Who's Editing RHOBH This Season?
And more not-so-burning questions from this week's episode.
Who's editing this season?
Because it's a disaster.
Even by Housewives standards, that it's taken twelve episodes to get us where we are now (nowhere) is concerning. To be fair, this week does bring a barrage of events with it. But that things are finally (barely) starting to happen doesn't excuse the wonky storytelling tactics used as a means to an end. The promo for the remainder of the season might have me optimistic, but let's assume the series and franchise's worst qualities are here to stay.
For such a lackluster season, it's puzzling as to why certain key scenes were withheld until this late in the game, and revealed only via flashback. This isn't How To Get Away With Murder or anything, but it might as well be given all the filtered footage that keeps popping up this season, each one revealing a little more of something we might've seen in a different context or just not at all. Yes, it's obviously more "fun" to blindside the audience via clips. But in a season in which acquiring a tiny horse is a storyline over multiple episodes and nothing really happens, it's just plain offensive.
Scenes we are or aren't seeing aside (seriously guys, just fucking show them once in their entirety instead of a 20-second clip eight times), let's move on to discuss how the scenes they do show lately have been awkwardly distributed. This week's biggest mismatch offender being Yolanda getting into it with Kyle and Lisa in one scene, and Lisa Rinna on BFF Jenny McCarthy's podcast talking about dildos in another.
How do we fix this broken system? It might seem naïve to pine for the (possibly less produced) days of Jill Zarin standing in her kitchen, doing a hundred different things while gossiping, or watching Kim Zolciak parent from behind a pair of aviators, a 100 cigarette dangling from her lip, small moments that rounded out show and stars alike. It's this looseness -- both in terms of stars and overall structure -- that Beverly Hills would greatly benefit from. At a certain point the franchise became less interested in the women it featured and more interested in shepherding us from one lazy luncheon to another.
Soul Cycle is the new bake sale?
It's no surprise that Kyle's behind the times. Everyone remembers her tone-deaf gay mixer and knows she's prone to making terrible jokes in her talking heads. So, because she (and Erika) really started all this crap with Yolanda, I'm going to have to break it to her: Beverly Hills isn't the first to hold a Soul Cycle session to raise money for charity. Sorry, Kyle, but hey, at least you've got a sense of humor.
Yolanda, what's wrong?
Yolanda's sick, but she's also been pushing her luck with the other women (and me) for a while. And now that she's almost exclusively attending events to ruin them and will be given carte blanche once the news of her and David's split breaks, I'm over it. Granted, yes, Kyle and Lisa V didn't have to whisper amongst themselves right there in front of everyone. After all, you'd think they'd have learned their lessons about side conversations by now!
But that's beside the point. Yolanda's exhausting and more or less an endless supply of depressing facts and figures not unlike SNL's Debbie Downer these days. "I haven't been to a gym in three years!" Well you look great, so just shut up and eat some guacamole, Yolanda. And of course the dinner she's having will be hosted in a restaurant, she hasn't "entertained in eight months!" God, keep up, Vanderpump! Finally, my own personal favorite holier-than-thou finger-wagging: "The first thing I taught my children was not to whisper at the table." Sure you did, Yo. Sure you did.
As Kathryn points out during Yolanda's face-melting staring contest with Kyle and, to a lesser extent, Lisa V, it's not what Yolanda's saying but how she's saying it. Which is like she should be in a padded cell with bars and Plexiglas separating her and everyone else. Returning to the sloppy editing, Yolanda comes off even more deranged because it's unclear where everyone stands at the episode's start. Last week ended with a cease-fire (but no real resolution) and this week picks up with flashbacks and conversations that make everything seem more strained than it is until Vanderpump's literally running out the door in a huff and Kyle stops just short of taking all her jewelry off, leaving it on the table as payment, and also hauling ass.
Can you blame them?
Is it too late to say "I'm sorry" now?
Denying people the right to their emotions is a Housewives staple. That's not surprising. No, what's surprising about this week's episode is the sheer volume of scathing "go fuck yourself" looks, which maybe overcompensate for a lackluster first half of the season.
Later, Yolanda takes her passive-aggressive barbs one step further and fires off a late-night email to Kyle, which she copies the others on. Once again, it's not even that she's wrong, but the delivery of her smug argument as she describes "educating" Kyle in a talking head is beyond grating. Yolanda doesn't want to hear it, and neither do I.
And then there's Eileen, who continues to leave no stone unturned and uses Kathryn's bombshell about Erika (who thinks that Vanderpump stirs up drama from afar) as a springboard, suggesting Erika feels that way because she saw how Lisa V wrote her off in the Hamptons. Eileen's not wrong, but she's also got to let it go.
On one hand, kudos to her for standing up for herself and making sure everyone knows how she feels. On the other, what is she expecting? Lisa V's fatal flaw is that she's never been able to take criticism or apologize. But this might be a new record for her in terms of reacting like an asshole. I'm not sure what it is exactly, but it's kind of clear Lisa doesn't care about the series anymore, which might explain why she's mugging like a cartoon character and acting like a brat in this scene when she'd normally just deflect to maintain her image. Nope, doesn't care who knows she's the inspiration behind Veruca Salt.
To be honest, the whole thing feels vaguely like something out of Intervention or The Exorcist as Lisa spews passive-aggressive apology after passive-aggressive apology. Much like Yolanda earlier, it's a terrible look. Lisa might be looking for the ponies as a lame out of this conversation, but it's worth mentioning that it's a conversation started by Eileen once again beating on a dead horse.
Neither of these women will be making apologies any time soon. Hell, they can't even accept them!
Is Erika a mean girl?
Is Erika a mean girl? Is she dismantling the system from within? I'm not sure yet. I chalked stirring the pot a little with Yolanda and Bella/Anwar's Lyme up to…whatever. But there's something about this stacking of the deck and attempt to unseat Lisa V. that is disproportionate the reality of the situation.
Erika's not wrong. Lisa is sneaky and underhanded. The problem I'm running into is that she hasn't really been sneaky and underhanded this season because, well, she hasn't really done anything this season. Which is why other than having a few drinks and being rude to Eileen, it's hard to grasp why Erika's so upset about a conversation Lisa didn't really have about Yolanda's children. (Yes, I know it's a dumb show!)
Is Erika a free agent? Does she want to vanquish the Bond villain and play the hero? Are she and Yolanda in this together and planning to dance on Lisa's grave and split the rich rewards in her absence? You bet. Erika's been a great addition. But it's troubling that she had to go and align herself with the actual worst. Only time will tell who'll end the season victorious. Erika's in the lead, but not if she keeps this shit up.