‘The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ Season 10 Premiere — Stick a Fork in It… It’s Done

THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF BEVERLY HILLS — Season:10 — Pictured: (l-r) Garcelle Beauvais, Denise Richards, Lisa Rinna, Kyle Richards, Erika Girardi, Dorit Kemsley, Teddi Mellencamp Arroyave — (Photo by: John Tsiavis/Bravo)

I’ve always viewed the Real Housewives as an aspirational window into the excess of others, but as we now know — most of the marriages have ended, the wealth is questionable, and the friendships are forced. I wouldn’t mind a show — warts and all — but that’s not what we are getting from this franchise, especially with The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

The season one premiere of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills felt like a tired attempt to generate drama, especially since the most interesting part of the season is likely the alleged affair between Denise Richards and Brandi Glanville. I say this because instead of a linear approach, Bravo choose to offer viewers a glimpse into what’s to come, which entails the ladies lecturing Denise Richards on being “dishonest” about her personal life. Because most of the ladies are involved lawsuits they have failed to discuss, I find the demand for “honesty” to be laughable.

Mauricio (Kyle’s husband) for example, is accused of selling a home to a man for $32.5 million, but the seller alleges that Mauricio received more lucrative side offers that he failed to disclose to the seller. According to the seller, Mauricio failed to disclose that he partnered with the buyer to purchase the property. Mauricio then allegedly sold the home for $69.9 million just one year later, generating a profit of $37 million.

Kyle has said time and time again that her husband did not sign up for the show and there is therefore no reason to discuss him being sued. But true fans are well aware that Mauricio has featured his business on the show and gained significant free publicity as a result. So he did sign up for the show — just only the good stuff.

As for Dorit Kemsley, her and her husband’s legal woes involve Dorit’s personal bathing suit brand (“Beverly Beach”), which also gained free advertising on the Bravo television platform. According to The Blast, Dorit’s former business partner fronted money to her and her husband and was never paid back. On the season premiere, she casually addressed the allegations, claiming it was settled out of court. She has long claimed that she was unable to talk about the lawsuit while on camera. But as a viewer and a lawyer, I can safely say that the fans never asked for a play-by-play of the lawsuit, they simply wanted on-camera honesty that the lawsuit did in fact exist. Unlike Shannon Beador of The Real Housewives of Orange County, Dorit continued to pretend that her luxurious life was infallible. She finally mentioned it on the premiere, but it’s too little too late.

Erika Jayne’s husband was also sued, but I will leave that one alone because I actually believe— unlike Kyle and Dorit — he did not sign up for the show. He is never featured, and I therefore do not believe a woman should have to answer for her husband’s job/decisions/way of life.

We are in a trying time right now with the Covid-19 pandemic, and I am fully aware that this was taped prior to our current state. But RHOBH was going downhill even before we were hauled up in our houses. With the loss of Lisa Vanderpump, the rising intolerance for women-v-women verbal sparring, and our shrinking middle class, excess is off-putting — especially when it’s fake.

‘Songland’ Season 2 Premieres — Hit for Lady Antebellum

SONGLAND — “Lady Antebellum” Episode 201 — Pictured: (l-r) Lady Antebellum, Shane McAnally, Ester Dean, Ryan Tedder — (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)

Once upon a time, I spent many days inside a recording studio as a fly on the wall listening to the songwriting, recording, and production process. Those days are over — but NBC’s Songland has provided a surrogate experience, as unknown songwriters looking for a break pitch their tune to some of the most successful artists in the business.

With a little help from an A-list songwriting panel — Ester Dean, Shane McAnally, and Ryan Tedder — the show has managed to churn out number one hits for the artists that participate, and the season two premiere delivered the goods with Lady Antebellum.

Watch below to see Madeline Merlo’s “Champagne Night” clinch the win. Merlo was teamed with lyricist-wiz Shane McAnally who was so damn good Ryan Tedder tossed his notepad mid-song, as he realized there was no longer a competition.

Quarantine Podcast #2: Michael Buble, Kourtney Kardashian, and John Mayer

Hi, friends! My podcast is still in its experimental stages, so please be kind when you listen below, as the audio situation deserves a little more attention. But for those of you looking for a little reprieve from the Covid-19 catastrophe, this podcast is for you. Enjoy your pop-culture rundown.

Crisis Averted: Your Celebrity News Has Arrived

Image courtesy of @TylerCameron3

The Bachelorette’s Hannah Brown and Tyler Cameron are cozying up in Florida and former star of The Bachelor Nick Viall has something to say about it. Cosmopolitan

E’s Morgan Stewart is dating Dr. Phil’s son, Jordan McGraw. E! Online

Vanessa Hudgens landed in hot water over her controversial Coronavirus comments. USA Today

Lana Del Rey and her boyfriend split. The Sun

Former Lost star Evangeline Lily refuses to social distance, despite being immune compromised. Just Jared

Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington were almost cast in Clueless. Too Fab

More evidence has been revealed Lori Loughlin’s trial. CNN

Victoria’s Secret is capitalizing on the inclusivity movement instead of setting the standard. Daily Mail

Chris Evans seems like a good dude. Gossip Cop

Tori Spelling posted a racist photo, and the Internet is dragging her for it. DListed

Lily Allen might be married. Hollywood Life

Fiona Apple’s New Album on the Horizon — Gives Detailed Interview With The New Yorker

Photograph by Malerie Marder for The New Yorker

Those who know me might be surprised to discover that Fiona Apple and I actually have something in common— and no, it’s not her artistic genius. I too have had an unforgettably awful conversation with Quentin Tarantino, and while I’ve never had the desire to do drugs, that conversation could have been an PSA for anyone even considering it.

In a new interview with The New Yorker, Apple says she was inspired to get sober after spending an “excruciating night” with Quentin Tarantino and her ex-boyfriend, director Paul Thomas Anderson, while listening to the two brag. Apple goes on to detail some disturbing moments in her relationship with Anderson, which provides stark insight into her personal life, along with many other very deep confessions.

Her upcoming, highly-anticipated album, “Fetch the Bolt Cutters.” promises to have all the passion and raw emotion that the classically trained pianist is known to deliver, and its journey began in 2012. Its title is a reference to The Fall, a British police procedural starring a sex crimes investigator. Her interview is especially worth the read given Apple’s talent for lyrics. Every single word that comes out of her mouth is cutting in its profound honesty, including her take on comedian Louis CK, whom she encouraged to dig a little deeper with some more self-scrutiny claiming that if he could not, he is “weak.”

To read the rest of the interview, click here.

Dixie Chicks Perform “Gaslighter” on Ellen — Kill It

I love just about everything the Dixie Chicks have ever made, and I was devastated when they took a 14-year hiatus following the success of what I think was their best album, the Rick Rubin-produced, Grammy-winning Taking the Long Way. The trio have since gone through three divorces, and the Natalie Maines divorce was especially ugly. Her ex-husband attempted to void their prenuptial agreement while also upholding its validity when it served him — most notably trying to stall the release of Maines’ new music, claiming the lyrics might violate the confidentiality clause of their prenup.

While I don’t know the outcome of their legal battle, I do know that their new song, “Gaslighter” has some pretty serious tea in it, so I’m guessing he lost. Watch/listen below.

Harry Styles Visits Howard Stern: Talks 1D, Taylor Swift, and Getting Robbed

Harry Styles stopped by Howard Stern for an in-depth interview, and if you weren’t a fan before, you should be now. Styles handled himself with incredible grace, proving that being young and famous isn’t necessarily a recipe for insanity. Composed and self-assured, he politely addressed Zayn Malik’s abrupt exit from One Direction, his industry inexperience during his rise on ‘X Factor,’ Taylor Swift writing a song about him, and his bold fashion choices.

Though I’d love to tell you his new album ‘Fine Line’ is as good as his interview —it sadly falls short. The sound quality/musicianship coupled with his voice is excellent, but the songs are simply not strong. I’d guess that with each record, his sound will improve. He’s still young.

Listen to his full interview below, along with his excellent cover of Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer.” Kudos to Styles for employing many female musicians (Sarah Jones is an excellent drummer) and for avoiding any and all shade traps from Stern.

Jessica Simpson is Still Having a Rough Go of It

I’m rooting for Jessica Simpson. I’ve always been a fan, I watched newlyweds, and when she and Nick Lachey split up it felt like the end of an era. But they were young, and they didn’t stand a chance with the monkey of Hollywood on their back.

Since the show has ended, Jessica Simpson has had great success as a businesswoman and mother of three, and Nick Lachey has started a family of his own. It therefore baffles me why Jessica Simpson would take the route of writing a memoir, especially if she is not in the mental place to do it.

Though I know absolutely nothing about her on a personal level, it took me two seconds to watch her interview on The Today Show to surmise that even though she proclaims to be sober, something is awry. I by no means want to pick on her, but I also want to make it clear that I’m not buying what she’s selling, literally and figuratively. 

Demi Lovato Delivers a Haunting Grammy Performance

It ain’t over till it’s over, and Demi Lovato is living proof of that. Following a highly-publicized overdose, Lovato took the stage at the 2020 GRAMMY Awards to deliver a haunting performance of a song she wrote just days before nearly losing her life to addiction. She clearly struggled at the beginning, but being a true pro — she collected herself for a restart, and the result was stirring. Watch below. The lyrics were clearly a cry for help.