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Real Housewives

Filtering by Tag: medium

RHONY Ssn 7/Ep 16 - Awfully Charitable

Glenn Rowley

kristen-speaking-smile-train

I loved how much this episode focused on the emotional and heartwarming things in life. The past several weeks have been chock full of conflict and arguments, so it was nice to take a relative break from the fighting for a week. So far the season has expertly navigated the balance between humor, drama and heartwarming moments, and the episode added to that overall balance really nicely. But let's not get ahead of ourselves! Let's start from the top.

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We opened with Bethenny eager to show Carole her new apartment, which is still being furiously renovated. Don't worry though, the bedroom may not be done but the storage shelves have already been painted Skinnygirl red. My favorite part of this scene has to be the ladies' outfits. As Carole was regaling B with tales of what she missed at the end of Kristen's decorating party, I couldn't help dying over B's gorgeous white coat and Carole's periwinkle fur shrug. The two buddies were the very essence of the difference between uptown and downtown, and I loved it. Hanging out on Bethenny's new bed, Carole caught the Skinnygirl up on the drama that went down between Luann, Heather, Dorinda and her as the glue guns and bedazzlers were being put to rest. According to Writer Girl, Luann made a dreadful fool of herself, and when Bethenny asks whether she's biased about the confrontation, Carole points out that she had to stick up for herself against the pearl-clutching ("How DARE you!") and holier-than-thou attitude demonstrated by Luann. Carole proclaims the Countess officially back, but Bethenny's sitting firmly in the middle of the road on this one. Look who's the new Switzerland!

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Kristen's Smile Train event has arrived and the Pretty Girl is ready to lose her charity event virginity. The Denim and Diamonds party looks equal parts elegant and fun, with appetizers being served in pairs of jeans and a Yummie denim pop-up boutique in the middle of the showroom. The women all arrive in their best denim and bling - Carole's working a pair of overalls and borrowed diamonds - and Kristen is positively rocking this event, doing press on the step and repeat and taking pictures with the ladies and Smile Train execs. With charity in the air, Dorinda pulls Heather aside and asks to talk about their tiff at the decorating party. In her confessional, Dorinda admits that she doesn't like being at odds with people, and that she usually just chooses to cut such frenemies out of her life, but she doesn't want to do that with Heather. Once seated away from the rest of the women, Dorinda apologizes for the constant dust-ups between the two and cites all the "outside noise" (from filming the show) as a negative influence on their previously pure friendship. Heather accepts the apology, but thinks that Dorinda seems to have a lot of anger built up towards her and she doesn't know why. I'm hoping this peace between the Berks buddies lasts, but judging by Dorinda calling Heather arrogant in her confessional immediately after the truce, I won't hold my breath. 

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Eventually, the program starts and Kristen makes her way to the podium to give her speech. Naturally, Ramona and Sonja can't help from talking through the Pretty Girl's heartfelt remarks, and Ramona gets fired up when she notices that the True Faith logo for the necklaces she donated is nowhere to be seen at the event. These necklaces retail for $80, people! Where's the credit for Ramona's good works? Immediately, the Ramonacoaster stomps over to where Heather and Carole are sitting and demands to know how much Yummie denim retails for. (The answer is "much more than the $40 you predicted Ramona"). Once the Singer Stinger starts going on the attack about being left off the event signage for the six necklaces she'd brought two nights prior, Heather is having none of it and tells her to take a walk. Girl, bye. But Ramona's not done, and when Carole steps in to defend her friend, the Singer Stinger then turns on her, saying Carole needs to stop acting as Heather's lackey. In her confessional, Ramona goes so far as to accuse Heather of controlling both Carole and Heather, saying Ms. Yummie is just so insecure about her life. This accusation is a hilarious double standard. Wasn't Ramotional defending Bethenny's honor to Kristin at the Countess Collection launch party, yet the two real BFFs on the show can't stand up for each other? Get with it, Ramona. Eventually, Dorinda, Sonja and Luann come break up the tension - though the Countess can't help but take yet another dig at Carole about her relationship with Adam the hot chef. Never mind that the event was really about how Kristen's work with Smile Train is going to change the lives of hundreds of children. Way to go, Pretty Girl!

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The next day, Carole's in the mood for a spiritual reality check, and takes Heather and Dorinda to see a Turkish coffee grinds reader in Queens. Sema, the medium, is an adorable little Turkish lady who lives in an adorable little house and serves the ladies an approximation of what Dorinda referred to as "coffee mud."  After swirling their cups around three times and flipping them upside down on the saucers, Sema was ready to read their grinds. Every single thing she talked about was eerily on point - from Carole's relationship with Anthony and the impending operation on Heather's son to the story about Dorinda and the balloon after Richards death - and turned the ladies into true believers. Even the little details, like the scratch on the side of Anthony's black Jeep, were right down to the fine print, and the Jeep story in particular was something Carole had never written about or told anyone publicly. All three 'Wives were moved to tears by the experience and Carole was finally ready to go pick up Anthony's ashes in London. Sema certainly served as a stark contrast to the vague medium who tried to help Vicki this week in the OC.

bethenny-therapy

Later, Bethenny's meeting with her therapist, Dr. Amador, yet again. After discussing her impending move and relationship with all the women, the topic of business comes up and the good doctor calls B out. Apparently, business is the one issue she's refused to talk about in the past, feeling she has it completely under control. However, Dr. Amador points out that he can see the fear beneath the arrogance that Bethenny masks as confidence. I don't think anyone else on this show could give the Skinnygirl such a blatant reality check.

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Carole's throwing a dinner party in the apartment she's lived in for a decade before she goes to London, so she goes shopping with Adam the hot chef at Dean and Deluca. I've never been happier to see Adam back on my TV screen. That man is delicious and Carole seems smitten. Apparently the perks to dating a chef include that he's very nurturing and is always feeding her, so Carole never goes hungry. Plus, he's easy on the eyes. Seriously Adam, if you decide to swing the other way, I volunteer...Carole's so smitten by the hot chef that she mistakes cilantro for parsley and tries to buy pre-made olive tapenade, but Adam's not having it. Fresh mixed olives, please!

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Her dinner party is the first time Carole's really bringing Adam around any of the other 'Wives, and she points out in her confessional that life doesn't ever unfold as you would expect it to. Here she is having her boyfriend cook dinner for her friends and the next day she'll be flying to London to pick up the remains of her late husband. The Thomsons and Kristen (sans Josh) arrive and the food looks delicious, though I'm too distracted by Adam's perfect hair to pay more attention to the hand-rolled gnocchi. As the guys are washing dishes, Carole gets a call from Dorinda to confirm their flight the next day. She doesn't open up much about her relationship with Anthony to Adam, but he's reading her first book, so he's starting to understand her past. When asked by the girls, Carole admits she doesn't know what she's going to do with the urn, but either way, Kristen can't wait to "meet" him!

dorinda-airport

The next day, Carole arrives at the Delta lounge to jet off to London with Dorinda in tow. She asked Dorinda to come along because, out of all the other women, Dorinda can relate to Carole's experience through their shared widowhood. Dorinda's a bit nervous for the trip, as it's the first time she's been back to London since Richard's passing. The city used to be their town, where they married and Hannah was born. Carole fills Dorinda in on her backstory, including the time surrounding Anthony's passing and the deaths of her closest friends JFK, Jr. and his wife Carolyn. It's not something Carole discusses publicly very often, but needless to say, the summer of 1999 was one of the most difficult times in her life. Both women share how they cut everyone off following the deaths of their respective spouses and expect that this journey to the UK will help them come full circle in their experiences. However, the episode ends as they board the plane, and we'll have to wait until next week for what is sure to be an emotional journey for both.

RHOC Ssn 10/Ep 7 - Bowling in Heels

Glenn Rowley

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We're now seven episodes into the season and the storyline is finally starting to pick up again after taking a moment to regroup from the tears, tragedy and life changes of the past couple episodes. The residual aftershocks are still being felt, particularly for Vicki, but it was nice to see the women get together this week for some laughs and good times. 

shannon-workout

This week starts off with Shannon at the gym, ready to get in shape and shed some pounds. She explains in her confessional that she and the scale have become good friends as of late, since the "freaking thing keeps going up." Determined to lose weight, she heads to Pacifica Wellness for her first training session. According to the gym's scale, she clocks in at 134 pounds, which may not seem like much but is about 15 pounds over her usual weight. As is typical, Shannon is no holds barred when putting her life in front of the cameras, and it's pretty brave to disclose your weight on national TV. Equally brave was lifting her shirt to expose her stomach on camera - that's something I wouldn't do at this moment and I don't have to fit into a bikini. Shannon's toning her body up for the first time at age 50, and it's a painful process, or as she describes it "a freaking nightmare" and "pure hell." Way to go, sister. Now I need to hit the gym.

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At CUT Fitness, the exercise professionals are also busy at work. To combat a dip in sales, Tamra and Eddie are branching out into the world of fitness videos. However, working together is starting to create friction for the couple: Eddie thinks sex sells and likes the producer's idea to film "quickie workouts" but Tamra's against it. Once they get in front of the cameras, the two start getting on each other's nerves and bicker over how to film their opening lines. Everything Eddie does, from hand gestures to introducing Tamra to saying his own name manages to come out wrong. Tamra asserts that Eddie treats her like an employee when she's at the gym and warns viewers in her confessional that working with a spouse isn't all it's cracked up to be. 

Meanwhile, Vicki's decided to hire a medium to try to gain some closure over her mother's passing. Brooks and her brother Billy are at the house for the session and she's invited Tamra and Shannon over as well. While they're waiting for the medium to arrive, Shannon asks Brooks how his cancer treatments are going. Post-chemo, he's stuck to a juicing regimen and has lost over 40 pounds in five weeks. Shannon's recommended a doctor who combines a holistic approach with Western medicine to help treat Brooks' cancer, and is frustrated that Brooks hasn't taken her up on the offer yet. 

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The medium arrives and announces that they'll be having a big old-fashioned séance. Vicki explains that she doesn't typically rely on the paranormal, but if the experience gives her some peace, how could it hurt? Tim, the medium, reminds everyone to keep an open mind, but Tamra is skeptical. In her interview, she says she believes in mediums - and even goes to one - but also believes that there are plenty of sketchy fakes out there who take advantage of people's grief. Once the séance starts, the medium connects with Joanne's spirit and begins delivering messages about everything from her dental work and Billy's need to do a cleanse to her grandson's new tattoo. However, when Tamra's questions the medium on the type of tattoo, he glosses over it, somewhat passive-aggressively calling Tamra's interruption "cross-interference." Now, mediums have a storied history on the Housewives (Alison DuBois, anyone?), but this guy seems far from convincing.  

At the Edmonds house, Meghan's learning how to effectively stepparent. With Jimmy splitting his time between Orange County and St. Louis, Meghan has the primary responsibility to take care of 17-year-old Hayley. Apparently, the teenager is doing independent study through the public school, but isn't turning in assignments or showing up at school. Meghan does her stepmotherly duty by giving Hayley her weekly $100 allowance and encourages her to save the cash and learn money management skills. In her confessional, Meghan admits that she puts a lot of pressure on herself to parent her stepdaughter well, but hasn't yet gotten a grasp on the job.

shannon-dragon-bracelet

Later, Shannon and David are having pre-Valentine's date night at Mare. The Grey Goose is flowing as Shannon explains in her interview that V-Day hasn't traditionally been the best holiday in the Beador household. Last year, she gave David, who was in the midst of his affair, a gift and a card but got nothing in return. To make up for the failures of Valentines past, David presents Shannon with a shiny Neiman Marcus bag carrying a handwritten card and a gorgeous John Hardy dragon bracelet. (I did some research and the bracelet retails for $3900. No big deal.) David tearfully explains that though they've been through some huge struggles, the two have held their family together and he loves Shannon for that. She reciprocates that while she couldn't imagine sitting together and having this conversation a year ago, she knows fixing their relationship is possible. This storyline has been difficult to watch (it feels like intruding on really private ground), but it was really nice to see the Beadors in love and moving forward in their marriage.

The next day, Heather and Tamra meet to do some exercising on a giant 250-step staircase and catch up on each other's lives. On the beach following the staircase climb, Tamra opens up to Heather about the tensions with Eddie and the gym. She explains that Eddie doesn't like to be bugged or talked to when he's working, and that she feels second on his list of priorities. Heather offers valuable advice on the importance on having face time with your spouse and making your time together meaningful. She also shares the news that she and Terry are in the final stages of developing their line of skincare products, Consult Beaute (no, not the same as Gretchen Christine Beauté...)

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Finally, the ladies all meet up for a night of bowling to reconnect and get Vicki's mind off of the recent sadness about her mom. Meghan's ready to win, but Heather and Tamra are sticking to bowling in heels. Vicki may want bowling shoes by Gucci or Louis Vuitton, but either way the ladies could really benefit from using bumpers. Vicki ends up beating Meghan by a single pin, and is the only 'Wife to break 100 by the end of the night. During the game, Tamra asks Vicki about Brianna, who's still struggling with her mom's relationship with Brooks, and asks Vicki's permission to talk to her about it. Vicki suggests that the duo take Brianna to Vegas to dance on some bar tops, but when Tamra points out that they'd need to hire a babysitter, Vicki reflexively says that her mom can watch the kids. The statement stops the OG in her tracks and she realizes that she forgot for just a moment that her mom had died. The new normal is going to take Vicki a long time to get used to. Shannon also pulls Vicki aside to discuss her concerns about Brooks' health, but Vicki brushes it off by telling her to leave the treatment to the professionals. The OG also happens to remark that she hasn't been to a single one of Brooks' doctor's appointments yet, which seems like a questionable red flag...

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After bowling, the 'Wives meet Lizzie (who missed the game due to a broken rib) for dinner at Costa Mesa hotspot SOCIAL. Heather's ordering food for everyone, Lizzie's wearing an adorable pastel yellow blazer and Shannon's shrieking about the amount of food in front of her, when Meghan announces she's hosting a couples game night at her house for all the ladies during the upcoming week. However, Vicki manages to top that announcement by making a toast to thank the women for their recent support in the wake of her mom's death, and invites them all on a girls trip to Tahiti! More specifically they're going to the island of Mo'orea, but not even Fancy Pants knows where that is or how to spell it. Tamra doesn't know where it is either, but definitely knows it's not in Mexico. Throwing shade at Jesus Jugs! It seems a bit early for the season's big cast trip, but recent events have apparently managed to upend the traditional filming schedule, and the 'Wives could use an escape from all the sadness.

On the limo ride home with Vicki, Tamra announces that she wants to be stuffed like a mannequin when she dies, which seems potentially traumatic for her loved ones, and the limo manages to break down on the side of the freeway. Vicki immediately starts panicking and choking on imaginary fumes, and I can not get enough of this classic Vicki/Tamra situation. 

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Meghan arrives home to an empty house to discover Hayley's unfinished stock market assignment left out on the table. Apparently, being a #coolstepmom isn't going to cut it to motivate the teenager. At first Meghan is angry, but then starts to blame herself and wonder if she didn't work with Hayley enough on schoolwork. In her interview, Meghan tearfully explains that she feels very alone in parenting with Jimmy gone all the time, and has expressed to her husband multiple times that she feels like a failure of a stepmom. When they got married, she really thought she could do this whole parenting a teenager thing, but is now worried she may not be up to the task. 

The episode ends with Tamra and Eddie running through Tamra's new booty workout class at CUT Fitness. After seeing the workout, Eddie incredulously asks if that's all Tamra has come up with, and Tamra finally tells her husband that she might need a little break from the gym. She expresses to Eddie that it feels like he doesn't need her there, and he admits that it's easier when she's not at the gym because it means they don't fight. Tamra explains that she's starting to miss the great relationship they've always had and thinks it's important that they each have their own focus, which is why she's going back to real estate. The couple come to an agreement that Tamra moving her attention away from the gym full-time will be best for their relationship, though she's quick to remind Eddie that it's still a project they share. After all, she owns 51% of the business, which is something Eddie would be wise to remember...

Next week: Tahiti!