Like death and taxes, we are destined to see the destruction of humanity through the lens of this week’s Real Housewives.
We start this week at Lydia’s house, as she repeatedly calls for Johanna. #FreeJohanna
Lydia, who has too much time combined with too much money, has decided to commission a portrait of her dog/emotional coping device, Figaro. The artist is Leanne Lewis, who allegedly painted Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s dog/international fugitive, Boo, so she’s clearly a big stink in the pet portrait world.
Anyway, Lydia and the artist spend what feels like, about three years further infantilising Figaro, trying to get him to pose sitting up for the portrait – a pose that he, an animal with no instincts outside of survival, must keep for ‘a few hours.’ These white people need to be stopped before they can do anymore harm.
Gamble, meanwhile, is back from her honeymoon, and in Melbourne to go shopping with her stepson, Luke. She airs her grievances about Gina ditching her the night before the wedding, and feeling like their friendship all a bit one-sided; which is probably accurate. Gamble feels like Gina is getting a bit of a big head over her ‘fan favourite’ status amongst Housewives watchers, and would rather Gina didn’t make her ‘look like a dick.’ Luke calls all her ‘friends’ a ‘violent pack of bitches’, which, again, is accurate.
Across town, Gina is back at Chemist Warehouse HQ to talk about fragrance. And if Gamble thought she had a big head before, wait until the suits from marketing blow some more smoke up her bum. Tagging alongside is assistant/paperweight, Josh, who is just a GIF at this point. The entire session comes down to the name, Fearless and its Italian translation Impavido are nixed, in favour of Gina by Gina Liano. One of the Chemist Warehouse chemist’s tells Gina that she’s a ‘one-name celebrity like Kylie or Madonna’ and I rolled my eyes so hard that I sprained my optic nerve.
Susie, a sad, out of season Ralph Lauren jumper in the David Jones sale bin, is planning on hosting etiquette classes in her role as president of the Country Women’s Association’s Toorak Branch and has invited Jackie, Chyka and Chyka’s daughter, Chessie, to her first run through alongside an etiquette expert, Joan Martin.
Jackie and Chessie are there to have a cruisy lunch, in the manner to which they have become accustomed to on the Real Housewives – but Joan is not having a bar of it. Jackie, who is a natural extrovert with a big personality, is in Joan’s firing line for interrupting and talking loudly. They go through how to eat an oyster, elocution lessons by putting marbles in your mouth – all the latest trends of the 1920s.
We have to move on, because it’s time for another instalment of ‘Pettifleur: A Diary of a Mad Woman.’ Old Moneybags has taken her son, Nathan, shopping for a piano – despite the fact that he is a grown ass man with a job, presumably, who does not need the $135,000 that his mother uses to further reel that umbilical cord in. Other than this ridiculous purchase, Pettifleur takes the opportunity to find out whether her son is really happy with the witch who entangled him in her womanly wiles to take her away from the bosom of his mother. She asks loaded questions like whether he’ll regret settling down so early, and you can see the poison in her eyes when she dryly says ‘She’s a wonderful girl.’ But wait! THE GF THEN SHOWS UP UNBEKNOWNST TO PETTIFLEUR! And she nearly drops dead right in the Steinway store. Nathan and Emily go off to lunch, leaving Pettifleur alone, pining for someone – anyone – to need her other than the piano salesman who needs a deposit cheque.
Jackie and Ben have organised to babysit Jackie’s nephew and god-daughter overnight as a trial run for having kids. It goes about as well as you would expect of a young, upwardly mobile couple with two toddlers in a house that looks great in Architectural Digest, but isn’t exactly child-friendly. Jackie quickly takes on the role of the strict parent, kicking the mothers out as well as scolding Ben for going into see the kids after they’ve been put down for the night, but she’s still hesitant as to whether she wants to completely surrender her life to a child.
Out in the suburbs, Janet is catching up with Brian at his new property development about the wedding and how he felt about the other Housewives all asking him about Viagra. He mentions that it was all playful and Lydia was a lot of fun, but Janet warns him off her – he can’t be friendly with her while Janet still has an issue over their Twitter war. She then quizzes him on where they stand now, and why he’s being so nice to her; he said he always wanted a relationship with her post-separation, but her son’s accident and subsequent post-traumatic stress caused a rift between them. Brian suggests that all Janet has to do is ask him to come back, because he’s ready – but Janet is still torn. Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of their lives (numbered.)
Chyka, the refreshing centrepiece stolen from a wedding, has invited the girls to Luminare, a rooftop event space to show off the renovation and reveal a big surprise. Jackie, Janet and Susie arrive, with Chyka quick to tell Jackie that she was right about a vision she’d had of her son travelling to London. In the middle of this, Pettifleur arrives and she’s immediately in a bad mood because the girls don’t drop their conversation immediately to shower her with praise for entering the building. She gets even more pissed off when Gamble comes in after a natural lull in the conversations and gets the full she-bang of air kisses and ‘you look fabulous!’ from the crew. Here we go.
Gamble is seeing Gina for the first time since she’s back, and expects an apology pretty soon after she walks in with Lydia. Nothing. Gina goes off to have a conversation about her favourite topic: Gina Liano. Gamble’s left looking like a shag on a rock, and Janet, Chyka and Jackie clearly notice this.
But it’s time to leave wine time, because Chyka has organised a very special dinner. She (by which I mean, her staff) opens up a curtain covering half the room and it’s been transformed into a Bedouin tent set up for their dinner. All the ladies cluck over each other, as Chyka hands out envelopes to the ladies before informing them she’ll be away to plan a wedding for a royal family. They open them up and, bam: plane tickets to Dubai.
Everyone’s in a good mood, but the old resentments are still simmering under the surface. Pettifleur then starts to get on Jackie about a psychic reading, trying to find her son’s birth certificate that she’s misplaced. Jackie isn’t in the mood to just dole out a reading then and there, so moves away from Pettifleur at the table. Pettifleur can’t take this sitting down, so immediately follows her. Jackie gets up again, so they can both vent about why they’re at such a loggerheads. Pettifleur thinks that Jackie is dismissive of her, while Jackie can acknowledge that and just write it off to the fact that she can’t stand Pettifleur’s stank attitude. They get into a big fight, and nothing’s resolved. Just another lovely dinner party ruined.
Back at home, Lydia’s latest boondoggle project is done – the portrait of Figaro is complete. The artist unveils it, and Lydia can’t praise it enough. While she’s having an episode of mental illness, Pettifleur shows up. She, correctly, points out that Lydia has too much disposable income and maybe should take a step back from her Fatal Attraction relationship with her dog.
They sit down for some eye of newt and have a cackle over who they’d leave behind in an Arabic jail for dressing inappropriately. Pettifleur has a big whinge about how Jackie thinks she’s above people because she came from a working class background to her current wealth. Pot meet kettle. Lydia also has a problem, because one, she has too much time on her hands and two, Jackie isn’t as friendly as she was when she first met her. Probably because she got to know you, Lydia.
We have to leave their coven, because that’s the end of the episode. Next time, we’re off to Dubai! Let’s all ride camels and watch Pettifleur have a meltdown! Hopefully no-one gets beheaded on the next Real Housewives of Melbourne.
Lives in Brisbane, works in marketing, watcher of TV shows where women yell at each other at cocktail parties.