Before we get to the juicy details of whether or not Carlton actually cast a spell on Joyce, let’s run through the terrifically boring beginning of this week's The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills episode. Lisa and Kyle meet to plan Ken and Maurico’s joint birthday party. Kyle is adamant that they throw a much more elegant party than Carlton just had — no naked women painted in gold!
Brandi’s new book is about to come out, so the episode features a cover shoot, which, of course, is just her in a bright pink dress looking Brandi fabulous. Her awesomely assertive book editor is there directing the shoot — thank the lords above.
Joyce invites Carlton to lunch and — SURPRISE — Carlton says she didn’t cast a spell on Joyce or her family. Or did she? All we heard Carlton say was that she used to practice black magic, she’s back on the white magic, and Joyce better not bring up children and magic again. "Don’t you f**king dare," were Carlton’s words. As if Joyce would ever dare! They agree to start all over — for the 14th time in 14 episodes — and Carlton says she thinks Joyce is actually a nice girl... as opposed to Kyle, who is horrendous.
Yolanda and Kim get ready for their daughters to leave for college. Yolanda convinces Gigi to pack her winter coats because she won’t need them, and Kim convinces her daughter to get a butterfly tattoo, because that’s what Kim wants to be when she dies.
It’s time for the black tie party at Lisa’s. For a split second there was a tinge of jealousy as we saw the sweeping surroundings of Lisa’s beautiful home but than, in walks Brandi and Scheana and we are instantly reminded of the price you pay to have everything you could ever dream of.
The party seems to be going well, no fights until dinnertime. Carlton is getting irritated with Kyle (you can see it on her face), and unless Kyle is playing a really good game, she has no idea. Carlton finally loses it when Kyle brings up her and Lisa’s inside joke about the nipple, which started the whole Carlton-doesn’t-like-Kyle deal in the first place.
Kyle thought everything was over between them, especially after she gave Carlton her necklace on the last episode, but apparently, Carlton has been soaking that necklace in water to remove Kyle’s negative energy from it. Words explode, Carlton says "Don’t you f**king dare" for the second time in one episode. Even after Kyle moves to the other side of the table, Carlton decides to leave. Lisa tries to follow her out and explain that Kyle isn’t truly evil, but Carlton won’t hear it.
Brandi joins team Kyle for the first time in ages, and honestly, we are leaning towards her side also. Quite frankly, when did Lisa become such an instigator?
Brandi’s book editor doesn’t approve the preview — thousands of copies are printed with Brandi holding a toilet plunger and wearing large wire-rimmed glasses.
Carlton inadvertently casts a spell on herself, causing a loss in orange skin tone and an inability to hold onto black eye makeup. She looks stunning as a real human being.
The group starts to see Lisa as the instigator that she’s becoming.
Lions Gate via Everett Collection
When we last left our heroes, they had conquered all opponents in the 74th Annual Hunger Games, returned home to their newly refurbished living quarters in District 12, and fallen haplessly to the cannibalism of PTSD. And now we're back! Hitching our wagons once again to laconic Katniss Everdeen and her sweet-natured, just-for-the-camera boyfriend Peeta Mellark as they gear up for a second go at the Capitol's killing fields.
But hold your horses — there's a good hour and a half before we step back into the arena. However, the time spent with Katniss and Peeta before the announcement that they'll be competing again for the ceremonial Quarter Quell does not drag. In fact, it's got some of the film franchise's most interesting commentary about celebrity, reality television, and the media so far, well outweighing the merit of The Hunger Games' satire on the subject matter by having Katniss struggle with her responsibilities as Panem's idol. Does she abide by the command of status quo, delighting in the public's applause for her and keeping them complacently saturated with her smiles and curtsies? Or does Katniss hold three fingers high in opposition to the machine into which she has been thrown? It's a quarrel that the real Jennifer Lawrence would handle with a castigation of the media and a joke about sandwiches, or something... but her stakes are, admittedly, much lower. Harvey Weinstein isn't threatening to kill her secret boyfriend.
Through this chapter, Katniss also grapples with a more personal warfare: her devotion to Gale (despite her inability to commit to the idea of love) and her family, her complicated, moralistic affection for Peeta, her remorse over losing Rue, and her agonizing desire to flee the eye of the public and the Capitol. Oftentimes, Katniss' depression and guilty conscience transcends the bounds of sappy. Her soap opera scenes with a soot-covered Gale really push the limits, saved if only by the undeniable grace and charisma of star Lawrence at every step along the way of this film. So it's sappy, but never too sappy.
In fact, Catching Fire is a masterpiece of pushing limits as far as they'll extend before the point of diminishing returns. Director Francis Lawrence maintains an ambiance that lends to emotional investment but never imposes too much realism as to drip into territories of grit. All of Catching Fire lives in a dreamlike state, a stark contrast to Hunger Games' guttural, grimacing quality that robbed it of the life force Suzanne Collins pumped into her first novel.
Once we get to the thunderdome, our engines are effectively revved for the "fun part." Katniss, Peeta, and their array of allies and enemies traverse a nightmare course that seems perfectly suited for a videogame spin-off. At this point, we've spent just enough time with the secondary characters to grow a bit fond of them — deliberately obnoxious Finnick, jarringly provocative Johanna, offbeat geeks Beedee and Wiress — but not quite enough to dissolve the mystery surrounding any of them or their true intentions (which become more and more enigmatic as the film progresses). We only need adhere to Katniss and Peeta once tossed in the pit of doom that is the 75th Hunger Games arena, but finding real characters in the other tributes makes for a far more fun round of extreme manhunt.
But Catching Fire doesn't vie for anything particularly grand. It entertains and engages, having fun with and anchoring weight to its characters and circumstances, but stays within the expected confines of what a Hunger Games movie can be. It's a good one, but without shooting for succinctly interesting or surprising work with Katniss and her relationships or taking a stab at anything but the obvious in terms of sending up the militant tyrannical autocracy, it never even closes in on the possibility of being a great one.
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Have you ever been on boat just cruising around like at some party or some other affair and some of the gears just start to make a high-pitched squealing noise? It's this ringing din that is quickly proceeded by smoke, a burning smell, and certain immobility. You know that noise. Well, that is the noise I expect to hear Kernya Moo-ah make whenever her ex-boyfriend Walter is in the same room. And it would probably have the same effect: squeal, smoke, smell, immobility, expolosion.
That was essentially all we had to deal with on last night's episode of Real Whale Watcher of Glouchester Bay, just a bunch of stuff about Kernya. Oh, there was some nonsense about Kandi moving her office (an early plug for The Kandi Factory, coming soon to Bravo?) but you know that I will not cover any sort of moving type activities in these here handy dandy recaps. Speaking of which, I feel like NeNe Leakes' whole thing about going to New York to be on fancy TV shows is kind of like moving. Can we just cut her out from the rest of the season? Nothing she does seems to have any impact on the rest of the cast (other than when she invited them to LA and then kicked them out of her house) so why are we even bothering with the pretense that she's on this show anymore? Maybe NeNe can be like a Real Housewife at large and just pop in and hang out with whatever cast she is around that week. Here is NeNe having lunch at SUR with Lisa Vanderpump and Brandi Glanville and that bitch Stassi is spilling her soup on her. Oh look, now it's NeNe swigging down white wine with Ramona Singer and Sonja Tremont Morgan of the Bilouxi Morgans. Oh look, NeNe and Teresa Gee You Dee Chay are getting in a fight because Teresa is trying to steal some of NeNe's forehead for herself. See how fun this would be? Get on it, Andy Cohen.
Before we can get to Tyler Perry Presents a Kernya Moo-ah Production of Kernya Moo-ah and Her Awful Ex-Boyfriend: All Is Not Lost – Starring Tyler Perry and Gabourey Sidibe as Kernya Moo-ahwe have to talk about Porsha Stewart. Oh, you dim bulb still aglow in the wilderness. Oh you fizzling little nymph, Porsha. This week we were back to arguing about whether not not Porsha's husband Carvell, a Cookie Puss that has come to life, controls her. He tells us, "I am in control, but I am not controlling. I am the man and I am in control but that does not mean I am controlling." OK, sure Carvell. That makes a ton of sense. He says that he is the man of the house and he controls what happens, but that does not mean he controls Portia. I think that is some sort of semantic difference that he has made up in his head and it is not actual real life. I do think he is absolutely in control of this relationship considering he has all the money, smarts, and ingenuity. Porsha has, well, she has a collection of velour sweatpants that say "PINK" across the ass, she has that.
What Porsha really wants though is a baby. She wants to have a baby so that she can lock up that Carvell Stewart money for the rest of her life. That is what she wants more than anything. No, that is cynical. I think she really loves Carvell and wants to have his babies, but I think mostly it's because she's bored and doesn't know what else to do with her life so she is doing what everyone told her she would always do: get married to a rich guy and then have babies. She doesn't have many other aspiraitons. Carvell, however, who is not controlling at all, tells her that she can't have a baby and her "career" because he wants a wife who is going to cook and clean for him and raise his baby and, even though he has tons of money, he is not going to hire a nanny. No, he wants things to be convenient for Carvell and he wants things when he wants them and he wants them they way he wants them. Though that isn't controlling, per se, he is in control. It's not asshole-ish necessarily, but he is being an asshole.
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When he tells Porsha she can't have a baby and a "career," she starts to cry. What is wrong with both of them? First of all, Porsha does not like to work. She doesn't like to do anything but shop, look at shiny things, and occasionally eat pickles (but only if she's spent an extra 20 minutes on the elliptical). She doesn't do any work. So why is she getting all upset, and why is Carvell telling her she can't do it? Just let her have a baby and throw a fundraiser or two for her family's charity every now and again. It will make her happy and feel like she has purpose and, yes, you may have to microwave yourself a Swanson Mac 'N' Cheez Bowl every once in awhile, but that should hardly be a price to pay to keep your wife off your back (and on hers, ZING!).
OK, Kernya Moo-ah. Cynthia warned her last week that Peter was throwing some Making Men Healthy, Why the Y Chromosome? party for men's health and that he invited Walter because he and Walter hit it off on the group trip to Anguilla. I think all of this is fair. You can't fault Peter for making friends, and you can't expect Cynthia to intervene in the guest list for her petty grievances. She also gave Kernya plenty of advance notice so that she could act accordingly.
Kernya shows up at the party with Jamal Anderson on her arm. Sure, he might have been arrested for suspicion of cocaine possession and driving under the influence, but he is fine and probably a little rich form his days in the NFL so good for Kernya. She is wearing a long white gown and her hair is done beautifully and she is just killing it. Sure she is a scarecrow set on fire on the inside, but on the outside she is pulled together nice and tight. She says that she is on a date with Jamal, but that it is not a romantic date. So, what kind of date is it? Is it a, "I know you have a girlfriend, but I need a hot rich guy to pretend to be my date to make my ex-boyfriend jealous" kind of date? That's what it seems like to me.
Kernya gets all bent out of shape that Walter is there, and she is convinced that Peter is going to sit her next to Walter becuase she says that is who Peter is. No, it is not. If there is anything we have learned about Peter it is that he tries to avoid drama, so Kernya thinking that was going to happen just proves how narcissistic and paranoid she really is. Also, that is something Kernya would have done, so she just assumes that everyone else would do it to her. She is not sitting next to Walter, she is sitting next to the rest of the crew. See, Kernya. Shut up.
She informs them that she is having a costume party where everyone, including the men, have to show up as iconic black women in film and she, of course, is going to tell the women how they should dress. "OK, Cynthia, I like you and you always wear a huge weave, so you get to be Diana Ross. Phaedra, we're still in a fight, so you have to come dressed as Big Momma from Big Momma's House 2: The Revenge of the Spanx. Kandi, we're on good terms so you can be Tina Turner. NeNe, well, I'm still pissed she wouldn't let us in the house, so she can be Medea. Oh, and Porsha, you can be Halle Berry in B*A*P*S."
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Yes, this is what happens, so even when she feels she is being wrongly wronged and slightingly slighted, Kernya still has room to tell Porsha that "Halle Berry in B*A*P*S" is how she sees her — as a ghetto con lady in a movie that is appallingly bad.
But the worst problem of all at the Testicals for Vesticals party was the bow ties that all the men, particularly Peter and Apollo, were wearing. Guys, a little fashion tip: bigger is not always better, especially when it comes to bow ties. If the bow is wider than your head, it's a no no. It just means that your head is going to look comically small and you'll come off as some sort of Joker-esque idiot who doesn't know how to dress. No one wants that. Well, maybe you do, but if you do, well, maybe you should be the ones who have to dress as Halle Berry from B*A*P*S.
Walter shows up at another party, and this time it isn't really OK. Well, first Kernya had to go dress shopping with Cynthia and talk all about the first party. Cynthia tells Kernya that Walter was all talking with the guys about how they didn't have sex (in fairness to Walter, they did ask him before he brought it up). Kernya gets upset and then alleges that Walter is gay on the DL and that is why he didn't want to sleep with her. Then she says, "I don't care about Walter at all." Well, for someone who doesn't care about Walter she sure does expend a lot of energy trying to avoid him and talk shit about him. Maybe she should look into what not caring means.
Now it's time for Kandi's housewarming. No, I'm sorry, her houses warming. Yes, Kandi has two freaking houses in one. Her daughter Riley has a room that is so tricked out that it should be on Silver Spoons or one of those awful themed kids rooms from Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.
Anyway, Walter shows up and no one is quite sure who invited him. Kandi knows she didn't, because she doesn't want to piss off Kernya, so she assumes Todd did. I have a feeling that Walter heard about the party and showed up knowing that he wouldn't be turned away, thinking he could make a scene. So he brings his date Clemicia, who looks like a busted drag queen version of Sheree Whitfield, and he shows up looking like an old Louis Vuitton bag (thanks for that joke Rachel Dodes Wortman) to embarrass Kernya. Now, Walter brings this date and then totally ignores her. He goes around talking to all the guys and the Housewives about her and telling them how hot and young she is but doesn't spend any time actually talking to her.
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Eventually Kernya shows up and everyone is waiting for the fight to happen, just cynically sitting around Kandi's kitchen waiting for the squeal, smoke, burning smell, and explosion that is going to come out of her head when she sees Walter but, at the last minute, Cynthia pours water on this fire and leads everyone downstairs away from Walter. When they're in the basement next to the pool and the waterfall (yes, that is a real place in Kandi's house and yes, you could smell the dank chlorine smell through the television) Kandi gives Kernya the heads up that Walter is there. Kernya freaks out, asks where the back door is (according to her, she should ask Walter because he's all about the back door) scuttles off into the night like everyone is trying to intentionally harm her.
But they don't really care, none of them. They eat their sliders and drink their drinks and have a little blueberry tart downstairs by the pool and wonder who is going to be the first to totter off her stilettos in the the curacao blue water. Finally Walter hears that Kernya has left and he takes Clemicia out onto the street and climbs into his car. He opens up the glove box and pulls out an envelope that is bulging slightly in the middle. "This is for your troubles. Thanks for coming," he says with his signature wonky grin.
She puts her manicured finger nail into the paper and pulls it open slightly, eyeing to make sure the agreed upon amount is in there. "Looks good," she says. "You sure you don't want to..." and she reaches over and rubs her hand on the inside of his thigh. He doesn't back away but he just says, "Naw. I think I'm all good." He starts the car and drives her around the way where she has parked her car, on the cul de sac where they met before the party. She doesn't say anything on the ride, just wondering how everyone gets their grass so green. Finally they get to the car and she opens the door and lowers herself onto the pavement. Before closing the door she leans in, the car seat just below her tits, propping them up in her tight dress. "I hope it was worth it. I hope she was worth it," Clemicia says. "Whoever she is."
Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan
[Photo Credit: Bravo]
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The CSI: Miami star's marriage to Glanville, the mother of his two sons, broke down after he struck up an affair with Rimes on the set of TV movie Northern Lights in 2009. Rimes also left her then-husband Dean Sheremet and married Cibrian in 2011.
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Glanville has now revealed she cheered herself up after the messy split by undergoing an intimate operation, and paying for it on her former partner's credit card.
In her new tell-all book, Drinking & Tweeting and other Brandi Blunders, she writes, "This pretty intense surgery had an even more intense price tag: $12,000. A brand-new vagina would be an Eddie-free vagina... I decided that since Eddie had ruined my vagina for me, he could pay for a new one. I gave (the doctor's office) Eddie's credit card number."
In the tome, Glanville also details the moment she first suspected her then-husband was having an affair with his TV co-star: "LeAnn had 'accidentally' smeared some cake frosting on her top (she was still a bigger girl and completely flat-chested at the time) and asked my husband, not realising that I was standing behind the both of them, if he wanted lick it off her. This woman asked my husband if he wanted to eat the frosting mess she'd dropped on her non-existent chest? He hadn't realised I was there, either, and he laughed with hungry eyes at the suggestion."
Glanville also reveals she struggled financially after the breakdown of her marriage, and began drinking too much as she attempted to forget her problems: "I was a jobless, homeless, mother of two living out of her $1,200-a-month SUV and couch-surfing from one hospitable friend to the next. After my divorce - even with the help of Lexapro (anti-depressant prescription drug) - I fell into a bit of a tailspin (and an eventual DUI arrest). White wine became my constant shoulder to lean on."