Bravo to Bravo
Camille Grammer's party is like a javelin to the vajayjay on Real Housewives ofBeverly Hills
Cocktails or cauldrons?
The general atmosphere was most Macbeth-ish this week on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills as Bravo delivered a defining moment in reality-TV-absurdist-drama not to be surpassed by the mere flipping of a table back in New Jersey.
Foolishly, we thought the most notorious party-gone-wrong happened midway through All About Eve. After one guest asks, “What has or is about to happen?” Bette Davis downs two martinis and says famously: “Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy night.”
Fasten your seatbelt, Bette, because when the witless Camille Grammer throws a party, invites a psychic with an electronic cigarette and gets everyone seriously liquored up, there’s no telling who might end up speaking from beyond the grave.
Those coy Bravo executives knew what a gem they had this week, so they planted a few red herrings. The dashing Lisa VanderPump opens the episode tearing around Beverly Hills in her very fast car with her very new American driver's license. Husband Ken looked like he might vomit or jump ship as Lisa blew by car after honking car.
Was this foreshadowing, we wondered? Would she pull an Elizabeth Taylor on us like in Butterfield 8, with a fast chase ending a fiery wreck? Oh, no. The wreck was yet to come, and it came as an invitation to la casa de Grammer.
We can’t believe that any form of sentient life in the universe would fall for Camille’s insincere explanation to Taylor about the ambition of her harmless little party. Camille claims she wants to reunite the women. “Maybe opening up my home to them…” she continues without really finishing the thought. She jokes about her stack of self-help books.
We have some advice for you, Camille. Don’t try to go it alone. Kyle was right on the mark when she told you in New York that you need psychiatric care.
Later we find Camille at the kitchen counter in an outfit that a stripper might wear over her thong: ripped-hem short shorts and a hideous loose knit top in brown, blue and white. She calls each of the housewives and tells them she’s having a cocktail party. But she’s bringing in chefs and planning to fire up her own personal brick pizza oven, the one that makes her kitchen look like an ad for The Olive Garden. And, it’s cocktail attire. Poor Camille, she doesn’t really comprehend the difference between a dinner party and a cocktail party.
Each housewife hesitantly agrees to show up, but Kyle has already made plans with another friend. Could she bring her instead to the party? Sure, Camille, says, and it’s all sweetness and light when the ladies arrive in dueling stretch limos.
But wait, we forgot to mention that Camille has her own “surprise” guests, her close friend and hair stylist D.D. and none other than Allison Dubois, an actual psychic medium!
“When I invite her to something, she doesn’t actually read anybody,” Camille explains. No, of course not, Camille, you wouldn’t ever want to impose on Allison’s psychic abilities when your worst enemy is present, would you? “Allison does like to drink, and when she has too many, she might hit below the belt,” Camille warns.
What follows is more like a javelin to the vajayjay, actually.
Allison DuBois might be a fake psychic played by Patricia Arquette on Medium, but she was all monsters of the id by the end of the night. Maybe it was the grizzled old Irishman preparing massive cocktails that Lisa described as “bowls of soup.” We lost count after Allison’s third.
Puffing steam from her electronic cigarette, Allison coyly refused to “head-tap” anyone. Suddenly she launched the first assault at Kyle and her absent husband Maurizio: “He will never emotionally fulfill you, ever. Know that. As soon as the kids are bigger,” she says, “they will have nothing in common.”
It was first blood for Camille, the desperate hostess too cowardly to start her own fight. But Kyle brought her own backup in Faye Resnick, whose testimony at the O.J. murder trial registers higher on our Diva-o-meter than being played by any Arquette on network television.
After initially goading Allison into a “head-tap,” Faye was less than impressed and let everyone know it. Suddenly, the crazy psychic launched a scorched-earth counter-attack on Kyle:
“You’re nothing! I have books written about and by me and also a television show so you can take a flying leap!”
The atmosphere became so poisonous that Kim and Taylor, with nothing better to do, started their own quarrel across the table. Kim doesn’t really know how to quip so she resorted to taunting. “Why don’t you blow up your lips some more?” she said to duck-billed Taylor.
The raving continued as the cast members tried to find the closest exit, leaving Camille and her self-proclaimed “alpha-females” to chant “double, double, toil and trouble.” It’s one of those moments when you feel certain that this is the worst television you’ve ever seen, and that you couldn’t possibly stop watching. Here’s what we learned from perhaps the most authentic disaster on Housewives history.
- We still love Kyle, who at a choice moment uttered to the vodka-guzzling, electronic-cigarette-waving psychic, “Excuse me, you’re boring me.”
- We still can’t help detesting Camille, who, with no guile, no wit, no grasp of idiom, no courage, and soon-to-be no husband, must be the most desperate real housewife ever.
- Finally to Bravo we say, “Bravo.” Reality television has gotten so scripted lately. Even with Camille’s sad machinations, no one could have seen this train wreck coming. Not even Allison, the psychic friend, who is more bat-shit-crazy than anyone we’ve seen in a long time. At one point, she claims her "real job" is not psychic reading but serial-killer profiling.
Move over, Danielle Staub, there’s a new kid in town.