facial updates. (An upgrade, I think.) I’m sure that some conversation of some sort was also had during the pre-party, but I was too busy gawking at Adrienne’s glassed-in shoe closet to hear words or think thoughts. Add “glassed-in shoe closet” to my list of life goals.

Pretty soon, the rest of the Housewives arrived and I was unable to hear or think for a completely different reason – Kim’s suit. Someone actually told her it was great, although that might have been Kyle trying to be overly nice to patch things up, I can’t remember exactly. What I do remember is that it looked like it had come straight from the cast-off pile outside of the wardrobe closet at Dynasty. It had some kind of weird embroidery or beading around the lapels, and it was just…bad. Very bad. Very bad in a similar way that her pearl choker set was bad on last season’s finale, which makes me think that those items aren’t flukes, they’re actual things that Kim likes. That’s way worse.

In spite of all that, the entire group was able to put aside their differences and stop cringing at Kim’s suit long enough to watch Camille’s episode, in which she good-naturedly made fun of herself and generally scored a couple of points for the minimum required amount of self-awareness. Since she completely lacked it last season, we’ll count that as progress. At this point, things were ticking along reasonably, both at the party and in the episode.

And then everyone sat down to dinner, and we all know what happens when these people are forced to sit around a table and look at each other. Paul flicked a napkin with some champagne on it at Adrienne, and she flipped out and told him he was being rude, condescending and all-around ruining the dinner party. She also told him he wasn’t funny, which seemed like an extra step of meanness which even he wasn’t expecting. Paul just sat there, stunned, and didn’t fight back. They both seemed to enjoy their spats last season, so I can’t help but wonder if we’re going to see some issues with their relationship later on.

In other couples news, Paul asked Taylor how she and Russell were doing with their marriage, and she revealed that they had spent a lot of time in therapy and that they were trying to improve things. The wives started discussing whether or not their men would go, and Ken piped up to say that he’d never go and he wouldn’t want his wife to go either. Even under normal circumstances, those kinds of statements would seem awfully cavalier, but in light of Russell’s (who was not present) suicide, they were beyond the pale. I’m stunned that Bravo left in anything about how people who go to therapy are weak, considering the aftermath.

Unsurprisingly, Taylor was hurt and got up from the table without defending herself, and Kyle got up and followed her. They spoke in the bathroom for a while and then Lisa popped in to re-gloss her lips and assess the situation, with no apparent intent to smooth anything over. When everyone returned to the table except Taylor, Kyle explained that she thought Taylor might have been a tad offended (which she should have been, even though I love Lisa and Ken).

Ken got offended that she used the word offended, and as Kyle mentioned, all of these off-limits words are getting just a tad tedious – we still can’t say “insecure” because it makes Camille’s head explode, right? And then Ken let Giggy drink some $2200 champagne out of the gold-trimmed champagne glass, just to cap everything off. I’d explain that $2200 is more or less the monthly take-home pay for most people under the age of 25 in the fashion industry, but thinking about it too hard just makes me want to go back to bed. Earlier in the evening, we heard about how other dogs are jealous of Giggy because of his wardrobe and how beautiful he is. If nothing else, Ken and Lisa need to be in therapy to sort out their obsession with the dog.

Taylor eventually came out and Ken backpeddled just a tad, at which point Adrienne stepped in to smooth things over and move the conversation on, a skill that she seems to have with everyone but her husband. Lisa glowered, Ken bristled, Kyle scowled and Camille sat idly by, simply pleased to not be part of the argument. Eventually the awkwardness got so thick that Ken and Lisa excused themselves from the party and the curtain came down on the first episode.

As far as how Bravo did in dealing with Russell’s suicide, I’m a little split. On the one hand, I’m surprised that the show wasn’t delayed or the episode more heavily edited, particularly the last scene and all of its therapy-bashing, which would have seemed needlessly insensitive even under normal circumstances. On the other hand, I’m not sure that Bravo could have done anything that would have seemed totally right, save for scrapping the show entirely. And we all know Bravo; there’s no way in a million years that they’d actually do that.

Then, of course, there’s the business of the preview that always comes at the end of a season premiere. I’m displeased that Lisa appears to be one of the chief villains this season and I refuse to believe that she actually did anything wrong, but I’m also optimistic about the chances that “CRYSTAL METH WHORE!” will become the new “PROSTITUTION WHORE!” even though it is missing the brilliant redundancy of Teresa’s famous proclamation.

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Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • RedHead

    I watched it twice last nite.

    Once to just take in the fabulousness that is RHOBH.

    And again to analyze the work done “refreshing” both Adrienne and Lisa.

    **Has anyone noticed that Bravo has gone to pains to edit RHOBH’s Kim and RHONY’s Kelly so they seem less…less….hmmm…”off balance” this season?

    • Jess

      I forgot to mention that I think you could bounce several quarters off of Adrienne’s face! In one of her interviews, she could barely blink!!!

  • Jess

    Honestly, I think Bravo did a good job with last night’s episode. They addressed it up front, and I feel that everyone, for the most part, stated how they felt. Lisa had balls to say she never felt connected to him, and who can blame her? I think he came off as a cold fish. Plus, Mauricio said he felt bad and angry, which is how most people left in the wake of a suicide feel. I don’t think they should edit everything about it out because that’s not the reality of what was happening. And personally, I like to think these shows aren’t 100% scripted.
    Kim is the worst dresser of the bunch, and it REALLY pains me to say that in light of the outfit and styling that Adrienne chose for the promo shots this season (and many outfits last season.) I think she’s stuck in her heyday aka the 80s and I don’t see her escaping anytime soon.
    As far as what Ken said, he is entitled to his opinion. Plus, they were discussing the fact that many men wouldn’t go to therapy, and he was agreeing with that point. I’m going to be really peeved at Bravo if they think that Lisa should take a fall this season. I think she says it like it is…and with everything that has come out about Taylor, she seems more than justified in being reserved with her.

  • chloebagfreak

    Did anyone catch Kyle’s gorgeous hubbie say “I’d be dead…DED?”
    I can’t remember what they were talking about when he said it. I think they were packing and he was going to throw out something of Kyle’s.

    I have never heard of champagne that was 2200. a bottle!!! My jaw did drop a bit on that one when Adrienne was talking about the price.

    • Lorie

      Pretty sure Mauricio was kidding about the DED. It was a joke.

      • jazzle fazzle ’em

        By “Dead….DED” he was referencing a line from Grease. Mauricio = Adorbz!!!

  • Carla

    Maybe they left Ken’s remarks about seeking help being a weakness to show a major about face later on. That is the only redeeming value I can see in leaving it in, to prove a point about changing your opinions (or at the very least learning when to make a quick stop at Shutty Town).

    I felt so bad for Paul. It was like watching a puppy getting yelled at for well…being a puppy. She didn’t kick the puppy, so you couldn’t rush in to intervene, but man did I want to glare at her with my very best glare. I wanna feed the little fella hot dogs through the back fence now :-(

  • Ellen

    Especially since she was serving it with mac and cheese! I wonder how the snobby chef felt about this menu. He should have a regular spot on the show. His facial expressions were hysterical!

    • Ellen

      Oops! This was in reply to @Chloebagfreak!

  • Emily

    I love Lisa; she is one of my all-time favorite housewives. However, it so disappointed me to see her go into the bathroom, knowing that her husband had hurt Taylor’s feelings, to basically silently say, “yeah, what of it, Taylor?” It seemed like a very mean girl, high school move from someone I have regarded as being very polite, while honest at the same time.

    • I kind of hated that too; it was so pointed and obvious, and Lisa has been my favorite housewife of them all since last season. That was mostly because she could see the humor in most things and didn’t put up with much foolishness, so I hope she doesn’t indulge in that this season. I don’t want to have to write unkind things about her.

      • Jess

        Lisa said she thinks Taylor is manipulative. I think it was Lisa’s way of saying don’t talk behind backs, say it to the person’s face. And of course, Taylor didn’t.

    • S

      I hated that Lisa did that. But I’ve never been a huge Lisa fan, so I sort of expected it from her. I think she is demeaning and has shown obvious signs of being snobby in the past season. And her dog at the table drinking out of that glass was ridiculous. Lisa seems like she’d be appalled if someone did that at her dinner party. Giggy is okay to me, but why are their other slightly larger dogs less important? You’re right amanda, Ken and Lisa could use therapy for that dog. Lol.
      Also I just want to say I’ve never been to therapy and don’t feel the need to. I also know everyone is entitled to their own opinions. But sometimes you have to have the discretion, if not the kindness to keep your opinions to yourself. Particularly at a time when someone is struggling to keep their marriage together. I expected more from ken.

      • Nancy

        I completely agree with you, S. I think Lisa is trouble and I was not surprised at all by the little bathroom number she pulled. It immediately brought me back to high school. Not cool. Then she came back to the table and made a snide remake like, “they’re going over it in the bathroom,” to the whole room. Not cool. She’s pretty, she can be funny, sometimes she dresses well (many times she does not), but she’s not cool.

        I also agree on “sometimes you have to have the discretion, if the the kindness to keep your opinions to yourself.’ Some would call it simple manners. That fact the he defended himself by saying, “I’d never attack you by saying it was weak,” was odd. Since that’s pretty much what he did. An apology usually includes the words, “I’m sorry.”

  • dickens

    You can have Crystal Meth Whore. I prefer Slut Pig!

  • Skkriz10

    The champagne/Giggy part had me confused. They had longer stem, traditional champagne glasses that their butler was passing out and used to toast earlier. Giggy drank out of a bigger, round glass that appeared to have water in it, not champagne. A $550 goblet no less, but they called it a champage glass. Why this perplexed me most about the episode I may never know…

    • Skkriz10

      A second champagne glass with water in it I suppose?

    • Jennifer

      (Disclosure – I worked in Macy’s Crystal & China Dept for 3 years): There are actually 3 basic styles of champagne glasses. There is the flut champage which is tall, narrow and the rim flares out. There is also the tulip champagne, which is also tall and narrow, but the rim curves inward. Then there is the saucer champagne, also known as the coupe champagne. The saucer or coupe champagne was also the original champagne glass – while they allow the aroma escape quickly and easily, they also let the champagne go flat more quickly. Giggy was drinking out of a saucer champagne I believe.

      • suz

        Thanks for that info…..

      • It’s always fascinating what our random jobs teach us. I know a TON about appliances and TVs because I worked at Best Buy for three years in college, and those were my departments.

  • Webaj

    I was dismayed by Adrienne’s comments about Paul. Her statements that she can’t stand him for more than two hours make it hard to believe that they aren’t headed for marriage problems.

    And, if they turn Lisa and Ken into villains, that will be the end of my RHOBH viewing.

  • Jovan

    What was up with Adrienne’s chef and his attitude toward Lisa???

    • D

      Adrienne said Lisa made some negative comments about her chef’s food during a previous dinner or party. I don’t know if the comments were made directly to the chef or not but he clearly wanted nothing to do with her.

      • Nancy

        Pretty sure Adrienne said that the comments were made directly to the chief. Like I said, not cool

  • Linda

    What happened to the dog Paul gave Adrienne last season as an anniversary gift? Did they trade it in for little pup? LOL

    • D

      I was wondering the same exact thing!!!

      • Jess

        They said he didn’t work with their family and he actually went to live with the trainer. He was trained as a guard dog and was too jumpy with the kids.

    • Purse Mommy

      They still have it. There’s a picture of them all on the interwebs somewhere

  • Mrs.R

    I dont feel that bad for Paul. He promised to help Adrianne with the dinner party prep but instead went golfing. When he got home he kept messing around and acting needy while she’s trying to get dressed. She was at her wits end by the end of the day. I do wish that she didnt get snappy with him infront of everybody. That stuff needs to be between husband and wife.

  • erica

    Hi Amanda!

    Not sure if you remember me, but I often come to visit when Rachel Zoe or RHOA starts up and tonight, it was Zoe!!!
    am excited to start reading your write-ups again, they make my day!:)

  • justine

    jackpot > giggy

  • bags leather

    This has been a very significant blog indeed. I’ve acquired a lot of helpful information from your blog.

  • Selene

    Lisa and Ken came off across as snobby and cold in this episode. You can’t fake closeness with other people but I do think it’s better to be a tad more sympathetic if you have full knowledge that someone is going through a very tough time (Taylor’s marriage collapse). Also disappointing why Lisa had to be bitchy and enter the rest room to put her lip gloss on without an on ounce of sensitivity knowing Taylor was upset. I watched last season and noticed that the editing made Camille look the worst and glossed over Lisa a lot. I’ve always thought she was rather passive-agressive but I guess I’ll have to see this season.

    Kyle is my favorite housewife, among the women, I truly think she has the best marriage because she and her husband genuinely like each other. I also believe she’s the most honest among them even if she is hurtful at times.

  • Ms. Z

    I don’t think you said enough about Adrienne’s chef. That guy could bring some real humor to this season. The looks he was giving were priceless! Bravo, please show more of him!

    • Skkriz10

      Agreed!! Chef was hilarious!

    • Kim

      I loved the chef!

    • Manuela

      I loved every minute of that chef! More chef!

  • Lorie

    They really need to stop trying to have dinner parties. They always FAIL.

    Ken was just saying how he feels about therapy. I didn’t take it as he was making a judgment about anyone else and whether they should go or not. It really didn’t have anything to do with Taylor, but I guess she was going through a lot, so I cut her slack.

    But then later, I was kind of mad at Ken for being so offended by being told he was offending. Kyle is right. There needs to be a list of words one can and cannot say around this crowd. Dang. Stop being so touchy about little everything.

    Camille seems better this season. Hopefully, she is getting her life back on track and settling down. Good to see she has a sense of humor about herself. I would love to see her have a chance to have some revenge on that stupid Kelsey Grammar and his home-wrecking mistress trash.

    Kim is still a mess. That suit was horrendous. Somebody take her shopping already.

    Mauricio obviously knows how to spell “dead”. He was just kidding about the DED.

    I can’t stand the bickering between Adrienne and what’s his name. He really wasn’t doing anything wrong that I could see, but she was all over his case. It’s like if he breathes wrong, she’s all over him. Who can blame him for going golfing instead of hanging out with her? Seriously. And like she had SO much to do. Please. She told the chef what to cook. She had the staff clean and set the table. All she had to do was get dressed and show up. It’s not like she was slaving over the stove all day to get ready for the dinner party. What did she expect husband to do to help?

  • PhotoGirl

    The LA Times writer got it exactly right, IMO. I have nothing further to add to this. It’s spot on:


    • Agreed. People’s TV critic said the same thing. It was a tasteless and cynical decision to go ahead with the show after a major participant’s suicide. I very much considered not recapping it.

  • Purse Mommy

    Ken spoke out loud what many men feel. If you have a husband that has actually gone to therapy consider yourself lucky. He also said that it is the man’s responsibility to make his wife happy and do anything to achieve that lofty goal. I think people wouldn’t have been so upset if Taylor’s husband hadn’t killed himself. Because truthfully Taylor is a very unsympathetic “character” and I said character on purpose because we as viewers don’t know anything about Taylor the person. So let’s not judge Ken and Lisa to harshly. Or maybe I’m guilty of liking a “character” and not really knowing the true person.

  • suz

    Well…even though I have no plans to “actively” watch this show, I just caught a few minutes of that ostentatious Maloof dinner party and it was enough to confirm my decision not to watch. Even Lisa and Ken were nasty…and Adrienne’s relentless berating of her husband was very uncomfortable and, yes, boring. There is just some weird unsavory vibe because of Russell’s suicide. So, even though I won’t be watching, I’ll be reading these recaps because they are so much more amusing than these unfortunate people could ever be. That said, Giggy rocks!

  • Californiahousewife

    It hit the fan. I mean CAN ANYONE TAKE THE HIGH ROAD ANYMORE?!? or what? You and I know Ken meant HE wouldn’t go to therapy and I hope he didn’t mean to hurt Taylor’s feelings. It would not have hurt to say simply: “I didn’t mean to hurt you with that remark” OR SOMETHING. It’s called manners. And money obviously can’t buy it.

    What is up with the constant fighting with the plastic surgery pair? sad.

    And is Giggy on a lap 24/7? odd anyone?

    • Ruthie

      Like I said one time, do Giggy’s little feet ever touch the ground?? I really don’t like seeing an animal dressed in clothes either. Let poor little Giggy be a dog!

      • Lorie

        Supposedly, they dress Giggy in clothing because he has alopecia or some sort of skin problem that causes his hair to fall out. It’s to cover the bald spots.

        That said, they do go WAY overboard on the clothes. I feel like the poor little dog will suffocate one of these days.

  • Linda

    The bickering between Adrienne and Paul is childish, not funny and downright rude in front of guests. Why did she need his help anyway? It wasn’t much of a dinner, she didn’t prepare it and I doubted she even set the table. Lisa and Ken were equally rude. Who leaves in the middle of dinner and says they need to go to the airport? If that were the case, they shouldn’t have accepted the invite but come on, they could have sent a car or the person arriving could have taken a cab. Did anyone else keep thinking Lisa needed to put a dress on over that slip?

    • Carla

      Picking someone up at the airport was as transparent as the oft used, “I have an early meeting”. I don’t think anyone believed her, but maybe it sounded more distinguished then standing up and saying, ” ‘Eff this, I’m outsies”.

  • Ruthie

    WHY are these people “friends” anyway? They don’t LIKE each other!

  • Nancy

    I have a feeling that the reason we’re seeing Paul and Adrienne bickering is because the Taylor story has been edited out and Bravo feels they still need that “troubled marriage” story line. My gut instinct tells me there’s no real trouble in this marriage, this is how they communicate. Remember last season when she called him a baby after their son broke his nose? That’s just how the roll..

  • sandy

    anyone know what kind of puppy the new one is? he is tres cute!

  • MissNorway

    I am kind of lost in translation. I know its boring to hear, but why is it so difficult to accept that bling and sparkle doesnt make you a better person. It gives you an enourmously good feeling achieving it, but remember who you are! Be yourself and have an interesting personality, see the persons you dont see. I LOVE handbags and blings,but it doesnt make me a better person, just a bit happier! Take care!