We've asked Eli Yudin and Carey O'Donnell, authors of the very, very funny Twitter account @NotTildaSwinton, to share their ten thoughts, feelings, hopes and dreams with us after watching the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills every week. Join us for a recap, won't you?
1) Carey: The ladies gather at this very made-up sounding "Beverly Hills Centennial Gala," held around the famous Beverly Hills Hilton. Centennial Galas! Right??? "Can you believe Beverly Hills is 100 years old," the gala host asks in his opening speech. How many centennial galas have you been to? I want my wake to take place during a centennial gala. I'll be in a glass casket that everyone can leave half-drunken glasses of pinot and moist h'orderve napkins on. Won't that be nice! Anyway, the whole damn show takes place at this pretend event, and all the unresolved conflict between mostly everyone and Charlatan Vanderpump is supposed to boil to the surface, but it really just kind of farts its way up. Everything is so violently boring in this episode that I can't even begin to articulate what the major plot points were. I can say that each woman approached Lisa and Ken at some point, who stood there smugly, waiting for apologies they didn't deserve. But they sure as hell got them! Each lady managed to cough up an unnecessary "I'm sorry" for whatever bullshit that went down in Puerto Rico -- the same trip these fraudy Brits fled in the dead of night without telling anyone because they were called out for the various terrible, mean-spirited things they've committed towards each of them. "Thank you." Lisa says with her best victim voice, barely looking at any of them. Not once did either 'Pump dole out a "Thanks, I'm sorry, too." NOT ONCE! I guess good for them. That'd be a great way to go through life, right?
2) Eli: First off, the title of the episode is "Are You My Friend?" It's very strange and makes me somewhat uncomfortable. I imagine Brandi wandering an abandoned asylum with blank eyes, calling out down hallways, "Are you my friend?" Either that or it sounds like a strange gameshow where every contestant just has to figure out if someone is their friend or enemy, which actually isn't too bad of a description of this show. Other possible alternate names for Real Housewives episodes are "Dinner Arguments" and "Quiet Anger."
3) Eli: Watching the season review at the start of the episode reminds all of us just how little really happens on this show. It's the first time on this show that it's been edited accurately for content.
4) Eli: Lisa arrives at the gala and then the women spend approximately 25 minutes silently kissing each other on the cheeks, parroting "Hello, darling." Everyone at the gala slowly stops talking and a droning silence takes over. All that can be heard is the smacking of lips and slow wet blinks. Slowly we realize that everyone else at the Gala is simply a cardboard cutout, moving along tracks in the ground. Yolanda and Lisa circle each other, pecking back and forth, as the moon collides with the earth in the background.
5) Eli: Despite the fact that I made fun of it already, the title of this episode turns out to be frighteningly apt, since the question "Are you my friend," in some variation, is asked about 400 times over the course of this episode. Seriously, the whole thing is like a strange speed dating event. Every time the bell rings, the next person switches with you to ask Lisa "how you could do this to me," etc. To be fair, Lisa is being pretty damn bitchy, and Ken is in full tantrum mode, playing with his blocks at the corner table
6) Carey: Ken decided to full-on peacock what a steaming heap of misogynistic, snobby garbage he is on this episode. Since Lisa is too much of a wienie to be an up-front bitch, she makes her little clay pudge-hub Ken do the heavy lifting in most confrontations. But it's gotten to Ken's head! He is a mad dog now, spouting awful things like, "They're a bunch of silly women," while talking to Mauricio about the drama, literally laughing off the validity in Kim's claims of Lisa's fuckery because of her boozy past, telling Yolanda she's "stupid" and poking her. POKING HER! You don't poke Yo-Yo! "Do not touch me, Keeeeeeehn!" She yells. What would David My Love think? DAVID MY LOVE? David My Love is in the studio recording with Stevie Wonder and probably doesn't care that much, but still! David My Love! Each night, Ken will dream that he's wading through vast bogs of lemons, seeming to stretch on past the horizon. The sky will be a flaming blue, and he'll hear Yolanda humming in the distance, humming a song she sang to herself when she was a young girl on her farm in Holland. He'll call out to her, but the humming will only get louder, and more distant, on all sides of him. The bog will become too deep, and he'll start to sink, struggling to grab on to the lemons for support, until he slips farther and farther into the deep blue below.
7) Carey: I'm still shocked at how much Wino Glanville has grown on me. I wish she could just keep it together to maintain a valid argument with Lisa, let alone anyone, but she starts getting that Chardo-slur and you know any constructive and correct concerns or accusations she has will just sound so shitty. She brings up the Scheana thing to Lisa again, aka the "Your employee is the woman my ex-husband was having routine sexual intercourse with while I was pregnant with his child, and you continue to shove her in my face physically and through the TV screen on the spinoff show about your restaurant that she is a main character on, mostly because of my highly publicized divorce"-argument. "I don't see her like that," Lisa says with gross compassion to Brandi, who was like, "Scheana's a dumb whore who contributed to the demise of my marriage." The worst was when Lisa said (about Scheana) with this horrible guttural chuckle, "She's not a friend, dahling. If she was a friend, she wouldn't be washing dishes; she'd be sitting at the table." I imagined Stassi watching that, looking shocked, then saying, "Wowwww" to herself, then waiting a moment before sniffing rubber cement.
8) Carey: PS, let's just make note that the mics caught Lisa saying, "I'm not going to get called out by someone who can barely remember anything," as she storms out of the gala about Yolanda. Yolanda is recovering from a terrible case of Lyme Disease, in which memory loss in a huge symptom of. Oh. Kay. OK, Lisa. OK!!!! Bye, Lisa!!!!! Bye now!!!! Take care, goblin!
9) Eli: We slowly see fewer and fewer people in the background of the gala, as everyone takes turns accusing Ken and Lisa of things that they probably did, but I don't even care anymore. Ken pokes Yolanda, and that's messed up, but for the most part it's all just the same verbal fencing match that's been going on since the beginning, with no one really landing any strikes. Then, abruptly, titles slide in from the side of the screen to detail what they've all been "up to" since this godforsaken party. The most laughable of these (besides Portia's career goal of "child actress," which is really more terrifying) is Carlton's, which explains the trajectory of that stupid skull necklace that they'd tried to inflate into a genuine conflict. Apparently, Carlton didn't want it and gave it back to Kyle, who gave it to Joyce, who left it on her front step, and it... DISAPPEARED! Which the show seems to want to present as black magic instead of the fact that if you leave expensive jewelry out in public, people will probably take that. That skull necklace is at a pawn shop somewhere in the vicinity, having been liquidated in order to buy heroin.
10) Carey: Kyle's closing tagline says she's helping Portia achieve her goal of being a child actress, and I actually said out loud to myself, "Oh, fuckkkkkkk." The circle opens. I kept picturing a faded image of Portia's face superimposed over that scene in the very beginning of The Exorcist where Father Merrin wearily looks on at the unearthed Sumerian demon statue that possesses Linda Blair while the stray dogs fight below it. Kim wakes in pre-dawn one morning, her eyes slowly opening. "Portia," she whispers as she stares at the ceiling above her; her mouth widening until it's locked in a silent scream of perpetual horror, a familiar horror.