The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Are Stuck In The Past
Not even the promise of a gaudy Erika Jayne party can save this premiere from the specter of last season.
At Least Kyle's Thriving In Our New World Order
Because America has officially entered its pre-apocalypse era, we begin the seventh season of RHOBH with Kyle wearing rose-gold Birkenstocks. Vanderpump calls to invite Kyle to dine at Pump with the new Housewife, Dorit, and her husband, PK. Let's assume PK stands for "Pubis King" and collectively agree never to look it up. Kyle knows of Dorit through Boy George, with whom she filmed the upcoming Trump-less season of The Apprentice. Goddammit, I can't even get through a paragraph of this recap without having to think about the human colostomy bag that's about to lead our country to Valhalla.
This scene is the definition of skippable, though it does introduce us to Kyle's new piece of statement jewelry which she purchased at the Feeling Bad About My Neck boutique.
"Don't worry, it will be settled before filming starts." Dr. Maloof strikes again!
We now cut to the true protagonist of RHOBH (sorry, Kyle), Erika Girardi-Jayne. Erika is the only worthwhile human being left on this show. (Amended: the only worthwhile human being ever to appear on this show.)
Erika, inexplicably, is about to turn forty-five. ("You're definitely in your mid-forties at forty-five.") As a birthday present, Tom's purchased a Marc Chagall painting, which Erika is quick to point out is really a present for himself.
Erika's REAL present is a Cartier panther ring, the second in a three-ring set she is collecting. Once Erika acquires the final ring made of black jasper, she will finally possess the unlimited power she'll need to vanquish those pesky Avengers once and for all.
Getting Pumped For The Season
Vanderpump's added a new Pomeranian to her harem, and she wastes no time converting subtext to text by implying that she's fucking the new fur-ball (Harrison) on the daily and making Ken and Jiggy watch. That grotesque foursome is soon joined at Pump by Dorit, Kyle, and their husbands. Kyle wastes no time name-dropping Boy George and confesses that she used to copy his makeup in the '80s. (An unrelated photo of Kyle wearing sunglasses and harsh red lipstick is shown because none of the young editors bothered to google what Boy George actually looked like the '80s.)
Kyle uses an anecdote about Vanderpump and Dorit sharing a house in Turks and Caicos to transition into a conversation about last season's Dubai trip (since Dubai has houses too). Vanderpump is still on bad terms with Rinna and Eileen due to their roles in the most frustrating arc in Housewives history, Yolanda's Lyme-hausen. Kyle says the feud seriously "tainted" their circle of friends, to which Dorit sagely replies, "I don't like the idea of women treating women terribly...or bullying...you know...unfairly." Deep thinker, this one.
Mourning In America
Harry Hamlin (whom Rinna refers to as "Harry Hamlin" both on camera and, I expect, during their lovemaking) buys his wife a car. Between shots of Rinna humping said car, she interviews that ever since her father died, she "only has time for joy" in her life, which is as good an explanation as any for why she wants to sweep Season 6 under the rug and make nice with Vanderpump. May we all be so lucky to have kids who will use our drawn-out battles with cancer to curry sympathy with their reality show audience.
Yolanda's Ghost Lingers
Eileen, too, uses a parent's death (which happened right before last season's reunion, unbeknownst to us) to frame her feud with Vanderpump as a petty squabble that means nothing in the grand scheme of the universe. I don't know whether I find this trend troubling or inspiring, but here we are. She meets up with Erika and Kyle for a dull lunch where we learn via Erika that our dearly departed Yolanda is "doing 75% better." Whether that means she's got a handle on the Lyme or Munchhausen, we're not told. In addition to the M-word, Kyle puts a lid on the following words and phrases for Season 7: bipolar, manipulative, sniper, and "OWN IT!" Read that last one in Rinna's voice and hear it your nightmares like I have.
Anyway, your TL;DR for this scene: Kyle believes the Lisas will make up sooner than later, though the others have their doubts.
Our proper -- albeit brief -- introduction to Dorit is also an introduction to her assistant, three housekeepers, and four nannies. Three of the four nannies are assigned to her two-year-old, Jagger who, if he's anything like Jules Wainstein's son of the same name, will grow into a gorgeous monster in due time. I'm lukewarm on Dorit so far, though she does have two things going for her: (a) the kind of charming obliviousness that makes her say things like "we are constantly surrounded by celebrities, so it just made sense to move to Beverly Hills" without a hint of irony; and (b) her friendship and shared living situation with Boy George. Why Boy George can't afford a place of his own is thus far a mystery, but I look forward to interpreting his behavior on this show to make sweeping, potentially libelous claims about his financial and mental state.
And FYI, Bravo: I will consider this season a failure if we don't actually get to see Boy George in bed with Dorit and PK watching Game Of Thrones.
A Studio 54 45th
Has there ever been a more disappointing Housewives party? Erika's Studio 54-themed birthday bash is to the original club as the CBGB lounge in Newark airport is to the venue where Dee Dee Ramone once fucked a garbage can onstage (I assume). If you want to throw a disco-themed party, fine. But don't tell me we're going to Studio 54 and fail to provide a Grace Jones bust made of Twizzlers that double as coke straws. You're not only letting me down; I'm confident you're letting down the horde of WeHo Instagays you invited. (Also missing from the party: any food at all. Everyone's bitching about the lack of hors d'oeuvres legit sent me to the kitchen to heat up a bowl of leftover chili.)
The (un)dramatic centerpiece of the party is the first meeting of Eileen and the Lisas since the reunion. Rinna is clearly the guiltiest of the three, having expended so much energy last year trying to gaslight Yolanda into believing she wasn't actually sick. Rinna seems to know this too. She clearly wants back in the viewers' good graces, which is why she laughs off Vanderpump's blunt bitchery as goodhearted teasing. It's Rinna's second-most desperate act of the party, after her loud, attention-seeking box-dancing.
Eileen is less willing to jump back into a chummy camaraderie with Vanderpump, which only improves her standing in my eyes. That and this baller coat:
Other than that, the party's a snooze. Watch if you're a Housewives completest, but go ahead and skip if you'd rather not hear Vanderpump awkwardly fake-flirt with Tom by asking, "Have you got something Studio 54 hidden underneath?" What does that even mean? Is she asking whether he has a 54-inch dick? Just once I'd like someone to demand that she explain her nonsensical come-ons.
Beverly Hills was once the crown jewel of the franchise, but, as of the Season 7 premiere, it's still lost in the woods. And, yes, that mixed metaphor is an ode to Vanderpump's crackerjack rhetorical skills.