Do you love Bravo, but have a hard time keeping up with the drama of the Real Housewives, London ladies, and the denizens of “Summer House”? We watch them all — so you don’t have to. Here are this week’s Bravo highlights.
Kyle Cook is the reason college-aged women (among others) get super confused about where they stand on the girlfriend/booty call/ex spectrum. It’s kind of gross, but also totally fine, that he breaks up with girlfriend Amanda prior to spending the summer in Nontauk (the Montauk-adjacent area where the "Summer House" creeps are staying). If he knows he’s going to spend the summer hooking up with other people, breaking off the relationship is a good call. An open relationship could work, but assumes a level of maturity we couldn't realistically ascribe to anyone voluntarily on this show.
...The twist is that the girlfriend and her friends end up spending five weeks in Actual Montauk, where he calls her all the time and hooks up with her every weekend. When she comes over, he’s the one initiating hugs and relationship-y kisses, not her. But the thought of saying, “Hey, maybe we shouldn’t have broken up” clearly freaks him out because he wants to keep his options open. Amanda is cool as a cucumber about the whole thing, and explicitly lets him off the hook when he’s dancing around the issue. Amanda also gives herself awesome haircuts while under the influence of rosé. Amanda, you’re too good for all of this! Run away!
'Ladies Of London'
The thing we love most about the London "Ladies" is how quickly and efficiently they can quash a beef. Prior to Caroline Stanbury’s going-away party, Sophie Stanbury and Adela King had an argument over the phone. When the party rolls around, the two of them go off to the side, quietly and clearly explain their feelings, apologize and move on. Once again, the conflict is set up and resolved over a course of mere minutes!
It's easy to say their American counterparts are playing a different game -- that nobody sticks around for long as a Real Housewife without bringing the drama -- but that is writing the women on both sides of the pond off in a pretty gross way. No amount of drama can make uninteresting people interesting for very long -- it's just the quickest means to the end. And as we've seen countless times, you can only double down on drama so long before you blow up your own life (or, more often than is believable, somebody dies or comes close).
Rather than turning our nose up at their antics (while still loving every minute), we should wonder why they aren't more creative. Tragic Dana Wilkey with her bajillion-dollar sunglasses wasn't the exception to the rule, she is the rule, just very bad at it. Dana running conspicuous consumption into the ground is just a different version of Brandi Glanville's escalating bratty antics or Teresa Giudice's literally everything at all times: It's relying on social media approval and public perception to guide your behavior, which eventually infiltrates your self... And once you've lost your self in that way, you will inevitably become totally boring.
Whether the "London" ladies are more emotionally mature than their "Real Housewives" counterparts, have more going on in their lives, or are just so allergic to feelings they want to quickly put a fight to bed and never think about it again, we continue to love their efficient conflict resolution. Sure, everyone starts arguing at dinner again ten minutes later, but at least the fight has evolved -- and unlike a lot of the fights back home, they're not obviously made up for camera time.
Watch What Happens Live!
Christina Ricci has always had a unique look, and as she gets older, she’s so beautiful we can hardly look at her. "Watch What Happens" can be a bit of a mixed bag, but Christina Ricci and her co-star have a great chemistry on-screen -- as she does off-screen with Andrew Rannells, apparently, and boyfriends be damned...
Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills
The running theme of this episode is how much everyone doesn’t want to go Puerto Vallarta for the grand opening of the tenth (!) location of Mauricio Umansky’s creatively named real estate agency, The Agency. Dorit Kemsley doesn’t want to leave her kids. Kyle Richards doesn’t want to leave her kids, or her boutique, or the scripted show she’s working on. Lisa Vanderpump doesn’t want to leave her dogs, and also her housekeeper will miss her and doesn’t like it when she goes away, which is problematic-but-adorable, which is Lisa's entire brand.
Perhaps as a result of all this ambivalence, the trip itself is fairly uneventful (residual drama involving Lisa Rinna and Eden Sassoon’s obsession with Kim Richards’ sobriety notwithstanding). The episode, frankly, comes down to watching Erika Jayne Girardi ride a jet ski: You either get why that's unicorn levels of amazing, or you don't, but either way we couldn't look away.
Bravo series "Summer House" airs Mondays at 10 p.m. ET/PT, "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" and "Ladies of London" on Tuesdays at 9 and 10, and of course "Watch What Happens Live!" airs weeknights at 11.