High on the list of my favorite all-time songs is Jungleland, that soaring rock n’ roll epic about swaggering guys who have something to prove cavorting with barefoot girls who recline on the hoods of cars right before a knife is raised high into the shadows of a stark night and everything changes forever. It’s a pure masterpiece of writing, one that ignores typical conventions and instead surges forward with the haunting rhythm of a saxophone, some blaring and unrelenting guitars, and one of the single most beautiful measures of melody ever tinkled on a piano. Perhaps even more than anything I’ve read by T.S. Eliot – or anything I ever pretended to read, like Beowulf –Jungleland captures the loss of control and the spinning of the self and the disquieting way that literally anything can happen once the sun goes down.
The song’s lyrics are astounding. They’re poignant and profound in their construction and visceral in their effect. The words sketch a portrait of a life most of us will never experience; then they beckon us to take a closer gander before we scurry back to safety. When I hear the song – even today – I feel transported to a place where there’s a glowing Exxon sign hanging high above the Jersey state line, one illuminating the faces of all those poets who don’t write anything at all.
To even pretend that it’s possible to compare the work of a musical mystic with Bravo Housewives is an exercise in futility, so I will not be wasting my time trying to locate similarities that don’t actually exist between what I see as the newest incarnations of Good and Evil. But if I really wanted to reach, perhaps I could say that the lines, “Man, there’s an opera out on the Turnpike…there’s a ballet being fought out in the alley,” remind me a tiny bit of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills because brawls are also being fought there, only they’re being waged by morons and none of it is poetic in the slightest.
I’m going to have to write this recap quickly because I need to get ready for the enormous party I’m throwing to celebrate the end of a season of a show where almost nothing happened. The marching band I ordered to entertain the crowd by playing only Erika Jayne songs is arriving soon and it’ll be really hard to think over the blaring of all those tubas. I’ll be lucky if I remember to pat my puss every half hour in the midst of the noise, but at least I’ll have happily downed a couple of signature drinks by then – which probably means I’ll allow other people to go ahead and pat my puss. Speaking of those drinks, I’m very excited to announce that I will be offering my guests the very potent Munchausen Mojito. That sh*t will be whipped up in a sterile hyperbolic chamber and the rim of the glass will be lined with crushed hysteria and regret.
But before my party can go down, we need to muddle through the last part of the reunion, the one that seems entirely unnecessary at this point. I really did sit and ponder what these women even have left to speak about anymore and, my friends, it does not look good. Other than Kathryn being taken to task for acting like a d*ck the time she so easily told the others what Erika had confided to her – they were in front of cameras and they were both wearing microphones, but still – I can’t imagine what new information could even be presented as a conversation topic. Know what that means? It means that this entire hour will be padded with the kind of filler that makes up a cheap maxi pad – or whatever’s been pumped into Brandi Glanville’s face. It means all we will be treated to is Lisa Rinna screaming, “Own it!” before every commercial break and Eileen smirking because she thinks she’s made some spectacular point about how apologies from people she’s decided to hate only count sometimes. It means that we’ll get to watch Yolanda discuss her “journey” and her “babies” while shaking her head in haughty dismay at the fact that the mixed messages she tossed out into the world caused some mixed reactions amongst her co-workers. We’ll get to stare blankly as Andy Cohen invites women who now clearly loathe one another to pretend to casually reflect on all the fun times they’ve shared, which means we can listen to them rattle on for five minutes about the day they dined in a close proximity to a designer pony.
Perhaps the only thing any of us can hope for anymore when it comes to this last part of an overlong reunion is that it will serve as the final showing for some of these women. I cannot possibly be the only one hoping that Andy has plans to surreptitiously shove a few pink slips into the complimentary gift bags that have already been filled to the brim with bottles of Ramona Pinot and purses made entirely out of plastic by Gretchen Christine. Personally, I’m hoping everyone besides Lisa Vanderpump and Erika get the boot – and I don’t even like Erika all that much, but I have to admit that I find her veneer of steely frigidness oddly interesting. Sure, there’s a chance that not a whole lot (besides more hair extensions and an expansive subterranean bunker filled with bedazzled catsuits) will come to light after she’s finally thawed out, but I’m curious enough to admit that I want to take a look. And f*ck all those Housewives who have so pathetically (and so ineloquently) plotted against her, because I still find myself rooting for Lisa Vanderpump and I want her to remain on this show. I worry that otherwise she will be forced to spend more time with the monsters she employs over at SUR and that kind of ordeal cannot possibly be beneficial for anybody. But the rest of them? They strike me as so unsavory now that their collective banishment from my cable box will surely bring about a powerful form of palate cleansing for a mind that’s really f*cking tired of being exposed to grown women who do splits while wearing muumuus.
(I feel it’s very important to note here that no splits of any kind ever went down in the wilds of Jungleland.)
Anyway, while the florist I hired gets busy setting up an enormous topiary made entirely out of yellow rose petals to capture the look of Faye Resnick’s face after it’s been peed on and the photographer properly lights the photo booth I put on the terrace – the one that’s been constructed entirely out of the skeletal remains of Yolanda’s former fridge – I suppose I should dive in and start recapping what’s left of this mess. Where we last left off, Lisa Vanderpump was directly asked about an abusive relationship she was in many moons ago and she looked like she was about to cry. Meanwhile, Eileen stared at her hard and waited patiently for Lisa to just go ahead and admit that she met her abuser at the Miss Manipulation pageant where she took home the top prize. Who else misses the less sinister days when Taylor grinned menacingly upon being asked about the suicide of her husband?
Tonight begins with Lisa being asked to open an emotional vein on camera and she complies briefly before composing herself masterfully. Is it good enough, this showing of agony? Not for Yolanda! No, she longs for Lisa to display her glaring pain to the world because apparently the only things Yolanda can bond with a person over is misery and how to execute a lemon cleanse. Not only that! Yolanda wants Lisa to know that had she shared her tormented history with Eileen and revisited days she’s sought to psychologically move beyond, she and Eileen might have found a significant connection and then maybe Eileen would not have tried to ruin her life all season. Well, she doesn’t say that last part, but she might as well. Also, isn’t it a little bit gross to implore someone to speak of the pain they’ve finally recovered from just so someone else in the group can find her relatable? Can Yolanda be kicked off the cast now?