We’re back, readers. Back from Beverly Hills, that is.
We love covering The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills from the comfort of our microfiber sofa, but this week we went on location in Los Angeles. Outraged that our swanky downtown hotel didn’t have Bravo, we resorted to some light stalking of our favorite housewife, Lisa VanderPump.
That’s right. We dined at Lisa’s swanky signature salon, Villa Blanca. What a scene! We can report that there really is that much billowing white fabric. We loved every last yard of it.
A well-heeled crowd swarmed the place. We even spotted sexy Royal Pains star Mark Feuerstein settling in for some health-conscious cuisine.
If you groaned when you read “health-conscious” you were right to be concerned. Villa Blanca features Italian-Asian cuisine. Hmmm, interesting, we thought, but that’s probably the worst thing you can think about food. And while the Asian pear endive salad with candied pecans was crunchy and fresh, the unseasoned steamed broccoli and plain boiled fingerlings that sat limply alongside the sautéed dover sole were ho-hum.
There’s a reason for that cliché about dull British food.
The interior design, as seen often on the show, is nonetheless gorgeous. Lisa’s signature flower arrangements are huge and stunning, even if the Stargazer lily odor overpowers the food. Lisa clearly has eye candy in mind when she hires staff, and our handsome waiter Jason swept us off our feet with his smile.
Wait a minute: Jason? The same Jason who’s dating Lisa’s daughter Pandora? The resemblance was uncanny and his voice seemed all too familiar on last week’s episode.
Has Jason joined the family business or does he have a dapper twin who helps Lisa out on the weekends? Help us out, readers. We’re dying to know. And we’re dying also to try Sur, Lisa and Ken’s West Hollywood restaurant. Perhaps Jason waits tables there as well.
On last week’s episode, it’s at Sur that the proud parents throw a birthday bash for the glamorous Pandora. At an enormous table strewn with rose petals, the family gathers. Jason raises his glass to toast his girlfriend, saying he’d like to spend the rest of his life with Pandora. But where is the engagement ring, the proposal, some sign of a real commitment?
“You keep doing this to me,” says an exasperated Lisa. And we can’t figure out why he’s stalling, either, since Pandora seems like the dream wife. As if the party couldn’t get weirder, Kyle presses Cedric to tell her all about the troubled childhood she’s heard Lisa refer to.
We’ll admit that we’ve enjoyed taking shots at the seemingly dizzy Cedric in our prior columns. But our hearts went out when he explained that he was born in Paris to a prostitute and never knew his father. His battered mother went on the streets when Cedric was only seven.
“I had to be clever about things,” he explains at the table, because he had to protect his mother from her johns. After being abandoned by her in a phone booth and then living in a series of foster homes, he met Lisa and Ken at age 15 and became their adopted son.
Kyle raises doubt about Cedric’s dramatic past, saying, “It’s almost too hard to believe.” And then we wondered if Bravo isn’t planting a big juicy bug that will smash on the windshield of future episodes. Or, was Kyle just being a wee bit ungenerous?
Jason’s coy protestation of love to the pretty Pandora was in familiar company last week, since Kyle and Camille spent a lot of time kissing and making up. Every few seconds we were sure a fight would break out. How could Camille’s invitation to a little tennis party not go awry? Who thought it was a good idea to give these women weapons?
Back at Camille Grammer’s house, guests arrive in stretch limos for the impromptu tournament. Couldn’t they just drive there in one of their many cars? Even if you have a lot of money, do you need a limo to get yourself everywhere?
Tricia, Nick’s quiet and enduring wife, watches as Camille kisses Nick on the lips.
“If she kissed my husband like that,” says the outspoken Kyle, “she wouldn’t have any lips.”
Nick is wearing a weird frosted wig, some kind of in-joke that doesn’t play well for others, and we never see an actual tennis game, just some “warming up” on the court.
Later, it’s an English tea with chopped salad and finger sandwiches, and cupcakes served on platters dangling with crystal teardrops.
The ever-classy Camille then changes into a revealing bathing suit and encourages the other wives to hop in the pool with her and their husbands.
Nothing really happens between Kyle and Camille, and we realized that last week there were much more serious things afoot last than their petty squabbles.
We were shocked at the amount of marital discomfort. Shocked that, for once, it doesn’t involve Kelsey Grammer. Sure, there were intimations of the trouble to come as Camille sighed over Kelsey’s absence and mentioned the decreasing frequency and length of phone conversations with Frasier.
Even Adrienne and Paul (aka Shrek) were not the worst off, although we wonder why their son keeps head-butting and breaking Daddy’s nose. We can’t wait to see what happens when he learns to kick-box like Mommy.
But the real trouble in not-so paradise was between Taylor and Russell, all of which blew up at Kyle’s annual “White Party,” this year also in honor of Mauricio’s 40th birthday. Maybe Kyle should have passed out the party favors more typical of a gay White Party, but we suspect nothing would have made Taylor’s stick-in-the-mud husband Russell any less of a boring clod in his ill-fitting white linen.
After refusing to do anything but drink and loaf on a sofa alone, Russell’s ready to go. Taylor sadly accompanies him before making the weighty decision to stay and have fun. Russell seems like a pretty big ass for going to the party, ruining Taylor’s fun and then leaving without her.
We do feel bad for Taylor, but we also wonder a bit at these tear-jerking confessions of unhappiness. Has she actually met her husband? Do we believe that he was once fun and only now is a dullard? Why did she marry him? It couldn’t have been for his personality or looks.
We think Taylor might be jealous of Kelsey Grammer’s Tony nomination. Has anyone told her there are no Emmys for best dramatic performance in a reality series?