I suppose somewhere in the world there's someone who believes reality TV has a fair amount of reality in it. That's such a sweet, innocent ideal I would direct said person not to watch the third part of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills”'s reunion, because the level of meta nattering will not only destroy that idea, but it could cause spontaneous combustion or a head explosion. When the ladies start talking about how they strategize what to say in front of the cameras, the gig is pretty clearly up on the whole “reality” thing.
The strategy issue comes up when the battle royale of this season — the meltdown between Lisa and Brandi — takes center stage. At first, Brandi just wants to rehash what we already know. Lisa kept inviting Scheana, the woman who slept with Brandi's now ex-husband, to work on nights when Brandi was swinging by Sur or Villa Blanca. Lisa tries to keep the discussion on-track. She needed someone to work! Brandi needs to put on her big girl panties and deal with Scheana!
Then, the truth bubbles out so fluidly I'm thinking Andy Cohen doesn't even know how to stop it. Lisa admits that production insisted that Scheana show up when Brandi came to the restaurant for the purpose of promoting “Vanderpump Rules.” Yolanda, incensed, thinks Lisa should haves stood up to production, which seems fairly ridiculous given that Lisa is getting gobs of free advertising just by “Vanderpump Rules” making it to air. Easy to take the high road when you're married to David Foster money, Yolanda.
Then, spurred by a fan question, Brandi attacks Lisa for her hour-long “strategizing” phone calls. Apparently her decision to dump Brandi was also strategy, as she moved on to other prospects when Brandi's popularity as a character on the show began to wane. Or, to quote Brandi quoting Lisa, “You're losing your audience.”
“But we had so much fun together!” Lisa squawks, not understanding why everyone else seems so aware of being on a reality television show and yet so oblivious to exactly how fake their relationships really are.
Kyle jumps in and says that Lisa dumped her for pretty much the same reasons. Then, Kyle slams Lisa for bringing up the rumors about her husband having an affair, because she knew that would then become a hot button topic for the entire season. How dare she not speak to her off-camera about the rumors! That's what real friends do!
But… but.. real friends? Um… yeah, no. Kim rails at Lisa, saying that Kyle was a devoted and true fake reality TV friend. Aww!
So, in short, Lisa dictated storylines, chose friends according to what made most sense for her TV personality and helped production set up other characters. The other girls say villain; I say, hey, she's a reality TV superstar!