‘Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ recap: Why does Brandi hate Joyce?

Here’s what I don’t understand about “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.” Every other episode or so, someone throws a fabulous dinner party or hosts a decadent weekend retreat, and for what? You can put out fine china and orchids and cute little appetizers, and you’ll still get a gaggle of women squeezing one another’s boobs, cackling about dead bodies ruining their scuba diving trips, whining about who got a heart on their place card and who didn’t, and (in some cases) getting knock down, drag out, cheap sex in a dirty bathroom drunk. I mean, this week Yolanda should have just rounded up a few bags of Doritos, a party pack of Taco Bell burritos, and a plastic swimming pool of vodka Jell-O suitable for wrestling or inhaling. Unfortunately, instead it was peonies before swine.

While the first part of the show, which revolved around a lost dog (Brandi’s Chica) and a bad dog (Kimberly’s Kingsley), was perfectly relatable, it didn’t take long for the crazy train to come barreling into the station. While Carlton seems mostly reasonable much of the time, I’m not sure I needed to know she’s refining an adult playroom in her house in which to chain and ball gag her husband when necessary. Carlton clearly has a problem with boundaries, in that she doesn’t have any. She considers the woman she hired to be her nanny her best friend, as she’s very “playful,” but I get the impression she’s just going along in the hopes of one day getting a sizable sexual harassment settlement.

Still, Carlton did make the smart move by flaking out on Yolanda’s dinner party, which gets the Fosters in a huff but spares Carlton the hellishness of watching Brandi drink herself under the table while screaming at Joyce. Even though Lisa tries to tsk tsk Brandi into drinking less, she seems awfully tickled with the end result, tittering away as Brandi takes pot shots at Joyce. As much as Brandi seems convinced that Joyce wants to be the center of attention, increasingly I think this is a case of the pot calling the kettle narcissistic. 

Of course, gunning for Joyce is kind of like hunting for a Starbucks or looking for a dumb episode of “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.” It’s just too easy. While Joyce tries to defend calling her husband “baby,” which is just about as creepy as Brandi implies, most of the time she seems a little shellshocked that Brandi is prodding her in the first place. I think Joyce may be too nice for this show — at least, this week.

Kyle also got a moment in the spotlight, mostly for grabbing at Lisa and Brandi’s boobs in a “is it real or is it Memorex” test I could have gladly skipped, but also for starting the Great Heart Debate. Yolanda put little hearts on some of the place cards! And it turns out she only put little hearts on the place cards of people she LIKES! Gosh, what an insult! I think Kyle might have a reason to pout if Yolanda had made her eat out of a dog dish on the patio or only let her listen to the Canadian Tenors with a pillow over her head, but given how all-out this little soiree was, I think Kyle can just shut it. She can drum up another major insult next week, I’m sure.

Do you think Yolanda was calculating when she put hearts on the place cards? Do you think Brandi needs an intervention? And do you think Carlton was actually too sick to go to the party?