‘Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ Recap: The Maloof Goof

The Set

With real-life circumstances threatening to make an erstwhile guilty-pleasure like the BH Housewives into something gross and dirty, it's become our responsibility as consumers of reality TV to compartmentalize. Surely, quite a bit of this second season is going to be under the pall of Russell Armstrong's suicide, but between purse dogs, snarky domestic help, and (fingers crossed!) electric-cigarette-puffing psychics, we can learn to have fun again. With this in mind, we're tackling this season's episodes in order from the moments that are most demoralizing to the least demoralizing. Let's get through this together.

Pretty Demoralizing

This was kind of a slam dunk this week. Seeing Taylor and Russell in therapy was about as ghoulish as this season has gotten. Even if we were somewhat gratified that the therapist called Taylor "childish." Up until about four episodes or so ago, Russell had been pretty much wiped clean off the show. Kind of a dubious choice, but at least we knew where Bravo was drawing the line. After these last couple episodes focusing so heavily on Taylor and Russell's marital troubles, it's tough not to squirm at this being made into simply another plot point.

Ethically Troublesome

Well, Adrienne went and did it. She actually confronted Lisa over her petty hurt feelings over Pandora's bachelorette event being held at Planet Hollywood. As gauche as Lisa clearly would have found it to ask Adrienne to comp her a weekend party at the Palms, it was about 100 times tackier of Adrienne to make an issue out of it. Once again, Lisa seems to be on the rational side of an argument while one of her cast members desperately tries to start beef. And as ever, our LVP comes out with the last zinger: "I do have a lot of dodgy relatives coming in for Christmas. Maybe she'd like to host that."

A Mixed Bag of Complex Emotions

On the one hand, it's nice that Kyle has decided to be an adult and stop icing Brandi out for no reason. The strategic absence of buffer-zone Taylor on their manicure outing gave the two women time to tentatively mend fences or whatever these Housewives do when they realize that they don't even know each other well enough to nurse such deep grudges. And when Brandi started talking insane reality-TV gibberish about having a party where porn stars teach "the girls" to give bjs ... which, okay, let's break this down: 1) Like Kyle Richards needs to be taught; 2) We are SO SURE that Lisa is going to be doing anything to a cucumber on national television; 3) The possibilities of what might happen were Kim to be placed in a sex-class scenario are almost numerous enough to justify such a sub-Michael Patrick King-level endeavor. But anyway, the point is that when Kyle was presented with such nonsense, she did the adult thing and was really passive-aggressive about it. Progress!

Relatively Guilt-Free

In a similar vein to Kyle, how about giving props for rudimentary social graces, re: Taylor and Camille. After Taylor appeared from behind Camille at Adrienne's party—looking for all the world like "The Grudge"—the two women icily (but civilly) exchanged innocuous banter before agreeing to talk about their bad blood at another place and time. Sure, that may be a termination-worthy offense, TV-wise, but who around here expected those two women to actually take the high road?

Legitimately Delightful

Lisa Vanderpump, once again, comes out ahead. She's gotten a better handle on how to deal with Kevin "Chi-Chi" Lee. She seems more or less resigned to letting Pandora have her extravagant, cotton-candy-and-liquid-nitrogen-cocktails wedding, even though her English decorum continues to clash with her Beverly Hills extravagance. And she manages to have fun with things like Adrienne's petty rivalry. Who DOESN'T want to see the Maloof Hoof go head-to-head with the Van Der Pump in America's shops and finer department stores?