We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.

Success! You're on the list.

Welcome back to the Real Housewives of Potomac, where each review is a house party that everybody’s invited to, much to Karen’s consternation. First, some housekeeping. Going forward these reviews will be tag-teamed by Bravo experts Nancy Anderson and Stephanie Rudig. If Bravo issued pilot’s licenses, we’d be flying F-16 fighter jets. Disclosure: the opportunity to review the first episode of Real Housewives of Potomac came unexpectedly, while at Archipelago for happy hour. Archipelago was recently appointed Best Cocktails When You Want to Be One and Done in our recent Best Of D.C. issue. We had four, so we were pretty sauced by the time we got home to watch the first episode. Moving forward, we will likely continue this trend, for as Dorinda Medley, New York Housewives hero says, “I can’t deal with this back and forth, back and forth, I just want to drink.”

Speaking of Best Of D.C., our party was blessed with the attendance of Real Housewife, Ashley Darby! She was super charming and wearing an amazing dress with an under boob cutout. Sadly, our attempts to take a creep shot from a balcony did not capture said under boob. SPOILER ALERT: her husband Michael was outside to pick her up afterward, so presumably they don’t get divorced this season, despite what the teasers might suggest.

Ashley Darby at City Papers Best Of D.C. celebrations Best Of D.C. celebration

We will definitely be tracking the real life moves of our favorite local housewives—so stay tuned for more sightings of our gals on the mean streets of D.C.! On to the episode.

Karen calls her daughter constantly, and most of the time she doesn’t pick up. Karen tries to record a message and gets cut off, prompting an outburst and a glorious eye roll.

Karen in Real Housewives of Potomac

Nancy: If I was Karen’s daughter I also wouldn’t pick up.

At Oz restaurant, Ashley is pretending to bartend for Charrisse and Robyn. Ashley says of the exotic animals on the menu, “Most people, they don’t love it, but this restaurant is run according to the way Michael wants it, and he won’t let me make any changes.”

Nancy: I hope it’s 4 o’clock on a Tuesday. I feel like Bravo is zooming out just to show how empty it is.

Steph: What is it about Arlington that makes even independent restaurants look like a chain?

We arrive at the Casino Royale event to benefit Imagination Stage, which is organized by former cast member Katie, whose crazy antics are much missed. It’s sparsely attended. Sweet champagne tower though! Karen says, “I think Katie did the best she could,” which is some truly devastating shade. On the guest list is new housewife Monique Samuels and her husband, Chris, a former offensive tackle for the Washington Pigskins.

A sign made by Katies children.s children.

Steph: This party is even sadder considering it was most of Katie’s storyline last season (besides the plot about her trying to forcibly marry her boyfriend).

Nancy: I know Ashley is nuts, but I can’t help but like her! I do not like Karen, but I see why you might like her.

Steph: Of the people on the show now, she’s the most likely to become a housewives icon. She’s doing the best job of building her personal brand.

Karen’s husband Ray is, as always, hanging in the background and just happy to be invited.

Three people get up to perform what an announcer describes as “sort of a tribute to the Jackson 5.” Gizelle is visibly pained by it.

Nancy: Are those kids? Before I make fun of them I need to know if they’re kids. Can we rewind? I feel like I need to get to the bottom of this.

Vigorous debate about whether the performers are kids, teens, or hopelessly uncool adults ensues between Nancy and Stephanie. No certain conclusion is reached. Regardless of the performers ages, it is agreed that $200-$1,000 a ticket is too steep a price for this event.

Gizelle is out on a date at Kapnos Kouzina, most likely the Bethesda location since it’s closest to her beloved Potomac. Her date, Kevin, has been a family friend for years. Kevin tells Gizelle “I love your mom. If I were five years older you’d probably be calling me daddy. I mean, you’ll probably still call me daddy.”

Nancy and Stephanie: EW!

Gizelle tells Kevin not to try to get too fresh with her right off the bat, to which he “jokingly” orders “a Bill Cosby.” Gizelle’s face pretty much sums it up:


Stephanie: That’s so fucked up. At least weirdo Herman only tried to slip Gizelle oysters!

Nancy: What do you think is in a drink called a Bill Cosby?

Stephanie: My only guess is it’s like a Painkiller, with aspirin crushed around the rim.

Monique says of the gym “it’s literally my me time,” but for some reason she also brings along Robyn, Charrisse, and her personal assistant. Afterward they drink cocktails and dish about the Casino Royale event. Monique says, “It was a nice starter event,” and describes how she had zoo animals and Chuck Brown at the launch of her husband’s foundation.

Later: The ladies venture into D.C. again for a high tea at The Willard, which Karen notes is RIGHT ACROSS FROM THE WHITE HOUSE. This presents an opportunity for some excellent haberdashery:

Robyn announces that she invited Monique, to which Karen says she likes Robyn’s style. But it sure doesn’t look like Karen loves it!

We learn that Monique met her husband at 19, dropped out of school to pursue singing and rapping. Gizelle demands to see the receipts, so Monique drops a few verses, and is actually pretty good!

Stephanie: I hope Cha Cha is paying attention. She could learn something.

Despite asking to hear Monique rap, Gizelle is offended. “That’s surely not what the world is used to at high tea!” she exclaims.

Nancy: It’s just the Willard! It’s not even that nice. It’s just tourists and old people who hang out there!

Stephanie: I’ve never wanted to go there before, but this pastry tray just convinced me.

Gizelle apologizes to Charrisse for their dumb fight. Charrisse sort of accepts, but in her talking head she says “The Willard is a place for a First Lady; Gizelle is a Monica,” which must have seemed like a great insult back when this episode was filmed and we actually had a sitting First Lady. This relative peace can’t last long though-the cliffhanger ending promises a new beef between Robyn and Grande Dame Karen.