The Art of Storytelling
Showrunner Dave Ruppel talks about how it's the fun stuff, not the fights, that makes for an excellent series.
Welcome back, RHBH fans! Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving holiday, and that you are ready for more Beverly Hills fun.
First off, I want to answer a few questions from the last episode – part 2 of the NYC trip.
Many asked about the dress in the glass case in Adrienne Maloof's bedroom. It is indeed Adrienne's wedding dress. I know so many women who save their wedding dresses in a box out-of-sight. Kinda cool that Adrienne can keep hers out on display for her always to be able to see.
Lots of comments still not believing we didn’t shoot the initial Camille/Kyle dispute in Vegas. I can promise you that we didn't, and no one wishes we did more than Camille and Kyle. But for more in-depth discussion, please go back to my fifth blog, "Working Overtime," in which I discuss at great length why we weren't filming that day.
And finally, the posters--at least on my blog--seemed to be split about either a) loving the NYC drama, or b) feeling disappointed that these classy ladies also fight like all the other franchises.
So this week's blog is going to be about storytelling.
We came into RHBH determined to tell full and character-driven stories that weren't limited to cat-fights. True, conflict is an inherent part of any form of entertainment. From ancient Greek plays, to Shakespeare, to Mark Twain, to soap operas to yes, reality shows. Conflict = drama.
That said, there are many other ways to entertain an audience without watching people fight. And that's what this week's episode is all about. The humor. The glamour. Some romance. And yes, even a little drama.
Here are a few of my favorite moments from this week’s episode:
The spa treatment with Kyle and Kim. I love this beat for so many reasons. First off, it’s just funny looking to watch. Then, after getting wired up like Hannibal Lecter, Kim and Kyle have a heart-to-heart talk. It's an absurd sight, but for me as a producer, after seeing the sisters at odds with each other for so much of the season, it's great to see them in a lighter, loving moment. People, whether in real life, or on a reality show, are three-dimensional. Most villains have softer sides. And most heroines aren't perfect. So any time that we can deepen what people see of our cast, I feel like we're doing our jobs. I love this sweet scene of sisterly bonding.
The Adrienne and Paul anniversary dinner. Helping Paul pull off this surprise celebration was no easy task. First off, Paul's search for the right dog was extensive. (Check out the bonus clips from the show to see.) He wanted the exact right dog, and we shot his search several times. One time, we had finished shooting with Adrienne and her sons, and were "wrapping" for the day, only secretly we were going to follow Paul and the boys to go check out a potential dog. Adrienne decided she wanted to accompany them--thinking they were going for a walk--so the show had to quickly scramble to move the shoot. Ah, the fun of production. But we helped Paul keep his secret, and what a sweet payoff it was. I loved the pure joy on Adrienne's face when she saw the beautiful German Shepherd gift!
Taylor’s daughter Kennedy's dog, Snowball, is ridiculously cute. Possibly even as adorable as Giggy! (Don't tell Lisa I said that!) That said, Kennedy's allergies were very real. That’s a good example of a little family drama that everyone can relate to, no matter where you live, or how much money you have.
Lisa "accidentally" leading everyone to catch Cedric in his speedo in the Turkish bath: Lisa has a wicked sense of humor and I'm glad we were finally able to share one of her pranks with the audience. Special thanks to Lisa's friend, Mohamed, for sharing his jaw-dropping home with us! I should've taken photos of the crew as we were walking around getting set-up to shoot. Every single person had a giddy, infectious grin because I think we all realized we might never set foot in a 60,000 square foot mansion again! Fun fact: Kyle’s husband, Mauricio, brokered the sale of Mohammed's mansion not long after we filmed there. For 55 million dollars!!!Camille going shopping for her Tony Awards dress was really bittersweet for me to watch. When Camille started the season, she was indeed a bit shy around the crew. But as she warmed up to us, she revealed her true, vivacious, upbeat self. We're only a few episodes away from seeing the physical toll that the disintegration of her marriage took on her body. It was really sad to witness. I’ve been keeping up on the Internet message boards, so I know that Camille has become a polarizing person for viewers. But I want to go on the record with this: I genuinely like her as a person! Yes, she leads a more privileged life than I do--more than most people in the world do. But she opened her home and her life to us--and continued to do so as her world was turned upside down. My heart broke for her and in the upcoming weeks, I think many of you will be surprised to find your hearts breaking for her too.
And finally, on a more upbeat note: I was so happy for Kim in this episode! Like many of you, I was a fan of her work as a child and teen actress. (I even saw her final film as a teen, Tuff Turf, in the movie theaters! If you haven't seen it, go rent it. It co-stars James Spader and Robert Downey, Jr. and it's a perfect example of '80s era films that might be a little cheesy, but boy, are they fun to watch!)
But back to Kim. As opposed to Camille, Kim started the season on a bit of a low note. She's been a single mom for a while, but putting her real life on camera really magnified the fact that most of her life revolved around her kids, who were rapidly becoming more and more independent of her. Again, what parent can't identify with the empty nest syndrome? And what single person can't identify with sometimes being lonely?
o seeing Kim going on a blind date, and being happy, and actually generating some real sparks with Martin--loved it! What I adore about Kim is that she is one of a kind. Quirky, and fun, with a unique sense of humor. It's great seeing Kim finding her footing again!
Hope you all enjoyed this week's episode. And I especially hope you continue to learn more about the women each week. Life would be so boring if we all only had one side to our personalities.