Last night’s episode was titled “Courtney Loves Friendship.” In it, Courtney cries. She refers to jewelry coming out of her lady bits. She proposes having sex with her best friend, Tori. If you care to join me in breaking it down:
We open where Episode 7 left us, in the Anatole Hotel, where Courtney and Tori are fighting. Through the magic of editing, Courtney reissues her now classic “because bubbles” line. As Tori makes her egress, Courtney follows her into the hallway and says, “I don’t show up at your job and tell you what you do is ridiculous, so don’t show up at mine and tell me what I do is ridiculous.” Tori tells her, “You want to be so stuck up on yourself, and that’s fine.” The elevator door opens, and she splits.
The photographer, Casey Curry, is worried about Courtney’s emotional state. “Are you okay?” he asks. Courtney tells him, “That, like, fired me up. Let’s take some pictures.” Casey is ready. He says, “I thought we could do just, like, this really natural bed thing. Sort of just you, raw, natural, 100-percent you.” There is a reason, I suspect, that Casey makes his living with a camera and not with a pen. Courtney crawls into the hotel bed, naked. She sits up and demurely covers her chest with sheets and cries and Casey takes pictures. Courtney says to no one and everyone, “I don’t know why I’m starting to cry. This is weird.” Somewhere there’s a guy who is googling “sad girl crying naked.” I shouldn’t judge. But that’s sick, dude. And you, Casey? You should be ashamed of yourself.
After another sweet montage of Dallas cityscapes, we find ourselves in Courtney’s apartment. It is the day prior to her debut on D: The Broadcast. She tells intern Shannon that selecting her outfit for the show is filling her with anxiety. She tells the Bravo camera: “Fashion has always been this escape for me. When my dad left, a Louis Vuitton bag got me through it. And when my boyfriend of several years broke up with me, a shopping spree cured my broken heart. I mean, it’s really hard to walk through life sad when you have shoes that have red bottoms on them.”
I want you to go back and read those words again. Because Courtney’s statement about fashion reveals a lot about her. She is carrying around a deep emotional wound from her childhood, a wound that she tried to heal with a purse. But we all know what happens when you treat emotional wounds with purses. You wind up on Bravo, trading your dignity for some dollar-store version of celebrity. The other thing we learn about Courtney is that, even though she supports herself by blogging about clothes, she doesn’t know the word for the underside of a shoe, which is properly called a sole. Baboons have red bottoms. Louboutins have red soles.
Cut to Courtney’s kitchen, a singularity in the space-time continuum, where the clock on the wall still reads 10:30 and no one is riding a bicycle. A package arrives. It is a red box filled with the jewelry that Courtney designed or picked out or whatever for Bauble Bar. As she spills the bracelets and necklaces and rings onto her kitchen counter, Courtney says to the camera, “Seeing this jewelry in person, of this collection that I curated for this brand, is kind of like having a baby come out of my vagina right now. This jewelry is really happening!”
Probably nothing needs to be said about this bonkers statement. But I’ll say it anyway. I have watched two babies come out of a vagina, in person. Neither instance looked anything like the scene in Courtney’s kitchen. At all. While she might need to clear her browser history after she does it, I think Courtney needs to google “childbirth vagina.” My 8-year-old daughter has lately been asking questions about having babies, a prospect that frightens her. Unfortunately, she was within earshot of the TV this morning when I was watching this episode of Courtney Loves Dallas (the daughter is home sick today). After this scene, my daughter fired off some great questions for my wife about having babies. “I know that you go to the hospital to have the baby taken out of you. So if I don’t go to the hospital, will I not have a baby? If I don’t get married, will that stop me from having a baby?” Thanks a lot, Courtney. I can’t wait till my daughter asks us questions about bracelets coming out of her vagina. Just super.
Courtney returns to the task of selecting her outfit for the TV show. She says, “I’m just not one that deals with sad emotions well. And so I escape into this fashionable world and feel safe there and let the world kind of fix itself, and then I jump back into the world kind of better dressed than I went away in.” Grammatically, this sentence troubles me. But, also, I feel sad for Courtney. Nothing in the fashionable world is going to fix sad emotions.
We go to the The Ranch, where Katie, Tori, and Thais are having dinner. Tori says she hasn’t talked to Courtney in five days. And what are the chances? Right then, Courtney calls. Tori’s iPhone rings with a tone that does not exist in any OS that I know of, which leads me to believe that she has jail-broken her phone, thereby flagrantly violating Apple’s terms of service. We see Courtney in her apartment, placing the call. She gets Tori’s voicemail. It says, “At the tone, please record your message.” So Tori is technologically adept enough to jailbreak her phone, but she doesn’t record an outgoing voicemail message? I am so confused that I feel like a baby is coming out of my vagina.
We see Courtney in her bed, leaving Tori a message. Courtney appears to be wearing every single piece of jewelry from her Bauble Bar collection. She invites Tori to come to the studios tomorrow and watch her do the morning TV show. Courtney says to the Bravo camera, “In a perfect world, like, the night before my show, Tori would probably come over and, like, stay the night, and we would sit there and, like, eat ice cream, and she’d be like, ‘Are you nervous? What are you excited about tomorrow?’ So, like, now I’m just, like, laying here alone in, like, 12 pieces of jewelry, with no best friend during this moment. And it’s sad.” You’re damn right it’s sad, Courtney. Because it’s obvious now to everyone that your emotional development was arrested when your father left you. You act like a 6-year-old! No 30-year-old woman has a sleepover before the first day of a new job!
I’m sorry. Does it sound like I’ve gotten too far into this show? It feels to me like I’ve gotten too far into this show. Because bubbles.
The next morning, Courtney arrives at the KTXD studio. She brought her red box of Bauble Bar jewelry with her, and she shows the stuff to Lisa Pinero, who looks at Courtney like she is a special-needs child. Courtney puts on leopard-print pants and red high heels. We never see their bottoms, but presumably they are red and Courtney is not sad. Courtney tells the Bravo camera, “I’m scared that you’re going to see the bags under my eyes. And I’m scared that I’m going to look fat. And I’m scared that people are going to be like, ‘I’m sorry. This girl is a blogger? Who is she?’”
And then something deeply disturbing happens. Far worse than any accessory coming out of any orifice. As D: The Broadcast hits the airwaves for the first time, Bravo plays the show’s opening credits — which feature my voice. I, Tim Rogers, say, “D Magazine is on the air. This is D TV.” Oh, my. When the show launched, I was the announcer whose recorded voice welcomed small parts of North Texas to the broadcast. About a week into the thing, they hired a real announcer to record the open. I was so hurt that I went out and bought a purse.
As the first episode of the show wraps up, the four hosts celebrate their success. Pat Smith, seated to Courtney’s left, offers her a high-five. Courtney, already with both hands in the air, mid celebration, high-fives Pat with both her hands, in effect making a high-five sandwich, with her left hand as the meat. Honestly, I have never seen a high-five botched so badly. I would pay good money to see what would happen if Pat Smith offered Courtney a fist bump.
After the show, Courtney joins her grandmother, Mimi, and her mother, Royanne, who came to watch the proceedings from a conference room at KTXD. I have no idea how Courtney came out of Royanne’s vagina. That lady is so grounded, so exactly the opposite of whatever her daughter has become. Royanne asks about Tori and then gives her daughter this advice: “Jobs will come and go. But relationships and friendships — those are forever things. Those are the things that make you what you are. Don’t let those slide by.” I want to hug Royanne, tell her that I think Courtney still hasn’t gotten over her father’s leaving the family. Also, I want to buy her a purse.
Cut to Courtney’s apartment. She readies herself to see Tori at a dinner that Tori has not invited her to. Courtney says, “I need to tell Tori that I’m sorry for being a horrible, selfish bitch.” Then she lays out her theory about what to wear to an apology. One doesn’t wear what the offended would look good in. One wears white, because white is the color of surrender. Noted.
The dinner goes down at the now-defunct Acme Food & Beverage. Katie, Thais, and Tori are seated at the bar. Courtney arrives with a joker-style smile on her face that looks like she is X-ing her balls off. Tori is surprised to see her — which is odd given that the Bravo camera crew was there long before Courtney’s arrival. Awkward talk follows. Finally, Courtney says, “Fashion is going to come and go. Men are going to come and go. But the friendships that I have with y’all — it’s the one thing that never goes away.” I feel like Courtney has plagiarized her mother here, but okay. The message is on target. “I’m saying that I let y’all down,” Courtney says. She cries. There is silence. The Bravo producers insert several cuts of the women staring at each other, blank faced. Tension builds. I order an epidural.
Then Tori hugs Courtney! Yay! She forgives her! Butterflies and rainbows shoot out of my vagina!
Courtney tells Tori, “You know what the best part about fighting is?” I want to tell her, “It’s the broken teeth and the bruises, followed by the shopping spree to ease the concussion.” But Courtney gives a different answer: “Make-up sex. I mean, we’re not lesbians, but maybe we should just try.”
Normally, I would totally be into that sort thing. But somehow it’s just not sexy coming out of Courtney’s mouth. Like, at all.