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Real Housewives

RHOBH Season 7 Premiere Recap - Stronger Than Ever

Glenn Rowley

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The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills is back for Season 7! Having suffered from a severe case of OC burnout and snoozing through a very stale Atlanta, I'm ecstatic my glittering and sophisticated Beverly Hills beauties have returned - and (hopefully) without a trace of last year's messy M-word slog. (I refuse to write it.) But before laying out the recap of the premiere, let's grade the new taglines, shall we?

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We have a brand new intro, with the 'Wives sparkling in their best glittery, gold (and the lightest pink) palette. As a group, the ladies' taglines this season are strong and memorable, and I'm giving my vote for best of the bunch to miss Erika Girardi for "I may be two people, but I'm not two-faced." Not only does it perfectly capture the dual nature of her alter ego Erika Jayne, but it wins most improved from last season's enigmatic, cash-wrapped riddle. Thoughts on the others: Lisa Vanderpump boldly asserts her status as queen bee of Beverly Hills, but I fear that the moment the crown is acknowledged atop her head is the moment it doesn't deserve to be there any longer. Lisa Rinna's is characteristically aggressive but I really like it for a couple of reasons: first, she's moved on from referencing her lips and second, the "hustler" double entendre is so tongue-in-cheek I can barely handle it. Eileen Davidson leans on a well-worn idiom with the "hear/speak/see no evil" reference, but it pretty perfectly communicates her place in the cast as the kind, observant voice of reason. Newbie Dorit Kemsley seems defensive of her (faux?) accent but looks stunningly pretty, so maybe it's a draw? And last but certainly not least, Kyle Richards revealed during the season's press tour that her new tagline actually came from the mind of a fan, but now I just need to know who she's identifying as the resident "fake" in this year's cast...

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It's perfect that Erika has my favorite tagline because the premiere opens on her birthday! Miss Jayne is turning the big 4-5 and while she jokes that it's all downhill from here, the diva seems better than ever. Her life as pop star Erika Jayne has absolutely exploded in the last year (thanks in large part to the Housewives platform) and her massively successful lawyer hubby Tom has lovingly gifted her with an original Chagall painting AND a $78,500 Panthère de Cartier ring - her second of three by the way. Seems like entering into your mid-forties isn't so bad when you're Erika Girardi.

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Meanwhile, Lisa Vanderpump, Kyle and their husbands meet newcomer Dorit and her husband PK Kemsley for dinner at Pump. The new 'Wife is a friend of LVP's, who's known her talent manager husband for longer than he and Dorit have even been married. PK happens to be the manager for iconic 80s pop star Boy George, who also happens to be the Kemsleys' permanent houseguest and godfather to their four-month-old daughter. (This connection instantly endears her to Kyle, who just finished competing on the new Trump-less season of Celebrity Apprentice with the singer.) From the looks of it, Dorit lives a luxuriously charmed life, with a full-time staff that includes a baby nurse, multiple nannies, three housekeepers and an assistant. It's a brief introduction but my first impression is very positive. This newbie is drop dead pretty and I like what she's bringing to the show - affected quasi-European accent and all.

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The next day, Kyle meets Erika and Eileen for a separate lunch where topics ranging from family tragedy and death to TV pilots and Housewives drama are on the menu. Eileen reveals that her mother passed away right before the Season 6 reunion, but the only 'Wife she told was bestie Lisa Rinna because she didn't want the news to affect the rest of the women's behavior toward her on the couches. Kyle's career continues to take off with the development of American Woman, a new show  on TV Land based on her life as a 70s child star. Kyle also brings up the lingering issues Lisa Vanderpump is holding onto with Lisa Rinna and Eileen Davidson. However, I agree with Kyle that we never need to hear the words "manipulative," "own it," or that other "hauschen mauschen" m-word ever again so let's just leave it at that. 

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For her birthday, Erika is throwing a raucous Studio 54-themed bash, complete with Pussy Control of Prince-adjacent fame taking names at the velvet rope. The 'Wives are all decked out in sequins and big hair - Rinna's sporting a long wig, LVP's in a sky-high half-pony and the birthday girl is rocking a waist-high slit - but the tension is palpable as Erika's party is the first time they've all been together since the reunion. Eileen gives Erika the guest part of her choice on The Young and the Restless, which officially makes the soap actress the best gift-giver in the history of birthdays. Lisa Vanderpump makes the rounds to introduce Dorit to the group but doesn't seem all too pleased when her nemesis Eileen engages in warm, friendly conversation with her pal. 

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LVP exchanges awkward pleasantries with Lisa Rinna, including a jab by the Vanderpump about ripping her frenemy's wig off and Rinna warning Dorit not to put too much stock in the OG's opinions of her and the other 'Wives. However, in the end Lisa Rinna sees the interaction as a step in the right direction. At least the Lisas are back to playfully ribbing each other. That has to count for something, right? To me, Lisa Rinna has the right attitude: life is too short for petty squabbles and she's letting last year's drama go, regardless of LVP's steely ability to hold a grudge. As the women hit the dance floor to the tune of Erika's single "PAINKILLR," Lisa Vanderpump vows that she's coming back to the group stronger than ever. I have a feeling the same can be said for this fresh, new season in the 90210. 

Are you as happy as I am that RHOBH is back? Do you think the 'Wives can really let last year's drama go? What was your first impression of Dorit? Let me know in the comments below!