REAL HOUSEWIVES OF BEVERLY HILLS: TRUTH TIME TANGO
Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Season 7 Episode 11 “Backed Into a Corner”
Why does Lisa Rinna use people’s full names when she’s cornered? Have you noticed that? It’s like she turns into this stuffy second grade teacher who caught you with gum in class and wants you to know she means business, mister. This week, Lisa Rinna flip flops about her conversation with Eden more than Bill Clinton flip flopped about smoking marijuana back in the day — but this is reality TV, and we all know Rinna inhaled.
In maybe one of this season’s most epic “right fight wrong time” moments yet, Erika Jayne sics Rinna on Kyle at Mauricio’s fancy Agency party, which was so fancy it came with gift bags that looked like those $1 green bags you get at Ralph’s. So as bad of an idea as this showdown is, it’s going down at Kyle’s fancy Mexican beach house party, and Kyle finally confronts Rinna about telling Eden that Kim was off the wagon, close to death, and that Kyle was her enabler. Rinna first says she didn’t say those things, then says she did, then says she has no idea but her intentions were good and Eden is lying and “projecting this onto her” THEN flips the fuck out when she’s called out on her bullshit and can’t side-step responsibility for what she said any longer and THEN walks out sobbing, saying she “doesn’t need this” and her life is too good for “this bullshit” right now because she just watched her daughter walk with RHOBH’s very own Gold Mold, Gigi Hadid, in a Termy Herlfergur fashion show. I’m not sure what “this bullshit” means? It seems like it means having to take accountability for your actions? Oh Rinna. White feminism doesn’t look good on you at all, dear.
Rinna’s line of defense, just like last year when she was caught muddying Yolanda’s name around town with her weird Munchausen’s theory, is that she doesn’t remember saying these things and is sure her intentions were pure of heart. She actually expects us to believe she blacks out whenever she reinforces internalized misogyny by spreading false rumors about her fellow woman, as if she’s been GHB’d or is having some sort of psychotic episode. I don’t believe this for two seconds — I think that Lisa Rinna’s parents probably bought her wide-eyed “I don’t know how that cookie jar broke, ask my sister” routine too much when she was a kid, and now here we are — BUT I do find the idea that Lisa might not have a totally cognitive relationship with her actions interesting, because it made me wonder if women, by en large, are aware of what we're doing and why when we facilitate systemic misogyny.
Now, this in no way excuses Rinna’s actions. Obviously at some point we all have a responsibility to realize the social programming going on around us and how we play a part in it. It’s just an interesting observation on the common thread between these actions that Rinna feels disassociated from. If women as a whole were more aware of how the machine of internalized sexism worked, would we be less inclined, I wonder, to follow along with the choreography? If women were educated about how things like gossip, spreading rumors, backstabbing, and publicly humiliating one another play right into the patriarchy’s hands — would we still do it?
Think about the last time you gossiped about someone (and don’t you dare say “I’ve never done that,” everybody does, even the nicest people on earth). Could you deconstruct and disassociate from your mental state at the time and figure out why you gossiped? I will come right out and volunteer that I usually gossip about someone a) if they’ve done something mean, because I am a terrible Buddhist who does not trust karma to work itself out on a reasonable schedule, and b) sometimes out of fear, because even though I try to deconstruct this, I’ve been socially conditioned to believe there’s only room for a finite amount of women at the top. Women facilitate systemic misogyny by tearing each other down all the time without taking a moment to ask why. Was it to trade secrets with a new friend at lunch? Women often bond with one another at another woman’s expense, or use gossip as collateral to show off their social clout. Was it to get back at someone who you were lowkey pissed at about something else anyway? Or was it because something about that person threatens you — in a primal way — and this is a small way for you to maintain hegemony over them? If the answer has even a hint of any of these three, congratulations! You are a cog in the machine of systemic misogyny. And if it can re-wire your brain, think of what it could do to Lisa Rinna, who, let’s face it, is definitely Gerald the Sea Lion in the Finding Dory reboot of life.
Nanny Pinky’s “Truth Time Tango” lands her unexpectedly at the top of the pyramid for me this episode. The way she sees right through Rinna’s bullshit is refreshing and also a betrayal, in a way, of what a master pot-stirrer Nanny Pinky is. I love how she’s not disgusted by Rinna’s behavior; rather, she’s disappointed by the sloppy execution. There’s a difference. I did feel a little sorry for Nanny when PK went after her for wearing granny panties, which is super misogynist AND age-ist of him, because of course all women Nanny Pinky’s age wear granny panties???? Wtf PK???? And of course Nanny Pinky is too busy worrying about whether or not someone is trying to steal the color pink from her to tell PK to go fuck himself. Shut up, PK. God, PK fucking sucks. He might be the worst house-husband of all time. Simon Van Kempen was annoying as fuck, but he wasn’t an outright chauvinist 24/7/365, even to his wife’s friends. PK even looks like the kind of guy who can’t keep it up. Doesn’t he? And what is his obsession with women’s underwear? Now he’s on Nanny Pinky about wearing granny panties after legit acting like a sex offender when Erika Jayne wore none at all. Is there anything creepier than PK asking Erika Jayne if she knows how to spot a snake in the grass? Nope. Nope there isn’t.
This week we meet Eden’s mom! What a classy broad. Also maybe the only legit sober woman on this show, from the sounds of her???? (I see you with that Xanax in your smoothie, Eden.) When she reminds Eden that she can’t control people’s actions, only how she lets them affect her, I wanted to be like “hi can you go to Kyle and Kim’s house when you’re done here?!” Because fuck knows Kyle needs to hear that. I’ve decided that from here on out, Eden’s not allowed to stay on RHOBH unless she has her mom with her. She’ll be like that lady on RHOMiami whose name I will never remember but who I love because she came with Mama Elsa. Anyway, after listening to Eden babble on like a psycho about how creepy and obsessed she is with the Richards sisters, Eden’s mom somehow talks Eden down into “letting Kim and Kyle go” without acknowledging she is bat shit f*cking crazy of course. I’m glad there is someone who can keep Eden on the straight and narrow, because I know I watch a lot of crime shows but her behavior towards Kim and Kyle is creeping closer and closer to full-tilt stalker.
Also, Rinna was acting goddamn ridiculous on that boat. With her whole “if anybody needs a drink, it’s me, poor me” routine. Nothing happened TO you, psycho! You just got caught being fucking meddlesome and mean! You don’t get a full arc ending in self-acceptance and a weird table dance! Rinna thinks she’s the Ariel in this, not the Ursula, and somehow forgets she’s being taped this whole time!!! I already cannot wait for this reunion.
To be clear, Rinna talked shit about Kyle and Kim before coming to Mexico to Kyle’s event. Where she caused a scene and left in tears, taking two other party guests with her. If anyone had earned pouting rights on that boat, FOR ONCE, it was Kyle, whose party was compromised by Rinna’s extremely childish and self-involved behavior. But no, Rinna had to contort this whole debacle until somehow she was the hero of this story, the disadvantaged underdog in her own mind, and this arc wriggled awkwardly towards climax when Lisa Rinna got up on a table on the yacht and demanded Erika Jayne play “Painkillr” so she can re-enact this whole routine. How Kyle at this point did not throw Rinna overboard so she could hop up on that table and do her splits and steal the spotlight still eludes me. I thought it was a knee-jerk reaction for Kyle, when there was music and a camera and literally anyone dancing, to fling herself front and center in a creepily enthusiastic split. But Kyle remains subdued outside, perhaps under the spell of basicness Dorit and PK cast wherever they go.
Fuck me, PK and Dorit. I mean, those two are awful. Maybe he has to act like the pimple on the asshole of the world all the time so we have something to distract us from Dorit’s steady stream of culturally appropriated hairdos, like her braids this week. Again. Maybe that’s it. But for fucks sake. “I’ll give you a Birken if you jump off the boat?” Really? That works? So I can rent a Chanel backpack from Bag Borrow or Steal and tell Dorit she can have it if she and PK pull a Thelma & Louise and roll that rose gold Bentley right off a cliff? Had I known it would have been that easy, we wouldn’t have had to put up with these fuckers for 11 episodes.