Thanks to my Y-chromosome and a fully developed cerebral cortex, I’m immune to the various different “Real Housewives” franchises, so I didn’t watch last night’s Season 2 premiere of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.” (In case you’re just joining us, that’s the one where the husband killed himself over anxiety about how he’d be portrayed on the show.) But Mary McNamara watched it for the L.A. Times, and she absolutely DESTROYED it.
The only meaningful statement Bravo could have made after the suicide last month of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” spouse Russell Armstrong would have been to cancel Season 2, which depicts, among other things, the collapse of the Armstrong marriage.
That, of course, was not going to happen — any hint of responsibility would have been taken as an admission that being on television has become an attractive nuisance, like an unfenced swimming pool. Instead, after offering their heartfelt condolences, the producers simply re-edited the season premiere a bit and added a preface, filmed Aug. 29, in which the cast directly addressed the tragedy.
Which meant, for five minutes or so, all the housewives except Armstrong’s wife Taylor — in full hair, makeup and Jackie O. sunglasses — converged on Adrienne Maloof’s over-kitschy manse to reassure themselves that they had nothing to feel guilty about.
Looking serious and dabbing occasionally at their eyes, they each professed their shock and sorrow (“I never saw any sign of it,” “I don’t think any of us saw any sign of it”) just as if they had actually been friends with Armstrong and not simply participants in a franchise built around the drama of discord, including and especially marital problems.
I recommend reading the whole thing, if only for the part where she calls the show “a creepy necro-party game.” Which, ironically, I might be more inclined to watch.