It’s the Real Housewives of Potomac reunion part 1!  I know I’ve been lax about recapping this show but I love a good reunion, so I thought let’s at least throw one down for these new ladies.

First things first- with the exception of Katie, they all look like they bought their gowns at the Prom Section of a TJ Maxx.  The makeup is semi-decent except for Robyn who clearly got the same VPR reunion stylist who worked on Lala. Personally, I’ve always thought that Robyn is the prettiest one because she always looks beautiful but also very Real whereas Katie and Ashley look more model-pretty to me, so it’s sort of disappointing to see her with this ridiculously big hair, bizarre lipstick choice, and way too much makeup in general…

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Andy starts off asking the women what it’s been like so far for them now that they’d been thrust into a national spotlight. Charrisse says that people attacked her character (I’m guessing that’s based mostly off of the first two episodes because she was kind of a bitch but then seemed to mellow out for the rest of the season). Karen was attacked on her looks, specifically her beauty mark (=mole) and Katie was critiqued by the Internet saying that she was desperate to get married and Andy notes the lack of engagement ring on Katie’s finger.

This is exactly why I hate that the reunion show isn’t filmed closer to when it airs because we already know that Katie and Andrew broke up but are now back together so I feel bad for Katie because it’s clearly very fresh for her here (she returned the ring the day before the reunion taped), but in real time, this has all been resolved.

Karen and Charrisse are both supportive but not surprised to hear of Katie’s decision to return the ring because Charisse feels Katie was rushing things.  I’m surprised to hear Karen say that she wouldn’t have returned the ring but instead would have kept it and redesigned it. That’s horrible. I don’t care how much money the guy has- you return the ring. It’s not just a present, it’s a social contract. You give me a ring, I give you my acceptance of your proposal and promise to marry you. If I give up my end of the bargain, you get the ring back.

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Andy promises to return to Katie’s lack of engagement during her segment but we move on to Karen, the “Granddame of Potomac”. Her video recap package contains a lot of salty scenes between her and Katie that I’d forgotten about. The two are seated next to each other on the couch and seem to move past it all fairly quickly despite Katie refusing to apologize to Alzheimer’s victims for mocking Karen’s event.  I’m with Katie on that one. Robyn also throws some shade at Karen for her event and asks why they had to give up their valuable time for “nothing”. That must have been one shitty cocktail party, because I would never call an open bar a waste of time.

We’re still talking about Karen when we come back from the commercial break and there’s a bunch of squabbling about who has a shittier kitchen, her or Gizelle.  Katie throws a bit of shade Gizelle’s way and comments that her house is a rental (which I’m guessing is a dirty word in Potomac).  Karen says that Andrew must have been “on crack” to make the comments he did about her, calling her “haggard”, etc. and Gizelle thinks Andrew was just expressing Katie’s opinion, which Katie balks at, claiming that she doesn’t say mean things about people. Um…not so sure about that.

That said- Katie has more manners, pedigree, and good breeding in her little finger than Karen does because speaking of fingers, Karen decides to go on the offensive and mock Andrew for missing part of one of his. Andrew was in a car accident that resulted in this loss of finger so Karen just looks like a dick for mentioning it, regardless of his comments about her.

Moving on to Ashley, we learn that she’s struggling with opening her restaurant and was a bit naive about how much work is involved. She also explains to viewers that she and Michael have been helping her mother for years so I’m curious now as to how she became bankrupt. I hope Ashley’s mom isn’t taking advantage of the couple, because lending/borrowing money is the fastest way to ruin a relationship, even (or especially) with family.

Gizelle gets called out for making fun of Ashley’s bushy hair and I think we all know that Gizelle’s issues with Ashley obviously stem from her jealousy that Ashley is the shiny new toy on the block. Ashley agrees with me and reminds us that in a talking head, Robyn was the first one to call out Gizelle for having her guard up when meeting Ashley. Gizelle tries to deny it but she doesn’t convince me or anyone else.

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Andy brings up #HumpGate and Robyn tries to compare it to Ashley humping someone at a business meeting. Here’s the deal with this whole thing- I think Ashley had a bit too much to drink that night and just read the situation incorrectly and got too familiar too fast. It’s not that big of a deal, and sort of telling that there just wasn’t that much that happened over the course of this season that we’re even talking about it at all.

Robyn and Ashley get into a squabble and Ashley says over and over again “it’s a moot point”.  Over on Left Couch, Charrisse tries to correct Ashley and says “mute.  It’s ‘MUTE point’”.  And that’s when Andy gives her the best “aw, bless your heart” face I’ve ever seen.  Needless to say, I think we all learned a long time ago from Joey Tribbiani that it’s actually called a “moo point”, like a cow’s opinion, as in, it doesn’t matter- it’s just “moo”.

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Ashley rightfully calls out Gizelle for referring to her as a “THOT” (“That Hoe Over There”) and says that classy, mature women don’t call each other “hoes”.    I agree.  Katie sticks up for Ashley and snarks that Robyn and Gizelle don’t like to have fun.  Robyn jumps up and down in her seat like a whining child and frankly between The Black Eyed Peas in 2005 and this reunion, I’ve heard the word “hump” enough for one lifetime.  Gizelle also refuses to apologize for being a total diva at Ashley’s beach house and now I’m pretty sure I’ve decided that Gizelle is my least favorite on this show.

Charrisse was working hard to be my least favorite at the beginning of the season with her craziness at the crab boil and even more so later with the “your face repulses me” line, but she hard core mellowed out after that.  Karen tells us she meant to say “phony as a three dollar bill” instead of a 10 dollar bill and calls it a “fraudulent slip”.  She means to say “Freudian slip”, but that doesn’t work for this context.  Are Ashley and Katie the only women on this stage with a competent grasp of the English language?

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We revisit the crab boil incident and a viewer asks why Charisse and Karen kept referring to Gizelle as “ghetto” and telling her to “go back to Baltimore”.  Gizelle also takes issue with Karen calling her friend and hair stylist Kal “the help”, which was pretty gross.  It really feels like the women who bitch the most about etiquette and manners on this show are the ones who say the rudest things.

A friend of mine once met Andy Cohen and asked why they don’t have a Real Housewives of San Francisco (or really Marin County), and apparently Andy told him that they had thought about it, but it was hard to find wealthy women who were willing to do it because Marin County money is mostly Old Money and Good Families who wouldn’t subject themselves to the kind of media circus that comes with this show*.  I feel like we are sort of close to that attitude with Potomac, but the Old Money isn’t old enough to understand that truly good breeding means you don’t talk about your good breeding.

* Granted, this was 5 years ago, and they could probably do an SF version now since the Tech Boom is in full force and there are more new money rich people than there were back then. I, for one, would love a Real Housewives of San Francisco.  @Andy, PLEASE!

I am kind of loving how Robyn seems to only be on #TeamRobyn for this show.  She is calling everyone out on their bullshit and that’s why, other than that whole humping thing, I think she’s my favorite.  Robyn also takes Karen to task over calling Kal “the help” and says it’s incredibly offensive.  Which it is.  Karen says that that was the nicest thing she could have called him and am I crazy or is she implying that she wanted to call him the n-word? Sidenote- Karen’s first job was as a cashier at a burger king and when Katie says that she would pay good money to see Karen in a Burger King uniform with a headset, Robyn snarks that they didn’t have headsets back then.  #SomebodyCallTheBurnUnit

karen reunion

A viewer calls out Karen for being a drama queen about her birthday seat and I have mixed thoughts on that.  Mainly because I don’t know anyone who loves their birthday more than me.  I treat it like a national holiday, and I have very serious plans to hold it over my son’s head for pretty much his entire life that finding out I was pregnant with him completely ruined my 30th birthday trip to Las Vegas because I found out about it on day 3 of 5.  He needs to work very hard in school to get a good job because that boy legit owes me a trip to Vegas.  So I can maybe kind of see how Karen would want to be front and center at the table, but I agree with Gizelle and feel like Karen could have easily said something at the time.  After Gizelle told her where to sit, a simple “oh honey, you know I’m sitting in the middle for my birthday” would have squashed the whole thing.  But she said nothing, let the situation stew and fester, and then presented Gizelle with that ridiculous framed list of rules.

Karen attempts to apologize to Charrisse for disrupting her crab boil with the framed etiquette art, but as Andy points out, she says “I’m sorry IF I offended you” instead of apologizing for her actual behavior, which is a big pet peeve of mine.  But even after she gets called out on it, she still doesn’t adjust her words and this is why Karen is now officially my 2nd least favorite.

BTW- there is some serious tension and shade going on between Gizelle and Charrisse right now and I’m not totally sure why.  Every time Gizelle talks during a question asked by Andy to Charrisse, Charrisse gets her elementary school teacher “I’ll wait” face on and dismisses her.

Andy brings the conversation around to Robyn and her very unconventional relationship with her ex-husband Juan.  Robyn admits that there’s a chance that she and Juan could get remarried but that while she loves him, she is not currently in love with him.  We learn that there was a lot of infidelity on Juan’s part while he was an NBA star and Robyn turned a blind eye to most of it until one of Juan’s ladies-on-the-side came forward and revealed herself.  My heart breaks a little for Robyn here because you can tell that the only reason she isn’t in love with Juan is because she has no idea how to trust him and trust is the foundation to any and all relationships.  Without it, there is nothing there to build upon and the whole damn thing will come crumbling down.

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We also learn that not only did their family friend steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from them, but after that was revealed, the man jumped off a bridge and killed himself.  This man was a very close friend, was in their wedding, the kids called him “uncle”, etc. so the tragedy of the situation was what brought Robyn and Juan back together.

Robyn calls Ashley out for “feeling joy” when she spread the bankruptcy news to Katie.  Gizelle agrees sort of aggressively and while I’m not sure that Ashley felt actual schadenfreude at the news, her tone was definitely school-girl gossipy. Katie defends Ashley by saying that while the gossipy nature of the bankruptcy reveal wasn’t nice, she finds it laughable that Gizelle would interject here against Ashley because she’s the queen of gossiping.  I’d be all for agreeing with that, but the clip we are shown is of Gizelle reading aloud Katie’s blog from years ago while they are both in the same car.  That’s….not gossiping.  She didn’t find Katie’s private journal in the back seat and start reading it, she googled and read what Katie had publically published on the internet about her relationship with Russell Simmons AFTER Katie told the group about it.  Not. The. Same. Thing.  Gizelle and Katie started hating each other on the beach trip and clearly haven’t made up since.

There’s three minutes left in the episode and we are just now bringing up the racial issues that along with “What Is Good Etiquette”, was one of the other main storylines this season.  A viewer calls Gizelle out for generalizing and stereotyping all black people as being late and not knowing how to swim.

Sidenote- I never understood the “black people can’t swim” stereotype when I was younger because I grew up in Florida and everyone I knew, regardless of their skin color, knew how to swim.  It wasn’t until I moved out of state that I met anyone that didn’t know how and I was sad for them because swimming is the best.  Gizelle admits to generalizing black people but won’t apologize for it because none of the older women on this show believe they ever need to apologize for anything.

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Katie says that she was frustrated by Gizelle and Robyn’s need to define her “blackness” all season and was especially irritated by the comments about how her children will identify racially.  Gizelle tells us that her father worked with MLK and that they had crosses burned in their yard growing up so she feels very strongly about racial issues.  She also says that what we didn’t see was Katie making a disparaging comment about the black side of her family at the naming ceremony.  I don’t believe that at all, and Katie freaks out at the statement.  The cameras are all over the place and considering the race storyline that was going all season, there is no way that wouldn’t have been included.  It’s possible something was said, but I would be willing to bet large sums of money that Gizelle misinterpreted it.

Robyn tries to explain why she was asking Katie questions about her children, but Katie is having none of it and calls her dumb.  Robyn requests security show up and while Katie seems to consider that an empty threat, to me it seems like Robyn is ready to beat her ass and has the goods to follow through with that.  Robyn strikes me as a bit of a bruiser and she could easily snap Katie in half.

Unfortunately, the episode ends here and we will have to wait until next week to see how this all goes down.  For the most part, this reunion has been about as tame as the season itself but part 1 of the reunion is always the weakest for the housewives shows.

Recap Written by Liz 

10thoughtsblog@gmail.com

@10thoughtsblog

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