Know what today is? Lori Petty's birthday, yes. But also: it's premiere day for the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, the next meat-show to come out of the Bravo dream factory. Just who are these Housewives? Let's find out!
Basics: A blonde lady with blonde ambition, Taylor is the wife of a venture capitalist and the mother of a child named Kennedy. (A bespectacled former MTV VJ one hopes.)
Horrifying Depths: Armstrong gets lots of cosmetic work done, mostly because she is afraid that her husband will leave her for a younger lady. According to today's New York Times review of the show, at some point poor Taylor actually just up and says "Oh, Lord, he's going to leave me for a 20-year-old." Guhhhh.
Comparable Housewife: I'm guessing a mix of O.C.'s Lynne and Alexis.
Basics: A British expat who also lived for a time in the South of France, Lisa owns and designs restaurants, including the frilly Villa Blanca and the opulent Sur. She's been married for 29 years and has two children, one of whom she named Pandora. Yes, as in the girl who released misery on the world by accident.
Horrifying Depths: Anyone whose last name is Vanderpump is going to have some issues. So there's that. Plus she's so Continental and whatnot that she probably fancies herself pretty, well, fancy. It should be fun watching her realize that she's on a trashbucket TV show and is therefore herself a trashbucket.
Comparable Housewife: Obviously Cat from D.C.. But also a little Simon van Kempen.
Basics: Yes, Kyle. Anyway, Kyle was a child actress who, with her sister, was in the original Escape to Witch Mountain. So she's a pretty big celebrity. She has four kids, ranging from 21-year-old Farrah to 2-year-old Portia. Her husband is a realtor and, oh, her half-sister? Kathy Hilton.
Horrifying Depths: It seems like Kyle is maybe still trying to consider herself an actress? Her Bravo bio lists her acting credits and everything. I mean, she was in Watcher in the Woods, which makes her kind of amazing, and she appears do have done 21 episodes of E.R. as a nurse, but still. She's on this show. Desperation lurks.
Comparable Housewife: A little of Jeana Keough's faded stardom and a dash of Alex McCord's gritty determination.
Basics: Kim is Kyle's sister and was also in Escape from Witch Mountain. She doesn't seem to rely as heavily on her acting past, and has officially announced her retirement from showbiz. Or at least that kind of showbiz. She's doing this show after all. She has four children, one of whom is named Chad, so that should tell you something.
Horrifying Depths: Kim is apparently working on a jewelry line as well as a "water bottle line", so basically she has nothing and does nothing. We'll just watch her do her sad "I'm a career lady!" soft-shoe and feel bad for her.
Comparable Housewife: A more sober Ramona Singer wearing one of Lynne Curtin's cuffs.
Basics: When the show was cast and was being filmed, she was married to Kelsey Grammer. But, we all know how that ended. Apparently one of her hobbies is collecting rare books, and on the Bravo bio page William Faulkner's name is misspelled, so that tells us all we need to know about that. (It is still really jarring to see his name anywhere near a Real Housewives anything, even if it is as William Faulker.)
Horrifying Depths: Everyone keeps saying that Camille was in that Howard Stern movie Private Parts, which is true, she was. But she's credited as "Bikini Girl in Westchester." And, I mean, if you're going to be a Bikini Girl, don't do it in Westchester. Camille has several other weird, cobbled together Hollywood credits, like an appearance in Deconstructing Harry that isn't listed on IMDB and a writing credit (with Kelsey) for a 2001 TV movie or series or something called Neurotic Tendencies, starring Gary Cole. So basically she's going to pretend she's an actress and we'll all sigh and shake our heads.
Comparable Housewife: Kelly Bensimon with a streak of Countess LuAnn Crackerjacks DeLesseps
Basics: Adrienne is part of the mighty Maloof Family "dynasty" (they couldn't have found a name better than "Maloof"?), which owns the Palms Casino in Las Vegas and the Sacramento Kings basketed-ball squadron. She has three sons, is married to a "prominent" plastic surgeon, and enjoys martial arts.
Horrifying Depths: The woman actually seems to be pretty involved in a lot of big things. Though, her Bravo bio says that she helped make the Kings "one of the most recognizable [teams] in the NBA." Um, recognized for doing badly? Like having the third worst record in the league last season? So, that's kind funny. Plus there's the plastic surgery stuff, which ought to be appropriately terrible.
Comparable Housewife: Jill Zarin meets Vicki Gunvalson