Married to Medicine: Houston
“Takes Two to Sparkle”
December 23, 2016
Let’s begin with Dr. Ashandra’s quest to raise money for her dental clinic. She briefly discusses the progress they’ve made with Pretty Ricky: some $3000 in ticket for the gala have been sold, which is just a tiny drop in a $350,000 bucket.
Later, Dr. Ashandra and Pretty Ricky meet with some of their well-connected friends at Brooklyn Athletic Club to drink the drinks and to ask for their help in convincing people with heavy wallets to attend her fundraiser. Their friend, who happens to be a lobbyist, is like, “I mean, I can talk to some people, but let’s be realistic about this $350,000 number…” Advice that, as it turns out, our Dr. Ashandra might want to take to heart.
Elsewhere, Dr. Erika and some friends attend a jazz performance by the patient whose skin she removed in the previous episode. I’m not going to be snarky here: it’s quite nice that Dr. Erika was able to help this woman achieve her weight loss goals and give her the self-confidence boost she needed. True story: a close relative of mine had a similar surgery many years ago after she lost a lot of weight and it changed her life. And so I think it’s lovely that the show highlighted this patient to serve as a reminder that plastic surgery, even when it is about vanity, has tangible benefits.
However. Dr. Erika’s voice over during this segment talks about how we create an environment in which women “are supposed to look perfect” and that if women don’t feel like they live up to that ideal, it can be difficult for them “to function.” Fortunately! She provides a service that helps these women come close to this artificial construct of beauty! How great!
And I’m not saying that Dr. Erika, an intelligent, confident and independent woman is feeling a little defensive about her choice of specialty, except, NO WAIT THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT I AM SAYING. You reattach people’s fingers, Dr. Erika! You help gunshot victims! Just own the fact that you do boob jobs and liposuction for wealthy insecure women, too! It’s OK! Someone has to do it!
As for Dr. Monica, she visits with a patient who since she saw him last has gotten engaged and is planning his honeymoon to Bora Bora. “OH. ISN’T THAT TERRIFIC FOR YOU,” Dr. Monica says.
Later, Dr. Monica, Imad, Dr. Erika and Derek meet for dinner at Cuchara, a lovely little Mexico City-inspired restaurant, where they are served a salsa that has pork rinds in it. SÍ. MAS SALSA, POR FAVOR.
However, Imad, being Muslim, passes on the salsa — even though he is enjoying a margarita. To Imad’s credit, he himself laughs at this hypocrisy before mentioning to Dr. Erika and Derek that religion is a touchy subject for Dr. Monica. He asks Dr. Erika and Derek what their plans are regarding religion and children, and Dr. Erika explains that she knows it’s important to Derek to raise them as Christian. Since she doesn’t really have feelings about it one way or another, she’s like, “Sure. Whatever. Do whatcha wanna.”
Imad bitches that Dr. Monica’s parents have too much influence over her, what with the whole “wanting their grandchildren raised as Hindus” thing. But he’s not marrying her parents, he would be marrying her! And then imposing his own religious preferences on her! Why can’t she see that?!
Dr. Erika and Derek are like, “So, wait, let us get this straight: you two fundamentally disagree about religion and the role of family in your lives but you’re thinking about marriage? BOY DO Y’ALL HAVE A LOT TO TALK ABOUT. Before you go any further in this relationship, you really need to sit down and figure out what things you’re willing compromise on to be together. But, just, yeah. Wow.”
Finally, Dr. Elly’s 36th birthday party which she is throwing herself at Plants and Petals, which I thought was just a River Oaks florist, but NOPE! They also host events and weddings since they have an entire warehouse full of crystal beads, chandeliers, tea lights and white organza.
Dr. Elly has Dr. Ashandra and Rachel meet her in the space as it’s being set up to drink the champagne and eat the macarons. There, Dr. Elly reveals to Rachel that Cindi Rose said she was racist against Mexicans and to Dr. Ashandra that Cindi Rose called her cheap. “When it comes to spending money on Cindi Rose, I AM broke,” Dr. Ashandra replies, earning my eternal love.
Later, as Dr. Elly is being made up for her big party, she and Pegah discuss the fact that Pegah’s father-in-law just passed away. BUT IT’S OK, Y’ALL: Pegah’s husband gave his blessing for Dr. Elly to throw this lavish birthday party for herself, no worries, it’s totally cool, no guilt required. In fact, if anything, she SHOULD throw this party in the wake of his death because it reaffirms what life is all about: expensive, crystal-drenched, men-in-hot-pants-parading adult birthday parties.
Dr. Elly and Pegah also discuss the fact that the party has a “sparkle” theme, and that Dr. Elly has actually had people ask her if they can wear something that isn’t sparkly, CAN YOU EVEN IMAGINE? I mean, who at this age doesn’t have at least one sparkly dress, right? To which Pegah wonders who at this age has a theme party. Pegah is my hero.
Dr. Elly arrives at the venue and is thrilled with its ridiculousness. She explains that a party like this would normally cost somewhere around $125,000, but that “being Persian, [she] doesn’t pay full price for anything.” Well, being Persian or being a reality show cast member who is giving the business a ton of free publicity. You know, either or.
And I am not going to lie, my goal in life is to be invited to Dr. Elly’s next birthday party, because it is SO. MUCH. There are crystals literally — not figuratively — vomited everywhere, aerialists in silver latex bodysuits pouring champagne while dangling from their crotches, chandeliers hanging off of chandeliers, tea lights and roses, and a woman in a red dress whose train you are supposed to walk on like a red carpet. That is her entire job: being a living red carpet. I will die happy if I go to one party where there is a living red carpet.
Everyone begins arriving in their sparkly best, everyone except Dr. Erika who is wearing a lovely black gown, sans sparkles. This outrages not our hostess, who is busy backstage preparing the next preposterous element of this preposterous party, but Mamacita Maribel, who for some reason (vodka) begins shrieking that “¡SOME people no es SPARKLY! ¡Es un FIESTA DE SPARKLY! ¿DONDE ES THE SPARKLY, DR. ERIKA?”
Rachel pulls her mother off of Dr. Erika who is unsure what is even happening, and insists that she STOP IT WITH THE LOCA, while also shrugging in an interview that hey, at least she and her madre put all their crazy out there, you know?
Meanwhile, in other fashion controversies, Dr. Monica and Cindi Rose arrive wearing the exact same dress loosely inspired by Britney Spears’ “Toxic” video:
This is hilarious for a number of reasons, notably that no one but a heavily photoshopped Britney Spears can actually pull this look off successfully. But — and I should note that this is as unsubstantiated as Donald Trump’s pee story — but as I mentioned in an early post, my father is a surgeon here in Houston, and when my mother heard about this show being made, she claimed that someone on the cast once made some nasty comment about the dress she was wearing to some event they were at, something about how they remembered my mother having worn it before. And I’m not saying that it was Dr. Monica — I have no evidence it was Dr. Monica. But I am saying that 1. Dr. Monica works in the same hospital system as my father and 2. I can not for the life of me imagine any of the other women on this show saying something like that to anyone ever. You do the math.
Anyway, Dr. Ashandra finds this fashion faux pas hilarious, and tells Dr. Monica in an interview that she needs to “burn that dress. Tear it up, cut it up in pieces, dig a big hole and throw it in.”
Backstage, Dr. Elly is shoving herself into her sparkly dress and checking out the hilarious male models who are going to carry her into the party, Cleopatra-style, wearing nothing but silver latex booty shorts.
Seriously, Dr. Elly, how do I get on your guest list? What will it take?
So, she’s carried into the party to everyone’s delight, before deposited at a microphone where she thanks everyone for coming and says a few nice words about Pegah’s father-in-law and how they should celebrate life.
That taken care of, Rachel decides to try to actually clear the air with Cindi Rose, demanding to know what the hell is with these completely batshit insane things Cindi Rose has been saying about her being racist against Mexicans. Cindi Rose goes on and on about how terribly sorry she is, that she is better at the written word than the spoken and blah blah blah, she was just saying what she knew would get her the most attention, blah. And Rachel accepts this because she is too sweet for her own good. Girl, THAT IS NO WAY TO GET RENEWED. They literally threw Cindi Rose into this mix just to have someone for you to scream at/toss throwing wine at/pull extensions out of. You have to be the smaller person, not the bigger! Take Michelle Obama’s famous advice about going high and THROW IT OUT THE WINDOW! ALL Y’ALL!
Instead, Rachel finds herself twerking with Cindi Rose and I find myself refilling my wine glass. We’ve got to work on your reality showness, ladies.
Married to Medicine: Houston aired on Bravo on Fridays at 8 p.m. But it SHOULD have aired when someone might have actually seen it because it was pretty good.