As with any good horror anthology series, episode two of the Real Hairpieces of Melbourne starts with a ‘Previously on…’, which reminds us how this all happened. It’s all about the fallout from Susie’s baking day, and Pettifleur’s ‘black widow’ comment.
We open at Jackie’s house, where her mum, Lana, Queen Mother of Newcastle, has come down to ask when her daughter and son-in-law will be procreating so she can retire to the Central Coast, complete in the knowledge that the dynasty has an heir. Jackie is scared that a child will completely upturn the life to which she has become accustomed, while her mother fears that she’ll be losing something by not having a child.
Elsewhere in Melbourne, Lydia is being driven around by her ‘housefriend’/sainted human, Johanna – to the Porsche dealership, no less, where her husband has decided to spring for a new car. On the way, Lydia ominously says that Johanna can never leave her, because she has her passport. Run, Johanna. RUN.
At the dealership, Lydia somehow makes everything unnecessarily sexual, talking about driving hard and fast and describing Andrew buying her car like foreplay. It’s all very desperate and sweaty, and Lydia needs to tone it about down about five hundred percent.
Anyway, after that advert for Porsche Centre Melbourne, we visit Gina Liano of the famed House of Liano, who has come from on high to impart her wisdom on Pettifleur about how to interact with the Housewives as a group – after her screaming match with Gamble.
Pettifleur is annoyed at Lydia for telling Gamble about the ‘black widow’ jibe, because she thought they were better friends. Gina then says one of the most insane things in the history of the Real Housewives: “Don’t talk about the girls, to the girls.” Which completely misses the point of broadcasting this show. Professor Liano then gives her lecture on how Pettifleur can get back into the good graces of the group – she needs to cool it with the aggressive shouting, which would be fine advice on Songs of Praise – but the complete antithesis of a Real Housewife.
They reach an uneasy truce, and peace is restored in Melbourne.
At home, Pettifleur has invited her son, Nathan, back into the family home – which is adorned with many artworks dedicated to her favourite subject, Pettifleur – to discuss his coming back into the bosom. Pettifleur and her son have a heart to heart about him coming back, which just isn’t happening mainly because he’s an adult male who shouldn’t be living at home. I get that Pettifleur doesn’t want to lose the bond with her son, but if she feels like her son is cutting her out of his life just by moving out of the house is a little strange.
Meanwhile, Susie has picked up Gamble and they’re on their way to Fountain Lakes Chadstone to let Susie pick up a gift for the bride-to-be. After some flashy cuts to stores such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany and Jimmy Choo they walk into…Pottery Barn.
Of course who should be sitting there but Chyka, resident homewares expert who – shock – is a brand ambassador and partner for Williams-Sonoma (owner of Pottery Barn) in Australia.
Anyway, back in the Real Product Placements of Melbourne, they have a quick wander around the store to fulfil their contractual obligation to Pottery Barn before settling in to a display lounge room to breakdown the fight at the baking day last week. Gamble is more annoyed with Pettifleur, but Chyka and Susie quickly divert the conversation to why Lydia told the conversation in the first place – obviously not realising they’re on a reality show that thrives on poorly delivered second and third-hand information.
Susie feels like Lydia is using Gamble (who is close with Gina) to get back into the benevolence of La Liano.
(If you’ve never watched a Housewives before, just know that it’s much like Survivor: in order to endear yourself to viewers, you must be on a ‘Team’. Gina successfully did this and quickly became the breakout star after season one housewife Andrea Moss was perceived to be ‘bullying’ her. Other Housewives are all just playing for second.)
Summoned by the power of camera time, Lydia wafts in and is soon cornered by Gamble who relays Susie’s bombshell to her. Lydia turns it all the way up to 11 immediately, questioning why Susie is getting involved in the relationship between Gina and her.
They come back together and Lydia wants to know why Susie’s offered her two cents. Susie makes it clear that she doesn’t think Lydia is a genuine friend to anyone, claiming that she ‘uses’ her friends until they have nothing to offer her. Lydia, however, in her talking head, suggests that she barely thinks of Susie – despite her insistence that they’ve been friends for over 30 years.
The conversation then shifts to why Susie brought up the rumour of Lydia and Shane Warne. Susie, like a drowning man, brings everyone down with her – first Chyka, then Janet – claiming that they both heard the rumour first. It’s all very juicy, and it seems to be shaping up that Susie isn’t all cable knit jumpers and rolling pins that she’s made out to be.
We then get a quick scene where Janet is meeting up with her estranged husband, Brian. They seem to genuinely get along, despite his numerous missteps towards the end of the marriage, but Janet is not ready to let him back into the marital unit, if at all. It’s a fun look into what makes Janet tick – even though she’s paid top dollar to have any lines smoothed out caused by the stress of a marriage breakdown. Plus, we got to hear a septuagenarian say that he got happy endings while on holiday, so that’s nice.
Anyway, Pettifleur is really going hard on the fitness route this year, and after a brutal personal training session where her probably Insta-famous trainer refuses her a sip of water, she meets up with Susie to discuss whether she’ll be invited to Gamble’s wedding. Pettifleur is hesitant, but she’ll probably end up going – if only to complete her required filming hours as outlined in her contract. But more importantly, Pettifleur has organised a horse riding day for most of the girls! What fun! Much excite! Wow.
Gina and Gamble won’t be attending the equine festivities, as Gamble has a wedding dress fitting with Alin (nee Alan). She tells Gina that not only is Alin going to be designing the dress, but girlfriend is going to be planning everything from the fonts to the cake. Gina gives some major side eye, questioning if he’s up to the job – but poor, sweet, lovable Gamble chooses to ignore her, frankly obvious, advice and hope for the best.
Lydia, on the other hand is staging a photoshoot for her blog. It is absolutely ludicrous, considering she’s not exactly master and commander of the English language – but if she’s happy, that’s really all that matters. Gamble drops around to further question Susie’s motives for selling out Lydia faster than Adele tickets. Why can’t Lydia want to be Gamble’s friend because of her personality? It’s a bit like watching a WW2 movie where someone’s sympathising with the Nazis. Gamble, you’re on the wrong side of this fight.
Meanwhile, the other ladies are off to ride horses. On the drive over, Chyka, Jackie and Janet wonder if Pettifleur will arrive in an outfit befitting their activity, much like her sailor suit adventure from when they took a boat ride in Sydney Harbour last season. And, boy, she and Susie do not disappoint. They turn up looking like the Serena and Venus of the equestrian world – and after minimal footage of them riding actual horses, they pull over to discuss Susie’s beef with Lydia.
We finally get to the meat of the issue, Susie is now getting back at Lydia because she found out that when she was getting divorced – Lydia spread rumours around ye-olde Melbourne towne that Susie was a party girl with loose morals whose ways would surely lead to the corruption of our society.
Janet and Jackie are full steam ahead on the ‘Lydia is a Snake’ express, while Pettifleur is still waiting to board and Gamble is on the other platform with a first class ticket on the ‘Who is Susie, Anyway?’ scenic tour.
And that’s all for this week. Next time, it’s a special edition as the Housewives argue at the same time so only dogs can hear them. Join us then, my canine brethren!
Lives in Brisbane, works in marketing, watcher of TV shows where women yell at each other at cocktail parties.