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'Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' recap: Going their separate ways

January 14, 2011 |  8:00 am


NUP_140155_0178 No one deserves this, not even Camille Grammer.

The news came, according to Camille, in a phone call in the middle of the night: her marriage was over, Kelsey Grammer told her over the phone. He was staying in New York. But, basically, she should still go to the Tony Awards with him anyway.

It was a week of separations Thursday night on “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills”: The split between Camille and Kelsey that we knew was coming finally came; Kyle Richards saw her oldest daughter graduate from college; and Cedric, Lisa Vanderpump’s “permanent house guest,” may be leaving the comfortable nest he made for himself in the Vanderpump house. And it appears that another separation could be on the way: Taylor Armstrong stepped out on her own without her sourpuss robot of a husband, Russell, who has only restrained Taylor as she made an effort to make a name for herself.

The episode, the last before the season finale next week, had the Grammers' sad story wrapped around more heartwarming ones. The graduation of Kyle’s daughter was a touching affair. True, her daughter didn’t seem all that impressed by the very expensive piece of jewelry she got as a gift (if it’s the same ring Kyle was looking at in the jewelry store, it cost about $4,600). But I love watching Kyle’s family and Adrienne Maloof’s family in the not-the-usual-reality-TV-train-wreck kind of way. Kyle’s family is just adorable. It’s like they were ripped out of a catalog or something, so good-looking, so happy — they’re not perfect, but just right. It’s hard to believe that they count Paris Hilton as a cousin.

Adrienne’s family is nothing like that. She and her husband, Dr. Paul, bicker constantly, and are competitive. In fact, they asked Kyle Richards' mother-in-law, a therapist, for marriage advice. Yet I’d argue they have a great marriage, considering what seems to qualify as a union in Beverly Hills: they spend time together, they have healthy and happy children, and while it’s often asinine quibbling, communication is communication. And, of course, they are fun to watch, too.

Which brings us back to the strange world of the Grammers. I feel for Camille, but I haven’t forgotten. This season has given a glimpse into family in its strangest construction. Briefly, let’s recount: She admitted it’s so obnoxious, but she went ahead in telling us about the four nannies for her two children and all her houses; she kisses a married man on the mouth, and his wife is standing right next to them; and then there’s all the other weirdness regarding her “friendship” with Nick the Married Man.

Her behavior has been reprehensible for most of the season — she has been catty and vindictive while wearing the veneer of a victim, hurt by all these invisible forces of evil that surround her. To add to it, she has a cadre of sycophants so big you’d think she was the dictator of a third-world country.

It says something that she’s the one looking like the good guy in this situation. Kelsey Grammer’s time on the show probably doesn’t even clock in at 10 minutes, yet he’s been able to make himself into a horrible villain. He’s distant and cold. He swoops in and connects with his children as though they are his secret family in Canada. He makes me never want to stay up till midnight to watch “Frasier” repeats on Lifetime.

And he makes Camille look like the bully in every sitcom ever: She’s terrifying and the worst person ever until you follow her home to see her despicable father (or in her case, the husband who looks old enough to be her father).

Just to add to the icky-ness of the situation, the warring parties both appeared on late-night TV Thursday night. Kelsey was on with David Letterman; Camille was on “Watch What Happens: Live” with Andy Cohen. Kelsey spoke chummily about his new “girl.” (Did you let her wear your varsity jacket at the homecoming game?) Camille confirmed what she had apparently said on Howard Stern earlier in the day — so classy, right? — that she hasn’t closed down shop, so to speak, since her divorce.

Let’s face it, they’re both crazy. And when all is said and done, Kelsey will still be Kelsey Grammer rich, Camille will have enough “Frasier” money to still brag about being obnoxiously wealthy, and we will still be the poor schlubs who watch these people and wonder why.

I know we’ve cast some shade on Camille on Show Tracker this season. Did this week change your perspective on Camille at all? And I must say, the season finale next week looks to be a humdinger — what are you looking forward to the most?

-- Rick Rojas
Photo: Camille Grammer.  Credit: Isabella Vosmikova / Bravo