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.


  1. That kale tee was just the most horrifying thing. Seeing it proffered to Caroline brought visions of middle school and desperate attempts at making mean girls like me (or at least stop targeting me). The WORST. And from a legit titled person, too. It's like everything I've believed since Diana married that Charles guy is a total lie.

  2. Thank you for your comment.
    I originally read this as "making mean me girls like me" - as in, you were a mean girl. I took a minute to be like "Yes, let the healing begin!" LOL
    In truth, I have totally been there and tried - like Lady Julie and yourself - to buy friendship and/or peace from horrible witchgirls.It's actually the worst insult you can give yourself. I am a reformed Trainwreck and so, so proud of it. I live by the saying 'Only love those who love you'.
    Related: This show is KILLING my Prince Harry fantasy.

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