REAL HOUSEWIVES OF MELBOURNE – EPISODE 1
By Chrystal Psaltopoulos
#WOW. They’re back. And haven’t we missed them? It’s hard to believe that we’ve been without the misadventures of these Melbourne housewives for so long. I don’t know about you, but my Sunday nights have certainly been lacking the glitz and glamour that only Gina Liano can bring to the table.
This season sees the return of all the ladies bar one. Andrea Moss has been voted off Planet Toorak and is now busy writing the sequel to her book Raising your children my way. The new book is titled How to dress for a skiing holiday in Thredbo and promises to be full of tips on how to fit your Prada and Chanel into your Gucci. Can’t wait for that one.
We have Gina Liano, 48, barrister; Janet Roach, 56, property developer; Jackie Gillies, 34, psychic; Lydia Schiavello, 46, interior decorator and Chyka Keebaugh, 45, co-owner of The Big Group all returning for Season 2.
Joining them are two new girls: Gamble Breaux, 43, an art collector and consultant, and Pettifleur Berenger, 50, a property developer.
I kid you not- these names are real. Pettifleur does indeed mean small flower and that’s pretty much where the similarities to her name end. Gamble says her name is from a Shakespearean play and it means to gambol- to frolic and run free. I don’t buy it. I think her parents just named her on a whim one night after one too many Jim Beams at their local RSL.
Reminiscent of a scene straight out of Sex and the City, the ladies make their stylish entrance dressed in all their designer glory. Everything about them screams rich, rich, rich. There’s cut aways to Chanel, Gucci and Flinders Street Station. Jackie and Chyka are awaiting Lydia’s arrival and are both floored by how amazing she looks when she arrives. Jackie quickly cements herself as one of my favourite housewives yet again by proclaiming that Lydia’s new svelte self is thanks to a lot of shagging and squatting. And when Lydia makes a call to her PA to make sure she buys shampoo, Jackie verbalizes EXACTLY what’s on the tip of all our tongues: Why don’t you buy your own F***ing shampoo?!!
To which Lydia replies “Oh no, I’m too busy to buy my own shampoo.”
I know Lyds, how are you possibly going to fit in a 3 hour lunch, 8 coffees AND buy shampoo?! Geez!
From the get go, the new series promises to be full of glamour and drama. The ladies all look great and seem to be having more fun with each other.
Janet needs a special mention here because it is quite evident that she has had some serious sprucing up done to her face. I swear she looks 10 years younger than last time. And I love the fact that she’s only been left with 2 expressions- shocked, and more shocked. Who needs to worry about what emotion you need to convey every time you have a conversation. Facial gestures are so 2014.
This episode centres around Janet looking for a venue for her birthday after her manfriend Carlos seems to have let her down. All is quickly forgiven though when Carlos goes into a long and winding speech about how wonderful Janet is and how any man would be lucky to have her. Janet’s facial expressions to this are not unlike Augustus Gloop’s when he discovers the chocolate river at Willy Wonka’s factory. And speaking of sweets, since when can a 5 foot cake be ordered, made and delivered in the same afternoon? Seems Janet’s can. And I love the fact that she invites the chef to her party so there’s someone to deliver the cake. That’s some quick thinking right there.
Gina Liano’s arrival may be half way into the show but it’s a good one. The producers waste no opportunity in making sure we know The Bitch is Back by having her walk under a shop sign of the same name. So. Clever. Gina then goes on to have the most awkward conversation with her sister Bettina Liano in which she questions Gina on her relationship with boyfriend Dean. Apparently it’s back on like Donkey Kong and they couldn’t be happier. Cue nervous laugh from both sisters. Awkward.
Lydia is super chuffed to have her own custom made WOW necklace. She assures us it was custom made just for her although I’m pretty sure Diva sells them for $9.99. Figaro the dog that only eats from white bowls is back too and Lydia is quick to tell us that he’s not gay- although she loves gay. Not sure if she’s using the word as a noun or verb here-but whatever- Figaro isn’t that.
New girl Gamble is introduced to us with a clip that looks like a weird dating video. It opens with her prancing around her Mt. Eliza pool waving circus flags in the air. I’m half expecting her to do a backwards somersault while swallowing a fire torch,
Gamble has a dog called cat and maintains her looks with botox. Eyelashes are the most important thing in the world to her and she has a step son who is artistic and alternative like her.
Calorie counting is her motto and she offered her husband frozen peas with Tabasco sauce for dinner.
I’m not even making this stuff up! There’s more- she doesn’t eat breakfast because there are too many calories in a day to eat breakfast as well. So I’m guessing she’s saving up her calories to eat those peas!
Pettifleur is the new pocket rocket. She lives in a penthouse above a hotel and drinks Moet with dinner. Pettifleur has worked very, very hard to be where she is today. Don’t call her a kept lady cause she hates that. Almost as much as she hates people referring to Ceylon as Sri Lanka. Even though no-one has called it that since 1972.
Pettifleur is a tough nut and says it like it is. She looks like she will be the one to watch and will give Gina a run for her money in the bitch stakes.
Janet’s birthday party went ahead after all, with thanks no doubt to Janet’s contacts in the nightclub world. Unfortunately the guests looked like they had been randomly pulled in off the street and weren’t too sure of why they were there.
The most poignant and heart warming scene from the whole show had to be when Janet introduced her son Jake. It was his first outing after the unfortunate accident he had where he sustained burns to nearly 70% of his body. For the first time I saw Janet as a mum who truly only had eyes for her son. There was genuine concern and immense pride when she spoke of the struggles he had endured and how much it meant to her that he was there that night.
It was a truly beautiful, mother and son moment.
There you have it. Recap number one done and dusted. It’s been a great return for all our old favourites who are still as complicated and intoxicated as when we left them.
We have two new crazies wonderful women to get to know who will no doubt become fresh new bait for the old gang. But the real winner yet again of the Real Housewives is the city of Melbourne itself. It truly is a dazzling city that shine, shine, shines in every scene of every episode.