'Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' reunion: Coming together after all the drama
The support group of survivors from the first season of the “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” aired their grievances in what was practically a clinical setting on Tuesday night on Bravo.
They shared experiences seemingly exclusive to the life of a housewife in Beverly Hills: the sisterly conflicts of former child actors, who also happen to be aunts of Paris Hilton; the ex-wife of a wealthy celebrity addressing her feuds, her psychic friend and her married friend whom she kisses on the lips; and the drama of a Permanent Houseguest who storms from the nest, quite possibly seeking to wet his beak from the 15 minutes of “Housewives” fame.
Bravo threw me for a loop with the second part of the reunion. I missed it on television, expecting it on Thursday night. So, I had to play catch up with the full episode (thankfully) available on Hulu. (Click here if you want to relive it.)
I was surprised by the dignity demonstrated by women who had spent an entire season seemingly trying to strip away whatever dignity they had before the cameras. For all the drama of the last season, it culminated in a tempered, practically anemic, conversation about the lives they lived on camera.
Camille was apologetic but not really. Kim was remarkably coherent and honest about her relationship with her sister, though she declined to dig further into the allegations of alcoholism and all that went down at Taylor’s birthday party. Taylor clued us into the underlying sadness that we saw all season. And, as usual, Adrienne didn’t say much of anything.
It was Lisa who was most interesting to watch. She was her typically effervescent, humorous and classy self -- it says something about how bizarrely ostentatious a show is when the person who comes across as the sage of the cast wears a necklace that could pass for a chandelier.
Despite all the cheeky wisdom that she readily offered to others on the show, she failed to recognize the swindler (alleged, of course) within her midst. In her latimes.com live chat last week (read the transcript here if you missed it), she hinted at the pain caused by Cedric the Permanent Houseguest and the tearful discussions that would follow this week, on the second part of the reunion.
And it was, indeed, heartbreaking.
Cedric appeared in the reunion, not in person, but through a pre-recorded video segment. He cast himself as the victim: It was Lisa who woke him up and made him go to the gym with her each morning. It was Lisa and her husband, Ken, who dragged him around as though he were a companion like Jiggy the dog. He was used by them, then thrown to the curb, or so he claimed.
It made me wish NeNe Leakes from Atlanta could have made a cameo to set it straight. He mooched off the Vanderpump family. He lived in their home. He drove their cars. And he was 37 years old, still living as a child. Shameful!
Speaking of shameful, this season of “Housewives” doesn’t end here, apparently. Andy Cohen announced on Twitter that Bravo will be airing an extended producer’s cut of the so-called “dinner party from hell.” So, if you haven't had enough of a smarmy psychic with a now-canceled TV show based on her life, tune in to Bravo at 9 p.m. on Feb. 15. You shall have your fill.
And in other Beverly Hills housewife news, we learn far more than we wanted to ever know about the relations of Kelsey and Camille Grammer. She shared quite a bit in a recent interview with Joy Behar on her HLN show in regard to the ex-husband from whom she’s expected to get a chunk of change (no pre-nup!).
“We tried, we just didn’t mesh sexually,” Camille told Behar.
“He was too busy watching Fox News,” she said. “He didn’t want to cuddle.”
I must say that I’m happy the season’s coming to a close. This show tracker needs a break even more than the Housewives do -- should they decide to boot up again for a second season, that is.
-- Rick Rojas
Photos: (from top) Adrienne Maloof, Kim Richards, Camille Grammer, Andy Cohen, Kyle Richards, Taylor Armstrong and Lisa Vanderpump at the reunion of the "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills." Credit: Isabella Vosmikova / Bravo
Kyle Richards, Taylor Armstrong and Lisa Vanderpump. Credit: Isabella Vosmikova / Bravo
Camille Grammer. Credit: Isabella Vosmikova / Bravo