The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
“Eat Your Heart Out”
February 19, 2019
First of all, this episode is boring. It is SO BORING. But I feel compelled to write a short preamble to the recap because this episode was also Trying To Do Something Important (I think), and I do think it warrants being acknowledged. While this is one of those episodes that mostly is designed to set up future episodes — ladies make plans; new ladies introduce us to their families; ladies remind us of where their relationships with each other stand — the episode was also edited in such a way to make a kind of statement on the pathologically unhealthy body image issues Hollywood and Beverly Hills creates for the women who live there.
The emotional core of this episode is when one of Lisa Rinna’s daughters — a model — talks openly with her mother — an actress — about her recent struggles with anorexia. It’s a genuinely vulnerable and heartbreaking moment (although I did have some issues which we will get to). The conversation is bracketed by other scenes of the other women also struggling with their own self-images: Lisa and Kyle visit a plastic surgeon for treatments; Dorit can’t allow herself to eat a pastry or drink a beer; Teddi reveals her long punishing route in becoming a fitness accountability coach. Even Denise Richards’ relatively boring introduction to her family reveals that she met her fiance when she went to his quackish anti-aging clinic. This perpetual struggle to be physically perfect is the overarching theme of the episode, and I applaud the producers for subtly pointing out that if you barely scratch the surface glamour of these women’s lives, you find an all-consuming terror of aging and gaining weight. The specter of mortality haunts these people, and though they may enjoy gorgeous mansions and fancy vacations and lavish parties, they are incapable of truly embracing simple pleasures in this life, like a God damned beer.
Except for Erika. That bitch somehow makes it all work.
The episode begins with Kyle swinging by PINK HOUSE where she is nipped at by Lisa’s VanderSwans. The two of them then drive to a plastic surgeon’s office, and on the way there, Lisa makes VanderJokes about Kyle’s vagina and how beaten up it must be after four children. “Hahahaha?” says Kyle.
At the plastic surgeon’s office, Lisa has some filler put into her VanderNeck while high on laughing gas. That’s all that happens: Lisa gets VanderGiddy, Kyle films her on her phone, Lisa VanderProtests Kyle filming her on her phone even though THERE IS AN ENTIRE CAMERA CREW WITH THEM FILMING EVERYTHING.
Elsewhere, Erika meets Dorit and Rinna for drinks. Dorit and Rinna order their glasses of wine, and when Erika orders a beer, the other women are FLABERGASTED.
They discuss Dorit’s burglary and briefly discuss the whole VanderDog mess before moving on to the real reason they are meeting:
beer to discuss a girl’s trip to the Bahamas that Dorit has planned (“planned”) for the women. We also learn that Erika has a house in Lake Tahoe that she’s never been to, and two houses in Palm Springs, one of which she has never been to. I volunteer to check up on the Lake Tahoe house for her in a couple weeks if she would like an update.
And later we confirm when Dorit has a glass of wine with her insufferable husband that she is, in fact, inviting Teddi on this trip, just in case there was any question. Her insufferable husband applauds her for fulfilling her contract with the show.
Onto to Denise Richards’ Malibu beach house where we spend a little time with her fiance, Aaron, and two of her three daughters: seven-year-old Eloise who is NOT Charlie Sheen’s daughter with a prostitute, Denise Richards would like you to know, and 14-year-old Sam who would very much like to go to her school’s homecoming dance in the event she is asked to it by a boy, which has not happened yet. Denise Richards informs her that she’s not to date until she is 16, so they get Charlie Sheen on the phone for his vote, and he’s all, “sure, you can go out on a date, what do I care?” GOOD JOB BEING ON THE SAME PAGE, GUYS. A+++ PARENTING.
As for her fiance, Aaron, Denise Richards explains that she met him, “because I started going to his clinic where he does a lot of frequency work and balancing the body.” This — not goat yoga — is PEAK CALIFORNIA.
I mean, what the everlasting fuck, y’all?
Rinna and Teddi go for a hike where they talk about some role Teddi picked up in a movie called … ~checks IMDB~ … “Next Level,” though Teddi insists that this is not the start of some big Hollywood career. Teddi then reveals that she had originally come to Los Angeles hoping to have an acting career, but after she went on some auditions during pilot season, she was told by her manager that she needed to lose 10 pounds. Instead, she ballooned up over 200 pounds because FUCK YOU, HOLLYWOOD. This eventually led to another 180-degree change in her lifestyle which in turn led her to become the fitness accountability coach that she is today. The idea that Teddi could have weighed over 200 pounds BLOWS RINNA’S MIND.
Later, in the most poignant and important moment in the episode, Rinna has a long conversation with her younger daughter, Amelia, about Amelia’s recent struggle with anorexia. They sort of talk about the effect of living in Hollywood’s toxic environment for women, and Rinna mentions how the entertainment business drove Teddi to gain a tremendous amount of weight.
As someone who has a family member who nearly died from anorexia, I am genuinely grateful to the Rinna family for opening up about Amelia’s disease and for Amelia’s willingness to be vulnerable and honest in front of the entire world. … That said, there’s no real discussion of the fact that Rinna had actively encouraged Amelia to break into the modeling business along with her sister. It would be hard enough to be the daughter of someone as thin and Hollywoodsy as Lisa Rinna, it would be even harder to be the very pretty but just objectively taller and larger younger sister of a model, and so there is no reason to also add the pressure of a modeling career to what is just essentially a formula for an eating disorder. And maybe becoming a model was legitimately Amelia’s choice, but as a parent, I don’t understand Rinna’s decision to allow her daughter to stay in the modeling world after this. Amelia may be healthier now, but the entire modeling universe is entirely too poisonous for young girls and women. If Amelia remains in it, it’s only a matter of time before she begins struggling again.
Moving on to another emotional — but considerably less important — bit of business: For some reason, there is a scene where Kyle goes to Mauricio’s office to cry at him about their daughter Sophia going to college. And as someone whose son is a senior in high school this year, I sympathize! To a point. Because last I checked, her two eldest daughters have both moved back to Los Angeles and are working for Mauricio so it’s hardly GOODBYE FOREVER.
Mauricio tries to make her feel better by reassuring her that she’ll be a grandmother soon.
Lisa Rinna later has what is described as a pastry party for the women (although Kyle is unable to attend because something involving Mauricio and tequila; and Lisa Vanderpump is unable to attend because no). It is basically a “fill a chocolate heart with a bunch of candy and then melt another chocolate heart on top of it ta-da you’ve done pastry” party.
After making their hearts, the women are seated to a candy and cupcake-fest that no one but Erika indulges in for the reasons discussed above. Also, as Erika explains, her life is champagne and cakes because Erika gives no fucks.
The ladies begin asking Denise about her fiance Aaron, and she explains that she met him when she went to his “frequency center” or whatever the fuck, and after a round of anti-aging and DNA repair, they decided to exchange some DNA right there in front of the tuning forks. Erika announces that the visual of Denise and Aaron having sex is right up there with her favorite porn, which Denise Richards takes as a compliment instead of making her have to excuse herself from the table, leave the house, get in her car and drive far, far into the mountains never to be heard from again.
THEN! We learn that Denise and Tuning Forks are going to get married just as soon as his divorce from (formerly) Dynasty’s NICOLETTE SHERIDAN is finalized.
Why the exclamation point? BECAUSE NICOLETTE SHERIDAN ALSO USED TO BE MARRIED TO HARRY HAMLIN.
Lisa Rinna then goes on to confirm that Harry Hamlin and Nicolette Sheridan’s marriage ended when she left him for Michael Bolton.
Let the record reflect that Nicolette Sheridan disputes this version of events:
God bless Nicollette Sheridan.
We then discuss how often the women have sex and if this is important to you: Teddi and her Husband Whatever His Name Is, have sex twice a week, Denise and Tuning Forks have sex every day. I’m sure her fourteen-year-old daughter is thrilled her mother cleared this up on national television. Then again, when your dad is Charlie Sheen, I imagine there’s literally NOTHING your mother can do or say that will embarrass you.
While all of this is happening, Lisa is having VanderLunch with Grandpa Ken and discussing whether or not she should go on this Bahamas trip, especially since Giggy’s health is in decline. Grandpa Ken encourages her to go as she could use the vacation, somehow forgetting that these Real Housewives trips are anything but relaxing and will certainly only create more VanderStress when all is said and done.
But they all pack and load up on a private jet because Dorit insists on “first class all the way …”
Once in the air, Dorit announces the sleeping arrangements at their destination: everyone has a beautiful room, but there are two suites, one of which she invites Lisa to VanderShare with her. Lisa, however, has no intention of VanderSharing a room with anyone, and “jokes” that she will not be in Dorit’s room because she snores and passes gas. “Hahahaha?” says Dorit.
OH, THIS TRIP IS GONNA BE LIT, Y’ALL. Now go drink a beer.
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills airs on Bravo on Tuesdays at 8/9 p.m.