The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills returned to the air last night, and curiosity about how Bravo would handle the second premiere could not have been greater. As most people know, just a few weeks ago, cast member Taylor Armstrong’s estranged husband Russell hanged himself, throwing a major wrench into the pre-show publicity (not to mention the show itself which is being reedited in the wake of the tragic events).

The first obvious consequence of Russell’s suicide on the series came in the opening minutes when Bravo opted to air a brief scene of the cast, minus Taylor, convening to mourn and discuss everything that had happened. It was a nicely emotional moment and after everyone had said their piece, the second season began in earnest.

Interestingly enough, in the review copy that Bravo had sent to reporters just days before Russell’s suicide, there apparently were scenes of Taylor discussing her marital woes and trying on sexy lingerie to spice things up. Those scenes were absent from the premiere. However, the network did not skate around the Armstrong’s issues (nor should they). They came to the fore during yet another calamitous dinner party, this time at Adrienne’s hilariously lavish mansion. I had forgotten just how over-the-top the Lady Maloof was, but seeing the estate awash in umpteen Rococo flourishes brought it all back home to me.

We actually spent a good amount of time at Adrienne’s manse this episode, more than usual, and in the process we learned three things. 1) Paul is annoying Adrienne more than ever; 2) Adrienne now has a pocket dog named Jackpot who is cute but nowhere near as awesome as Giggy; and 3) their personal chef Bernie apparently HATES Lisa. Yes, apparently, Lisa had made some offhand remark to Bernie, and he has despised her ever since. I don’t know though — based on the overflowing plates of Bibb lettuce served later in the episode, I’d have to be on Team Lisa for this one.

Nevertheless, Adrienne and Paul decided to have a dinner party to celebrate Camille’s cameo appearance on the long-canceled sitcom, $#*! My Dad Says. And yes, there could not be any more random a reason to gather together.

Camille, actually, came off pretty well this episode. She laughed in stride when her husband’s new lady unceremoniously shipped all her shoes back to her in Malibu. And she managed to get through Adrienne’s dinner party without causing or being part of any drama.

The same can’t be said for everyone else. The party went sour over dinner when Adrienne and Paul began bickering, but unlike other spats these two engage in on a nearly hourly basis, this one had some real bite to it — enough that it cast a pall over the entire dinner. It was — what’s the word? — awkward.

For sure I thought the major awkwardness at the table would come from the Richards’ sisters, who apparently haven’t seen or spoken to each other very much since their explosive fight at the end of last season. This was most evident in the interview segments, and not because both women were crying about their relationship. No, the biggest giveaway was Kim’s appearance. Surely, if Kyle were around more, she would never ever let her sister wear that ridiculous, buttoned-to-the-chin top. I mean, even Jane Austen would be like “Whoa.”

Anyway, after Adrienne and Paul’s fight, the attention fell on Taylor as the women all asked how things were going with her and her husband. Tay-Tay announced that she and Russell were working on things in therapy, which ultimately caused Lisa’s husband Ken to remark that therapy was a sign of weakness. Actually, he didn’t say that. He merely said that he thought he’d be weak if he went to therapy, which is a subtle but important difference. Nevertheless, the comment utterly peeved Taylor, who retired to the bathroom (a teary tradition for nearly all Housewives dinner parties) where Kyle ultimately consoled her back to the table. Eventually, things were patched up tenuously, but not before Kyle and Ken had a thrilling semantic debate on the use of “offended” vs. “upset.”

In the end, Lisa and Ken left the party early as ominous music played on the soundtrack. It was almost as if Bravo was attempting to make Lisa look like the villain, but I gots news for you, Andy Cohen: LISA VANDERPUMP CAN DO NO WRONG. Good luck turning us against her! (Although, Ken is fallible, as evidenced by him letting Giggy drink out of a glass and then gulping from said glass afterwards. BLECH. We haven’t seen something this offensive — or perhaps upsetting — since we first saw Ginger lick Jill Zarin’s nostril, but I digress…)

“I just saw a sensational film. It’s called Shark Night: 3-D.

“I’d like to ask for your daughter’s hand in marriage.”
“Lovely! Cheers!”
“Thank you! I can’t wait to get married to her and start my new career as a therapist.”

“Oh look. My old shoes. Thank goodness THAT WHORE sent them to me.”

“Do you like my new dog? I couldn’t add tassels in his hair, nor could I somehow incorporate marble columns or Rococo mirrors, but I think he looks pretty good!”

“Howdy, y’all! Just thought I’d stop by before my weekly gig singing Loretta Lyne over at the bowling alley.”

Kyle: “Isn’t this great? I think we’re the largest audience Shit My Dad Says has ever had!”

“Paul, don’t open the champagne yet.”
“Why not?”
“I’m going to open it.”
“You’re being rude. I’m mad.”
“Don’t be mad.”
“I swear to God, if you break one of my Rococo-style fingernails, I will be so angry…”

“I’d say this is a lovely dinner, which is surprising given the dreck THAT CHEF churns out.”

Kyle: “Hey Kim, get your hand off my plate.”
“I’m just trying to make a point.”

“I hope Kelsey is contracting a venereal disease RIGHT AT THIS MOMENT.”

Kyle: “Here comes the airplane….”
Kim: “I won’t open the hangar.”
“The plane has to land.”
“I won’t open the hangar!”

“Playing with macaroni? That’s offensive.”

“Don’t you mean upsetting?”

“I don’t change my words. That’s weak.”

“Weak. Just like CHEF BERNIE’S COOKING.”

“Little jabs…”

Kyle: “Oh please, Camille. Why would anyone want to eat macaroni with you if Kelsey isn’t around?”





What did you think about this first episode? Did you like the way Bravo addressed the suicide? How did you feel watching Taylor discuss her marital problems?

30 replies on “REAL HOUSEWIVES PHOTOCAP: Down and Out of Beverly Hills”

  1. If they continue to make a villain out of my Lisa VanderPump, I’m going to stop watching. Well, I’ll still watch, but bitter I will be!

  2. Sorry I’m still on Team Lisa – she can do no wrong!
    Kyle – still annoying – glad to see she finally has her sister’s back in her confrontation with Brandi
    Kim – still seems skittish but hope she’s doing better
    Taylor – sorry for her loss but there is still something about her I don’t like
    Adrienne – oh no! I hope her and Paul last…please lose that glitter strand in your hair!
    Camille – seems chill but it’s still the first episode

    great recap!

  3. They’re not going to get anywhere trying to make Lisa and Ken the villians- no one hearing his words would take offense, unless you’re completely emotionally fragile . . . oh, wait. Taylor absolutely is. You can’t go back and sugarcoat that Russell was apparently not a nice man nor did Taylor come across as great last season either. Their previous behavior can’t be erased, Taylor included.

  4. I did not get why Taylor didn’t want Lisa to find out she saw Cedric on a bicycle. Is that code for something.? I don’t speak Beverly Hills so I am not sure.

    Jackpot is no Giggy.


  5. I’m sorry…maybe i felt like shit watching this show after Russell’s suicide, but I am really not feeling Paul right now. he was an ass, to his wife, and to the others at the party.
    He was just all-around rude. And i loved him last season!

    Now, Ken was not as bad, and maybe we can forgive him because he is English, but he was a little tad bit maybe large bit unsensitive.The Woman’s hubby just took his own life!

    I was also a little bit shocked at “golden girl” Lisa, although, if i were in her position , i would stick up for hubby, as i do everyday.

    Camille was golden tonite! Shocker!

  6. Team Bernie.
    Team Jackpot. I’m not convinced Giggy is a live dog.

    What Ken said was completely rude. Ben, I think you’re playing semantics with his use of the first person because you like Ken. If he had derided therapy before Taylor revealed she’d been to counseling, that would be one thing. But he said it immediately after a lengthy discussion of how therapy was helping her. It was a comment on Taylor, and it was rude.

    1. I have to agree with B-side on this one. He said he would feel weak, why is this a judgement on Taylor? Who says Ken’s opinion is the end all be all? No one else at the table agreed with him. Who really cares what Ken thinks?

        1. I’m saying I agree with the” subtle, but important” use of semantics that B-side referred to. I understand she was in a fragile state but I just wouldn’t have taken Ken so seriously. It was an opinion about what he would do. And they are 2 very different people in very different situations.

          1. By that logic, then, it isn’t rude if I say that if my name were Caroline I would die of embarrassment?

            It’s a lovely name, of course, I just think you all are doing all kinds of contortions to defend Ken because you like him and Lisa.

      1. Oh, I am sure he was alive at some point. But I think that might have been back when Lisa had her original breasts.

    2. I thought he was rude as well. And then he was being nasty about the word offended. WTH Ken. Take it down a notch. Although I did think Taylor overreacted over the whole thing. Taylor wouldn’t make it 5 minutes at one of my family’s dinners. Sheesh!

      There is something wrong with Giggy. I think he’s a stuffed animal.

      1. ok knnmom – you and jen##s are getting my Chief Bernie dis … I am closing my kitchen doors on both of you.!


  7. It feels hard to laugh at this season of RHoBH. All I can think about is Russell’s suicide and it makes the whole show sort of depressing and hard to watch. Frankly I’m surprised Bravo even decided to go ahead and air the season. Of course I’ll continue to watch anyway as these shows are incredibly addictive. Will be interesting to see how Andy deals with the situation when Watch What Happens Live returns. Wonder if he’ll address it head on. I feel Bravo has some blood on their hands with this one.

  8. Yes Ken is entitled to his opinion but he seemed to be judgmental of Taylor and also condescending to her. To me, it was apparent that Lisa had informed Ken of her personal feelings for Taylor and Ken saw the opportunity and pounced on Taylor. It really was very unnecessary and completely ruined an already difficult evening (brought on by Adrienne and Paul’s uncalled for bickering).

  9. I think Ken didn’t intend to be rude, but in the context of Taylor JUST saying that she & Russell were in therapy, it did come off as rude and the fact is, in polite society, even if you don’t INTEND to hurt someone’s feeling, if, IN FACT, you do, you should be man (or woman) enough to apologize for it. Doesn’t mean you meant for your comment to have that effect, but it *did* have that effect. Like Judge Judy says: that’s why it is called an accident; if it was intentional, it would be called an “on purpose.” All Ken had to say was “I’m sorry, I didn’t intend to hurt you with that remark. I was speaking only of myself and didn’t mean to imply anything about you or Russell.” THAT’S IT! Small price to pay to make another person feel better, unless you just don’t give a flying f*ck about her.

    And the fact that Taylor is in an emotionally fragile state doesn’t make it HER fault — it just gives more reason for Ken to feel bad that he unintentionally hurt someone who is an emotionally fragile state. That is, if, as I said, he gives a flying f*ck about it. Defending it as “just my opinion” doesn’t cut much ice with me when faced with the fact that the other person is TELLING you it hurt her, unless you are a cold-blooded SOB who doesn’t give a damn that you accidentally hurt a vulnerable person.

    I’m not saying this makes Lisa or Ken the “villain” but it does make them insensitive, at least as far as Taylor’s feelings are concerned, and it does make them more worried about being “right” then admitting that Ken unintentionally hurt her feelings.

  10. I read somewhere that Ken called Taylor the next day and apologized. I like Ken, but I do think he is pretty much self-absorbed and didn’t realize how his words *offended* Taylor.

    Great recap – your recaps always make me laugh out loud!

    I am also team Lisa and don’t think Bravo will be able to convince me otherwise. I guess I’ll have to Watch What Happens!

    1. I think you mean “upset.”

      I’m glad he apologized. I think he pretty much lives with his head in the clouds and is not accustomed to being challenged because nobody takes him seriously.

  11. Did anyone else notice the chicken’s feet with acrylic tips attached to them? They’re hanging over Lisa’s head on the wall in the first photo cap?! GROSS!

    I have to agree with the other commentor on this season. I can’t even bring myself to watch the show, only read the recaps. I personally feel uncomfortable about it.

  12. What happened to the German Shepard puppy Paul gave Adrienne last season? Is Jackpot a replacement or an addition?

  13. B-Side – Great Recap.

    Anyone know what happened to the beautiful shepherd given to Adrienne by Paul last year? Jackpot is cute, but what came of “last year’s model”?

    IMO – what Ken said was more in reference to how Ken saw therapy and a reflection of how many men see couples (or individual) therapy…as a sign of weakness. I can understand Talyor’s sensitivity to the comment but someone should have helped her to see that it was not a commentary on her vs. fueling the fire that Ken did say something about Taylor.

  14. OK- Adrienne actually is wearing less makeup this season and I almost thought there was no glitter strand but DAM it was there! Jackpot is no where as hot as Giggy! FAIL

    Kyle’s face looks poked with botox 🙁 she is so pretty WHY did she do that (or more of it)

    LMAO @ little jabs!

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