Cable Television Network, Bravo, has found quite a jewel with the latest group of Domestic Divas to join their Real Housewives franchise: The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. With the premier season now over (you know a series is really over when Bravo airs the “Lost Footage” episode), it appears to have been one of the most popular of the series, which includes Orange County, New York, Atlanta, New Jersey, and Washington D.C.
Ripe with the same types of characters and drama as prior productions, the Beverly Hills cast raised the housewife bar by adding another element to the show: Wealth! This series gave us access to the Beverly Hills [gated] community and give us a glimpse into a place where “Money is no object” and “The grass is always greener,” or as Camille said “Wealth beyond comprehension.”
Emerging from a backdrop of mansions, maids, limousines, and libations, were six self-professed “Alpha-Females” who carried around Pomeranian pooches like the latest handbag. These women had the one major prerequisite to living the affluent Beverly Hills lifestyle, money! A few came across as aloof, but others were relatable and quite popular with the audience, who seemed to relish the opportunity to watch them.
The women did a good job, as did their predecessors, of exposing the myth and façade of the “Happy housewife with a perfect life.” The Bev Hills gals took it one step further, revealing some of the negative aspects to having a large bank account. For some it bought more than they bargained, while for others, the old adage “Money can’t buy you happiness” seemed appropriate.
Money did buy the ladies many luxuries, like a whimsical and enchanting birthday party for Taylor’s 4-year-old daughter. The cost of the party was estimated at a mere $60,000 (I guess Chuck E. Cheese's was booked). Then there’s Adrienne, she invited the other housewives to stay at a hotel in Las Vegas, which her family owns, and then whisked them away in a privet plane to watch the Sacramento Kings play the Los Angeles Lakers at an NBA League basketball game. Oh, and by the way, her family also owns the Kings! Another housewife, Kyle, had a “White” themed bash in honor of her husband’s 40th birthday. From open bars to a make-shift Fat Burger hamburger stand, beverages and food were as abundant as the sea of white outfits. The women also had many acquaintances with deep pockets, such as Lisa’s buddy who hosted a dinner party in her honor at his sixty-thousand square foot mansion! I wonder if I can “Friend” people like that on Facebook.
This show, however, was not all “Champagne wishes and caviar dreams,” the audience witnessed some of the nuisances of riches, like a semi-permanent houseguest who lived with Lisa and her husband for almost 2 years. He finally moved-out, but did so on bad terms, allegedly shouting profanities and threats about going to the tabloids. The audience also got a glimpse into Taylor’s wedded state, after declaring her marriage was 80% business and 20% romance, she spent the rest of the season bemoaning about her husband’s work schedule and being “disconnected” from him. Then there’s Camille, married to a well known television actor, together they owned a production company, plus several properties and residences. Camille was oblivious to the fact that her husband was rendezvousing with another woman in their New York apartment while she was occupied with projects, including improving her tennis game with hunky instructor Nick, at her Malibu residence.
As with the previous “Housewives” series, this one had its share of arguments. Watching the Beverly Hills beauties bickering brought to mind a song by New York Housewife Countess Luann de Lesseps, “Money can’t buy you class.” One dispute in particular seemed to be the catalysts for all the others and yet it seemed quite trivial. It all began when Camille claimed Kyle made the statement [to her] “Why would anybody be interested in you without [your husband]?” The ladies spoke to others about the issue but not to each other until they were together in New York. An argument began during dinner with Kyle insisting she never made the statement and Camille saying she did. In the midst of that argument a second one erupted between Taylor and Kim. Their beef had something to do with Taylor saying Camille was “insecure” and Kim calling her out about it in front of the other ladies. Taylor denied it and began squabbling with Kim saying “I’m about to take you out back and pull some Oklahoma on your a--!” A statement Taylor would later claim was not about violence, although she couldn’t explain what she meant by it.
The most serious of the quarrels took place between sisters, Kim and Kyle, and once again it was an offshoot of the original Camille and Kyle argument. It started because Kim failed to intervene in the original argument to defend Kyle. Thus began a slow simmer that lead to a heated explosion between the two sisters. This controversy turned into something deeper and darker, becoming somewhat convoluted and very personal. The dispute almost turned into a brawl in the show’s season finale, in of all places, a limousine! Kyle hit below the belt when she screamed “Mom had to die worrying about you and stressing about you and leaving this on my shoulders!” She also called Kim “sick,” “a liar,” “an alcoholic” and “demented,” As she departed the limousine, Kyle said [to someone standing outside] “You will not believe what she has just said and done!” What?! That brought to mind something about a pot and a kettle (you know the saying). The argument left the viewing audience gasping and wondering how it got that far.
During the reunion show, all the women seemed to air kiss and make-up. However, Taylor was never quite forthright about her role in starting the argument which precipitated the limousine fiasco. Although she claimed her intent was to put everything behind them, her words told a different story. Here’s what Taylor said to Kim (does it sound like she is trying to make amends?), “Lisa asked how I got involved with the Camille and Kyle feud and I really feel like it only had to do with you trying to ‘wind me up’…I had nothing to do with it…you had all the opportunity in the world to stop what was happening between Camille and Kyle and instead it went on and on and I shouldn’t have been dragged into it…Kyle needed you, you weren’t there for her…” At the reunion and throughout the series, Taylor appeared argumentative and a bit “Jelly” (the ladies’ word for jealous). It seemed as though she was baiting Kim and unfortunately Kim took the bait!
While the preceding confrontations were memorable, the one blowup viewers will probably remember the most occurred during a dinner party hosted by Camille. Once again, the Kyle and Camille disagreement was brought to the forefront and it turned into a free for all. The amusing part was watching one of the guests, a psychic, throwing verbal insults while chugging jumbo-sized cocktails and “smoking” an electronic cigarette. Lisa described it best when she said the dinner party was “A few clowns short of a circus.” You really have to see this episode for yourself!
This season, we watched as the Beverly Hills cast clashed and commiserated. For the audience this was entertainment but for the six Housewives this was real life. These women dared to be Real Housewives in a town full of plastic people and that’s why the viewers bonded with them. You can find all your favorite housewives episodes on DVDs at "The Real Housewives Block" on Amazon.
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