No one knows regret like a woman.
This week The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills was a study in dashed plans and desperate hopes, proving the ladies of 90210 are just like their counterparts across America. Of course, not every housewife is ready to face her regrets.
The episode opens at Lisa and Ken’s restaurant, Villa Blanca in Beverly Hills, where Kyle shows up for an informal “catch-up” luncheon with Lisa. Kyle is wearing a simple white blouse, both shoulders exposed tastefully, in perfect harmony with the white décor. Lisa, however, is entirely in black, foreshadowing the dour conversation to follow.
Their rendezvous seems harmless enough until Taylor crashes it with a text. Her dullard husband Russell has just dropped her off and she’d like to stop by and say “Hi.” Not that she needs emotional support for her loveless marriage.
Lisa’s body language shows how pissed-off she is, and then Taylor shows up in a strange white dress with the word “emotion” stitched in black cursive letters along the waist-line. Really, we didn’t make this up. If you can’t wear your heart on your sleeveless arms or botoxed faced, you might as well advertise it over your gut.
Lisa avoids the black hole of regret altogether by looking every situation straight in the eye. It’s the first we’ve noticed her suspicions about Taylor. Before Taylor arrived, Lisa advised Kyle to be cautious, saying that Taylor was responsible for “the fiasco” in New York with Camille.
But Kyle and Taylor seem to wallow together in their regrets, and as soon as Taylor sits down, the two hold hands in support. Taylor regrets marrying Russell, but she won’t just come out and admit it, even to her closest friends. Instead, she laughs hysterically and evasively.
“Will you stop doing this, because I feel like I’m at a table with a pair of lesbians,” Lisa quips impatiently. She’s fed up with Taylor’s giggling, and tells her that the situation is serious, really serious.
Why have regrets when you can have children instead? We’ve seen housewives in all the franchises force their unrealized dreams on their only-sometimes-willing daughters. But we had no idea that for Kyle and Kim Richards, regret stretches across generations.
As Kyle prepares for the momentous occasion of her eldest daughter’s graduation from college, she reflects on her past. Her mother studied the dramatic arts in the hopes of seeing her name in lights. When she became a mother instead, it was her dream to make her daughters stars. By all measures, Mama Richards succeeded. One daughter gave birth to the most famous socialite in the known universe, Paris Hilton, and two became child stars. Beware of what you wish for.
Kyle regrets never going to college, so she pins all her hopes on daughter Farrah. In fact, she seemed to spend most of the episode swaning about and stealing the show. While shopping for the perfect graduation gift at XIV Karats LTD, Kyle confesses, “It’s very hard for me to look for a gift for someone without looking for something for myself.”
Kyle throws a lavish graduation party at Il Cielo, and her husband Mauricio’s charming mother Estrella shows up. She is a psychiatrist with a specialty in sex therapy. Of course Adrienne is quite taken with her, and begs free marriage counseling during the luncheon. She’s got regrets, of course, since it’s obvious that she married a vulgar clod who doesn’t appreciate her.
And Paul (who’s earned the nickname Shrek in our household) doesn’t seem to regret anything. He thinks their problems are just a matter of bickering. Then he talks to Estrella about the possibility of a facelift.
Kyle’s sister Kim has also drunk deep from the well of disappointment. She has always maintained that she happily and voluntarily ended her own acting career. But when Kim confesses that she might like to act again now that the kids are grown we could detect the same scent of regret in the air.
If there’s a guy on the show who understands regret, it’s handsome Cedric, Lisa and Ken’s “permanent” houseguest and adopted son. On the way to a vineyard to taste some Pinot Noir to pep up the bland menu at Villa Blanca, Ken tells Cedric it’s high time that he moved out. Later, Lisa remarks that it’s difficult to spit out the wine after tasting it, though she lets several mouthfuls dribble into a decorative ceramic jug. Bravo’s cameras catch Cedric gulping his down, and it’s clear he’s worried.
Later, as he serves Lisa coffee in her all-white bedroom, which looks very much like the Villa Blanca, he reveals his own true disgust with himself. It’s shocking. He tells Lisa that his mother believed that he was the unfortunate consequence of being raped. “Would you love someone who reminds you that?” he asks Lisa.
Regret after regret piled up, and suddenly Camille Grammer was playing dutiful wife in the Big Apple for her soon-to-be ex-husband at the Tony awards.
We won’t lie. We couldn’t wait for Camille to find out this week that Kelsey was tossing her out like last week’s trash. After a season of Camille’s bitchy and often insane behavior, we can’t pretend we didn’t sit on the edge of our microfiber cushions and eagerly wait for the axe to fall.
We found ourselves doing an about-face right in the middle of our living room. The truth is we didn’t enjoy it at all. The one who deserved the axe was clear Kelsey Grammer, who has now earned the distinction of the slimiest househusband of all.
Truly, we could have anticipated this after 11 seemingly endless seasons of Frasier, but let’s be clear about just how badly Kelsey behaved.
After finally returning one of the many unanswered calls Camille worried about last week, he drops the bomb that their marriage is over. She begs, he refuses. But suddenly Kelsey’s begging when Camille refuses to attend the Tony Awards. He offers to fly her to New York.
Camille explains that he promised they could “spend quality time together and see what happens …maybe spend a romantic weekend.” What a cad. And if he was going to dump her anyway, why didn’t he just wait until after the Tony Awards to spare her the pain and discomfort of playing husband and wife? La Cage aux Folles, indeed.
Ever hopeful, Camille dons a gorgeous long-trained red gown despite the rain and Kelsey’s creepily cool demeanor. He’s put her up in a hotel for her final performance as Mrs. Frasier.
And all for what — a failed Oscar nod? All we can do, Frasier, is paraphrase a favorite crazy housewife from the Garden State.
Karma’s an even bigger bitch than you are.