Recap: 'The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' returns post-suicide

I can't say I'm looking forward to the second season premiere of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills." It is, of course, the first episode of the show since the suicide of "Housewives" husband Russell Armstrong, and the idea that the show is kicking off with a post-death powwow sets my teeth on edge. Bravo certainly didn't have a lot of choices in how to deal with Armstrong's death, but I have a sinking feeling that plunking the housewives into a room together to share their feelings about the death of a man none of them seemed to like very much is going to set a dismal tone that simply can't mesh with a show that is, for the most part, a breezy, guilty pleasure. 

As suitably somber mood music plays, the housewives and their husbands gather at Adrienne's house for the Big Meeting. Mauricio tries to share his feelings, but when he mentions feeling angry (a pretty normal response), Kyle is quick to steer him onto a more PC path by reminding him no one could know the depths of depression Russell was feeling. As weepy and earnest as everyone is, there's a feeling of restraint as well. For once the housewives seem very aware of the cameras and are on their best behavior, which may be wise but is never particularly watchable. Though Kyle makes a good point about Beverly Hills being so money-obsessed that finding himself broke might have just been too much for Russell, he's not really the focus for the housewives. For the most part, their sympathies are squarely with Taylor. Even Lisa, who has never been much of a fan, tells the group that Taylor will need their support now more than ever. Everyone nods, teary-eyed. Even in death, Russell is quickly shoved into the background.  Read More...


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