Friday, October 23, 2015

The Exposed Life of Caroline Stanbury, Lady of London S2E7

She ate the dog with a fine Chianti.

Episode 7: The Cougar in the Room

More Meaningful Title: Best. Episode. Ever. Because. Accents.

In the intro, Lady Judy gestures frantically, vogueing to a beat only she can hear. Fleming cooks. Caroline puts her hair in a bun, takes it out of a bun and ties it back into a messy bun in perfect silence, a contemplative move reminiscent of Waiting For Godot; and the person Annabelle checks the sights on her shotgun while standing at her dining room table. If I didn't know better I would think I was watching a Dadist film. Haruki Murakami writes in '1Q84' that once a loaded gun enters the narrative, it can not remain without being used. It begs the question, how will these lives converge?

We begin with a relaxed Lady Julie and Sophie (like tequila and Clamato juice, I'm in love with this pairing!) quietly shopping for a shooting weekend in some sort of men's kilt store in order to 'look the part'. (Reader's Note: Lady Julie keeps referring to it as a SHOO-ting week-END, in a bad approximation of a upper-class British accent.) Juliet joins them. They look at socks and try on felt hats. It's amazing. Sophie is so friendly and knowledgeable about shooting in the talking head segment, but... wait! Something has happened, they are being vague...

Cut to Caroline Fleming and Caroline Stanbury curled up in bed together (hopefully, one day I will come home and Caroline will be curled up in my bed) talking about, I can't be certain... Could it be the same topic? Yes, yes it appears to be. The plot is thickening! Fleming is still? very upset about Marissa's cougar comments from last episode. She needs to repeat over and over again that she is "in love with a 30-year-old" who writes her embarrassing poetry. That's cool, Fleming, do you!

Best Line of the Episode

"It's my nightmare!" - Caroline Stanbury, on romantic love. Same Caroline.

Cut to Marissa, lying reframing explaining to her husband why she doesn't like Fleming's new beau: He kicked her out of a cab in the middle of the night!






Follow me, Dear Reader, because we need to peek behind the curtain for a moment. According to Google, Sophie's birthday is 28 December and in 2014 that landed on a Sunday. It was this night that Marissa is claiming she was abandoned by Fleming and her man when they threw her out of the cab on the way home. (Please note: Fleming does not deny this happened, but alleges it was not so dramatic.) As a result, Marissa was bitchy and irritable with Fleming as punishment, making all the cougar comments to deliberately  "subconciously" get under her skin. Not a good look, Marissa. And the clincher? Marissa is 'best friends' with Fleming's sister and now Fleming's parents are casting a glance askance at the boyfriend, harshing Fleming's flow when she's just tryin' to get it in.

For simplicity sake, let's diagram this problem backwards on a restaurant napkin, the way my friend Carolyn did to explain why her engagement was called off...

Fleming is doubly angry --- Danish parents are in a uproar --- Fleming is angry --- Marissa calls Fleming a cougar at bowling and complains to Fleming's sister that the bf is an ass --- Marissa gets kicked out a cab --- [insert reason why bf did this to Marissa]

We are missing a big piece of the script story here, Bravo! Why did that happen? Englishmen who date Danish Baroness' are not normally the kind of pricks that ditch middle-aged females on the side of the street for no reason. What did Marissa do to deserve this? Other than being Marissa.

I love her. I'm scared of her. It's complicated.

Images pass along the screen in a blur. The English countryside is featured, the day is blustery and damp. Women wearing fur hats shoot magnificent birds. First the hat is on the person Annabelle, then it dons the head of Caroline Fleming. It's a sorting hat, indicating who is good at SHOO-ting and who is not. 

Let's recap!

Juliet hates Marissa.
Marissa finds calm Juliet "boring".
Fleming hates Marissa.
But Marissa loves to watch the person Annabelle shooting (FA-SHUN!)
Caroline Stanbury hates shooting and drags everyone to the pub. 
The person Annabelle hates the pub and rolls out of there wearing the giant fur sorting hat like a crown with a pair of pheasants hung on her shoulder like an old pair of ice skates, looking like a Vogue photo shoot circa 1995. She brought a man-friend on the shoot and leaves him behind like so much Eurotrash. Fucking perfection.

"I'm Happy" Gift-Library. Kidding, you guys. It's already closed. Sophie asks Caroline about it and Caroline does an excellent pissed-off cockney accent. I tremble with delight.

Just when you thought it couldn't get any better, relaxed Lady Julie and Marissa are drinking champagne in a bubble bath together! Talks turns to Fleming's upset and Marissa indicates that she is more than ready for a fight. Okay, twinkle-toes, let's see this. To be extra passive-aggressive, they both arrive late and slightly tipsy to a formal dinner where everyone else await in hunger. Fleming - barely able to contain her rage - gets in an argument with Marissa about models in the fashion industry getting their bodies creamed by a special person (who must be known as a "creamer", yes?). 

It goes without saying that I am crying with laughter

Caroline Stanbury, dressed as Tuxedo Mask (this woman loves costume!) realizes that Fleming is about to explode and schools Marissa on how large the problem is for Fleming. Marissa decides to beat her up in the parking lot face the music and asks Fleming to talk during a bathroom visit. By her own admission, the thought of this too much for Fleming and she tries to crawl out the window. Fleming does an imitation of Marissa's American accent.

FYI I am crying with laughter.

Marissa kinda listens, apologizes, uses the old "I'm not gonna lie about my feelings" bullshit - the national anthem of basic bitches everywhere - apologizes some more and Fleming accepts her apology.

EXCEPT SHE DOESN'T - because that is how this show works!

And you know what is happening in the next room while the camera wastes time on this non-issue? 


You had one job, Bravo! This is not a drill! 

Okay people, we need to have a huddle because I am seriously concerned about Fleming and this mystery dude. IN general, guys who start fights between women-friends and who cause drama with gf's parents and sisters always turn out to be bad news...

Next Week: Something is Rotten in Denmark

I don't know how they are going to top this episode, but looks like they're gonna try because it will feature Naomi Cambell, a trip to Denmark and a potential fight between Caroline and Annabelle?? If I had to pick three things that had no relation to each other, those are the three things I would choose.

*sings* empire of dirt...

Food Caroline Talked About in This Episode

She orders fois gras at the shooting weekend.

Food Caroline Actually Ate in This Episode

Well, she must be hungry because she hasn't eaten in the past two episodes, so this week she gorged herself. And by that I mean, she delicately held a spoon above a bowl in an imitation of eating soup while sitting in Fleming's bed. Well played, Caroline. She chases this with a lollipop. This woman eats like she's trying to get pre-diabetes.

Friday, October 16, 2015

The Exposed Life of Caroline Stanbury, Lady of London S2E6

Are you talking about sex?

Episode 6: Are We Fired?

More Meaningful Title: The Producers at Bravo Want You to Feel Sorry for Rich People with Bad Judgment, Whilst Still Being Jealous of their Lives

Quickly, quickly now, everyone! 
Take cover to endure the editing blitzkreig so that we can get through the opening montage, quickly!
Images of London change to images of the country and we arrive in the dressing wing of Caroline Stanbury's house. She stands bereft in the closet next to her expensive candy-coloured purses. She advises that she will take a 'couple hours' to dress but she ends up wearing her usually uniform of ripped jeans and a bias-cut biker jacket. Disappointing.

Caroline Fleming is shopping for vegetables at an outdoor market. Normal.

The person Annabelle is wearing a black dress and someone is slavishly thanking her for it. Am I to understand that because she was the self-proclaimed muse of Alexander McQueen, she has somehow been imbued with his genius and now she is a fashion designer, or something...? She walks around with hair in her eyes like a sheep dog, for God's sakes.

Lady Julie is walking with her kids.

Marissa is drinking red wine with her kid. Don't believe me, watch the show.

Juliet is talking with her kid and the kid is smarter and more socially aware than Juliet.

And we begin with Marissa and the person Annabelle who have developed a ...friendship? Wait, I feel a little betrayed because I thought Marissa was too "middle class" for Annabelle. Marissa uses the words organic, authentic and real correctly identifying mistaking Annabelle for a vegetable. Same, Marissa. She then embarrasses herself by describing the person Annabelle as - and let me try to parse this out correctly - "FA-SHUN! FA-SHUN!" despite Annabelle not appearing in any of the FA-SHUN! photographs she provides. Marissa requests assistance with choosing exactly the right kind of trucker hat and Annabelle provides no constructive feedback other than she hates it all. Well reasoned, well argued, I guess. 

The fireplace makes me think of Hell

Meanwhile... at Gift-Library (BTW, why the christing fuck is it hyphen-ated?) Caroline needs a special pillow because her heiny hurts. Mine would too if it was just two bones clicking on a plastic chair, like a dog with long nails on the linoleum. A woman named Pauline (where is Rania?) is literally trembling in front of Caroline and accompanies her to an investors meeting, by which they mean a meeting with Caroline's father and his cronies, who refuse to throw more money at this ridiculous flight of fancy. In the talking head segment, Caroline tells us that she has been working at Gift-Library for seven years, not just two years like she told us last episode. Does that make the situation better or worse, Caroline?

There is a commercial break and we return to Caroline being escorted into a dark SUV while sad music plays. She is either being arrested for securities fraud or someone has died. 
No such luck! 
She calls Rania (WHERE IS RANIA?) and says 'we grew the business too fast'... 
Wait, that reminds me of something....
AH, yes! Yes, you did Caroline! That's right, because in the first episode you bragged about 'acquiring' The Wedding Shoppe. So, let me get this straight: Instead of building the existing business with your investor's money, you bought a second business as a soft place for you to land in the event of disaster. Because while Gift-Library staff most certainly will be out of work, Caroline will still have The Wedding Shoppe from which to draw an income...

W O W 

...That is some very creative accounting, Caroline. I am interested in what the British Tax Code says about that...

Ever the sociopath, Caroline correctly imitates the sad body language she sees in others but doesn't actually feel anything other than the pinch of rejection that her natural charisma could not get her out of this mess. To pass the time she turns her attention to hosting friends from - where else? - America! She says she met a man in a club in 'Los Angeleez' and they 'clicked'. No, she doesn't mean her husband, she means Michael Sam, former NFL player most famous for being openly gay, and his partner. She sits with her 'other half' while her guests put her children to sleep. The same children she is leaving Gift-Library to spend more time with. Like I said before, in every situation Caroline must have a servant. And no, by 'other half' she still doesn't mean her husband, she means her make-up artist Luke. If Caroline insists on calling her guests her "gay boys", can I call her a fag hag?

The person Annabelle talks about her stupid book again. At some point we are going to have to acknowledge that this is a desperate cry for help.I hate to break it to her but the movie has already come out. It was called Inside Out and maybe she can rent the video and watch it with some of her FA-SHUN! friends. Or continue to worship the Devil. I'm cool with whatever she decides.

How do you get your mouth to do that?

Cut to...
Beaulieu Palace, where a distant titled relative of Lady Julie's husband whom she has never met (lol!) gives them a tour. In attendance are Caroline "The Danish Earth Mother" Fleming and the person Annabelle. Like Mapperton - and all property on planet earth - Beaulieu needs to generate an income in order to pay its taxes. For some reason, this comes as a surprise, a shock and an insult to Lady Julie who has a pathological need to throw herself behind a cause, no matter how stupid or undeserving. I can't generate sympathy for rich people who are faced with the simple task of having to make a living and neither should you, Dear Reader. Bravo wants us to both envy these people (the purpose of the show) and feel sorry for them (the plot of this episode). Pick a lane, assholes.

But this summit was not called to enjoy tea and crumpets, it was called to discuss Juliet's behaviour. It is agreed that Juliet is a trainwreck and they need to sort her out. Fleming argues that it's really a burst of love and attention that Juliet needs and volunteers to reach out to her. Fleming invites Juliet to her home to cook...pesto? With almond butter? ...or coconut oil? It was hard to follow because Fleming kept alluding to sexual intercourse and Juliet ended up looking like the normal one. NO ONE SAW THAT COMING. Juliet is like a haunted mirror that infects others with her poison while remaining herself immune.

Best Line of The Episode
"Wigs alter your personality" - Juliet Angus, excerpt from her PhD thesis on clinical psychology

Top Dog must be top of mind, because someone is trying to steal it. And by someone I mean Juliet. She arranges a bowling night with day-glo wigs, and mustard yellow custom bowling shirts and fast food...can hot dogs be far behind? 
Juliet is a Top Dog copycat. ( did you see what I did there?!?!? OMG!! )
Lady Julie and Juliet go off in a corner and continue to gibber and throw feces at each other talk about nothing. Ignore them.

The ladies each choose a shirt!
Juliet is Bam Bam
Sophie is Frank The Tank (yes, you are baby)
Caroline Stansbury is HRH
Marissa is Mother Theresa
Lady Julie is Loose Lips
and Caroline Fleming is Cougar...?

Marissa makes a bunch of off-colour comments about Fleming with 'little boys' and Fleming takes exception. We know this because she gets silent. As Caroline tells us in the talking head segment that "silence is deadly", then again that is how I describe my farts. Marissa - upon hearing of Fleming's displeasure - decides against the mature of tactic of either apologizing or shutting up. Instead she seems to challenge Fleming to some sort of duel. 

Next Week: The Cougar in the Room (Classy, Bravo.)

Food Caroline Talked About In This Episode

Food Caroline Actually Ate In This Episode

Friday, October 9, 2015

The Exposed Life of Caroline Stanbury, Lady of London S2E5

Entitled white people pointing at each other.

Episode 5: Clean Up Your Mess

More Meaningful Title: Paging Dr. Freud

This week, in the absence of a coherent plot, we ricochet quickly from woman to woman in staged vignettes that depict an approximation of real life. Totally meta, this film major is always down for some pastiche (you thought it was food, right?). I'ma break it down for you again because nothing has really changed...

Marissa and her husband pick up a key from a kindly marionette on a dark street corner. It's the key to ... who fucking knows because they cut to a dinner between she and her husband at a 'chef's table'. Marissa brags that she sits there a lot, which means she sits, from my experience at chef's tables, in the basement or next to the bathroom a lot. Stepford Academy Valedictorian and Class President Marissa goes into her 'motherhood is the only fulfilling thing on planet earth' spiel and her husband - who always looks vaguely embarrassed by her - gives her a pep talk which sounds like this: Eh, what what, quite right, right-o, good on you chap, stroke on Charles... etc.

Meanwhile... at Gift-Library, Rania mutters something about business and Caroline Stanbury blinks her large alien eyes in response. This is because their personalities were fused during the hiring process and Rania can now read her mind using a customized baby monitor.

Caroline Fleming continues to pray whilst her dogs eat. Still charming! 

Lady Julie is working on JUB. She attends an investors meeting and, to the surprise of everyone she has ever met, nails it.

The person Annabelle is drinking tea "laced" - her deathwish words not mine - with milk and sugar. She calls this the "French style". Somehow, I expect more from a woman who was once married to a RothschildWhatever. She redeems herself later in the show by wearing a toque and eating avocado toast. Maybe she's an aristocrat with a the heart of a middle class spinster. Maybe she's a mystery, wrapped in a riddle, surrounded by an enigma.

...and the spinning bottle of editing comes to a stop with Juliet who appears at Gift Library with Mr. Mustard and an ice pick.  for seven minutes in heaven with Caroline. to speak with Caroline.

Now, exactly what they are talking about remains a complete mystery. Something about how Lady Julie has once again done/said/breathed/blinked/existed the wrong thing and something about the off-camera threat Caroline made to Juliet and Gregor Angus. Both Caroline and Juliet are careful to gloss over it. But this is confusing. If a woman has threatened you, you don't drive up to her place of business unaccompanied and have a chat about it in the dead of night. It's like they're advancing the plot of some OTHER show... I'm bored to tears until Caroline says something about 'machine-gun your family'. Oh! that's what your AREN'T going to do! Great, Caroline, everyone for sure 100% believes you! That wasn't a glib verbalization of a deep seated unconscious wish AT ALL. Gotcha. For some reason, all blame past/present/future rests on Lady Julie. Well done, you pair of calculating harpys. End scene.

Marissa, on the other hand, is kicking ass and talking names in the high-stakes world of hot dog vendoring. She doesn't spend her office hours talking about other women, she spends them in productive meetings with people she treats as equals. The comparison between Gift-Library and her success is compelling. My prediction is that once Caroline figures out that Marissa is about to eclipse her, the resultant sabotage will be epic and very watchable.

Take it from Olivia and govern yourself accordingly

So, to re-cap.
The person Annabelle is psychoanalyzing Lady Julie on how to handle Caroline Stanbury, Caroline Stanbury is psychoanalyzing Juliet in the talking head segment, Lady Julie is psychoanalyzing Caroline Stanbury to her bestfriend/daughter (yes, she is one of those mothers, are you at all surprised?) and Caroline Fleming - in the producers' effort to keep this satellite of normalcy orbiting in the same space occupied by the Trainwrecks Ladies of London - is having an actual therapist attend her home and proceeds to ...act like a lunatic with DickFever(TM)*. Everyone has a breaking point. None of these women appear to have a college degree to rub between them and yet they all think they are genius'. Sounds familiar, Bravo.

Best Line of the Episode:
"Ten percent of the population are highly sensitive people. It's called HSP."
- Lady Julie, on a disorder and statistic she invented to obscure the fact that Caroline Stanbury is her pack leader and Galactic Overlord

Sophie! Sophie! Sophie!
I want her to get drunk again so I can watch her stagger around like a sailor on shore leave. Sadly, it's not my birthday, it's hers. Sophie has a birthday party in the basement. At a chef's table. somewhere with sugar skulls and stairs, wearing a suit tailored so tightly her amazing ass looks like a shelf. Caroline brings a pinata full of sex toys and #Iwanttopartywiththesechickssobadithurts

Fresh off her JUB win, Lady Julie can think of no better reward than to sacrifice herself to the volcano god humiliate herself totally and give Caroline a present of a T-shirt with the word KALE on it in a misguided attempt to pre-empt further attacks from Caroline. That's not how bullies work, Lady Julie. Caroline says she likes it because it's a 'frat t-shirt' (another Americanism!) and then dismisses Lady Julie entirely. Lady Julie pants in relief. If you are keeping track, Caroline has now received a personalized turkey hat from Marissa and a KALE t-shirt from Lady Julie. Based on the weight of tribute alone, Caroline clearly sits on the Iron Throne.

You can't have a reality show episode without grown women screaming bullshit at each other so, now we turn to the fighting... all the women start speaking about something, its mostly Juliet and Lady Julie - the two most emotionally fractured humans to grace the set - and for the life of me I can not figure out what they are fighting about. Nope. No idea. Stop asking. Fuck off.

This episode was boring and I hated it.

But wait. I need to bring the focus back on Caroline Stanbury for a sec. Watch how she conducts herself at this party: She is bright and engaging, she stays focused on her hostess the birthday girl, she brought a pinata. She does not - as these other fools do - stand in a corner and embarrassingly argue about nothing. Don't you get it yet? She is cashing paycheques from a reality show and not damaging her personal relationships!! This woman IS a genius.

Next Week: Are We Fired? (Only if you churn out another garbage episode like this one, Bravo)

Food Caroline Talked about in this Episode
None, because she is on a 'detox'. But she means alcohol only. Then proceeds to drink her face off at Sophie's party. ALSO SHE SMOKES THIN LITTLE CIGARETTES. That leather biker jacket isn't just for show, she's a real badass!

Food Caroline Actually Ate in this Episode
A skinny latte (but, is that food?)

*DickFever(TM) is an actual phase of life and I suffer from it, too. No shade Caroline Fleming, we are sisters in this thing. With enough awareness we can start an online support group.

Monday, October 5, 2015

The Exposed Life of Caroline Stanbury, Lady of London S2E4

They could have been anything you like, sweetheart. 
You paid for them.

Caroline Stanbury: The Early Years

Episode 4: One Royal Hangover

More Meaningful Title: Sophie Lets Her Freak Flag Fly!

This episode is so layered I can barely handle it. Let's take a moment to try and absorb everything that is happening all at once. First, it’s important to note that Europeans – including the English – party hard after their children are in bed. Americans are unaccustomed to this because they make their life all about their children resulting in disastrous effects on their marriages and friends. The party gets more raucous and Caroline wearing a unicorn costume (they call it a 'onesie') poses astride a prone man, lying exhausted on a settee wearing a tuxedo. Do you have a visual? 
It's okay, I will wait...
You good? You sure? Ok, let's get started.

First Layer: Caroline was just playing around posing for a picture, making weird neighing noises. The man lying on the couch is not complicit in any way. He enjoys it for a moment then becomes bored then becomes uncomfortable, each feeling lasts three seconds. Please note, Uberfollower and lack of self-esteem-haver Lady Julie is taking the picture.

Second Layer: The man on the couch is Juliet's husband, Gregor, a reasonable and hard-working man. Juliet complains to Caroline that this 'crosses a line' while pointing an accusing finger.

Third Layer: Caroline leans towards Gregor's face and whispers "you know you want it". Why do women – Caroline being just one – act inappropriately with other women's husbands? The answer is complicated. Caroline always needs to be the centre of attention, hence taking the picture in the first place, and probably needs to imagine at all the men are secretly in love with her in order to keep her very fragile ego intact, hence the pseudo-flirting. I imagine that Caroline has done this before and more than one red-faced, drunken Englishman has taken his chance with an illicit kiss, something Caroline can then use against them in the future. Luckily for Juliet, Gregor is too smart to fall for this shit.

Fourth Layer: It is important to remember that Caroline would never have done this if she respected or valued Juliet as a friend, instead she makes things worse by incorrectly stating that Gregor 'loved it'. Lady, you are a witch.

'DO I LOOK EVEN REMOTELY SEXY?!?!?' - Caroline Stanbury (pleasesayyespleasesayyes)

There will be a tremendous amount of discussion about what should have happened. Here's my take: When a woman behaves like an asshole, let her. If this was a Jane Austen novel (and I always encourage you to imagine it is) her outrageous behavior would be quietly noted by the other women and she would be slowly ostracized from the group in future outings. But that was back when women had self-respect and a common understanding of human decency. Instead, we get Ladies of London.

The party breaks up into two rooms and most of the players go to bed. Gregor – for some weird reason – wants Juliet to clear the air with Caroline and so, like a lamb to the slaughter, she is verbally assaulted by both Caroline and Sophie, heretofore known as the 'Stanbury sisters'. For a hot minute Caroline is worried that she may have gone a step too far and proceeds to bore the world at large by re-framing the story until it no longer resembles the truth. But like the sociopath we know she is, Caroline recovers quickly and the following day at brunch (in Juliet's disgusting confetti-strewn post-NYE hotel room) she both retracts her apology to Lady Julie and calls Juliet 'crazy' for being polite to her guests. Remember that thing I talked about where Caroline accuses her accusers leaving them off balance, here it is again. As expected, Lady Julie emotionally collapses a second time, Juliet is back on the defensive and Caroline is now back in the power position. Required reading for this portion of the episode is found here.

How Caroline Stanbury feels right now.

The person Annabelle who had previously encouraged Lady Julie to accept Caroline's seemingly earnest apology the night before has heard enough and walks out to enjoy New Year's Day in the land of normal people, if she can find any.

"Glitterfoot" def. a disease of the wealthy and hungover, not contagious

I'm going to gloss over the middle bit because Caroline is boring when she is failing and that is exactly what is happening to Gift Library. We have a drop dead date regarding a debenture for added drama (get it? This show inspires me to poetry!). If on January 31st she cannot meet her creditors she will go out of business. 

*sound of toilet flushing wads of cash

In the talking head segment Caroline says that no matter what happens, her husband will catch her when she falls, or some shit like that. To her face, Cem says 'you have lost your personal motivation in the business'. Then I laughed maniacally into the dark void of my own soul. I guess for a 'Turkish dude' who speaks English with a very apparent Russian accent and business dealings that require him to travel bimonthly to Kazakhstan – a former Russian satellite state – he would know all about 'personal momentum'. I wish they would just admit he's an armsdealer and get it over with. My prediction is that his business. and maybe their relationship, does not withstand the increased scrutiny of the show.

Marissa appears in Hustler The London Sunday Times with a hot dog and - quelle surprise! - Caroline makes fun of it. She's just jealous she didn't think of it herself

Caroline Fleming returns to Denmark to visit her dear grandmother who has a plum-coloured car that matches - wait for it! - the trim on her adorable cottage home. She also plays the piano and makes sassy remarks. If she can shoot a rifle with a cigarette hanging out of her mouth a la Betty Draper, she will be my perfect woman.

Have you ever seen Betty Draper and Caroline Stanbury in the same room?

But do not despair, Dear Reader, that all the excitement has passed us by because a strange astrological triangulation occurs and Lady Julie, the person Annabelle and Juliet meet for coffee to discuss ... their mutual dislike of Caroline Stanbury! It appears there was an off-camera threat made by Caroline to Juliet and Gregor. Something about driving them into the ground. Or running over them with a car. It's unclear, sadly; but juicy enough to upset Juliet when Lady Julie mentions it in front of the person Annabelle, in a cowardly attempt to deflect attention from her own Caroline-induced pain. Juliet is correct to be upset because Annabelle is egging the situation on without having any skin in the game. Annabelle clearly still hates Juliet from their dust up last season. Juliet would be wise to demur and keep her infernal mouth shut but she instead she loses her temper and pops off with a bunch of nonsense. Again. And Annabelle is smug. Again.

Next Week: Clean Up Your Mess (in which Juliet speaks Spanish?!?!)

Food Caroline Talks About In The Episode:
   1.      Brunch – she eats none
   2.     Romantic dinner with her husband - she ingests nothing

Food Caroline Actually Ate in This Episode:
1. Nothing.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

The Exposed Life of Caroline Stanbury, Lady of London S2E3

Episode 3: We are all One-sie 

More Meaningful Title: Brits start some Shit

There is an extensive montage of how each woman spent the holidays filmed on what looks like an iPhone and then we re-convene with Lady Julie and Annabelle having a coffee in the lobby of a grand hotel. I am encouraged that Annabelle drives a classic Mercedes like me, only mine is nicer. Lady Julie and Annabelle have formed a charming mommabird/ babybird relationship during Annabelle's convalescence from her show jumping (?) accident. 

Point of process: This blog can’t tell from the show, nor from last season, what sport Annabelle was taking part in when she died and was brought back from the dead was injured. She is too tall to be a jockey and too old to be learning how to ride in the first place, if she is truly an 'aristocrat'.

The person Annabelle feels comfortable sharing a children's book she is writing inspired by her … not sure, poor treatment at school for being dyslexic? I understand that English schools can be merciless on sensitive children. Annabelle mentions that by the time she was 8 she had seen 23 child therapists. This is really intense and goes a long way to informing us of her emotional landscape. This is probably why she derides Marissa's 'happy family' in the previous episode, she is likely a bit jealous.

'Happy Families' Marissa and her "most well-known restaurateur in the world" husband investigate a Thai resto location that she intends to turn into an 'American street food' restaurant selling – get this, everyone – organic hot dogs, fries and shakes. A recent tweet indicates that she is now calling herself the Duchess of Hot Dog. Lord have mercy. This may be a little high-concept for the streets of London, we shall see.

All Hail Top Dog (because cats is quick)

Meanwhile... at Gift Library, Christmas sales were dismal. Caroline laments in the direction of Rania's exquisite eyebrows that it will be a national story if Gift Library 'goes under'. Rania's squints and nods in an effort is seem like she cares. In the talking head segment, Caroline goes into a long song and dance that she built this company herself over the course of 2 years. A quick Google search indicates that her own father was a director on the board, later resigning.

Frantic budgie Lady Julie on the other hand is trying to start a business selling JUB and heads off to a meeting with Caroline in a cake shop for advice on submitting her business proposal to potential backers. We watch Caroline order two pieces of cake, then pretend she didn’t order them when they arrive at the table. Well-played, Caroline. Caroline proceeds to insult Julie in every way out of blind jealousy amidst dropping a few useful tips. Lady Julie pants like an over-eager puppy. Her intention is to make money to support her family estate, Mapperton. It's a noble gesture but it's hardly her problem. She already has four children, a job, a TV show and a well-connected husband whose full-time job is to support Mapperton, so she hardly needs another project. It's narcissistic.

Your head is too big for your body.
This blog finds Lady Julie bizarrely child-like despite her very important position. Part of my problem with Julie is the shade of blonde she colours her hair. It is so yellow, turning her skin red and her eyes colourless that I find her off-putting. She always looks on the verge of a complete cardiovascular collapse, despite being a yoga instructor. She's also a ditz. In one scene she can't remember in which building she was married nor where her children were baptized when she is standing in front of them. I am antagonized by her and yet she is so well-meaning. However, watch how Caroline runs this meeting like a Boss. She starts with 'why am I here?' and when she has had enough she says 'are we done here?'. She may be running Gift Library into receivership but she's no fool. Her time is precious and she always looks calm. That's how to behave as a grown woman. Point, Caroline.

Lady Julie Montagu gives Juliet a private yoga lesson. I'ma let that sentence sink in for my Shakespeare sisters, whilst I alliterate. My question is, Why? Other than the show, how do these two know each other? Since when does Lady Julie have a single moment to spare??

Now the plot! 
It is NYE in London and Juliet is hosting a formal dinner at a beautiful hotel downtown. The guests arrive and check-in to the their rooms, then have a formal dinner, finally retiring to the balcony to ring in the New Year.

Getting ready for parties in hotel bathrooms while pre-drinking, playing on your phone and joking with your best girlfriend is everything and I could have easily watched an hour of them doing just that. Caroline's bodacious big-haired beauty of a best friend is finally introduced, she is married to Caroline's brother, her name is Sophie. Try to remember her, she becomes important later. Poor Lady Julie is attending the party alone and worries that she will feel left out. Luckily, hostess Juliet is her new BFF. Caroline Fleming is attending with a similarly blond girlfriend. The person Annabelle, in a black backless gown with gold epaulets, is attending with another person she refers to as a 'friend'.

"I intend to behave appallingly." - Caroline Stanbury, on making friends

The look on Marissa's face when Juliet enters - arriving late to her own party - wearing a glittery garbage bag is magnificent. I was surprised to learn that Juliet is listed a 'fashion blogger' on Bravo's website. Caroline asks point-blank 'did you get pregnant with twins' and pulls disparagingly at Juliet's voluminous dress. This is a bit ironic because Caroline could be speaking from experience, she is the mother of twins. 

Juliet correctly refrains from speaking to Marissa, a woman who has just demoted her from BFF to mere friend, and invests her energy getting to know Caroline Fleming. A worthwhile pursuit if you ask me. Not being the centre of Juliet's world is not how Marissa saw her last day of 2014 going, so she walks over and gives Juliet a hug. Juliet does not possess the necessary spectrum of emotional intelligence to understand the meaning of this hug, and it will only serve to fuck with her head. Point, Marissa.

"Let's continue to party!" -Juliet, on the Syrian refugee crisis

Dinner happens. For some reason, Lady Julie is very sensitive to everything Caroline says. Caroline is merely calibrated to her normal bitch response, but Lady Julie collapses in piteous weeping in a stairwell after losing a headstand contest with Caroline Fleming. Yes, you read that correctly. The person Annabelle comes to her aid, calling Caroline a 'cow'. Wrong, she is a Unicorn.

Because watch how Caroline handles this! 

She listens to Lady Julie's snot-filled blubbering. She apologizes, she commiserates, she explains her point of view in a sweet voice, she puts her hands on Lady Julie to reinforce all of these things and when she feels that she has sufficiently prostrated herself, she turns on her heel and goes back to having fun with her husband with a smile on her beautiful face. 
Fucking perfection
Ladies, take note. This is how to behave in public. You don't, as stupid Lady Julie does, refuse to accept a perfectly reasonable apology and continue to bawl in a corner over your brusied ego when you already live at the top of the food chain.

Best Line of the Episode:
"I forgot my trousers." – Cem Habib, on the state of his marriage to Caroline Stanbury

Then the best thing in the world happens. Caroline - not to be outdone by Marissa and her amateurish personalized turkey hat - arrives with adult size onesie animal costumes and everyone puts them on and drinks champagne!!1! (emphasis MINE)

Food Caroline talked about in this Episode:
1. Cake
2. Sucking on Lady Julie's 'balls' (i.e. JUB)*

Food Caroline actually ate in this Episode:
1. Cake? This was ambiguous.
2. There is actual footage of Caroline eating the NYE dinner. *chorus of angels*

Next Week: A Royal Hangover

*Caroline mentions 'balls' a lot, actually. She has said, while referring to her breasts, that they 'should have been balls not boobs'. And now we have the glorious mental image of her sucking on another woman's 'balls'. On NYE she shares a prolonged liplock with another female. Curiouser and curiouser, said Alice.