I took off my gloves once on a blustery cold January day and handed them to a homeless woman who was standing beneath an icicle-encrusted tree. I bought a student a prom dress last year and lent her my own jewelry after gently explaining that it’s very hard for anyone to pull off enormous pink rhinestone earrings. I talked a friend off a ledge one night when she mistakenly believed her boyfriend was cheating on her. I play the peacekeeper in my family so often that I’m pretty sure I should earn a salary or at least get dental benefits.
I say all this so you will know I’m not the cruelest person clomping about this large planet. I say all this because I am about to dive in (self-awareness first) and react with scalding sarcasm and a sh*t-ton of profanity at the sight of Kim Richards needlessly appearing again on my television screen. I say all this because there’s nobody in my real life – even that one guy – who I hate more than I hate this trembling blonde Former Housewife who has spent her entire life blaming other people for the mess she has become, the mess she’s chosen to shellac and preserve instead of trying to fix. I say all this because I think Kim Richards is a damaged and damaging assh*le and only a small reason for that is due to her addiction, the one she likes to claim (while she’s drunk) that she’s never struggled with in the least. Yes, the biggest reason Kim acts like an assh*le is not because she’s a raging alcoholic; it’s because she’s a raging assh*le.
I hate the woman’s toad-like creaking voice. I hate that she still holds people accountable for the pinky swear they made three decades ago when they promised they’d never reveal just how much of a lunatic she really is. I hate that she believes that she is entitled to behave in whatever manic way she sees fit and then appears fully stunned when those around her hold her accountable for those actions. I hate that she named her daughter Kimberly. I hate that she continually appears on reality television but refuses to tell the whole truth of any story while pretending that what she really longs for is privacy even as a camera is aimed directly at her face and she walks away with a paycheck.
I hate that Kim’s awfulness makes me feel empathy for Kyle, a woman who has never met a hideous caftan she didn’t immediately purchase and then wear to perform splits. I hate that Kim actually feels like it’s her right to feel insulted that Kyle doesn’t have any faith in her when she’s proven so frequently throughout the crawling passage of years that nobody should have any faith in her. I hate that Kim calls her children her best friends because 1. That’s f*cking sad and 2. She continually destroys whatever balance her children have briefly achieved by screwing up again and again and then appears furious when her kids try to be honest about her problems. I saw her Dr. Phil interview, the one nobody forced her to be on. I watched her stalk away, fire blazing unrestrained from the slits of her dilated eyes. I watched as she fumed to her children that the whole truth was not to be discussed. No joke: her warped display of humanity impacted my blood pressure so severely that I considered taking a sick day just so I could meander through a meadow or do something else that’s calming so my psyche could once again settle the f*ck down.
As for why this superhero whose superpower is projection is even showing up for part two of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills reunion, well, that’s a little difficult to answer. I’m sure there a people out there who are far less cynical than myself who think Andy has brought this walking disgrace onto the set because viewers genuinely care about how she’s doing. Maybe those people do exist, but I’d rather live in an underground bunker without a can opener than dine with any of them because those people have to be insane. Is she on the show so we can watch both she and her sister cry? I mean, haven’t we already seen that? Is she here to take Lisa Rinna to task for announcing to a world who had already figured it out that last season Kim’s sobriety had become compromised? Who the hell knows – but what I most certainly know is that Kim’s guest starring role on this spectacle is forcing me to root for Lisa Rinna for at least a segment or two because the only way I could ever root for Kim would be if she’s facing off against Hitler and even then it might be difficult for me to cheer her name – and I’m Jewish and this week is Passover.
But there’s more we have to muddle through before the cruel moron appears on the set. See, last week’s reunion ended with Lisa Rinna pulling out phone records that proved nothing, Yolanda weeping and stalking off the set into the warm embrace of a woman who is on her payroll, Erika rushing after her dear friend, Lisa Vanderpump insisting she never stated that her evil plan for the season hinged on calling Yolanda’s illness into question, and Lisa Rinna announcing, “I did it,” like she just accomplished something profound. And typing all that while knowing that this bullsh*t is about to be discussed in circles and Kim Richards is waiting in the green room for her big moment makes me want to snort some bath salts just so maybe my evening will improve. Unfortunately, I am plum out of bath salts. Can I maybe just snort some Comet?
I’m just going to say this: asking viewers to spend an entire season investing in a fight caused by a phone call that might or might not have even been made – and, if it did happen, it happened off-screen – is just going too far. This Lisa/Lisa battle is sinfully uninteresting and, if it’s true, the only thing we’ve learned is that Lisa Vanderpump, like many others, doubted Yolanda’s sickness or the timeline of her sickness and that Lisa Rinna can hustle her way to a second career as a ventriloquist for manipulative people. Anything you want her to say, she will voice it for you with her lips that were made for talkin’. Then she will whip Verizon records out of her clutch and blame you for turning her into a dummy, though she might not understand the irony of it all.
Anyway, we begin tonight with the same conversation that ended last week’s show – and really, with the same conversation that has ended every episode of this show all season long. “Sorry,” Lisa Rinna tosses out to Lisa Vanderpump sans emotion as Yolanda shakes her head in feigned disbelief that her “friends” spoke poorly about her. “You encouraged me to say ‘Munchausen.’” Just for argument’s sake here, if Lisa Vanderpump is in fact able to get Lisa Rinna to randomly say certain explosive words, couldn’t she also then get her to shut the f*ck up? Does she need a wand to make it happen? If so, she can go ahead and borrow mine. I have four.
Now, technically it appears that Lisa Vanderpump didn’t even say “Munchausen” while on the phone with Lisa Rinna, but that doesn’t matter in much the same way facts often don’t matter on this show. Lisa Rinna could feel what Lisa Vanderpump wanted her to say and, like a good hypnosis victim, she carried out the dastardly plot. Meanwhile, backstage – where she’s fled for no reason – Yolanda cries at how hurtful these women are while Erika and the health advocate nod at her soothingly. On the set, Lisa Rinna takes credit for dropping “Munchausen” into our cluttered zeitgeist and Erika pops back onto the couch to announce that Yolanda will be back shortly after experiencing a mini breakdown.
Walking back slowly to the couch after pretending to be shocked by the exact same story that’s just now being told in a different form, Yolanda gazes downward while Andy Cohen attempts to get her to react to a scenario so confusing – and so unimportant. “Who do you believe?” asks Andy. “I’m really confused,” admits Yolanda, before she goes on to assault Lisa Vanderpump for being manipulative and running over dead bodies in order to make a good storyline for the show. Does it matter that they were all wearing microphones and there’s simply no audio footage of this incendiary comment anywhere, Lisa Vanderpump wonders? Nope! All that matters here is that Lisa Rinna has had it with talking in circles and she’s furious that Lisa Vanderpump refuses to own what she claims to have never said and finally Lisa Rinna realizes that she might get more attention if she gets up and threatens a walk-off, but she can’t fully commit to the process so she stands near a camera and bellows, “Just own it, Lisa!” Then she comes back to the couch and sits down, non-walk-off complete.
As for Yolanda’s parting dagger to Lisa Vanderpump, a woman she has clearly disliked for some time, she subtly drops the news that her ex-husband’s long-standing friendship with Lisa Vanderpump is now over. She practically chortles saying it, but as for the reason it happened? Seems Mohammad told Lisa that his kids do not have Lyme and when Kyle asked Lisa if they did, Lisa simply said no. Get her! And tell the villagers to bring the torches!
I think the big problem here – for now – is the way Yolanda has chosen to publicly detail her illness. Her method of doing so has caused some issues. My guess is that most people sitting on that reunion couch have not spent their lives attempting to disprove when those in their orbit come down with illnesses. No, there’s something off about the way Yolanda doled out shards of information while asking for total support, pretending she’s an advocate warrior, and refusing to ever fully answer a question that has caused the confusion here. Should Yolanda have to explain every variable about her debilitating illness? Of course not – but she also doesn’t have to be on this show where she is happily filmed making phone calls from inside an aluminum suit.