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'The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' recap: This is going to sound so obnoxious!


“It’s so Beverly Hills…”

Taylor Armstrong, a member of the newest “Housewives” franchise ensemble, may have been describing her castmate’s miniature-sized dog, Jiggy, as the must-have accessory among the elite women of Beverly Hills, like handbags. Or, apparently, babies. But it could aptly sum up the show.

“The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” appears to be a throwback to the show's roots in a headier time -- a time before recessions, Auto-Tune “songs,” wig/weave-yanking scuffles and table-flipping shouts of “prostitution whore!”

Instead, it’s an opportunity to peer into the rarefied world behind the wrought-iron gates of the tony neighborhoods commoners wouldn’t see otherwise. It’s houses with the size and décor of a resort hotel. Girlfriend getaways. Facial injections at the plastic surgeon’s office. Awkward, emotionally distant interactions with entitled children who look like they came from central casting.

The premiere was light on drama -- or really any action at all, for that matter -- as it simply spent the hour trying to introduce the six housewives.

There’s the businesswoman: Adrienne Maloof, married to a plastic surgeon and has three sons. Her family owns the Sacramento Kings basketball team and is involved in various entertainment-related businesses. In a move that’s oh-so-Salahi, she drags the women to a getaway in Sacramento (woohoo!) for a basketball game, like it’s a grape stomp at a winery.

There’s the all-about-her-kids mom: Kim Richards, a former child actress who made a name for herself in “Escape to Witch Mountain” (1978), is the frenetic mother of four who says (again and again) she made a choice to make her life about her children. That makes her seem ill at ease away from her kids, but it’s clear that she still longs for the spotlight. Richards, who is Paris Hilton’s aunt, has an incredibly uncomfortable passive-aggressive moment, recounting a time when Richards had to inform Hilton that she was an “icon” well before her famous-for-no-good-reason niece was a twinkle in Kathy Hilton’s eye.

The sassy sages: Lisa Vanderpump, who by far has the coolest last name on the show, is the rare bright spot with a quick wit and a sexually-repressed husband with Rod Stewart hair. Vanderpump has an empty nest now that her two children, Pandora and Max, are gone, and has filled the void by mothering Jiggy, her furry baby who she constantly dotes on and always straddles in her arms -- you know, like an accessory. She also has a “permanent house guest” in Cedric, a buff, young gay man who seems closer to her than her husband. It’s clear that if, and hopefully when, the drama starts bubbling over, she’ll be the instigator.

Kyle Richards, sister of Kim, is the other bright spot. If anything, the crosstalk between her and Lisa will shine amid the rest of the low-watt cast. Lisa’s ribbing of Kyle about her fear of flying and her hypochondria was the only enjoyable part of the show. (“I thought I had a stroke,” Kyle admitted, “but it was my false eyelashes making one eye smaller than the other.”)

Kyle is also a former actress who gave up her career for her four daughters. Kyle, like Lisa, keeps it real (or about as real as possible for a reality show set in Beverly Hills): She scoffs when her unmarried sister whines about wanting another baby, and has the potential to bring a much-needed version of the eye-rolling riposte that made Bethenny Frankel the star in New York.

And then there are the robotic blonds who just want to escape their husband’s shadow. This role is filled jointly by Taylor Armstrong and Camille Grammer (as in, former wife of Kelsey Grammer).

Taylor is paranoid that her venture-capitalist husband will leave her for a younger woman. She tries to keep up her appearance -- it’s clear the visit to the plastic surgeon in this episode wasn’t her first -- and she runs her own business, which her husband casually waved off as “little.”

Camille wants to step out from behind the hulking shadow of her celebrity ex-husband, she says, over and over. (Did she mention that the celebrity is Kelsey Grammer? Why, yes, she did. Many, many times.) She has two children, who are tended to by a rotation of four nannies. The kids react to their father like he’s a creepy uncle who swooped in to give them a noogie. Their relationship with her seems just as awkward, and -- though I hate to say it -- staged.

Camille, more than the rest, shows how the “Housewives” franchise has evolved. With the other shows, it’s slightly reassuring to see delusional socialites tumble like everyone else in these austere times. Teresa Giudice of New Jersey had to file for bankruptcy with $11 million in debt; Lynn Curtin of Orange County was evicted several times and had to move in with her mother last season. Reality TV, in a sense, has become a proxy for socioeconomic revenge.

But then there’s Camille. “Gah, this is going to sound so obnoxious!” she says, before mentioning that she and Kelsey used to always fly charter. (They now fly commercial more often, she said, in an effort to be “green.”) And she says it again as a preface to a description of her massive sanctuary of an estate, with its pool and tennis court.

Oh, Camille! It doesn’t just sound obnoxious. For us looking in from outside the gates of your compound, it is really, really obnoxious.

-- Rick Rojas

Photo: "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" cast. Credit: Bravo

Comments () | Archives (23)

I really liked it. I thought it was entertaining. I liked all of the women, except for Taylor, and i found them all sort of charming in their own way. Looks like it's gonna be a god season, but then again, what wouldn't look like a good show after watching the Real Housewives of DC. I can't wait to see more!

I'm not a "Housewives" fan.. none of the others have interested me and are actually annoying to watch when I've tried to. However, I live in Los Angeles so this one intrigued me. I must say, I genuinely enjoyed it and can't wait to see what happens next! I feel empathy for the characters and especially LOVE Kyle, Kim, Lisa and Adrienne (in that order). The drama is real here (unlike most all reality tv, with the exception of deadliest catch) and I appreciate the vulnerability of these woman. Ladies, it's not easy to put yourself out there like that, and let the whole world into your real life- pricks, ticks and all. Kudos to the Beverly Hills Housewives. Look forward to the season and wish you all many blessings in your lives and loves. Xo Aurora (of Sherman Oaks, CA)

It was actually good. The producers would be smart to make it more a "girl power", united front type of thing, ala "Sex and the City" where hot, rich white chicks help eachother through heartbreak and other life changes. I'd rather see them get along with their trials then all the "drama" and staged stuff of other series.

I never thought of watching any of the "Real Housewives" seasons, but I caught a commercial the other night that made me go, "Huh? Is that who I think it is?" Omy gosh, sure enough, the heroine of my fantasy of the perfect childhood is all grown up! And so am I!! I had to tune in to see if Kim Richards, the blond beauty with the magic starcase and mentalist prowess was still way more awesome than I could ever hope to be. Turns out we're now both hopelessly neurotic and pathetically needy. Except she's still thin and beautiful and rich.

I actually quite enjoyed it. Camille is annoying and seems to be, by far, the dumbest one out of them all. Everything she did just felt so awkward, and staged, and as if she was trying too hard.

Kim is also really annoying, and it gave me so much second-hand embarrassment when she was talking about the whole Paris dinner thing and her being an icon. Gosh, woman. Really? Way to portrait yourself as a desperate, attention-seeking person.

I absolultey love Kyle and Lisa! They were funny, and outspoken, and had a great dynamic (both together and separately) with each other and also with the rest of the cast. They definitely seem like they will be the highlight of this show. Hopefully we'll get to see a lot more of them.

Taylor. What is going on with her face? Stop it, woman! You'll turn into a plastic doll. Why do you even care if your 80%-business-20%-romance marriage ends and your clearly-not-really-interested-in-you husband goes after some younger woman? Let him go and find yourself a man who will actually listen to you and respect your business...

And Adrienne. Well, I'm not sure how I feel about her yet. She seems cool, but all we got to see was her as a businesswoman so far. Let's wait 'til it gets personal...

So, I guess for me, so far, it's: Kyle, Lisa, Taylor, Adrienne, Kim and Camille (in that order)

Yes, the show is fascinating and probably will be one of the best Housewives seasons, but I just want to point a couple things out, being that I am from Beverly HIlls and have lived here my whole life.
1. None of these women really live in Beverly Hills. They actually live in Beverly Hills adjacent areas such as Post Office, Bel Air, Holmby Hills and other gated communities..Yes, these areas are just as beautiful if not more expensive to live at, but techinically.. it's NOT Beverly Hills.
2. If this show were to really be a "reality" the cast would be different. These women are NOT the "real housewives of Beverly Hills" these women are the Well Known House wives of Beverly HIlls. If they did the casting accordingly, half the cast would be the women who actually run Beverly Hills: The Iranian-Jewish housewives. Now, THAT would be the reality. But of course...the mass media fools every one in America again, and now people are going tobelieve that these women are a good representation of the rich housewives..NOT TRUE.

Some of their faces are so shot up with botox and injectable filler that their creepy looking. Perfect, just in time for Halloween.

I like the show. I can't wait for the next episode. When I heard Kim Richards was going to be one of the women, I couldn't wait to watch, and then when I saw her in an interview I was kinda' cringing. I loved her as a child actress and then later when she did Tuff Turf; I wanted to look just like her. My heart goes out to Kim, she seems lost and always on the verge of having a breakdown. Kyle, her sister seems level-headed and confident, but quite insensitive. Lisa is sexy, intelligent, funny, and interesting. Taylor and her husband seem miserable; he seems like a creep. Taylor has ruined what was once, probably, a pretty face with all that plumping. Camille, she gives me heebie-jeebies... but I like watching her fake, pretentious act, it's very entertaining. Can't wait for the third episode!

What a scary horrible bunch of women. Reducing all our aspects of self to plastic surgery, monied husbands and mindless pursuing of materialism. Where is the fire and vision found in modern women to-day? Where is the creativity, freedom and productivity women have fought for. Not in this group of lying, deceptive, and frankly parasite women. They are a disgrace, enabled and encouraged by men with money and power who dictate their looks, behavoir and soul. Let's show it how it is. What happens to these women as they wrinkle and grow old? they are abandoned by their, sponsors who only f ----- them when they "looked good"
A sad tale perpetuated by these women. Why?

Love the show..Lisa is a hoot and I just love her little dog jiggy. She is witty, charming, and very beautiful. I have dined at Villa Blanca several times and love the food and the ambience there.

I also enjoy Adrienne as she seems very genuine. Kyle is darling, beautiful and very funny...

What is wrong with Taylor's lips? and face? She clearly doesn't fit in and comes across as a "want to be". Clearly an embarrassment to women. Bad casting with this one. She appears to be a once beautiful woman who destroyed her face with plastic surgery. Quite scary looking...It doesn't matter that she has beautiful clothes and a stylist. She comes across very shallow, boring, and nothing of interest to say. I view her as a hollow empty shell...

Taylor left poolside with the poolboy came back just as Adrienne was leaving as they stand Taylor put her back to all others at pool and there is this obvious coke drop into Adriennes pocket book..... i guese the pool boy cant deliver to the boss, check the tape and it didnt get edited.... i absolutely know a drop when i see one

Does anyone really think artifically pumped up lips enhance anyone's beauty???? It just makes them, especially Taylor and her counterpart on Housewives of OC with the unattractive husband, look completely bizarre.

I can't believe that Kim and her daughter, in the front seat, ride on the freeway without wearing their seat belts... what idiots..(especially when she constantly professes how much she "loves" her children)...good grief.

This show is a godsend to Kelsey Grammer in matters of his divorce. Anyone watching it could never blame him for divorcing his self-centered, self-serving, obnoxious wife who does nothing at all except spend his money and talk about herself. Sickening. She made her mother with cancer meet her while she got her manicure (because of course the manicure was more important than her sick mother) then proceeded to tell her mother how hard her life is since she is worried that the cancer may be hereditary and how tired she is from being in Hawaii. Hey, Camille, you know cancer can tire you out a lot more than changing time zones. Her mother must feel so ashamed of her for turning out so selfish and shallow. And on top of that, Camille hears things "wrong" all the time unconsciously to allow herself to be the biggest victim at every turn. Gross people but I do love Lisa and her personal decor and style. I watch the show only to see Lisa's house and lifestyle & clothes. That flower arrangement on the last episode was worth watching the whole show for!

The atlanta housewives suck. get it off the air. Beverly Hills is good. I can't stand wataching the Atlanta one. Get the franchise of housewives cleaned up.

I can't stand Camille. She is so fake and doesn't seem to know it. With all that plastic surgery you would think she could tell. She believes her FRIENDS, I mean employees are really friends. She is delusional. She so transparent and surrounds herself with people indebted to her for living. Classic passive aggressive personality. Probably paronoid schizoprenic too. Camille hosted a dinner party and tried to ambush Kyle but the tables were turned. Kyle stood up to her, Adrienne and Lisa held their tongues, very classy. Allison the fake medium is so classless. Allison really is a friend because she didn't want to tell Camille that her marriage was ending just like the Medium show.

Kyle, Lisa, Taylor, Adrienne, Kim and CamilleP: Camille seems very jealous of Kyle and her life and when she had the dinner her friend was very annoying and made me embarrassed for the show. CamilleP has her beauty but Kyles beauty shines out more. Also about CamilleP's friend the psychic crazy one that 2 me was as if she was satanic, she was very annoying 2 me. I do like all the reality housewives shows.

if the medium was a real psychic why didn't she tell camille that her husband was cheating on her?


I think all of this is a PR stunt. I am referring to the elaborate dinner Camille hosted for the BH ladies and friends. Camille and Kelsey needed Allison Dubois from the show, "Medium", to help cause a stir in ratings for that show. You needed more of a focus on you and your spouse, Mauricio, for his real estate career and your wannabe acting career. Faye Resnick is on their to get attention to her designer career. Taylor and Kim with that fake silly fight about nothing was horrible acting. This is silly. Adrienne was the only one who was sane, probably because she knew all of your were in "fights" for ratings sake. The whole Beverly Hills cast are so fake! The show is bad acting. I'm done with this show. Bye!

why the housewife's go on tv ,to show us how we are ,with our without money,is it ,it is ? i mean it make no sence ,we are -how we are, but show that on tv and get a reminder how really stupid we are !with, our with out money ,our is it, to be our not to be .is that a question !?lol wow

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