Despite a very strong Twitter fanbase, there has been a lot of talk that Married to Medicine Houston will not be coming back for a second season. The ratings have been abysmal, and Bravo has seemingly done everything in its power to quash any chance for the show’s success. The network waited nearly two years after filming to finally air it. They stuck it in a Friday night time slot. They refused to promo it during other shows.
I have been trying to figure out why Bravo would set up a show for failure and had been unable to determine why it continues to treat Houston like the black sheep of the Bravo family — until tonight. Even an appearance from Cindi Rose and yet another accusation of racism could not save this episode from being utterly insipid. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
The episode begins with Rachel, Erika and Ashandra hitting up RYDE, “the next generation of indoor cycling,” aka a place where River Oaks housewives ride stationary bikes under club lights without ever smudging their makeup or sweating on their perfect blowouts. I’m just bitter because I can only afford to ride my bike on sweltering Houston streets while nearly getting run over by pickups.
Anyway, after the
ryde ride, the ladies sip champagne at the gym, and Erika mentions Cindi Rose’s upcoming Kentucky Derby party. Ashandra quickly shuts down any notion that she might attend. Like most viewers, she was kind of weirded out by Cindi’s swift pivot to talking about slavery while cutting silhouettes for Ashandra and Ricky, even though, yes, yes, Kara Walker, the artist Cindi mentioned, is a famous African American silhouette-ist known for her work about racism and the history of slavery.
Ashandra calls Cindi inappropriate and highly offensive before bestowing upon her the nickname “red-headed bandit,” which, incidentally, is the name of my new Celtic punk band.
Later, Monica and her friend/interior designer, Nina, head over to Internum to find $4,000 chairs with which to redo Monica’s apartment. During a heart-to-heart over what’s probably a priceless minimalist coffee table, Monica tells Nina that she recently saw her ex and his fiancée out. She now feels like she’s doing something wrong in her life because he’s getting re-married before her. Ummm…I can tell you what thing you’re doing wrong, Monica. He’s greasy, non-committal and pushing 50. Any guesses?
Monica tells Nina about the ultimatum she gave Imad regarding their relationship, but she says she’s giving him time to think, because she doesn’t want him to agree to marry her just to appease her. Hasn’t he had three years to think? Monica. GURL. Come on.
In case you forgot, this is a show about doctors, and this week we’re treated to a lot of Dr. Sato in action. She consults with a patient who had gastric bypass surgery and is now looking to have excess skin removed. She also tells us she probably wouldn’t have become a plastic surgeon if she hadn’t been made fun of as a child for having big lips. Of course, later we’ll meet Theresa Roemer, who clearly paid good money for some plumped-up lips, so it all worked out for the best for Erika.
Chill brunch party
After church on Sunday, Ashandra and Ricky have friends and family over for a big ol’ brunch/party at their house — something they evidently do fairly regularly. This party looks way more chill than the Roses’ gatherings, where you’re liable to get accosted by a rogue stylist at any moment.
Rachel and Maribel show up to the party, and there’s a darling moment between Maribel and Ricky’s mom, who speaks great Spanish. Later, Ashandra and Rachel get to talking about the Hillcroft Health & Wellness Center, Dr. A’s cause du jour, which needs a lot of assistance in the dental department. Ashandra thinks African American and Hispanic folks don’t see enough of their own people doing good for their communities, so she wants to host a fundraiser to get the money she needs to fully outfit the dental offices. That’s right, ladies and gents, there will be another fundraiser in our future, and hopefully it will bring in the drama! I mean money.
Back in doctor land, Erika meets with the patient who’s having the skin removed and preps her for surgery. Erika talks about how much she likes surgery, because it’s a means of solving problems and seeing immediate results. And then, unfortunately, we see immediate results, too. The cameras pan over and show us giant hunks of excess skin and tissue freshly removed and just sitting on a table, oozing. What the fuck, Bravo? Guess I’m never cooking raw chicken breast again.
As our stomachs settle back down into their proper position and the urge to gag fades away, we’re treated to fundraiser planning with Ashandra, Rachel and Sabrina, Ashandra’s event planner. What, you don’t have your own personal event planner? Shame.
They decide the theme will be “Havana Nights” — all linen, fedoras and mojitos — and Rachel has just the lady in mind to bring out all the high rollers.
Derby hat making
But first, Cindi hosts a gathering to construct obnoxious floral Derby hats. Don’t get me wrong — I think obnoxious in this case is a look to aspire to — but they are…a lot. Cindi has even provided her personal hat-maker, a flamboyantly dressed fellow named J. Michael, to assist in the process. What, you don’t have your own personal hat maker? What are you doing wrong with your life?
Monica has invited Elly and Pegah to the hat party as a sort of olive branch, and though the gesture seems truly sincere, she spends the whole event supervising as J. Michael makes her hat for her, leaving the sisters Pourasef to their own devices. The hands of a cardiologist, it seems, are too precious to risk burning with hot glue or impaling with fake flower stems.
Oh, and Erika was there for, like, two seconds before she was all, “Peace out, I have to go operate on someone, which is way more fun than making dumb hats.” I’m paraphrasing, of course, but that was the gist of it.
Let’s see…does anything exciting happen the rest of the episode? Umm…I guess touring the home of Theresa Roemer (of burglarized-three-story-closet fame) was kind of interesting. Rachel introduces Ashandra to Theresa to make fundraising event connections, but the best part of that scene is watching the girls nearly fall over in awe at the sight of the aforementioned obscenely large closet. Also, Theresa and Cindi are arch enemies. I, for one, cannot wait for their inevitable showdown, during which each will be screaming at the other, but, when you mute the TV, it’ll look like a polite conversation because neither of their faces are capable of expressing emotion.
What else? Imad is back, which isn’t necessarily exciting, but his presence does make me feel better about every relationship I’ve ever had, so that counts for something. He and Monica are driving to the Derby party together, and man is that trip tense! Imad evidently is not in the mood to discuss Monica’s ultimatum, so they’re just pretending like it didn’t happen. I’m not convinced these people know how ultimatums work.
The Derby party is resplendent with ridiculous hats, and watching ladies try to greet and kiss cheeks while wearing headpieces as wide as pizza pans is my new entertainment plan for this year’s Kentucky Derby. It’s oddly reminiscent of watching a dog wearing a cone try to lick itself.
Blah, blah, blah, Monica and Elly are getting along, Erika has taken her hands out of a body cavity long enough to sip a mint julep and Cindi introduces a friend who used to work for Joel Osteen, as if that’s something to brag about. Then, they all pray, because God knows, every good party begins with a prayer.
Time for some drama
Then Cindi brings up Rachel, who she seems to still be mad at despite the fact that they appeared to make up a few episodes ago and, oh yeah, Rachel never did anything to wrong Cindi. But it wouldn’t be a Cindi Rose party without an accusation of racism, so Cindi tells everyone that Rachel — in addition to being anti-Semitic because she goes to church — is prejudiced against Mexicans, because she called someone a “scallywag.”
Cindi. Honey. Be a dear and look up the definition of words like “scallywag” and probably also “prejudice,” “Mexican” and “anti-Semitic” before you start throwing them around. Even Urban Dictionary makes no reference to the term scallywag being a racial epithet, so maybe reconsider that accusation.
While we’re on the topic of racism, though, Erika informs Cindi that Ashandra won’t be coming, and then she explains why (the whole slavery silhouette thing), because it’s better to be upfront and honest than spread rumors about why she isn’t there. You go, Erika.
As soon as Cindi hears that she might have said something that offended someone, she gets up to leave. She finds her friend, the former Joel Osteen employee, and tells her she’s being attacked. At this point, I actually rewound the show thinking I’d missed someone saying something super nasty to Cindi.
Nope. This is the least attack-y attack in the history of Bravo television. I mean, come on. You don’t get up and walk away unless someone says “whore” or a drink is thrown in your face. Everyone knows that.
Erika, God love her, finds Cindi to try to diffuse the situation. Cindi attempts to explain herself by noting that silhouette art began during the Tang dynasty and asking Erika if that offends her because she’s Japanese. The Tang dynasty is an imperial dynasty in China, but whatever. Then Cindi says she’s part Egyptian (Note: She is now part Egyptian and part Asian, but we don’t know what area of Asia since they are apparently all the same to her), so she’s technically African American, and thus, cannot be racist. #logic
And then they’re off! No, not the ladies, unfortunately. Just the horses. The Derby begins, and then two minutes later it ends, and the ladies sit around drinking in their wild hats and talking about the weather or something. I’m sorry, but can we go back to Cindi being Egyptian?
Looks like we’ll have to wait until next week. Unfortunately, the scene from last week’s trailer in which Cindi threw shade at Rachel while reciting a prayer never made it into this episode, and that’s a bummer because I wanted to take notes. I may think Cindi is totally wacky most of the time, but that was a hardcore move and one I intend to emulate whenever the mood strikes. Cindi, darling, you are crazy, but I have come to yearn for the gaucherie and erraticism of your appearances. Never change.
The good news is Cindi will be back next week for a confrontation with Rachel, and Elly will be carried around a ballroom on a giant foot stool so she can throw glitter at her adoring fans. Or something like that.