We learned recently that RHOP has been renewed for a 2nd season and I’m willing to give it one more shot, but I’m not wholly optimistic. I think Potomac had a decent excuse with this being the first season and everyone was just getting their footing, but then #RHOD premiered last week and that first episode was already more interesting than this entire season. I think there’s a very specific formula that works for this show, and Old Money doesn’t always make for good tv. I think Ashley was a fun and fresh addition to the franchise and I liked Robyn a lot, but the “what is proper etiquette and what isn’t” storyline was just a buzz kill all season. We want our housewives to act inappropriately. And we really, REALLY don’t want to think about Karen Huger and the Black Bill Gates getting it on…
Anyhow, last night’s episode was the 2nd and last part of the reunion show. We get to see the husbands again and that weirdly homophobia reaction to Ashley’s husband Michael will be addressed. The teaser for this episode looks great, but we’ve all been burned before by the Bravo editing room. Let’s get started, shall we?
We hop back into it with Katie and Robyn still talking about the racial sensitivity issues that were brought up all season and everyone keeps interrupting a clearly frustrated Robyn. Robyn finally gets to say that she wasn’t trying to be offensive when she asked what racial “box” Katie’s children would check, she was trying to learn and educate herself. Katie seems to accept this and apologizes for cutting Robyn off, but it’s hard to tell with Katie whether she’s just doing what she feels is the polite thing to do, or if she actually understands and accepts what Robyn has to say. Katie does say that she and Robyn had a similar experience with their racial upbringing and ultimately Robyn isn’t even the person Katie wants to be screaming at (Gizelle, obviously). Robyn makes an amazing face here that I only caught because I paused the video to start typing and was granted this perfect screenshot:
And so, Katie turns her attention to the Green-eye lady herself and comments that Gizelle clearly has “a lot of pain” surrounding the bi-racial issue (emphatic denial from Gizelle- “I’m proud, not in pain”), and reminds us that Gizelle said in a talking head that Katie needed to stop trying to appeal to white people because they don’t even like her, which was a pretty ridiculous thing to say – especially since, as Katie says, half her family is white.
Andy directs this conversation to the other bi-racial woman on the stage, Ashley, who says that she finds it interesting that the two women with the most European features (Gizelle and Robyn), are the two that bring up race the most and who are also the two who do not embrace their natural features, in that they dye their hair blond, etc. Robyn takes offense to that and says that Nene Leaks and Mary J Blige have blond hair too, so is Ashley saying that they are also trying to be white? Look- I don’t think dying your hair equals a racial identity crisis, but Gizelle and Robyn do look the most biracial but claim that they aren’t which is interesting only in the fact that they do bring it up a lot.
Robyn tries to defend herself on the “is that a white thing” comment regarding Michael tapping Andrew on the ass and says that black men just don’t do that. Except, you know, all the time in sports. Robyn just thought that since that’s something, in her experience, a black man would never do, she wondered if it was a “white thing”, but wants to be clear that she isn’t accusing any one race of being “butt grabbers”. She says that Juan Dixon would have knocked Michael out if he had done that to him, which Ashley says would never have happened because they aren’t friends. Michael and Andrew are friends so it was fine even though Gizelle claims that Andrew had a problem with it. Katie rolls her eyes and denies this saying Gizelle’s signature move seems to be to claim something happened but that the cameras just missed it. Does anyone ever believe a housewife who says that? I believe that things get left on the floor of the editing room, but considering what a big deal #ButtGrabGate was, I doubt they would have cut a reaction shot from Andrew that was negative. Andy is just bummed that Michael hasn’t bothered to grab his ass.
Andy moves on from the racial topic and we get Charrisse’s video recap package that focuses mostly on her relationship with husband Eddie, or the lack thereof. Eddie was MIA all season as he lives in New Jersey and Charrisse stays in Potomac and while Eddie did foot the bill, he did not attend Charrisse’s lavish birthday party. I can’t imagine not spending my spouse’s birthday with them and it makes me sad for Charrisse that she seemed so okay with it. I’m guessing she is just weighing the cost benefits of staying married with what she would have to give up by getting a divorce. Maybe there’s an iron clad prenup that we don’t know about and she would stand to lose a lot (especially since her kids are almost out of the house).
Eddie lost his coaching job recently but that does not mean he is staying at home, Charrisse tells us. Is it just me or is Charrisse particularly icey at this reunion? Charrisse says that while she definitely had some harsh words, in particular the D-word (divorce), over the course of the season, she says that she honors her vows and that if she and Eddie end up getting a divorce, it will not be because she filed for one. Gizelle wants to know if Charrisse is going to stop sending them “stank messages” about her marriage.
“Please do not make up lies, to make yourself relevant as it relates to my marriage” is the Stank Message in question. Charrisse says that there are certain things she would never say, out of respect for Gizelle’s children. Namely, “Gizelle’s a whore, screwing around with everybody around the country.” Gizelle says that there is a difference between having sex and dating; and she is just doing the latter. Charrisse just doesn’t want anyone talking about Eddie and thinks it’s only happening because of the show, but Gizelle says that they would be talking about it regardless. Charrisse counters that Gizelle has never asked her about Eddie before, and there’s some mention of a lunch from 4 years ago that Robyn doesn’t remember when she’s asked to back up Charrisse’s claim. And then, awesomely, Charrisse calls Gizelle a “pedigree” thinking that a pedigree is some sort of animal. I mean…it is a brand of dog food, so…. Between this and the “it’s mute” comment from last week, I’m beginning to think that Charrisse may not be the most book smart of the ladies on stage.
Andy asks who Charrisse feels she is the most supported by and she says she’s closest with Katie (although Katie gives no verbal or physical acknowledgement of this) and was becoming close with Karen but they’ve grown distant because Charrisse feels that Karen invents things inside her head that aren’t really happening. Karen counters that Charrisse is like General Custer, trying to make her last stand and she also calls Charrisse a “snake in the grass” (which is a favorite insult of my mother’s). Charrisse gives a pretty spot on impression of Karen, saying that she told Charrisse that she (Karen) is the “star of the show” and that she can’t be seen with her in public or some such nonsense. This issue doesn’t really get resolved at all, btw.
Andy and Katie both agree that they felt the most connected to Charrisse when she was being vulnerable on camera about Eddie. Katie says that Charrisse’s mentoring was what helped her have the strength to return her engagement ring. BTW- Eddie didn’t come to Charrisse’s birthday party because he is completely disinterested in Charrisse’s life since they have been basically separated for years and he doesn’t love her anymore he doesn’t want to be on camera.
Enough about ole snake-in-the-grass-Custer, we move on to Katie and her proposal pressuring ways. Katie tears up a bit as we watch her package that includes the proposal and I’m reminded of Andrew’s disastrous shirt in the proposal scene. Katie and Andrew were on their way to the reunion (he was set to appear as well) when they got into a fight, she gave him the ring back and turned the car around. Yikes. Sidenote- Katie is such a ridiculously beautiful woman and I wish she wasn’t wearing 12 lbs of makeup, most of which being on her eyes. Turns out, it wasn’t so much of a fight as it was come-to-Jesus moment since things hadn’t been going well for a few months, and Andrew hemmed and hawed a bit too long when Katie pressed him, asking “Do you really even want to marry me?”
Andy warns Katie (who is pretty sure that Andrew never really wanted to get married in the first place) that single Jewish men just get more selfish the older they get. Katie tells us that her kids are pretty confused and keep asking where Andrew is and that bums me out. I’m actually angry with Andrew more than Katie (although I think her instinct to not bring men around her kids is good, but a little late) because when you date a women with children, you need to not even say yes to the first date unless you are completely willing to accept a lifelong commitment as a possibility. He let those kids move into his house. The whole thing burns my biscuits.
Both Katie and Ashley have hooked up with women. In other news, water is wet.
Aaaaand finally. We get to the bizarre-o Karen/Ashley relationship. What started out as a mentor/mentee relationship turned south after Michael crashed the girl’s weekend. We see a video recap package of their relationship and I realized what my issue with Karen is. She fancies herself The Black Bethenny Frankel. She speaks in what she thinks are clever sound bites but they just fall flat for me because it feels so manufactured. Anyhow, the husbands (Ray & Michael) join the ladies on the couch.
We revisit the situation with Michael coming TO HIS OWN HOME and surprising HIS OWN WIFE and Gizelle and Karen getting into a hissy fit about it. I obviously have strong feelings about this, probably because I have PTSD from Ramona Singer flipping out any time Alex showed up with Simon. The Black Bill Gates pipes in and says that he just knows that Michael was just trying to live out some male fantasy of himself with 7 women. If any of you readers are first year psych students and have been struggling with the concept of “psychological projection”, this is a shining example for you. Michael gets a little shitty and says that considering what he has in Ashley, there is no reason why he would be titillated by Karen (not that I totally disagree because Ashley is smoking hot, but also about 30 years Karen’s junior).
Robyn is, once again, the voice of reason and says that she wasn’t upset by Michael showing up because A- she likes him, and B- she knew he was there to see his wife, not to get in her panties (Charrisse agrees, 100%). Michael jokes off #ButtGrabGate as nothing more than men being friendly and warns the women that they would not do well in Australia because it’s the country of ass-grabs and good times. AND EVERY ANIMAL THERE CAN AND WILL TRY TO KILL YOU. SERIOUSLY.
Michael brings up that Karen, who claims to be the Granddame of Potomac, who shows up to parties with framed lists of etiquette, who says she doesn’t want Ashley around her daughter, has a mouth like a sailor and HE doesn’t want his adult children around HER. I agree. Karen is a hypocrite who was just as vulgar as Ashley this season but when their relationship went south, she turned on her would-be mentee.
It’s Gizelle’s turn and she tells us that she’s been dating around, but no one special. A viewer asks if the reason she gets into everyone’s business is because she doesn’t have much going on for herself, which I think is a pretty astute observation considering we hardly saw anything about Gizelle’s life. We saw her write suedo-apology letters with her kids, as well as a very uncomfortable date with Herman, but ultimately Gizelle was just up in everyone else’s business. Charrisse agrees with the viewer but adds that Gizelle is narcissistic and inserts herself into everyone’s business to bring more attention to herself. When Andy asks Charrisse if she herself suffers from some narcissistic traits, Charrisse says, “no, not at all” which makes me a little concerned that Charrisse may just not know what “narcissistic” means. It’s possible that she thinks it means “a person who dyes her hair”. Karen jumps in and says that she thinks they are all a little narcissistic AND THEN CHARRISSE ASKS HER TO DEFINE NARCISSISM AND IT’S AWESOME. Karen (correctly) says it means she’s in love with herself and Charrisse snarks that it “means more than that”. And sure, it does, but I guarantee that Charrisse has no idea.
Charrisse tells us that a narcissistic person also takes pride in tearing down the lives of others. And while I’m sure there are many narcissistic people who also do that, what Charrisse is talking about is “rankism”. Everyone else on the stage rightfully doubts Charrisse’s definition and Robyn whips out her phone to do a little fact checking. Even though the definition that she reads aloud doesn’t mention how a narcissist treats others, Charrisse plasters a fake smile on and say, “well maybe not in that one, but in others…” and then tells Karen that it doesn’t matter what she thinks.
^My screenshot game is on point this episode.
Look I take no issue with stupid people. I think everyone has a combination of nurture v. nature as far as their intelligence goes. I think you are basically given a potential IQ range at birth and based on your upbringing you will either fall on the lower or high end of that scale. Charrisse may just not be a very smart person and that’s fine. She wouldn’t be the first housewife who was missing a few crayons short of a full box. But it really rustles my jimmies when people who just aren’t book smart go around making shit up and then smugly telling people to “look it up” when they doubt them. And then- when you call them on their shit- they still don’t believe it. I think Charrisse is probably a lovely person and she’s in a difficult spot with her marriage but that girl does not need to be correcting anyone’s grammar or vocabulary.
We revisit Katie and Andrew and their heavy petting at Ashley’s birthday. A viewer calls Gizelle out for still bringing up the incident after Katie apologized and Gizelle claims to have truly just been worried about Katie. Bullshit. If this happened over and over again, or even one more time, I could maybe see getting into a tizzy about it, but it was one night. And to publically accuse a mother of three small children of being high on drugs when you have no proof to substantiate your claims is reckless at best.
Gizelle is up in everyone’s business because she had no storyline otherwise. Take a hike, Gizelle (preferably to Beverly Hills with Eileen and Rinna). A viewer comments on the similarities in Gizelle & Katie’s lives (divorced, three kids, etc) and wonders why they didn’t bond more. Gizelle says that she wanted to have a relationship with Katie but Katie says that she never felt that from Gizelle and that Gizelle seemed to be more focused on where the camera was than her personal relationships.
Gizelle, when reminded of her poop-tea story, goes on a rampage and accuses Katie of peeing on the couch at their promotional shoot. Katie takes this in stride and reminds Gizelle that she’s had three kids and sometimes when she laughs, a little bit of urine comes out. This is SUUUUUPER common, by the way and Gizelle is being a bit of a cunt for bringing it up. Gizelle truly is The Worst this season. She also claims that season 1 of RHOP was “the best thing that anybody’s ever seen”. NO. That will never be true as long as that video of the baby panda farting exists, not to mention Teresa Guidice flipping a table and shouting “PROSTITUTION WHORE”.
Charrisse, sensing the end of the broadcast (and possibly the end of her housewives career), decides to interrupt the closing champagne toast to say that since doing the show, her husband isn’t speaking with her at all. Really bitch? You bring this up now? Karen makes a lovely toast asking that they move forward in friendship and peace and that’s a wrap.
Like I said, I will give this show another shot as a viewer, but that speaks more to my Bravo addiction than the quality of this season. If I were in charge, I’d probably cut Charrisse (sorry boo- but I just don’t care), Gizelle can stay but she needs to be more transparent about her own life, and I’d add another younger women to the mix, possibly to battle Ashley. Anyhow, I have a long day ahead of me with Southern Charm and my new fav, RHOD to recap so I will wrap this up.
Until next season!
Recap Written by Liz