REAL HOUSEWIVES OF DC: Hail To The Bitches

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I love it. That is my reaction to The Real Housewives of DC. A friend of mine who shall go nameless saw an advanced copy back in June and said it was a dud. “Boring,” was the word he used. Clearly we will have to sever this friendship because I was totally into this new set of women. I loved that the cast seemed to exist in a truly affluent milieu (as opposed to the trashy suburbia of New Jersey), but even more so, the inherent cattiness — whether authentic or ramped up for the cameras — was positively delightful. Never mind the fact that I spent the last ten minutes with my hands over my eyes, cringing at some of the most awkward interactions since… since… since I don’t know (I tend to block out extremely uncomfortable situations). I’m a big fan of these ladies, and I’m excited for what the season has to offer.

Let’s meet them, shall we?

First up we have Mary. She’s one of those curious creatures who looks both shockingly young and definitely old all at the same time. Her husband, however, most certainly looks younger than his forty-five years. We saw shades of Simon Van Kempen as he modeled various WASPy hues of pants, but ultimately, he seemed more puzzled by fashion than turned on by it.

I’m not totally sure what exactly Mary does, but we learned that she keeps her closet under the sort of security usually reserved for the Oceans 11 franchise. The woman literally has a device that requires her fingerprint to be scanned prior to entry. Mary claims this is because her grabby daughter would otherwise raid this veritable treasure trove of fashion, but I tend to think she fell victim to some door-to-door security salesman who preyed on local residents’ desires to have their own private Pentagon.

I wouldn’t say that I love Mary, but she’s not totally offensive. She does, however, have a penchant for bragging, and I thought the way she pridefully noted that her family has a “family history” of taking family portraits was a bit odd. I mean, it’s not like this is a history of winning Olympic medals. There’s no great honor in going to Sears every year to take a few Holiday snaps.

Mary’s true shining moment, however, came on her birthday when she got nice and soused and seated two black friends, including cast-member Stacie, next to each other because “they’d have so much to talk about.” This, of course, led to a triumphant moment for civil rights when Mary proudly declared that salons should integrate, and that there was no reason for the black and the whites to stay in separate but equal corners of the beautification world.

It was awkward.

On the receiving end of the speech was Stacie, who seems just barely able to tolerate any of the women she’s been thrown together with. Stacie actually seems pretty cool. And kind of a bitch. Right off the bat she was dissing the other ladies, noting that if you’re ANYONE in DC, you live in the city, and not McLean (ie. where Mary and her integrated salons are). Stacie seems to have a lovely life with two sweet kids and a husband that I can already tell we’re going to love. Her big activity for the episode was inviting several of the women over to enjoy a meal prepared by none other than (drumroll please) CHEO!

Who’s Cheo, you ask? He’s none other than the personal chef of Ms. Janet Jackson. BOW DOWN IN AWE! Yes, Bravo shockingly turned down an opportunity to cram a Top Chef reject into the show, which meant we had Cheo for the day. Stacie invited over Mary, some friends, and another cast member, Cat, to enjoy the meal, but things went sour quickly when Cat began talking.

Here’s the thing with Cat. She’s sort of like the British version of The Countess: highfalutin, judgmental, and utterly entertaining. Speaking with a boozy, slurry, deep voice that’s not unlike the West End’s answer to Kathleen Turner, Cat is the new girl in town. She’s come across the pond to be with her lover, a hot shot White House photographer, and so far, Cat doesn’t seem totally thrilled. Her house is humble; although, her backyard features an extensive zipline which allows her daughters to occasionally waft through the shot from time to time. Also populating Cat’s generally pink-hued life are the makings of her autobiography, oddly titled “Inbox Full.” She seems rather proud of her clever title; however, unless part of her appeal has something to do with pioneering inbox technology, I don’t really get it.

Anyway, Cat is new in town, and as such, the other housewives (read: the producers) have been reaching out to her. Stacie’s shindig was the third such event of the episode, and up until that point, all had gone well vis a vis Cat (although, she seemed not a fan of the trashy polo event that Michaele Salahi put on, but more about that later).

Whilst enjoying (or rather, NOT enjoying) some sake, Cat somehow got to talking about Tyra Banks, going so far as to call her hideous. We could tell she was treading into dangerous water when the cameras cut to Stacie trying to mask an unmaskable “Whatchu talkin’ about Willis?” face. Things came to a total halt, however, when Cat then busted out a miserable impersonation of Tyra, which was both ludicrous in its inaccuracy and unsettling in its racially stereotyped undertones.

It was awkward.

But Cat wasn’t done. She suddenly began yammering away about her husband, pulling up photos of him with Joe Biden (taken that very day) and bragging about all the important figures he had interacted with. The women put on a good show pretending they actually cared, but then when Cat disparaged Obama for not RSVPing for some event and then went on to contrast him with the good etiquette of George W., the party was officially ruined. Stacie and her friend looked like they were about to grab the knife out of Cheo’s hand and jab Cat in the face. I just wanted to bury my face in pillows.

It was awkward.

Notably absent from this gathering were the two other housewives of the cast: Lynda and Michaele. These two women have their own beef going on. Michaele — what’s there to say about Michaele that hasn’t already been said? This woman has been a silly lightning rod for dumb scandals, starting with her notorious White House party crashing brouhaha last year and most recently her imbroglio with Whoopi Goldberg on The View two days ago. For the first time last night, we got to see the “real” Michaele, and what we saw was not that impressive. The woman seems ardently fake, and as we listened to her tranny voice growl hellos to people, it was hard to imagine that Michaele had the substance that she claimed to have. Clearly the producers don’t like her as they seemed to choose every unflattering angle, reaction shot, and comment possible.

Michaele’s big thing this week was that she threw an aforementioned polo event with her husband Tareq. All the women showed up except for Lynda, who refused to deal with the organization behind the event thanks to a previously unprofessional experience. Lynda, you see, runs the top modeling firm in DC. Before you get too impressed, it should be noted that she seems to hold go-sees in a basement slightly cleaner than the one portrayed on Wayne’s World.

Nevertheless, I sort of love Lynda. She’s definitely the meanest of the group, offhandedly dismissing people as “second tier” and the like. She’s dating a tall black man who seems to be half her age, which is remarkable only because when he first showed up on screen, I thought he was a gay butler. Turns out he just likes flamboyantly colored shirts.

Anyway, Lynda’s big beef with Michaele was not just that her polo event was untrustworthy but that she seemed entirely too skinny. She happily expressed this concern with the resident gay stylist/hanger-on of the cast, who then immediately told Michaele the next time he saw her. Of course Michaele brushed off the allegations and denied having an eating disorder, even as she sat there looking like a pile of bones with a blond wig on top. If the previews are any indication, this battle is just beginning.

And now the photocap:

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“Not only does my family have a long tradition of family portraits, but we also have a long tradition of people piles.”

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“We also have a long family history of sitting in a line barefoot. It’s kind of our thing.”

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“I like this Barack Obama fella. Although, he’s no Tyra Banks.”

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“Mommie, what’s that?”
“That’s a picture of someone who lives in McClean. You know, a WANNABE.”

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“I’m taking photos for my new book titled ‘Inbox Full.’ It’s about all the men who’ve been in my vagina.”

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“Don’t you just love this dress? I mean, I couldn’t wear it. I’d be positively SWIMMING in it. But someone who wears a size 0 would be perfect!”

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“I really feel like I’m a woman of substance. OOOH! A dandelion seed!”

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Michaele: “And up there, that’s something that we Americans call a ‘ceiling.'”
Cat: “Darling, are you always this daft?”
“No, my hearing is perfect! I’m not blind either. Toodles!”

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“CHEERS! I hope that someday Supercuts can be as integrated as this here table!”

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Cat: “Ugh, the birthday party was awful. Well, I suppose it was nice. FOR AN AMERICAN.”

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“I’m not too skinny! Next thing you’re going to say is that I’m fragile — like I’m some woman who feels a tap on her back and thinks she’s been forcefully hit. I mean seriously.”

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Cat: “I don’t care much for this sake. Chinamen aren’t known for their spirits.”
Stacie: “It’s a Japanese drink.”
“Chinese. Japanese. It’s all the same slanty-eyed fun, isn’t it?”
Stacie: “Um…”
Cat: “Right. Have I bragged about my husband yet?”

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“UGH. That Tyra Banks! Always mother-effer this, mother-effer that. You know, like black people.”

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“Excuse me? Tyra Banks is a goddess amongst women.”

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“Well, maybe amongst Americans. I’ll tell you one thing though. She’s certainly no George W. Bush. That man knows how to RSVP — unlike a certain other President whose very ethnic and black name shall go unspoken.”

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Stacie: “So you’re the personal chef for THE Janet Jackson?”
Mary: “Let’s not get too excited. That woman is a house. He can probably slap a three day old porkchop on the plate and Janet would eat it.”

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“I wish she’d eat Tyra Banks. One less hideous person in this wretched country to deal with. Of course, that would make Janet twice as fat, but I suppose she’d fit right in, wouldn’t she?”

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Stacie: “Think happy thoughts. Think happy thoughts. Keep it together.”
Mary: “Hey, isn’t it great how INTEGRATED WE ARE!!!!”
“Bitch, I want you all out of my house RIGHT NOW.”

What did you think about the premiere episode? Did it live up to expectations?

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25 thoughts on “REAL HOUSEWIVES OF DC: Hail To The Bitches

  1. Well, if you like goat rodeos, I suppose the show is alright. I will not yet clap to it, though.

  2. I am clapping. Although McLean is McLean, not McClean, even if the latter has better snark potential.

  3. GOAT RODEO!!!!

    Thanks BonBon for reminding me of the BEST line of the night & I am going to use it in all of my conversations from now on. Could she have looked more disgusted?

    & was it only me that was deeply disturbed by Michaeleieoeokaso’s pout? Every time she pursed her lips it looked like the curtains were being drawn back. Time of some filler!

  4. I live in Mclean, but was born in the city. I am not sure what that makes me? Never thought of people living in Mclean as wannabes. Pretentious, spoiled, annoyed snobs yes and wannabes now makes sense.

    These women have no idea what to do when interacting with a black woman. Mary was so trying to communicate how she has no problem with black people, but she failed miserably and you can tell she was trying to hide her discomfort. And Cat just didn’t care who knew that she doesn’t like black people so much. She came across very british and uptight.

  5. B— you need to go find clips of what happened to these women on the View this week And then what Whoopi said the next day. Seems this cast is in full hate before the season even started.

  6. When Mary was talking about her father or grandfather being Arthur Godfrey I kept thinking Gilbert Goddfreid. Sorry Mary, Gilbert is way more impressive, that would have been a fab tangent if it was Gilbert Gottfried. I guess I don’t even know where my mind travels when this dreck is on, but I love every minute, sigh.

  7. Between Cat and Michaele (I still don’t know how to pronounce her name by the way), these woman have Kim Zolciak beat in the cigarette-laced man-voice department. I loved the show though…

    • According to her, it’s pronounced like Mikhail, as in Gorbachev.

      And based on her voice (as you pointed out), perhaps she was born Mikhail.

      I think that Lynda, or as my mother calls her, “the old bag,” is the biggest bitch on the show. Hard to tell after one episode.

      If the whole season is just accusations of racism, I’ll be done watching it (but keeping up with the photocaps as per the usual).

    • Making it even more evident that none of these women knew each other before the show, they all pronounce her name differently when talking about her.

  8. Ben, like you, I’m totally loving this cast. The haughtiness and pretensions are out of control and I love it. Unlike the other franchises, the women seem to be smarter (with the exception of Michaele). There’s less of the typical cliches that these shows push like vanity (OC women), gaudiness (NJ women), mental instability (NY women) and self-promotion (ATL women). But the cattiness is still at a pretty high level. I’m hooked! As you said, it’s like having 4 women in the mold of the Countess. There will be no table flipping but who doesn’t love a good passive-aggressive moment?

    Cat – It’s pretty brave for anyone to put down Tyra AND Pres. Obama in a room full of African American women. I was actually horrified. And THEN when she started mocking Tyra, I was mortified. I gotta give it to her for speaking her mind. But I have a feeling Stacie’s gonna punch her in the face by the end of the season.

    Stacie – I wanna see her lid pop off after a season being surrounded by these women. Constant name-dropper and also very pretentious.

    Mary – She has hot mess potential. She’s gonna get drunk and totally reveal all her husband’s SandM desires. She already looks like she’s on the verge of breakdown, as if her percocet pills are barely keeping her together.

    Lynda – I’d be very afraid of her if I were the other women on this show. There’s just something evil about her eyes that make her seem like she wants to bring these women down on TV. Love it!

    Michaele – Idiot.

  9. LOVE your re-cap! I may have to keep watching just to follow your commentary (they need to run from the awkward racist comments though- that’s just bad in this day). Local (NoVA) dirt on the media sucking Salahis: They did not come out too clean with a Polo event last December. They were already crying poverty shortly after the White House party crashing incident…and their Winery/mini Estate is out in East Bum F$cking Egypt which goes up for sale about every other year and has it’s own drama.
    Newspaper article:http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/local/Virginia-starts-investigation-into-Salahi-polo-event-8624804-78475392.html
    Good fodder: http://reignofterroir.com/2009/11/30/the-white-house-gate-crashers-and-oasis-winery/

  10. The Salahis were hosting some sort of charity event for the creation of a flag to honor veterans and they were served with a subpoena right as they were getting photographed signing the petition for the flag. Apparently they didn’t pay the vendors for the Polo event and they are being sued for the money. Also they have hosted a few events for various charities and most of the money that they raised at the events has gone into their pockets. A few of charities have reported only getting a 5% donation from the events. Most of the powerful people in DC don’t want anything to do with them. I think that they are pretty trashy and all around shitty people which seem to be the only type of people getting casted to these Real Housewife shows.

  11. In the link about Cat’s divorce there’s also a link about her supposed makeout sesh with Prince Harry. Come. On.

  12. That British lady looks like Rod Stewart’s long lost twin sibling – plus a nose job -, especially in the picture with the sunglasses plus they have the same voice.

  13. The Brit who doesn’t like Trya can suck it. I love me some fierce smizing Trya.

    hb

  14. These ladies predictably had me shaking my head, particularly the blondes. They’re awful. Where’s the Joizy Shauh recap?

  15. Team Cat. Tyra is wretched and anyone who recognizes that is OK in my book. Stacie was just looking for a reason to be offended. With that being said, this RH iteration sucks.

  16. Michaele Salahi (aka ‘Missy’, Michelle Ann Holt)
    She has never met an enemy. She will only speak highly of people and experiences until provoked to tears. She was verbally attacked by the other cast members. Yes, she has been poorly advised and she is vulnerable and naïve. She probably looks the other way if things don’t add up. Her self-esteem was probably compromised in her youth. I completely believe that she is codependent on her husband and has never meant to harm anyone. Yes, she likes the attention, culture, wine country, ponies, and parties. Can you blame her? I don’t see her as a threat to anyone but herself. I say “herself” because on an extremely rare occasion, she is provoked into saying something immature or self-absorbed.
    For instance, the video clip of her stating, “I’m prettier than her, I have more friends than her…” which may be in response to the other housewives high school drama / jealousy tactics by throwing in some of her own. She would probably recant that statement. It would be good if she didn’t tell Cat to fill herself with love and her husband would come back, as though they NEED men to be complete. Oh, and stating that at least she (herself) has a husband. That is proof of Michaele’s dependency on her husband, Tarek.
    There is no crime to her fantasies:
    Missy / Michelle isn’t quite as exotic of name as Michaele, so why not pick your own name?
    Mistake- Avoid telling people that it’s your given name or that it was a combination of Michael with Michelle. Who are Michael and Michelle?
    No crime there. Don’t like your name? Change it.
    Mistake- Don’t be a name-dropper. People can check your facts with these big name companies
    People DO think you are pretty enough, thin enough, nice enough, and tall enough. You don’t have to be a model in your past.
    Mistake- Fantasy football cheerleading is one thing, but bringing a television crew to get the real deal on tape is documenting a falsification.
    She didn’t commit a crime. In fact, they should make her an honorary member of the Redskins Cheerleaders because she has brought them more attention, not to mention her enthusiasm and praise for the team. This wasn’t harmful in the least, rather celebrating a fantasy.
    We know that Michaele is not the winery’s accountant or the bookkeeper of the charity.
    She should not be judged or held responsible for any of these financial discrepancies. It’s probably fun and exciting to be in the spotlight at events and get involved in the organizing of your husband’s business dealings.
    Mistake- Before supporting his businesses or charity, do your research. Take a college course on finance and understand contracts and paperwork before appearing to involve yourself in the business side of things. You could learn a great deal while helping turn things around for the two of you.
    Mistake- Preview what is written in print before it is distributed. This includes your wedding invitation and its statements about your college graduation, which isn’t even relevant to the marriage. It was unnecessary misinformation. College is not a requisite to a successful life. It will show stability, dedication, and self-discipline, but it will not determine your potential or place in life.
    Because you are bleach-blonde, attractive, and bubbly all of the time, you will automatically be mislabeled as ditsy and your intelligent statements will be edited out because people want to see and hear things that back up their judgment of you. I think you speak as well as any of the D.C. women. You could work on content, but we all can.
    If someone counted how many positive statements you made during the show and compared it to the other women, I think that all of their positive statements, added together, would still fall short of yours.
    Your only crime is embellishing, hoping, longing, believing, and trusting.
    I think you should develop your image as a smart, savvy, yet sexy brainiac because Washington D.C. covets its intelligent, politically-involved people. A model, make-up artist, or cheerleader may be an honest living, but it isn’t exactly a D.C. brag-worthy title or profession. So embellishing on things that aren’t that prestigious to begin with is just silly.
    You are a brave and beautiful woman. Apparently other women are threatened by you. Become a triple threat to show us how strong you are.
    I, personally, would watch if you had your own show.

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