‘The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’: Judging you

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
“Santa Denise”
May 27, 2020

Kyle has organized a weekend in Santa Barbara for the women to celebrate the end of filming the new Halloween movie that had her flying to North Carolina every other day or whatever. But Garcelle won’t be joining them because she’s flying off to Nashville to film some new TV show … which I was going to say is ironic but in reality it’s not. These women are a bunch of actresses, that’s what they do.

In fact, the only time we spend with Garcelle in this episode is when she swings by her kids’ bus stop to say goodbye to them on her way out to the airport. She also has some choice things to say about the other mothers at the school who greet her with “hey, stranger:” namely that they can just fuck right the fuck off.

Back at Kyle’s house, Dorit is the first to arrive giving the two of them a little time to talk about the awkwardness that currently is vibrating between them. Kyle insists that she loves Dorit and doesn’t want their friendship to be thrown away over petty nonsense. Also, Kyle is not interested in sobbing her way through another dinner, so let’s just put this whole “couple’s therapy” crap to bed already. Instead, Dorit is like, “You know what, instead of getting all pedantic about what a couple is and what therapy is, let’s focus on having fun on this trip! FUN TIMES!”

Rinna, Teddi, Erika, and Sutton all arrive soon after, and before loading up into the party bus for the one and a half-hour drive to Santa Barbara, each of the women pee about five times. And I, for one, do not blame them because as I grow older, my personal motto has become: “Never Skip An Opportunity to Use the Bathroom.” It’s just sound life advice.

As for Denise, she’s busy on the set of The Bold and the Beautiful, and will be joining the women later in the day. She also goes out of her way for the sixteenth time this season to insist that while she’s played sexy characters, that’s not who she is, and besides, no one really knows what happens behind closed doors.

So, on the drive to Santa Barbara, Kyle explains that her father — whom she NEVER talks about — lived there when she was a kid and that it holds a special place in her heart as a result. And then she begins to completely FREAK OUT as the van makes its way up the cliffside road the rental property is on because she is a walking ball of anxiety.

They finally arrive at the house and are promptly assaulted by the owner …

It’s a lovely house, and for $2,500 a night, it damn well better be (although I checked recently, and it looks like it’s on the market for only $3.3 million which frankly seems like a steal for a house that size with that view — maybe the drive is rougher than realized and Kyle deserves more credit).

The women sort their rooms with absolutely zero drama. SEE? IT CAN BE DONE, RAMONA SINGER.

They then head down to town for some side-by-side bicycle riding and wine tasting, leaving behind a note for Denise telling her where they’ll be. Upon arriving at the wharf, they pair up on the bicycles to race to the winery, and somehow Dorit and Teddi end up together, with Dorit exclaiming, “WHY DID I GET THE PREGNANT ONE?” And to her credit, Teddi doesn’t seem to take it hard, but you could see how that could go sideways. It turns out, Dorit and Teddi “win” the race they weren’t actually having, because despite being pregnant, Teddi’s also an exercise fanatic, so maybe you should be thanking her, Dorit, instead of treating her like a liability. DAMMIT, STOP MAKING ME DEFEND TEDDI.

At the winery, the women are taken to some tables on a lovely patio right on the water and are plied with wine, glass after glass. Eventually, talk turns to Denise and how upset she was about them talking about sexy times in the vicinity of her kids, and it turns out she not only brought it up to Erika, she also mentioned it to Dorit and Teddi, so she’s clearly worked up about it. Dorit, trying to be the devil’s advocate, points out that having a conversation with your 14-year-old about threesomes would be uncomfortable, but Erika’s like, “OH PULEEZE, they already know about them … if they haven’t already had one.”

And this is right about the same time Denise walks in.

The women laugh that they’ve been “cocktailing” for a few hours, and Denise, who has found her judges’ robes this season is like, “sure seems like it.”

As the ladies FaceTime with Garcelle so she feels included, two teen boys crash the scene, jumping into the ocean at the balcony right behind them, causing much squealing. Denise  suggests they head back to the house, that they are “wearing out our welcome here …”

… and on the way out the door, Kyle tells the hostess that she hopes they weren’t “too annoying” while they were giving their winery some very valuable on-screen promotion.

Back at the house, the women dine al fresco on one of the home’s patios. The women ask Denise about her new The Bold and the Beautiful character, which leads to her talking about her biggest roles: Starship Troopers and Wild Things. Rinna cuts to the chase and asks Denise what it’s like to shoot a three-way. CUE THE DRAMATIC MUSIC! AND THE CUTS TO SHOCKED FACES! AND GO TO COMMERCIAL! Basically, the way the episode is edited makes it seem like this was some huge awkward moment, but from what I can tell Denise is not offended and, in fact, is very forthcoming about the details.

Denise talks about how she was raised in a very conservative household, but that her mother encouraged her to take the role if she thought it would be good for her career. Every detail, down to how many nipples would be exposed and for how long, were negotiated by the agents and managers. Denise adds that the scenes with just Neve Campbell were easier to film because there was more trust there, she felt a fellow actress would be more sensitive and inclined to protect her. What was gross, Denise adds, was just the idea of the crew watching the two of them making out and getting off on it. And when the movie came out, Denise told her mother when the sex scenes were going to happen so that her mother could take her father out of the theater, lest he sees his little girl that way.


The ladies ask Denise if her daughters have seen the movie, and she’s HORRIFIED at the notion. OF COURSE THEY HAVEN’T.

The other women are like, “Ok, maybe they haven’t seen it … yet. But you need to reckon with the fact that they will watch it one day.” Rinna goes on to tell the story of how a couple of years ago, her daughters revealed to her that they had read her sex book — in which she gives detailed description on how to give a blow job — when they were preteens. But Rinna prefers to look at the bright side:

In an interview, Rinna sighs that while no one wants to think about their daughters giving blow jobs, at the end of the day, it’s just sex. Everyone needs to calm down.

Kyle then tries to apologize to Denise: their tiff started off as an issue between Kyle and Dorit, but things escalated, and she’s sorry that she yelled at Denise. Denise, who seems irritable and looking for a fight, doesn’t just accept the apology and move on, but instead sits in it for a while, talking about how she was taken aback by Kyle’s behavior and she didn’t know where it was coming from. Kyle tries again to explain that it was not about Denise, it was about Dorit but that in the moment, she felt ganged up on and felt defensive. “Yeah well, this is an opinionated group,” Denise huffs before attacking Kyle again for making a big deal about Dorit’s getting glammed up before Teddi’s event.


Which brings us all to the next item on the agenda: Why did Denise fly off the handle about adults having an adult conversation at an adult party? Denise reminds them again that her daughters and their friends were within earshot and she didn’t think the conversation was appropriate for young ears. Just the idea of overhearing her own mother and her friends talking about such things, well, fetch her the smelling salts.

Sutton suggests that Denise not invite the children to an adult party next time, but in fairness to Denise, it’s her party, she does what she wants. Maybe the adults could be more mindful of the fact that there were children nearby and not have loud conversations about sex.

Erika is like, “Come on, it’s not like it’s something they’ve never heard before,” BECAUSE IT IS NOT, but Denise just reiterates this idea that her daughters shouldn’t be hearing about such things from their mom and their mom’s friends. It’s fine though, from here on out, Denise will just be more mindful about having her daughters around this group of women.

Denise then claims that it takes a lot to offend her …

… and she wouldn’t have said anything to anyone except that Sami approached her about their conversation and all the talk of threesomes.

Narrator: Sami did not approach Denise about their conversation. They filmed Sami and Denise’s lunch and showed part of it a couple of episodes ago, and Denise 100% brought it up to Sami, asking her what she heard.

It’s not a big deal, Denise insists after turning it into a huge fucking deal. We’re done.

And at least one of the women is done, God bless her:

With that, Dorit demands they go to bed already, and everyone agrees. Fun dinner!

Kyle and Teddi stay up a while longer, and agree that Denise wants to keep this conversation about her kids going — you don’t bring it up multiple times with multiple people if you just want it to die down. It’s like she’s judging them and trying to make them look like assholes, and no one wants to call her out on her hypocrisy because they’re all a bunch of fake ass bitches.

Hey, they said it, not me.

The next morning, Rinna makes some overly strong coffee, and the women gather for breakfast. There, the women discuss how they didn’t sleep well, and decide it’s because they didn’t really resolve anything the night before. And so, there in the harsh light of morning, they agree to hash shit out.

Dorit begins by saying that Kyle hurt her feelings when she said Dorit wasn’t close to Erika (which I do not remember seeing in the previous episode, but OK), and Kyle responds that she was just lashing out because she was feeling ganged up on, and they were all banding together like best friends.

“But I don’t have any friends, remember?” Erika snarls. Kyle is then grilled on why she would say something so mean to Erika, and she claims she was upset that she was being accused of going to couple’s therapy with Teddi when it was just a breathing exercise to control their anxiety. Erika reminds Kyle that she, too has anxiety and would not attack anyone else for it, before insisting that she was just making a point about Kyle and Teddi being a “package deal” — she was being honest, Kyle and Teddi ARE close.

And let me just stop for a moment and point out that it is strange that Kyle can’t just admit that she’s closer to Teddi than the rest of the women, but it’s also weird that the other women can’t just accept this very obvious fact and move on from it? Like, no one thought twice about the fact that Kyle and Lisa were VanderBestFriends back when they were speaking, so why is it so offensive that she has a new best friend?

ANYWAY, Teddi then jumps into the fray to give Dorit grief for using these attacks on her friendship with Kyle as a means to be shady about her — if Dorit has issues with Teddi, just say it, don’t attack Kyle instead.

Kyle apologizes to Dorit if she made her feel less important — but people have different relationships with different people and everyone just needs to deal.

Rinna is then like, “EXCUSE ME, I HAVE SOME SHIT I WOULD LIKE TO STIR, NOW.” She says she’s not “comfortable” with the way the conversation about the sex talk ended last night, and how Denise shut it down. But Denise is like, “I mean, how much more needs to be said about it? Also, too, I don’t know if any of y’all have noticed, but recently when these conversations go on too long they get heated and someone (Kyle) starts crying, and nothing gets resolved.” Now, Denise repeats, she knows moving forward, her kids won’t be within earshot of the rest of them.

Rinna is like, “yeah, I don’t know, I think you are using your kids to make us feel bad.”

Denise insists: she’s not a judgemental person.

“Uh, it felt a little judgy to us,” replies Erika.

Denise again claims she’s not mad at or judging any of them, to which Erika reminds her that she has brought this one subject up to three different people, so she’s obviously somewhat pissed about it.

Rinna is like, “Look, you’re as open as I am about sex … ” But Denise insists it’s different: she doesn’t talk to her kids about happy endings or her quack husband’s penis size, to which Erika reminds her of that picture on Instagram of him that she posted.


Denise adds that she took that picture down because her daughters were uncomfortable but the other women are like, “Yeah, bitch, but you did post it. That’s who you are. And you can’t go on TV and talk about your husband’s dick and paying for him to have a happy ending and then turn around and call us bad moms.”

Denise points out that she doesn’t expect that things she discusses with her girlfriends privately are going to be heard by her daughters, and that’s a fair assumption that any parent should be able to make! EXCEPT FOR THE PART WHERE EVERY “PRIVATE” CONVERSATION SHE HAS WITH HER GIRLFRIENDS IS BEING RECORDED AND THEN AIRED ON NATIONAL TELEVISION. SO, NO, MA’AM. And this is one of those things where the refusal to break the fourth wall and acknowledge that they’re all on a reality show is so frustrating. The other women’s’ point is: hey, you’re on this show, you’ve openly discussed sexual things on this show, your daughters have definitely seen this show, so you now acting like we’re bad mothers because we are having conversations about sex on this show — like the ones you yourself have had —  is REALLY HYPOCRITICAL and we have no idea where it is coming from. But they can’t say that because to say that would be to acknowledge the fact that they are on a show to begin with. So dumb.

But then Rinna goes and pulls the asshole card and asks Denise if she’s talked to the girls about Charlie having hookers around, and she’s like “Yeah, we’ve discussed those things privately, thanks.”

In an interview, Denise notes that she’s shocked Rinna would do this: they’ve been friends for 20 years, she knows how hard Denise has worked to protect her kids, so why she’s bringing this up, she just doesn’t understand her agenda. And on the one hand: it’s fair to be hurt by your friend trying to embarrass you this way, but on the other hand: you were married to Charlie Sheen during his Sheeniest, did you think this wouldn’t be brought up? Repeatedly? On a reality show? That you’re only on because of your celebrity? And part of that celebrity is that you were married to Charlie Sheen during his Sheeniest?

Erika points out that in the grand scheme of things, the conversation they had at her party was mild compared to what her kids have been exposed to, but Denise insists it doesn’t give them a free pass to say anything they want just because her daughters’ father regularly brings prostitutes to Thanksgiving dinner.

Rinna concludes the hash it out session by noting that the bottom line is that there are hurt feelings and addressing that is always a good thing. So do they all feel better now?

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The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills airs on Bravo.

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