Somewhere in heaven or whatever, all the Higher Powers and their associates got together for a li’l catastrophe caucus to debate whether to throw us earthbound dummies a bit of a bone this 2020. Jesus and Buddha and Allah and your sober friend’s Goddess/Nature/Sky Daddy hybrid duked it out for 79 hours straight. Some thought perhaps a touch of hope may lead things in a better direction. Others believed the mortals made their bed and deserved every second of lying in those sweaty sheets. Finally, the perpetually uncaffeinated ghost of Joseph Smith was like, “I’m exhausted. I don’t agree with any of this, but FINE. Y’all can have my swing vote as long as I get a ‘Friend Of’ credit and at least a four-episode story arc.” And with that, the skies parted, and The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City slid its icy little behind down to your preferred Bravo streaming platform.
And good lort it is ever a gift. We dive right in with a sizzle reel of what’s to come — Andy Cohen doesn’t want you thinking for one second this might be a snoozefest. Salt Lake City, Utah, has rounded up its most holy and housewife-ian, and they came to play. There’s screaming and titties, drone shots and actual shots, mountains and mansions, and at least four different tabernacle choirs. It is a damn mess. And with that level of hype on the horizon, let’s get down to business, because this episode was 55 minutes without commercials, so the business is plentiful.
We start with a trip to Shah Chalet to meet our first Pacific Islander and first Muslim housewife, Jen, who was raised Mormon but decided to convert to Islam after realizing that the Mormon church didn’t accept Black folks until 1970-something and may be side-eyeing her husband and kids. This was probably the move because said husband (Sharrieff, a football coach) and kids (Young Omar and Rifi, in his best Dwayne Johnson cosplay) seem like absolute delights. They all eat a Costco muffin and a vat of egg whites while Jen provides factually inaccurate information about HIV. Luckily, Omar and Rifi know what’s up and also appear to be early masters of comedic timing.
We’re quickly ushered into a 15 Minute Botox Parking spot at Beauty Lab & Laser, the business Heather Gay has built into a $20M empire even though she started at nothing. I’d love to see these receipts for “nothing,” as Heather is purebred, pedigreed, pioneered Mormon royalty who was previously married to the grandson of Howard Hughes’s driver and henchman. File it away in my brain drawer with all the other proof that class mobility is largely a myth the next time I catch myself dreaming of American meritocracy. Either way, Heather treats her three “greasy-faced monkey” daughters (her words, not mine! I couldn’t write something that mean if I tried) to facials, then proceeds to tell us she loves “rap music and Black men and homosexuals,” which are not in alliance with “a good Mormon woman.” There’s just so much to unpack here, but I’m going to leave the suitcase in the foyer for now because we’ve got more ladies to meet!
Meredith is not Mormon and lives in Park City, which feels like a bit of a miss. Her intro package is honestly useless because she’s immediately upstaged by her 21-year-old son, Brooks, who’s currently living at home so he can do Meredith’s makeup and show off his degree from the Karen Huger school of one-liners. Meredith’s husband, Seth, spends most of his time in Chicago, which she claims is completely devoid of kindness. As a Chicagoan, this is a flat-out lie, and it would be a lot more fruitful for everyone to redirect their Chicago anger to our common nemesis, Rahm Emanuel. Whatever, I’m at least 62 percent sure Meredith’s husband has a secret family.
It’s morning at the Barlow household, and Meredith … WAIT A SECOND. Although indistinguishable to the naked eye, this is actually Lisa, a “Jewish by heritage, Mormon by choice” tequila princess. She’s sauntering into her kids’ rooms to wake them up, her voice the audio version of that photo of Lindsay Lohan passed out in a gray hoodie. Henry is a small child with a sign above his bed that says “HUSTLE (v) – the most important word ever,” and Jack is a less small child whose sign reads “GRIT (n) – hustle, passion, and perseverance.” Are these children getting dressed for school or suited and booted to recruit prospects for their Young Living essential oil downline? Read from source….