As someone whose primary Real Housewives viewing has taken place in the past two years, I’ve done a lot of marathoning after the fact. There’s a bittersweet sadness to running out of episodes of a great franchise and being left to wait around for the next season. Surely the same is amplified for those of you who watched all the episodes in their original run. Join me then as I rewatch some of my favourite one-off episodes from seasons gone by. The announcement that Melbourne will be returning in December inspired me to head down under.
Previously on The Real Housewives of Melbourne: Janet has been gossiping to everybody in Melbourne, Jackie is still a psychic with the hottest fucking rockstar husband in the world, and Pettifleur has written a book. Gina is at the height of her arrogant obnoxiousness post her S1 debut popularity. Gamble is freshly engaged to Woofa. Lydia is without Andrea so now she only has Johanna and Figaro to film with. Am I forgetting anyone important? Nope.
- The opening scene is a two minute whirlwind of hilarity. Lydia brings Pettifleur and Jackie to shop at her store. In a hilariously tone-deaf confessional she brags about how they specifically choose pieces for her when they purchase their wares in Paris punctuated with a guffaw that intimates just how stupid Lydia is. Jackie declares everything they look at is “very couture darling” as “shine” fades into the background of obnoxious Jackie catchphrases.
- Gamble wears a fabulous red cape/dress outfit that she wears to a pomeranian dog show. This is just a fluffy filler scene but it reminded me just how intense her two-tone Dirrty era Xtina hair is.
- Janet and her burn-victim/miracle-survivor son have started a charitable tea company to support other burn survivors. They have located a tea master in the Phillippines so why not make a girls trip out of it?
- Gamble and her big sister Tempest do lunch to chat about her upcoming cosmetic surgery. This episode takes place right after Tempest has attacked Janet in Sydney (at the Charles Billich show, whose absurd wife Christa will turn up on RHOS later) over her rumour-mongering. When in Sydney one must be feral, right?
- Jackie and Chyka (oh right) are checking out venues for Gamble’s hen party. They end up at the most ridiculously Australian named place, The Toff in Town. Jackie surprises Chyka with a male stripper show, culminating in Chyka licking whipped cream off one of their nipples and saying it is “the most disgusting thing she has ever done.” Chyka’s lesbouffant hairstyle is super out of control in season two (for the record my official stance on the rumours about her gay husband Lydia spread in S3 is that it’s a double beard sitch) and it’s hard not to be distracted by it. This filler scene is a true masterpiece of the Jackie obnoxiousness that made me absolutely love her. It’s all hoots, hollers and “shines.”
- Lydia is a very proud supporter of the Shane Warne Foundation. Presumably she supports it on her back. She’s joined with Chyka and Pettifleur at a charity poker night for the foundation. PF awkwardly remarks on Lydia’s close friendship with such a handsome man and what a great couple they make. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Lydia and Shane have banged but I take issue with the notion that Shane is some hot uber-stud. What the fuck is that hair??? Frosted tips??? This episode aired in 2015. Is Australia trapped in the same decade-behind time vortex as the OC?
- We hop to a trio of scenes of the ladies packing/unpacking which fabulously juxtaposes their characters. PF’s packing scene is fairly uneventful in the grand scheme of her brand but we do get a glimpse of this gorgeous 80s portrait she has hanging in her closet. Lydia prepares to depart with the help of her indentured servant Johanna, who just so happens to be Filipina. She peppers her with questions of about the weather and traffic, asking Johanna if they have traffic lights in Manila. She is shocked to discover they do. Johanna gives her a letter to give to her parents as she hasn’t been back to visit them in years. Lydia promises to either deliver it personally or post it from inside the country rather than bring her poor, loyal housekeeper along with her. Once in Manila Jackie goes through her wardrobe with her Filipino stylist who she actually brought with her, Lydia. 👀
- Chyka, Gamble, and Gina discuss Pettifleur’s confusing book. She gave Chyka the manuscript to read and she discovered someone already wrote a book with a very similar title, hilariously that someone being freaking Omarosa of all people. Gamble and Gina just don’t think it’s very “fenimist” to call women bitches.
- Janet brings everyone together to dinner at 71 Gramercy, which bestows us with one of my favourite ever Lydia quotes: “it was on the seventy *pause* oneth floor, so it was extremely high.” I would watch an entire show of Lydia trying to spock rudimentary English and failing.
- Gamble calls a truce with Janet by reciting some beautiful words of wisdom: “love and hatred are sisters on the same golden coin” which she reveals to be a Ron Burgundy quote in her brilliant talking head. The moment we realize there’s a lot more to Gamble than just being the calorie-conscious-plastic-surgery-trophy-wife.
- Pettifleur’s response to Chyka’s concerns about the Omarosa book is one of my favourite PF moments: “completely different. Not interested. Don’t care.” Gina jumps in to call it anti-feminist and they get into it, ending with Gina imitating her accent when she calls her out on the racism. Gina is at her most unlikeable here.
Damn, what a stacked episode. I knew Manila was good but as I rewatched I was overwhelmed with all the hilarious and quotable moments.
Next week: Jackie goes ham on Gina defending Pettifleur. White mother Lydia meets Johanna’s poor, unsuspecting parents. Pettifleur asks if Tempest’s surgeon will make her face look like Gamble’s.