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'Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' recap: More Armageddon than season finale

January 21, 2011 |  7:43 am

 

NUP_140409_0197 Thank goodness Taylor Armstrong turned her daughter’s birthday party into her own. Her real one was totally ruined.

With each passing week, it’s seemed as though I’ve lost a little bit more of my humanity watching the “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.” When the inaugural season of the Beverly Hills crew started, these women were caricatures of all that we knew, and made fun of, in the 90210. They were animatronic stick figures with dyed blond hair, botox appointments, rich husbands and tiny dogs as accessories. It was fun to laugh at them, to scoff at how out of touch they were, to take some solace to know in these austere times that these rich ladies led such hollow lives.

But then they had to go and become human.

That’s the only reason why I imagine some of these people would opt to do reality television. The whole world can see them as narcissists, as off the wall, as people with countless issues. But they are people.

It can be cute to see Adrienne and her husband, Dr. Paul, bicker and bicker about every little thing. Ah, rich people quibble, too! There have been heartwarming scenes, and there have been innocently entertaining “Cosby Show” kind of moments.

The rest, however, is like watching a train wreck of drama. A few of the housewives had been on a collision course this season, and Thursday night’s finale was the point of impact.

We saw Camille blab adnauseum about how sweet it is being Kelsey Grammer’s wife — having all those houses, having two nannies per child and having a surrogate to give birth to those children for her (her body is a temple, and apparently no children are allowed).

It shows what humdinger this season has been that I’ve come around to defend poor Camille. She spent the bulk of the season being absolutely dreadful, manufacturing slights against her, stirring up drama and then continuing to play the victim. She surrounds herself with suck-ups, paid-for friends and phony “mediums.” And she was far too chummy with Married Man Nick.

Yet she was a victim, nonetheless.

Kelsey did her wrong. She went to her New York apartment — yes, the 3,000-some-odd-sq.-ft. one that she called too confining — only for the doorman to say that she wasn’t the Real Mrs. Grammer. Another woman was living in her apartment. Not cool, Kelsey.

The Catholic in me, of course, would love to say they should steer clear of divorce. I have to advise against that in this case: Camille, hire a good attorney and get what’s yours! Anytime anyone hears Kelsey Grammer sing of “tossed salad and scrambled eggs,” a chunk of “Frasier” money should be landing in her bank account.

Speaking of scrambled — what a night! The night took a perverse turn at Taylor’s birthday party. Her husband, Russell the Robot, downloaded a program that attempts to calculate human emotion and decided to throw her an awesome birthday party. Unfortunately, the inability to emote is what always holds the robot back in the end — those two are just painful to watch.

It was all downhill from there. Kim Richards has a spat with Taylor at her own birthday party (oy!). She semi-coherently tries to make her case that Taylor inspired some of the Great Kyle Richards/Camille Grammer Feud of the season (and I do think Taylor has some fault in fanning the flames, if not relighting them). That, then, turns into Kim doing this pale, hardly understandable rip-off of the Camille playbook: she’s a victim, she’s being attacked — poor, poor pitiful me. Oh, and she was a child actress, too — which more than a quarter century later has her wiring all messed up.

That devolves into the 15 most disgustingly tantalizing minutes in reality television: the testy, but seemingly loving relationship between Kim and Kyle Richards explodes. Kyle shouts that Kim, who has always struck us as off her rocker, is an alcoholic. [Updated at 11 a.m.: An earlier version of this post left out the fact that it was Kyle who accused Kim of a drinking problem.]

In the process, we see more of Adrienne than we’ve seen of her since she took the girls to Sacramento earlier in the season. She’s trying to play peacemaker, and is apparently so rich that she grows gold strands of hair.  

As the episode came to a close, we learned that Lisa Vanderpump and Permanent Houseguest Cedric (who’s not just a leach, but a 37-year-old leach!) had a massive blowup when he moved out. Kim and Kyle still aren’t talking, and Kim failed in her attempt to rehab.

It’s like there’s an angel on one shoulder depressed at watching these lives, and families, disintegrate in a fishbowl. On the other, is a little imp — he’s on the edge of his seat, mouth ajar, thinking the “explosive” reunion next week will be the best birthday present ever.
Update: Upon review, I'd say I have to agree with what you are saying and I need to clarify. Taylor did start the conversation, and I do think that Taylor is messy. But I also think that Kim's behavior was inappropriate. Thank you, Show Trackers, for keeping me on my toes!
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— Rick Rojas

 

Photo: Kim Richards Credit: Isabella Vosmikova/Bravo

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