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!
Brandi tells Lisa she's been a lousy friend (she uses a more Brandi-riffic word, of course). Yolanda clarifies that everyone isn't ganging up on Lisa. Everyone has individual reasons to hate Lisa! Does Yolanda not understand what ganging up means? It's less about content and more about the ganging up, dear.
Andy finally asks whether Kyle and Lisa can become besties again. Not so fast, Andy Cohen! Kyle has demands! She wants Lisa to take some accountability! Lisa finally apologizes for cracking jokes about the rumors about Mauricio having an affair while a camera was running. Oh, and in front of Kyle's five-year-old, because we all know how little kids get adultery jokes. Kyle accepts Lisa's apology for acting like she's on a reality TV show. Geez, the nerve!
It seems that Brandi's Lexapro is wearing off, because she's getting more and more worked up as the show continues. She needs to know that Lisa loves her! “If Scheana and I were in a fire, who would you save?” Seemingly too sane for the room, Lisa admits that she really doesn't want to consider one of her waitresses bursting into flame, as it's messy and everyone would want time off for the funeral and it's really bad press. She doesn't say those last things, but they're implied, I think.
But Brandi does unearth the truth when she points out that Lisa doesn't have to take Scheana shopping and buy her stuff. Lisa argues that she does, because “Vanderpump Rules, duh. But Andy then gets to the truth of the matter — production may want her to go out with her staff, but she doesn't go out with everyone. “I can't stand Kristen,” she admits with a shrug.
As Brandi launches into another round of complaints, Lisa finally asks, “If I'm so imperfect, why do you want to be my friend”?
“Nobody's perfect!” Brandi screeches, though that doesn't really explain why she wants to be friends with Lisa.
Finally, it's time for Andy to ask where the future of Brandi and Lisa lies. Can they be fake reality TV besties again? Brandi hopes she and Lisa can figure it out, but Lisa doesn't know. Let's just say if Brandi regains her audience, it's game on!
Finally, the men — Mauricio, Ken (with Giggy) and Michael take the stage. The two Davids (belonging to Yolanda and Carlton respectively) are working.
This should be more interesting than it is, but Kyle and Mauricio are closer now that everyone thinks Mauricio is a man slut, Michael lost weight and he's happy we all know he has a big pee-pee, and Michael thinks Carlton is going to burn in hell. Wait, that last part may need explanation. Even though he says he doesn't think Carlton cursed him, he had his house blessed by a rabbi and a pastor and he thinks Carlton is one evil bitch. Carlton is, of course, insulted, but the conversation goes nowhere, probably because the more Michael talks the dumber he seems to be.
Then, Ken hands out some apologies before admitting he's kinda over Brandi. “I don't think I could ever let you back into my life. And I forgive everybody,” he says, which almost makes Brandi move her forehead in distress.
“I'm emotionally exhausted!” she says, adding that she needs someone to support her and stick with her through the bad times.
“Okay maybe I could let you back in,” Ken says, crumbling like a stale cookie. This is almost a sweet moment. If Brandi's face moved, it would really play, I'm telling you.
Finally, there are toasts all around, and everyone seems to think being on this show has been just great, probably because they're busily at work launching branded toaster ovens or something. Here's to season five, if everyone gets re-cast!
What did you think of this season? Do you feel everyone ganged up on Lisa? Do you think Brandi is a victim or part of the problem?