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'Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' recap: Brandi Sour

October 11, 2011 |  8:49 am


Sometimes, a "Housewives" episode unfolds like a paper flower, each plot point the delicate petal of an elegant bloom. And sometimes, it’s 40 minutes of spinning that might as well be blank film reel until a juicy fight explodes and makes it all worth it.

This week’s "Beverly Hills" episode was (rubs hands gleefully) the latter. To be fair, I think Lisa Vanderpump’s daughter, Pandora, got engaged at some point, but I’m pretty convinced the producers just asked them to do it to use up some air time.

The fight in question took place at would-be Housewife Dana’s “games” party, where the throw-pillow-sized meringues, foamy mixed drinks and absence of the ever-calming Adrienne Maloof combined into nuclear-style fission between new Housewife Brandi Glanville and the Richards sisters, who formed an unlikely alliance against the giantess.

The party began with — well, let’s just stop calling it a party, actually — Kyle and Brandi assembling in Dana’s sitting room, pointedly looking everywhere but at each other as they peered at the vaulted ceilings and the daunting game-themed candy buffet. They were joined, not nearly shortly enough, by Camille and Taylor, who, on teetering heels, were as disabled as the be-crutched Brandi on Dana’s shiny, barren floors. 

But the fun had not yet begun. Ladies, mark ye well: The Housewives may have 75,000-square-foot houses and tens of Louboutins, but if you were one of them you too would have just had to spend a night in Dana’s echoing, empty house, marooned for an evening of barely formed chit-chat with near-strangers with only a pawn-shaped mini-cupcake for sustenance. 

And it might have remained a stultifying evening of the sugar-buzzed and slightly bombed had not Kim Richards — neither sweetly not slightly buzzed — shown up. 

Over two seasons, Kim's spacey antics have gone from charming to deeply alarming quicker than Kyle could scream, “You’re a drunk and an alcoholic!” to her, as she did last season, while reaching for her sister's throat. But from Monday night you'd never have known they'd had a fight. Kim entered Dana’s home, greeted her host enthusiastically as “Pam,” then retired immediately to the bathroom, where her sister chased her down like a rodeo vaquera to fix her makeup. Kim, eyes rolling like a spooked horse, confessed she had neither slept nor eaten in a week. “Is this liquid liner? You don’t bring liquid liner outside the house,” Kyle answered, wondering, perhaps, if sister was planning to drink that, too.

But instead of staging an intervention, the lackadaisical Ladies Temperance Union turned on Brandi. Last week, at Adrienne's BBQ, the entire gaggle had professed alarm at Glanville's PG-13 mouth, doing everything but whipping out white tea gloves to swoon as she dropped bombs that Adrienne would have tossed off without a thought.

But Adrienne Maloof's a gazillionaire, while Brandi is, in her own words, a D-list divorcee. When all the ladies were settled matriarchs with children, no one had anyone to get all Bethenny on. Now, the Richards sisters acted like the child actresses they were, saying they didn't want to play on Brandi's team and that they didn't like her (literally!), then freezing her out with in-jokes.

But Brandi gave back as good as she got, genuinely annoyed at the sisters' behavior, but bemused at the number of times Kim had staggered into the bathroom over the course of the evening. “I’m kind of worried about my team,” she told Camille, when Kyle and Kim were off doing another secret mission. “Number one, they don’t like me, and number 2, they’re not lucid.”    

Which was precisely the observation she shared with the two when they finally returned. While the Housewives are great at sharing — if by "sharing" you mean politely talking behind someone's back until a huge fight erupts, then inviting the fightee to lunch, then talking about the lunch behind the person's back later — they're not used to someone pointing out the obvious. "You're sister's wasted," Brandi spat out. 

Suffice it to say the Richards sisters had a much bigger problem with THAT word than the one Brandi shocked everyone with last week. We haven't yet seen the second half of this explosion. Bravo's saving the part where they actually go at each other physically for next week. (Poll question for @BravoAndy: Attacking a woman with crutches: smart or stupid?) Either way, though, so far, I'm a little more disturbed by whatever's going into Kim's mouth than what's coming out of Brandi's.


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— Lizzie Skurnick


Photo: "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" cast. Credit: Richard McLaren / Bravo