Hello, Bravo? Just FYI, it seems that Lifetime or maybe even the Hallmark Channel has taken over "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills." Why do I suspect that? Oh, just because this week's episode became a drippy, maudlin mess that was about as much fun to watch as a fish tank video or back-to-back episodes of "Mixology." 

I guess when Lisa decided to get the hell out of dodge (well, Puerto Rico), there was a noticeable paucity of drama to be had. The girls got together and shook their heads at Lisa's terrible decision to leave the fun process of being pecked to death. "That just proves she's guilty!" Brandi shrieked, eyes rolling wildly in her head. That's really the only part of her face that moves anymore, so she has to make the best of it. 

Joyce assured her new besties that Lisa really owed Kyle an answer to her question, which Lisa had already given Kyle but hey, let's not let logic get in the way. Yolanda then leveled the boom of dull on the group -- we shall all vow to stop discussing Lisa and will instead have a good time!

You know what's boring? Looking at someone else's vacation pictures. Guess what the next few scenes were like? Looking at someone else's vacation pictures. Yolanda had to do the "I'm the king of the world!" pose in a few new places, and Brandi and Kim had to pretend they were being naughty by sticking their feet in a fountain, but really, I was eager to move on to almost anything else, even if that included those sad ASPCA commercials with Sarah McLachlan singing. Alas, what we suffered through next was even worse. 

Kim's daughter Kimberly is headed to college, and Yolanda's daughter Gigi is headed to college, so guess what? We got ENDLESS SCENES of Kim and Yolanda dragging their kids to new places, and tearing up, and hugging their kids, and whatever the hell else Bravo mistakenly believed would be interesting to us. Guess what? I don't tune into "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" to watch Kim yap about buying Clorox wipes or Yolanda move around floral arrangements. I guess we were all supposed to collapse in big puddles of sad watching them deal with empty nest syndrome, but I'd suggest this would be far more emotionally resonant if we'd seen Gigi and Kimberly more than a handful of times the rest of the season. Really, either one of these women could have been hugging an intern and I wouldn't have known the difference.

I guess "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" is trying to forge a new path -- now, with more poignancy! -- but hey, if we wanted to see tearful mommy moments we'd watch Johnson & Johnson commercials. Those kick ass. While I'm sure Yolanda and Kim are wonderful mothers, I find it hard to match my very recent memories of Kim screaming at Ken in a guttural hell-beast voice to SHUT UP with the vulnerable little bunny who doesn't want her baby to go bye-bye. 

Sorry, Bravo, but you can't have it both ways. Watching Lisa get a little teary as Carlton plots witchy-poo revenge is okay (by the way, did I miss the scene in which Carlton and Brandi stopped wanting to have sex and stopped being friends?). But gagging me with middle-aged mom treacle? Seriously, there are entire channels devoted to that, and I didn't think you were one of them.

Oh, but wait! TAYLOR ARMSTRONG. Of course she's tagging along on the ear-piercing debacle, as the screams of Kyle's children (psst, Sophia? You're too old to act like such a baby) will distract us from her presence. But there she is! Boy, when the highlight of an episode is that Taylor shows up, you know there's a problem.

Did you like the college-centric theme? Do you think Lisa is fake-crying about the other women turning on her? Were you surprised to see Taylor?