Larsa learns to “lock and load.” Cristy celebrates Cuba. Alexia’s an ad for athleticism. Lea likes her liquor. Media-mogul Marysol’s mad mama is a medium. And Adrianna? She’ll do anything.
Of course, we’re talking housewives: The Real Housewives of Miami.
Your Aftershocks team is back, and we’re ready for Bravo’s newest addition to its empire of housewifery. Younger, hotter, hipper, slimmer is the rule in Miami. Or so Kanye West and Daft Punk might sing of these women. That’s one way to raise ratings in a franchise in danger of drifting and bloating. That, and a lot less clothing.
Golden-haired Alexia Echevarria is called the “Cuban Barbie,” but she’s quick to distinguish herself from a figure she sees as a mute bimbo. Bravo introduces Alexia with some loving domestic footage with her sons, but soon she’s flexing her muscles at hubby Herman’s Spanish-language magazine Venue.
At a meeting with stepson Herman, the magazine’s editor, Alexia weighs in on anonymous complaints. Some readers find Venue tacky and wonder why it features so many photos of Alexia’s friends. Oh Herman, really? Anonymous complaints? Just tell your evil stepmother how you really feel!
The Cuban Barbie, Venue’s executive editor, heads this conversation off at the pass. Alexia insists that “the lower people” who buy the magazine can’t get into events with those of her set. Of course they want to see tacky photos of socialites! So much for the Revolution.
There’s room in Alexia’s mouth for another Jimmy Choo or two. While discussing Adriana de Moura’s childcare blues, Alexia admits: “If there’s reincarnation, I want to come back as a man. They have it so easy. All they have to do is make money. They can be old and ugly and it doesn’t matter.” Alexia, are you describing your own husband?
What is there to say about Larsa, wife of NBA superstar Scottie Pippen? She’s made very little impact so far, with a few shots of shopping, drinking, and complaining. This is practically the definition of a Real Housewife, so where’s the interest?
Larsa’s most remarkable feature is her terrible relationship with domestics. She’s had so many nannies that she can’t remember their names, but she did refer to one as “so retarded and so fired” before admitting that she feels better after a firing. Let’s hope she doesn’t bring them to the firing range where she spent some quality time last week with her brother and sister. Nothing says “family” like learning to shoot a gun.
Help us, Bravo. Can’t you work in more shots of Scottie? He looked awfully spry trying yoga.
Young divorcée Cristy Rice describes herself as a “super proud Latina-Cuban girl” and it’s already evident that she’s doing her best to keep up with the rest of this predictably fickle bunch. After Lea Black’s intimate cooking-lesson-and-cocktails, Cristy decides to keep the ball rolling and invite the other gals to a Cuban cooking luncheon at her modest home. Well, modest by Housewives standards.
The mid-day fare features fresh mojitos and chicken and rice simmered in a Crock-Pot, all of it hastily prepared by the strangely effervescent Chef Pepin. Too bad that his mise en place requires little more than a can opener. Cristy hopes the guests will remember it’s the thought that counts, even if she didn’t think very much.
If there’s a fly in the ointment, it’s Adriana De Moura, the self-described “runaway bride” who went to the Sorbonne, meddled in law school, and then opened her own art gallery in Miami. Every Real Housewives series needs a woman who can’t commit to her man (let's not forget Cynthia in Atlanta) and Adriana seems totally indifferent about her middle-aged French boyfriend Frederic.
At a swimsuit fashion show last week, she drooled over the enticing male models and seized the empty runway after the show for an impromptu modeling fit. It was a dare from the other women, and she wanted to show them “how it’s done,” as she put it. In a pensive moment on her beachfront dock with Frederic, she reminds him that she only talks to other men, she doesn’t touch.
While she was enjoying a mojito at Cristy’s house, she became irritated when Frederic didn’t rush to pick up her son from school, something she had forgotten to do. To smooth things over later, he serves her wine and guacamole while she pouts. We think Frederic is a doll. Careful, Adriana, you know what they say about gift horses.
The seemingly balanced Marysol Patton still has some pretentions that work wonderfully for a show that’s trying to get off the ground. In reference to her hometown, she explains that, “Versace and Madonna lived here, and Stallone and everyone. I ran in that group and it was a lot of fun.” Now it seems the excitement of her own PR firm, The Patton Group, is more dazzling to Marysol than hanging with Versace back in the day.
We’re not sure yet what to make of Marysol, but we find her armchair-psychic Cuban mother Elsa perhaps the most interesting character thus far. Her intuition tells her that Marysol might not be having the greatest sexual chemistry with her young French boyfriend, Philippe, and she wants the details.
“I’m not a Victorian lady,” she reminds Marysol between gulps of wine. Certainly not, even if she has an upright piano with stained-glass windows where the music stand should be.
In a cast full of Latinas, Lea Black is as white as they come. She’s civilized, organized, and she knows how to run a tight ship at home or at a charity event. If all else fails, she gets everyone drunk.
Lea wears a peace symbol around her neck while planning that simple cooking-lesson party for her friends. She met her husband when he was an attorney at the William Kennedy Smith trial and she was a lowly sequestered juror. Lea has a hand-held addiction and bitches about her low battery, even while guests are waiting.
Every year the Blacks host a charity event for at-risk children. Over the years, they’ve raised $11 million. Bravo takes us to this year’s bash, which featured a red-carpet-studded who’s who of Miami at the Fontainebleau Hotel. The ladies had photos snapped with Brazilian Indy car champion Helio Castroneves, former world heavyweight champion boxer Lennox Lewis, and former NBA star Alonzo Mourning. Natalie Cole and Gloria Estefan were there, and first lady of Florida Carole Crist greeted Adriana warmly with a kiss.
Can’t a Real Housewife throw a charity event without all hell breaking loose? This one seems tame by comparison. Cristy shows up late and “crashes” the event. Lea decides to invoice her later. But last night on Andy Cohen’s Watch What Happens, she phoned in to call Cristy a liar and a freeloader who “worked the room like a thousand dollar hooker.”
The gloves are off, readers. But we’d rather face Lennox Lewis than an angry Cristy.