Real Housewives of Beverly Hills: One Wedding, Everyone's Funeral
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As the mist clears on the glen, the great city of Brigadoon Hills once again disappears beyond the horizon to disappear for yet another interval. But before that can happen it left us with a wedding, the gift of true love, a wake, and the tearless grieving of a host of widows.
Really, last night's finale was something of an anticlimax. Sure, it was nice watching Pandora open up her box and get married, but the real finale was last week when Lisa opened her Super Urban Restaurant and had the most ridiculous party every to grace an episode of the Real Housewives. There was Kim Richards in slurry captivity in the bathroom, the interloper Cedric returning for one last bout of air kisses, and Taylor, sad singing clam Taylor, bringing her psychiatrist as her date to address the issues of her abuse. There was Pumice, grinning craggily in the corner; there was Brandi, confronting the waitress who fucked her husband; and there was a classic scene of Kyle and Kim breaking down, Kim saying that she was pregnant and Kyle, as the voice of the audience, saying, "Are you fucking kidding me? You couldn't even push a cloud of smoke out of your dusty vagina," and Kim saying, "You're right, I'd rather travel. Oh, look a rose. Do you like this rose? How about some lip gloss. Kyle," she said, very seriously. "Will you share this lip gloss with me?" And she reached her wrinkled paw out with the shockingly pick applicator in Kyle's direction, pointing it at her like it was a magic wand, like she could lift the curse on their relationship with a little bit of dye and petroleum jelly. Kyle thought about it long and hard and then she took it. She took the lip gloss and put it on herself. Once again sisters, once again a set: light and dark, salt and pepper, slightly drunk and totally bombed. These are the Sisters Richards, fumbling toward ecstasy and falling into insanity.
Yes, after all of that, this week was more than a little bit of a let down. The only thing that came close in this week's episode was Paul Maloof getting a colonoscopy. It's not like we got to see what went up his butt or what came out of it, but we did get to hear it. Oh yes we did. I'm sorry, but fart jokes are always funny. So are incoherent people on anesthesia. Put together a stoned patient and flatulence and you have yourself comedy gold. There's nothing I can say about this except, "Ha, fart jokes," but HA! fart jokes. Oh, and what was Adrienne, queen of the the Maloofs the creatures that live below the mountain, doing there? She says she's showing up for moral support, but she won't give Paul an enema (and let's not pretend she hasn't done exactly that in nurse/patient role play in the medical fetish suite at the Palms) and she just leaves while he's still farting away and barely able-bodied on a gurney. She doesn't stay and offer him a ride home. No, she ditches him to work on his bed sores all alone. Yeah, that's the kind of support I want, Adrienne. Long live the queen.
As for Pandora's wedding, well, I don't have that much to say about it. Sorry. It was nice. It was lovely. Everyone showed up and behaved well and it was a nice pleasant affair. The preparations were harried but generally jovial, as Li Sa Van Der Pump tends to be. Sure, Ken doddered around (Ken has an Olympic bronze medal in doddering from the 1988 Seoul Olympics) and wedding planner Kevin Lee showed up in one of Michael Jackson's old outfits and a face made out of grey fondant like he's a living wedding cake.
Really the most interesting thing about the whole wedding preparations was the make up lady that Lisa hired to do the job. She was like Madrox, the Multiple Man, or some shit, because when Kory saw that there were too many people to make up, she split in two and became Kelsey. When even that was not enough womanpower for the massive job of making 7 upper class British girls into beautiful roses, she split again into Kaeli. That, right there, is an objective correlative for living in luxury in the Los Angeles area: a triplet makeup artist named Kaeli who is dressed identically to her sisters. We're supposed to find this shocking and amusing, but I found it sad, like I wanted to cry for the little Makeup Clones of Beverly Hills.
Yes, there was a wedding and now Pandora is married to Jason, a handsome Eagle Scout who is hiding a secret. After a speech from Lisa and a toast from Ken, they walked off into the night, her dress floating among the grass and splendor of the back yard as the guests all held sparklers, little shining beacons of hope throwing off sparks into the night. May they ignite. May every one of them ignite with happiness for Pandora and Jason. How diseased is our culture, how wrong are we that we're watching this and we all think, "I wonder when it will be over? I wonder when they'll divorce?" as if the thing that defines modern matrimony is the moment when it ends.
That's what I was thinking last night, at least. Maybe that was because of Taylor. Oh, poor sad Taylor. After the wedding we jumped forward a couple months into the future, after Russell committed suicide to see the ladies get back together one final time. I love that they never really address Russell's death. It's just dealt with as a fact, something that everyone who watches the show already knows about. They don't say why or what happened, just, "Here is the fact. Russell is dead." Is there a funeral, a wake, or a memorial service? No, they have a party. That is how the Housewives do. They get together and they great each other with the customary Real Housewives greeting, "You look great," and carry on like nothing happened. (Did you ever notice that? That is how they say hi to each other on all the franchises. It's some strange Housewife folkway.)
Even as everyone came together, we didn't learn that much new. Apparently Saint Camille, the Goddess of Grammer, has a new man lover. She has found her Adonis, a Greek god by the name of Dimitry. We haven't seen his face yet, but man, have we seen his abdominal muscles. Like a bronzed statue, those abs. What a change of pace from Kelsey, with his pasty carapace of a stomach, pelted with fur and always plopping itself down on St. Camille's taut body. The sweetest thing was when Camille was talking to her friend Elizabeth, she said she didn't know if she could get married again, that she needed to learn how to trust, but that she did want a companion. "I believe in love," she said. Awww. That's so sweet. Elizabeth hugged her in front of the vanity, there among the eye shadows and turquoise jewelry, and they heard a strange rustle outside in the bushes. There was a sobbing and a sharpening of knives. It was D.D., St. Camille's shunned acolyte. She was turned away for being too devout. For wanting devote all her time and attention and love to St. Camille, for waging wars in her honor and collecting troops under her banner. Oh, D.D., Camille has cast you out, but you won't stand for that. She is single. She is white. And she is a female. Watch out for the revenge of D.D., everyone, because there is no angle more deadly than the fallen one.
Other than that, the only thing that marked the little pity party at the end of the episode was an absence. It was like the gap in the back of your mouth after a molar has been pulled. Your tongue is magnetically attracted to it, plumbing its vacancy over and over again, prodding at the pain and wondering what was lost. It's like trying to remember this new world, one that is not complete. That pulled molar was Kim Richards, home alone at her Sad Valley Ranch with the blinds pulled. She was sitting in the corner of the living room which was strewn with used food containers, various and assorted bottles, and the flaming slits of afternoon light. But she couldn't face the sun. No, Kim couldn't face anything.
She couldn't stop crying. She was out of pills, she was out of love, she was out of hope. She had nowhere to go. Her sister was still angry with her, her children were disillusioned with her constant need for reassurance, even Pumice, the rock that she painted a face on and called a boyfriend, disappointed her. It couldn't love her. It couldn't fill that emptiness inside. Nothing could. She knew that. She knew that again, like a name she had forgotten. For the millionth time she knew it and kept saying it over and over again to keep herself from forgetting again. It wasn't something wrong with her sister or her kids or the pills. It was something wrong with her. It was something about the Disney castle past that just never lived up to the ruined ranch present.
She couldn't stop crying. She couldn't stop everything. Feeling everything at once, every bristle of the carpet beneath her and the texture of the wall that was too lumpy to ever be smooth, too inherently flawed to ever be perfect. She could feel the scratch of her clothes and the heat of the house, sufferingly sweltering as the day's sun heated everything. She was insane with feelings. That's when she saw it, just out of reach: her phone. She crawled over, still wracked with sobs and picked it up. She pushed the little green button with a phone on it. Nothing happened. She pushed it again. Still the screen was blank. She pushed it again and again and again and nothing happened. It, too, was dead. She wished she had the energy to to throw it, but she didn't. She just fell back into the carpet and let it lie there in her hand—weak and helpless.
She couldn't stop crying. She thought she could lie there forever, one slat of light across her face as the rest of her sulked in the shadow. They would find her just like this when she died. If she died. This was the end, she thought, as she pulled her knees into her body a little bit tighter. Unless...
She couldn't stop crying, but she felt something like electricity in her feet, a stern tingling that said, "If you want to. You can move a little." And she did, up and onto her feet as she stumbled into the kitchen and fell toward the cordless phone, energized in its cradle. She grabbed it like Sylvester Stallone grasping for a crag in Cliffhanger. That is how Kim always thinks, in movie moments. This was the scene of her redemption. She just realized this wasn't the end of her tale. There was still one more act. The act where she gets it together. The act where she slowly lunges toward happiness every day. She pushed the button on the phone and it came alive with a beep and a hum. She dialed, too slowly to be called frantic, but with a shaky purpose. She dialed. She did it. She finally did something. "Help," she said into the receiver while it was still ringing, before anyone picked up. "Help."