The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
“The Crown Isn’t So Heavy”
April 15, 2020
Welcome to the tenth season of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, darlings. This season we are down one Vanderpump ~pours out a glass of VandeRosé~ but we have gained Garcelle Beauvais, model, actress, and the franchise’s first African-American Housewife. It only took ten years, but here we are! Welcome, Garcelle!
We begin this episode in what feels like the middle of the season, with Kyle packing a suitcase, preparing to go to North Carolina, where she will be filming the new Halloween film, and to New York City where she will have a show in Fashion Week? Wait, wut?
Yeah, so apparently Kyle has a fashion line now? Or, more accurately, Kyle has slapped her name on someone else’s designs but we’ll get to that in a bit. She “has a fashion line” and the other cast members and her daughters are going to walk in her show at Fashion Week, so everyone is headed to New York in this premiere episode.
But they’re not just there for Kyle’s show! Erika is performing at a show with someone called “Brooke Candy” at something called VFiles at the Barclay Center. And the only nouns I, an old, understand in that sentence are “Erika” and “Barclay Center.” We spend maybe two minutes on this, so I suppose it’s not that important in the scheme of things.
The next morning, Kyle chats with a newly arrived Dorit: she and Kyle’s daughter Alexia took the red-eye to New York, and Dorit is EXHAUSTED, darling. Kyle’s like, “yeah yeah, but I need your help with this fashion show, so grab a 5-Hour Energy.”
Dorit, who knows her way around a fashion show, asks Kyle if her models are going to have the same hair and makeup? Does she have her samples? Has she picked out her accessories?
So, the two of them load up into an SUV and buy expensive New York City pretzels off the street (from their SUV) and end up at some brownstone where the ACTUAL designer, a lovely woman named Shahida, has the entire line waiting for Kyle to pick which items she wants to feature in the show. Kyle explains that Shahida has had a clothing line for many years, and Kyle’s had her own ideas, and they “merged their ideas together.” And by “merged their ideas together,” Kyle means she invested in Shahida’s line and slapped her name on it: she gets to claim she’s a designer now, Shahida gets new attention to her clothes because REAL HOUSEWIFE, it’s a win-win!
At Shahida’s, Kyle starts pawing through the clothes, and it’s clear she’s never seen some of these pieces, if not most of them. There’s a lot of “I DON’T LIKE THAT. I DON’T KNOW ABOUT THIS. NO, NOT THIS ONE,” and running around anxiously while Tracie, the woman who is actually running the fashion show, glares nearby. Dorit unabashedly marvels that Kyle has no idea what she’s doing — HAVING A FASHION LINE ISN’T AS EASY AS IT LOOKS, IS IT. They all try to remind Kyle that she doesn’t have to wear everything being shown but KYLE DOES NOT WANT TO PUT HER NAME ON SOMETHING SHE DOESN’T LOVE. With that, she chooses a snakeskin print tracksuit to wear at the show.
While Kyle and Dorit are giving Tracie and Shahida headaches, Erika takes Rinna, Teddi, and Denise to the New Jersey go-go club she used to work at when she was 18 and trying to make it in New York City. Listen, the rent is due every month, don’t judge.
The club is called “Shakers,” Godbless, and true to her description, it’s not a strip club, it’s a “go-go” bar, meaning, there are women on a stage/bar, lackadaisically “dancing” while wearing bathing suits. Not judging the work, but if I’m being completely honest, the whole thing feels pretty lazy. Maybe the dancers don’t break out the better costumes and real moves until later at night.
The women have questions: how many songs would she dance to, for instance. And Erika explains she would do 30-minute sets, 6 sets a night. Rinna, whose daughters are the same age Erika was when she worked here, can’t imagine her girls doing this, but concedes that she’s doing a version of it herself on Instagram, so maybe she shouldn’t judge. YA THINK?
Back in Manhattan, we are introduced to Garcelle who arrives at the Palace Hotel. You might recognize Garcelle from Coming to America or The Magicians or The Jamie Foxx Show or NYPD Blue or any other number of roles, including a bit part in Arrested Development. The explanation for how she is brought into this group is that she and Denise filmed a pilot 20 years ago and have been in touch ever since.
When Erika’s field trip returns to the hotel, Garcelle meets Denise, Teddi, and Erika for tequila shots at some bar, and we learn a little more about Garcelle:
She was born in Haiti, but her mother moved her to Massachusetts in the dead of winter when she was seven. She learned English from Sesame Street. She has twin 11-year-old sons and is not married. Now we’re all caught up!
Meanwhile, Rinna has gone off on her own to meet up with this season’s new Friend of the Housewives, Sutton Stracke, some woman Rinna met “six or seven years ago.” Sutton is originally from Georgia, but has homes in Los Angeles and presumably other places, and won the lottery with her ex-husband, a “hedge fund guy.” As such, she is personal friends with Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, perhaps because she spends a shit ton of her ex-husband’s money on their clothes. It is at Dolce’s home where she meets Rinna while she has a fitting.
While Rinna waits for Sutton to try on her “couture,” Rinna tries on a crown that is just lying around because Dolce and Gabbana. With this, the cheeky producers say their goodbyes to Lisa Vanderpump by playing her tagline, “The crown is heavy, darlings, so just leave it where it belongs.” VanderBye, Lisa. You were VanderGreat until you weren’t.
Finally, Sutton comes teetering out in a hilariously unflattering shorts outfit and preens around. Seriously, you can’t tell from the photo below, but it makes her look like a pink linebacker.
So that’s Sutton.
Back at the hotel, Teddi, Denise, Erika, and Garcelle decide it’s margarita time (but when isn’t it?) and meet at the courtyard bar. There, Teddi shares some tabloid news with Denise: namely that Charlie Sheen is calling her a “coward” and a “liar” for demanding child support from him, and that he’s taking her to court. Denise, who is remarkably calm about the whole thing, explains that this creep hasn’t paid her child support in a year, but she wasn’t willing to go to court because that’s a “toxic road.”
Erika, as any good wife of an attorney, is like: “LAWYER UP. NOW.” Denise wonders if she has to show up to court if Charlie gets a hearing and Erika is like, “Uh, yes, but let’s call my husband and confirm.” And while Mr. Girardi notes that he doesn’t have all the information on the case, he’s still like, “YEAH, YOU NEED TO SHOW UP. WHETHER IT’S WITH ME OR SOMEONE ELSE, YOU GET YOUR ASS IN THAT COURTROOM.”
But Denise blows the warnings off, she’ll deal with it when she gets back to L.A., and anyway, this is her family, she knows how to deal with it, and she’s not going to court.
That evening, everyone, including Garcelle and Sutton and the Morally Corrupt Faye Resnick, join Kyle for dinner in some basement. There, Kyle decides to facetime Mauricio who is back at home hosting yet another party for his agency? How many parties does one real estate agency need to have for itself? I am not against having a good time on the company dime, but they are throwing AT LEAST one party per season, which seems like a lot?
So Sutton arrives and is introduced to everyone and obviously, she has some feelings about what everyone else is wearing: namely that Erika’s outfit is WAY too short and sleazy; Dorit’s dress, a Fenty, is not a real label — I mean, a CELEBRITY collaboration? TRASH; and Teddi’s jumpsuit is boring.
She seems nice.
Everyone sits down just … wherever, seeing as there are no place cards, to Sutton’s surprise. And Rinna offers congratulations to Kyle: just look around and see how many people love and support her as she begins this new chapter as a “designer.”
Kyle thanks everyone for being there and then suggests that Teddi might want to share something. And that’s when Teddi announces she’s pregnant, something that we already knew thanks to the taglines. Erika, who worked out with Teddi and was riding bicycles with her earlier, is pissed that Teddi was kicking her ass even while pregnant, and I sympathize. All I was able to do in both of my first trimesters was lie on the couch, vomit, and cry.
Sutton laughs that she’s glad it’s not her: as soon as her son was out able to get out of his crib, he’d just stand at the baby gate and scream, and she’d let him. Some people were shocked by this, but it’s called TRAINING. You have to let them cry sometimes. Erika immediately recognizes a fellow Southern momma, and explains to those of y’all who don’t know: Southern moms do not take shit. (And listen. I never just let my babies cry at the baby gate, but I did Ferberize them and I’m here to tell you that 16 and 19 years later, they don’t seem to have any emotional scars from the experience. At least not from THAT experience.)
The next day is the big fashion show. On the way to the site, Kyle receives a phone call warning that Tracie, the woman who is producing the show, says Kyle needs to keep her distance from her. “WELL, I WILL AVOID HER, BUT NOT BECAUSE SHE TOLD ME TO,” Kyle counters. Sure, Kyle. OK.
Kyle and her daughters arrive and Kyle is vibrating with nervous energy and adding that she doesn’t want people to call her a joke. And you know what? I get it. Especially since I’ve basically been calling her a joke this entire post.
Thirty minutes later, the other women begin showing up and are assigned their outfits, and poor Dorit is given a pair of shoes that are two sizes too big. Dorit calls this sabotage, and I’m inclined to agree. WHO MAKES A NON-PROFESSIONAL MODEL GO OUT ON A RUNWAY IN THE WRONG-SIZED SHOES EXCEPT SOMEONE LOOKING TO MAKE TROUBLE? Producers? I’ve got my eye on you …
Kyle also violates Tracie’s rule of Keeping Her Damn Distance by approaching her to inform her that a second daughter will be walking in the show, which apparently is news to the woman actually trying to produce her show. Tracie, girl, whatever you were paid, it was not enough.
Garcelle and Sutton take their seats in the audience, along with Kyle’s more-famous-than-her nieces, Paris and Nicky, and the fashion show begins. And it’s fine. Teddi doesn’t embarrass herself, Erika is dressed in some frumpy pajamas, Kyle’s daughters clomp down the runway, but overall it’s fine. It’s fine! Totally fine.
In a talking head, Kyle notes that they were all so happy that day … it’s hard to even imagine how terrible things would soon become.
And then there are a bunch of previews for what is to come this season: mostly about Denise and Brandi Glanville’s menage de WHAAAA?
Y’all, I KNEW they should have never fired Brandi. LET’S DO THIS.
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills airs on Bravo.