In a fortuitous turn of events, I managed to take in a viewing of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills last night, and I can happily report the following to you: it rocks.
This is what the Housewives franchise is all about: super wealthy ladies with blonde hair, big boobs, and caviar oozing out their pores. True, no one actually eats caviar in the premiere, and true, there are at least two brunettes on the cast, but I think you all get the point. With this iteration, The Real Housewives finally moves out of the McMansion and into the MANSION. Heck, it’s not even mansions we’re talking about. It’s estates.
Of course, bigger houses means bigger tackiness. Opulence is certainly on display with Beverly Hills, and while other regions of the country angrily swear that their Housewives are inaccurate representations of their geographic areas, I can authoritatively say that these women are Beverly Hills to a T: tight faces, big hair, shiny jewelry, and a gaudiness that makes you cringe. March down Rodeo Drive or step into Spago, and you’ll swear you’ve seen this cast five times over. God bless ’em.
After the jump, my take on each of the women thus far…
With lips that look like they’ve spent the majority of the 2000s stuck in a Press-A-Penny machine, Taylor comes across as the most “plastic” of the ladies. To boot, she makes her small screen debut getting her face plugged with all sorts of injectables, an unpleasant process that leaves her looking like she’s hiding a handful of marbles under her skin. The good news is that Taylor seems sweet. The bad news is that she flirts dangerously with chronic vapidity. The even worse news is that she suffers from Alexa Bellino syndrome: perpetual fear that her husband will leave her for something younger and prettier. If that doesn’t say “stable relationship,” I don’t know what does.
Ladies and gentlemen, meet the new Bethenny. Everything about Lisa looks like it’s ripe for mockery — right down to the stereotypical toy pooch she totes around to nearly any event. However, Lisa is simply awesome. She’s laugh-out-loud hilarious, delivering withering quips at nearly every juncture. New York had Bethenny. Jersey had Dina. Atlanta has Nene. And now Beverly Hills has Lisa. This woman needs to be on the screen as much as possible. Heck, she even manages to make a Witch Mountain zinger in the premiere. That takes skillz. And did I mention she’s British? Or that she seems to exist in her own private Dynasty world? Instant favorite.
Looking like a mix between Paris Hilton and Demi Moore, Kyle comes across as the neurotic firebrand of the show. The Hilton resemblance is no coincidence either as Kyle and fellow-castmember Kim are both aunts to the infamous heiress. Kyle’s big thing is that she once was a child star, but her career never quite took off the way her sister Kim’s did. It’s hard to say how this has affected their relationship, but from what we can tell, it seems as though Kyle may carry some resentment. She certainly is very happy to point out her sister’s social flaws, not to mention her mother’s dying wish that she look after Kim — a task that she dramatically suggests may be impossible (translation: “Kim may have been more successful than I was, but at least I’m not a total mess.”) Clearly these sisters love each other, but their dynamic will also be ardently rocky. None of this boring lovefest that we’ve gotten used to on New Jersey.
Quiet, pensive, occasionally cagey, and most definitely a touch kooky, Kim earns points for appearing the least touched by plastic surgery (it’s unclear whether or not she’s even had any). She spends much of the first episode agonizing over housing or silently observing the other ladies — an attitude that is sometimes perceived as rudeness. Like her sister, Kim was a child actress, having starred in the original Escape to Witch Mountain as well as many other Disney productions, and also like her sister, Kim seems to have been strangely affected by the experience. A bizarre, rambling outburst while talking about a paparazzi encounter with her niece Paris reveals Kim to be someone who may still be yearning for the spotlight (exhibit A: her participation in this show). It’s hard to say what’s in store for us with Kim, but it could get messy.
Camille’s claim to fame is that she’s married — or was married — to Kelsey Grammer. Of course, if you ask Camille what her claim to fame is, it’s probably that she used to be a dancer for Club MTV. True story. I have to admit that I expected obnoxious, diva-like behavior from Camille, especially when she revealed she had a squadron of four nannies available for the kids, but truthfully, I really like her. She seems self-aware in a pleasant way, often prefacing statements with phrases like “I know this sounds obnoxious, but –.” Even more surprising is that Kelsey Grammer happily appears on camera too, and not just that, he even agreed to sit down for interviews with the show. We’ll see how that goes as the series chronicles the fall of their marriage…
It’s one thing for a housewife to be married to an athlete. It’s another if she owns the whole damn team. That’s the case with Adrienne Maloof, the ballbusting lady heir of the esteemed Maloof empire. Along with her brothers, Adrienne owns The Sacramento Kings, The Palms Resort and Casino, some skateboarding enterprises, and just about everything else under the sun, it seems. Yes, the Maloofs are loaded, and Adrienne pretty much shits on the wealth of all the other housewives of all the other Housewives series. I didn’t get too much of a read on her, but from what I could tell, you wouldn’t want to piss her off. Heck, she takes down her own son in the first episode. Like, she literally tackles him to the ground in the span of one second. If that’s not scary, I don’t know what is.
What do you think about these women so far? Will you be tuning in on October 14th?