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Real Housewives

Filtering by Tag: email

RHOBH Ssn 6/Ep 13 - Spinning a Web

Glenn Rowley

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Wow. That was complicated. So much happened in this episode that my head is still spinning over all the 'Wife vs. 'Wife confrontations and brewing feuds. And then on top of that, we were finally gifted with the midseason trailer and the rest of the season - including the cast trip to Dubai that's coming soon - looks absolutely amazing. I openly wondered on Twitter if this season is going to end up being the best yet for our Beverly Hills ladies, but let's not get too far ahead of ourselves shall we? We still have this week's epic series of clashes to get through.

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Besides a dinner party, there's perhaps nothing the women of Beverly Hills love more than a charity event. This time, Kyle Richards' husband Mauricio's wildly successful real estate firm The Agency is holding a fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity via a SoulCycle class and has enlisted most of the ladies to come spin for a minimum $250 donation. Exercise is many of the women's forte, and everyone seems to be having a great time. Everyone, that is, except for Lisa Vanderpump. It's a well-known fact that LVP much prefers champagne over sweating, and immediately asks Kyle how much she has to donate to get out of pedaling a bike. However, she manages to survive the 45-minute session with Russell Simmons 2.0 leading the class, and runs straight for her pink patent leather pumps. Erika Jayne, on the other hand, finishes the class with a pristine ponytail, looking like she's hardly lifted a perfectly-manicured finger. 

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Following the SoulCycle event, Lisa V., Kyle, Erika and Kathryn Edwards converge on Frida, the iconic local Mexican chain, for a post-workout meal. Eileen Davidson, who skipped the fundraiser because she was busy working on The Young and the Restless and Yolanda Foster, who's obviously too ill to spend 45 minutes on a stationary bike, also join them. At first the lunch is lighthearted as the women joke over guacamole and Kathryn flexes her impressive muscles, but eventually conversation turns when Yolanda catches Kyle and Lisa V. whispering at the end of the table. The OGs explain that they were just wondering how things are between Yo and Lisa Rinna following the former's "bipolar" comment at Erika's pool party last week. Yolanda, however, insists that she didn't call Lisa Rinna bipolar - just that she could've if she wanted to. Yo further claims that things are fine between her and Lisa R. since they made up at the pool party, and she's now angry with Kyle and Lisa V. for bringing the subject up again. 

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Kyle points out she wasn't actually saying anything to Yolanda, it was a private conversation with a good friend away from the group. Yo scoffs at the "good friend" claim, snidely saying in her confessional that the OGs are only good friends when it's beneficial for them to be buddies. Then, Yolanda takes her attack one step further by reminding Kyle that she holds a lot in her mental vault, adding a condescending "honey" at the end for effect. Naturally, Kyle questions whether this assertion was some sort of veiled threat but Yolanda insists that she has too much integrity to pull such a passive-aggressive move. Then, Yo decides to turn her attention to Lisa Vanderpump, bringing up yet again how angry she is about the speculation surrounding Bella and Anwar's Lyme disease. Lisa defensively reminds her that she was the one who defended Bella when the "town drunk" (a.k.a. Brandi Glanville) alluded that the 17-year-old was an alcoholic last season. Feeling attacked, LVP excuses herself and exits the restaurant, leaving the rest of the women sitting in awkward silence with anger still thick in the air.

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Meanwhile, Lisa Rinna managed to miss out on this entire ordeal because she was busy co-hosting Dirty Sexy Funny with Jenny McCarthy on SiriusXM Radio. The comedian's show is always irreverent and hilarious, but it reaches a whole new level of uncomfortable with Lisa Rinna at the helm. Lisa's TMI moments include her talking yet again on national TV about how much her husband Harry Hamlin loves the female anatomy and revealing that she once tried on a strap-on dildo for kicks and giggles. Lisa R. admits in her confessional that she rather shamelessly does what she has to in order to stay relevant in the entertainment industry, and I just feel at this point that we're all pretty aware that there's no limit to what can come out of her mouth. I think I'm suffering from a small case of Rinna fatigue these days. 

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As it turns out, a bit of drama happened off-camera following the argument at Frida. Specifically, Yolanda decided to write Kyle a strongly-worded email and cc: all the other 'Wives on it. In the email, Yo accuses Kyle of not being sympathetic enough about her illness and scolding her by signing off with "your lack of compassion is not a pretty look." Ouch. Now, there's obviously more than one side to every person, but I have to say that this is the side of Yolanda I just can't stand. I found the smug attitude she exuded during most of Season 3 to be self-righteous and off-putting, but I really loved her during Seasons 4 and 5. However, I see Yolanda starting to get back up on her high horse over this Lyme disease storyline and it's honestly not putting her in the best light. Condescending Yolanda is my least favorite Yolanda and it needs to stop.

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Out in Pasadena, Erika invites Kathryn over for lunch and a boxing workout. You know, just your average everyday pow-wow between rookie 'Wives. Before strapping their boxing gloves on, the newbies sit down for lunch in the backyard and Kathryn presses Erika on the lack of female friendships in her life. Declaring that she'll be Erika's "first, genuine female friend," Kathryn gets the enigma that is Erika Jayne to open up about her trust issues with women and her close relationship with her late grandmother. Then, Erika turns the conversation back on Kathryn, asking her what she thinks of Lisa Vanderpump. Kathryn starts off by saying that she finds LVP to be sweet, which Erika openly laughs at. The pop star explains that she thinks Lisa V. engages from the side, likening the OG to a "sniper from the side," and I love the fact that Erika sees right through Lisa's facade to all of her subtle machinations. Erika calls it like she sees it and she is dead on in her assessment of the self-proclaimed queen bee. 

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Later that night, Lisa Vanderpump invites Kyle, Kathryn and Eileen over for dinner at her house. After floating in her pool on a giant pink flamingo while sipping a cocktail, LVP brings the ladies down to a here-to-for unseen section of the backyard that she's kept more "country-themed." Almost immediately, Kathryn brings up her conversation from lunch with Erika, telling the women that her fellow newbie was essentially warning her not to get caught in Lisa Vanderpump's web. What? First of all, that's not even close to what Erika said and second of all, what happened to being her "first, real, genuine female friend"? I really like Kathryn so far, and she does admit that it feels as though she's throwing Erika under the bus, but running to Lisa to tattle after literally less than a few hours really makes zero sense. Lisa, Kyle and Eileen are naturally confused by what Erika could possibly mean by such a comment, but the latter surmises that it has something to do with everything Erika saw go down between her and LVP in the Hamptons. When she says as much, Lisa immediately goes on the defensive, acting positively shocked that A.) Eileen is bringing this up again and B.) that she could've possibly done something wrong.

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Eileen tries to explain that she didn't feel Lisa really understood where she was coming from, but the queen bee promptly deflects the conversation over and over by getting distracted by her miniature ponies (who are apparently rampaging through the backyard off-camera.) Eileen rightfully points out that when confronted, Lisa tends to minimize things and get dismissive, but Lisa claims in her confessional that the the soap actress is grasping at straws to come up with conspiracy theories. Either way, Eileen isn't OK with simply glossing over issues instead of properly resolving them and now Lisa V. is visibly uncomfortable. She offers yet another tongue-in-cheek apology about whatever it is she's supposedly done, leaving Eileen feeling once again dismissed. Lisa demands to know if she and Eileen are good, but Eileen explains that they're only "good" because it's obvious that they won't see things from the same perspective. There's no getting through to Lisa Vanderpump that she needs to offer a sincere apology or change the way she maneuvers in conversations to get what she wants. The episode ends with a tense standoff between the two, and it appears that their feud has officially been reignited. 

RHOC Ssn 10/Ep 20 - Reunion Part 1

Glenn Rowley

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It's reunion time in the OC! After a season of seemingly nothing but rumors and drama surrounding Brooks and his fake cancer, the 'Wives sat down with Andy Cohen on a soundstage set somewhere in California to rehash the most controversial season yet in Orange County. Thankfully, and somewhat surprisingly, we were spared any mention of Brooks, PET scans or the dreaded "c" word during Part 1, which focused instead on much of what happened towards the beginning of the season. As I did with RHONY, I'll split up the three-part reunion by package and topic of conversation. First, let's break down the seating on the couches and the Housewives' reunion looks...

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On the Couches

Seating is a little tricky when there are only five women in the main cast, as there are significantly fewer arrangement options than say, the eight 'Wives in NYC. In fact, as the season raced on part of me wondered if the reunion would simply be 4 on 1, with Vicki on one side of Andy and the rest of the women on the other. Ultimately, the seating chart Bravo decided on - with Vicki and Heather on the left couch and Shannon, Tamra and Megan on the right - was one of the only arrangements that could've worked. The only other option would've been for Tamra and Heather to trade places, but Tammy Sue had much too significant a season to be relegated to the end of a couch.

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Vicki and Shannon are the natural, right picks for the hot seats next to Andy considering that they ended the season at each other's throats with their friendship having self-destructed in a kamikaze of betrayal and hurt feelings. So yes, the seating makes sense. However, my biggest disappointment is that it's honestly not all that different from where the ladies sat last season. Vicki and Tamra have basically traded places, Lizzie's been traded out for Meghan and Shannon and Heather are in the exact same spots they occupied at the reunion for Season 9. It would've been downright revolutionary had production merely switched the couches, with two women on the right and three on the left. I guess the more things change in the OC, the more they stay the same. 

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Ranking the Housewives' Looks

When it comes to reunion looks, the first ladies of the OC are significantly different from the rest of the Housewives in other cities. They generally tend to stick to short cocktail dresses in solid colors, forgoing the floor-length gowns and over-the-top ensembles found in other cities across the franchise. This reunion was no exception. My favorite look this year goes to Heather for her edgy, black Tom Ford number. Her makeup is also ON. POINT. this year – I couldn't stop noticing every time there was a close-up of her face. As for the others, I liked Vicki's pearls, but she might be trying a teensy bit too hard with the angelic white after a season of being demonized. I'm glad Tamra finally moved away from the pink she's worn for the last two reunions, but the tiny stomach cutout makes no sense to me. The color of Shannon's deep purple Yves Saint Laurent dress is simply gorgeous, but runs the risk of looking slightly madame with its conservative cut paired with her jewelry. And Meghan was almost my runner up for favorite look for her red dress mixed with the new brunette locks, but the dress is a basic wrap-dress – too basic to really stand out. Far and away, Heather blows the rest of the ladies out of the water.

Stepmom Wars & Sweeping Judgements

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After a couple of questions about Tamra's granddaughter and Vicki's double nip-slip on Instagram, things kick off with a package about the tension early in the season between Vicki and Meghan. Being a new stepmom may be tough, but being the new girl around the OG of the OC is even harder. Vicki stands by her opinions from Tahiti about what a stepmom's boundaries should be and the difference between biological and stepchildren, but Meghan's defensively points out that since Vicki doesn't have stepchildren, she can't know the difference. Newsflash Meghan, by that logic, you can't understand the difference either since you don't have biological children. Five seconds later, Vicki's backtracking to say she doesn't understand how it all works since she doesn't have adopted or stepchildren, but Meghan's not letting it slide, calling her opinions disrespectful. 

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Tamra and Heather both get dragged into the conversation, with Tamra backing Vicki's opinions as a mom and Fancy Pants being asked whether her friendship with Jimmy's ex-wife Allison is a conflict of interest in her relationship with Meghan. However, she insists the former MLB star and his second wife didn't break up because of the newbie 'Wife, so it wasn't an issue. When the OG and the 30-year-old (31 now!) start arguing over whether Vicki was a hypocrite for gifting Briana a car after she told Meghan to take away Hayley's, Heather puts a stop to the conversation by telling Vicki she can't issue such "sweeping judgements" about how other people should live, parent and behave. Isn't that the entire job of a Housewife though?

Remembering Vicki's Mom

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Next conversation turns to the biggest tragedy of the season - the sudden death of Vicki's mom. Andy asks if Vicki regrets the cameras being there when she found out, but she says she was in so much shock that she didn't even realize the cameras were filming. There was quite a bit of debate on social media about whether the cameras should've gone down and given Vicki privacy, but I feel like the situation was actually treated very compassionately and didn't feel exploitative. For her part, Vicki claims Bravo handled everything very graciously and were nothing but supportive of her in her time of need. At the end of the day, it was Vicki's decision to include the unexpected tragedy in the season's footage because it's what was happening in her reality. She then shares a hilarious story about when her mom was arrested in a TJ Maxx for keying a motorcycle that was riding her butt into the parking lot. Joanne Steinmetz, you will be missed.

Judgey Eyes and CharityGate

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After a funny montage about the Housewives' very specific ordering habits at restaurants, the ladies relive Shannon and Meghan's feud that drove the early part of the season. From being disinvited to the JDRF gala to having "judgey eyes," Shannon couldn't do anything right when it came to Meghan. Andy asks if Shannon thinks she overreacted in Napa with the whole private cell phone drama, but she insists that she stormed away because she knew what Meghan was trying to do. At the time, she had just come from the couples retreat and had a ton of stress on her marriage - the last thing Shannon needed was to get pulled into a brawl with the new girl she barely knows. However, Andy points out that by the end of the season, things started looking up for the pair and Shannon explains that they were tentatively trying to move their relationship forward. Meghan says the turning point was when Shannon went out of her way to make a few calls to get LeAnn, Jimmy's cancer-stricken first wife, into her doctors. At the time, Shannon had no reason to do anything kind for Meghan or her family, but she did it out of the goodness of her heart. Now Meghan loves Shannon! No really, just ask her.

Tamra's Secret Battle

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Part 1 ends with the focus squarely on Tamra, who spent much of this season getting her groove back after a terrible Season 9. After a year of staying silent, Tamra finally opens up on the couch about the nasty custody battle she was going through at the time and how her oldest daughter Sidney cut off contact with her after moving in with Tamra's ex-husband Simon. The process was any parent's worst nightmare, but Tamra chose not to disclose it on the show in order to protect her kids. Knowing everything she was really going through at the time certainly helps put her bad behavior in better perspective. 

xoxo, Jesus Barbie

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The topic turns to Tamra's recent religious conversion and all the changes she's been making in her life. Andy asks what Tamra thinks her former nemesis and outspoken Christian Alexis Bellino would think of her being baptized and Tamra says she hopes Alexis would be supportive. Surprise, surprise, Andy got an email from Alexis the night before the reunion, which she asked to be read to Tamra. In the email, Alexis goes for the jugular, calling Tamra out for not being a good Christian and making a "mockery" of Jesus. According to Alexis, someone's faith shouldn't be put on display for entertainment, signing the note "Jesus Barbie." The ladies are all understandably shocked by this judgmental outburst and Tamra defends herself by saying that Alexis is the kind of Christian that gives Christianity a bad name. If Alexis was such a good Christian, she probably shouldn't be judging Tamra so harshly. And with that, we're left with a cliffhanger until next week's Part 2!