My expectations for the upcoming season of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills have been... not great, as well documented on Jezebel dot com. As multiple lawsuits have crashed down on Erika Jayne and ex-husband Tom Girardi, past clients have accused the once-superstar lawyer of massive fraud and settlement theft, all while his aspiring pop star wife, implicated in the legal disaster, remained silent.
Well, not entirely silent. She’s spent a good deal of time on Instagram posting downright provocative messages to fans and coworkers. But she’s been silent enough that her thoughts on the scandals threatening her future are still unclear.
That’s changed now with the crash landing of the Season 11 trailer:
In the first few moments, viewers watch as her coworkers almost universally question her involvement in her husband’s crimes. Garcelle Beauvais asks if she was given a heads up before the lawsuits surfaced, and whether that’s why she filed for divorce barely a month before the story broke. Dorit Kemsley, meanwhile, remarks over dinner: “Orphans and widows, it just makes you sick.” Notoriously, those two groups were among those Tom Girardi allegedly stole settlement and legal funds from during his time as a star attorney for the disenfranchised, first making a name for himself with his involvement in Erin Brockovich’s now-iconic lawsuit against PG&E.
Besides Erika Jayne, it seems newcomers Sutton Stracke and Beauvais have officially made their splash landing, with storylines and pot-stirring from each featured prominently in the teaser trailer. Stracke, in particular, also seems to have embroiled herself in drama with newcomer Crystal Minkoff, yelling at her from across the lawn: “Jealous of what? Your ugly leather pants?” Later in the trailer, Minkoff asks her inquisitively: “You don’t see color?”
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As for the troublesome trio of Lisa Rinna, Kyle Richards, and Erika Jayne, it looks like they’re up to no good as always. Richards is seen mixing it up with sister Kathy Hilton of the famous Hiltons, as both gossip about their estranged sister (and one of the most iconic Housewives of all time) Kim Richards. Rinna’s plotline seemingly involves terrible father Scott Disick, who has nauseatingly ingratiated himself with her daughter Amelia Gray, 19. Erika, meanwhile, snaps at just about everyone on the cast, at one point outright threatening Stracke with... violence? Murder? It’s not really clear, but it’s unexpectedly dramatic.
In all, I’ve been burned before by this franchise. Last season started off with a montage of Denise Richards’s slow unraveling, only for the season to reveal she’d been the victim of intensely homophobic scrutiny on part of Lisa Rinna and Teddi Mellencamp and Kyle Richards, among others. The whole thing left a terrible taste in my mouth I’ve yet to wash out. My hopes aren’t high, but maybe it will replace that foul taste with something... different.
At least I hope so.