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Posted at 4:30 AM ET, 09/17/2010

'Housewives' nightlife Ep. 6: News, househunting and male models at the W

By Lavanya Ramanathan

While we looked away from the car accident that is "The Real Housewives of D.C." for a week, go figure, things went and got mildly interesting. (And just so we're all clear, absolutely none of this interesting stuff happened on the show.)

If you haven't yet heard, Michaele Salahi has revealed that she is not anorexic, but in fact has multiple sclerosis.

The other big news: This announcement was made during an appearance to promote their brand-new book, "Cirque Du Salahi," penned by self-described author and investigative journalist Diane Dimond. (Be sure to check out her Web site; it has all the calling cards of investigative journalists, including a picture of a dusty old typewriter.) "Cirque" is being billed as a tell-all about that night at the State Dinner, but I'm going to think of it as a novella. Magical realism. The eighth Harry Potter book.

All this news almost made this week's episode of the 'Wives seem (more?) irrelevant.
The episode kicks off with Kat Ommanney paying Mary Schmidt Amons a visit in McLean to talk kids, and maybe to vent a little that hubby Charles never seems to be around (can you say "foreshadowing"?). In return, Mary vents that her daughter, Lolly, lets her klepto instinct get the best of her around Mom's designer duds.

Meanwhile, Lynda Erkiletian meets with only the best -- dog trainer Dawn Sylvia-Stasiewicz, who readied none other than the Obamas' dog, Bo, for life in the public eye. She's there to chat about getting a German shepherd to protect her McLean home. For all their blanket statements about this area, they forgot to mention that Washington is a haven for dog owners. (Once Lynda's playing Mommy to two well-trained dogs, she should consider taking them out on the town and showing them off. The area has a ton of dog-friendly happy hours.)

On the other side of the river (non-Washingtonians, we mean the Potomac), high-dollar real estate agent Stacie Scott Turner gets a call from Michaele, who wants to look for a house in the District so she and Tareq don't have to slum at the Four Seasons a minute longer.

"It could be a 100,000 home or the 12 million home," Michaele says, which totally helps Stacie narrow down the choices. But Stacie, who has an MBA from Harvard, isn't in a hurry to show them homes of any price range, proving yet again that she's no dumdum. The winery, after all, is defunct.

"Show me the money!" she demands.

Okay, no. But she does ask for some bank papers proving their assets. In the meantime, she takes them on a trip to show them four neighborhoods they might want to move into, though she never does get the proof of their finances. Salahis: As long as you're still tourists in our town, we have four neighborhoods to show you, too: Check out our recent series exploring the region's rapidly changing hotspots.

We knew from the commercials that Kat would learn some tragic news this week, which I assumed would be the demise of her marriage, but instead she learns her friend has committed suicide. More foreshadowing: The first thing she notes is that Charles is M.I.A. for this tragedy.

Lynda, meanwhile, consults with an astrologer about her move to McLean. Which helps us finally understand what she's doing on the show.

Up till now, we thought she was sane. But no, she needs an astrologer at the house to help her burn sage, then to perform a religious ceremony on the lawn, all in the hopes of clearing her new home of the negative energy goblins. Want to embrace myriad forms of spirituality without looking, so, um, kooky? Stick to checking out all the religious art in Washington museums: The Freer and Sackler galleries boast a vast collection of Asian art, including all sorts of early Buddhist, Hindu and Jain relics. At the National Gallery, Mark Rothko's series of inherently spirtual all-black paintings made for Houston's Rothko Chapel, are celebrated in the museum's Tower Gallery.

The ladies gather one last time to support Men Against Breast Cancer at its gala at the W Hotel; the event includes a men's fashion show, which, according to Lynda, typically causes women to behave badly. Except that watching the scene, it looks like only Mary is treating this charity event like a Chippendales show. And at such a nice hotel. You can visit the W for a drink, too (though sorry, the spot is swanky, but we can't promise male models): Check out our review of the P.O.V. rooftop lounge here.

Which brings us to our last few minutes of the show, and back, of course, to the Salahis. They are visiting Oasis, and it's only a matter of time, we now know, before someone shows up (a reporter? Someone bearing store-bought grapes?). This time it's the fuzz, whom the couple say were called by Tareq's mom.

Through tears, Michaele explains the toll the family feud has taken. "It's affected my health," she cries, seeming to stop herself short of saying more. It's impossible to watch without seeing it as a veiled reference to her illness or feeling a little sorry for her.

It's moments like this that keep us watching, isn't it?

Oh, who are we kidding??? We're still clinging to hope that eventually we'll find out how those little skamps got into the State Dinner.

-- Lavanya Ramanathan

By Lavanya Ramanathan  | September 17, 2010; 4:30 AM ET
Categories:  Misc.  
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Posted by: tomhanks17 | September 17, 2010 5:18 AM | Report abuse

Love the show highlights. Just one correction--It's Cat with a C not a K.

Also, LOVE Lynda's new GSD puppy Ripley. He's adorable! Wonder what breeder she got him from?

Posted by: sickofit66 | September 17, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

I watched this show for the first time last night. It's nearly unwatchable. And unforgivably boring.

Posted by: motogp46 | September 17, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Smudging is not "kooky". It's a tradition dating back Native American practices. Instead of dismissing it, maybe you should suggest that your readers visit The National Museum of the American Indian on the Mall to find out more about this ceremony. You can include it as an addition to your Freer and Sackler list.

Posted by: lesleyd | September 17, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Yes, I continue to watch it and, except for Stacie and husband, it is becoming a very "trashy" view. Michael is now depending on the sympathies of viewers because she 'claims' to have MS; her husband is like the punks Danielle trapsed around with on that other WIVES show.

Posted by: rbsher | September 17, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

I became interested in the show AFTER becoming interested in this column. The column is great. A fact check request though,,,,why do they always have a large glass of wine or mixed drink in hand, no matter what they are doing? Is this how it is in Washington, D.C., or is this just for the sake of the TV camera? I know Betty Ford said she became an alcoholic because every night they had to attend some function and drinking was expected. Seems to me it hasn't changed? Hey, even the character, Murphy Brown finally quit drinking and switched to club soda. What's up with the constant drinking, day and night?

Posted by: AnnsThought | September 17, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Says Michaele: "It could be the $100,000 home, or it could be the $12 million home." (Quick and sloppy D.C. real estate tutorial: $100,000 gets you a one-bedroom in Anacostia, the city's poorest sector. $12 million gets you an embassy. A NICE embassy.)

The Salahi's are con artist and don't have a pot to piss in you can't pay people with Oasis Wine forever

Posted by: agarnett1000 | September 17, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Sad part is there is nothing "DC" about this show. NOTHING.

Who ever cast this show obviously doesn't know a damn thing about DC. This is the worst of all the houseswives shows and a major disappoint in my book.

I'm confused as to how they came up with this cast to rep. DC???

Posted by: kevenjones | September 17, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Actually Michaele often appears to be drinking water while the others drink wine.

But I imagine Bravo encourages the drinking to loosen things up. That horrible Tareq ambush scene at Oasis supposedly occurred at 2:00 or 3:00 am after many many hours of drinking.

Posted by: MeriJ | September 17, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

If you want to see what it looks like to be pretending to have a private conversation (with a full camera crew standing a few feet away) WHILE STILL SOBER, re-watch that tortuous restaurant scene of Edwina responding to Cat's baiting on health care.

Posted by: MeriJ | September 17, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

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