The Real Housewives of Melbourne (S04E01) "Venus Rising"

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Well, I think when they coined the phrase ‘hit the ground running’, they were referring to a certain franchise of women residing in the more glamorous side of Melbourne.  Talk about an intense start to the season!

We have a lot to cover in this extra long episode but we begin with Gina walking her pup Noodles in heels while on the phone organising a fake tan – as you do…. Seems she’s put her acting career aside for now as she’s been busy launching 3 fragrance’s, a face care range and a fake tan range whilst still working as a Barrister. You rock Gina!

We then cross over to Lydia and her pup Figaro at the green grocer comparing gourds. She tells us that she’s found her calling through food. Figaro looks unimpressed.

Next, we see Gamble and Rick walking along the beach with their 2 dogs discussing their upcoming anniversary.  Gamble tells us that becoming Rick’s wife is one of the best things she’s done and she’s very happy now with a new business and their new home.

We then see Jackie and Ben who are hoping for a pregnancy this year.  Jackie appears very happy with this decision but explains she still wants to keep her career going as a Psychic, and plans to launch her own Psychic Tour.

Our first scene with Janet finds her chatting with her son Jake who announces that he now has a girlfriend, and Janet is tickled pink with how well he is doing.  We also learn that Janet has met the man of her dreams and is in a happy relationship which is fabulous news.

The camera zooms in on a delicious looking array of antipasto and we are in Lydia’s home where she’s chatting to her mother and son.  Sadly, from the conversation we discover that Gina’s beloved father passed away. At that point, Gina and Noodles arrive for lunch and Gina tells us that that Lydia has been an amazing support to her over the past 12 months. In fact, Gina compared her to an Angel around the time that her father passed away.  Now this ‘bestie relationship’ is a surprising development as Lydia has done a lot wrong in the past, but it seems she totally stepped up for Gina.  There’s been a lot said about Lydia’s motives for being good to Gina but let’s just pause for a moment and ask; doesn’t everybody deserve an opportunity to redeem themselves? Also, let’s remember that even though Gina is possibly still vulnerable since her father’s death, she’s no fool and I imagine it would take a lot to pull the wool over her eyes. I’m staying open minded for now.

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Gina says that “there’s no such things as grownups” and explains that she feels like she was still a little girl when it came to her fathers’ passing.  She breaks down as she tells Lydia that her father was like a little boy, as he was scared at the end.  Lydia hugs her and they share a sentimental moment. Gina then further explains how wonderful Lydia was during that time.  Interestingly, Gina points out that new cast member and friend Venus Behbahani-Clark was the only other cast member that went to support her when her father died. Gina was visibly disappointed and then talks about her surprise that Gamble did not go to see her, saying that Gamble “goes to the opening of an envelope” and Lydia agreed.

Gina tells us how difficult it is to describe the cause of the breakdown of her friendship with Gamble as it’s not one incident that caused the rift but more so a sequence of events.  She then tells Lydia that they never recovered from Gamble’s wedding that was shown last Season.  She mentioned that Gamble never actually thanked her for her part in the wedding and instead bagged her to the other girls.  Gina also said that she felt Gamble was aggressive towards her on social media, and Lydia agreed with that as well. It as interesting to hear a little more about what caused the friendship to breakdown but until both sides are heard it’s difficult to have an opinion.

Lydia tells us that cooking is now her calling and that she has decided to hold weekly cooking classes at her home.  I wasn’t quite sure if Lydia meant that she is opening her home to the public – that would be a fun event to circle in your diaries!  Meanwhile Figaro is sunbathing outside in somewhat odd-looking clothing and is joined by Noodles.

Next up we find Gamble in her gorgeous new garden with Rick and they’re discussing how sad it is that Gina’s father passed away.  Gamble mentions she hasn’t seen Gina for some time as they are now estranged, so she felt it would be odd to turn up at her fathers’ funeral. She says that she sent Gina a fruit basket as she was unsure of what to do, and then begins to explain what she thinks went wrong between them.  She says ‘someone’ had photoshopped an image of herself and Gina in the desert by adding a ‘Pokémon’ character.  Gamble said that Gina kind of looks like a Pokémon character but that hadn’t occurred to her until she realised that someone in cyber space was making fun of Gina when they created the photo.  Gina blocked Gamble on Instagram and then Gamble removed the picture thinking Gina would then see that she didn’t realise it was offensive. Does anyone else find this really bizarre?  Gamble is spot on when she says that you can’t make this stuff up!  Anyway, Gamble tells Rick that she heard that Gina has called her a ‘fame whore’ as she goes to so many openings and schmoozes up to the media (stuff Gamble seems happy to admit).

Then, things turn a little ‘single white female’ as Gamble says that Gina has started using her fashion designer Alin Le’Kal, has taken her makeup artist of 20 years and wait for it, she found out Gina has the same lamps as she has begun using Gambles decorator!  Rick tries to make light of all it and I tend to agree with him, but Gamble remained annoyed.  Rick raised a really valid point though as he says none of this would bother Gamble if she didn’t want a friendship with Gina.

We flip back to Gina inviting Lydia to a dinner with Venus and the other ladies because even though they didn’t attend the funeral they did send Gina some thoughtful messages. She explains she is referring to Janet and Jackie, but not Gamble as she is really frustrated with her and unsure if she can be bothered resolving their issues.  She asks Lydia how she feels about Jackie being invited and they begin talking about Jackie and Lydia’s broken friendship. Lydia explains that she is still very hurt from what transpired between them in the past and that she doesn’t think she could ever trust her again.

Things lighten up in the next scene is at The Rooftop Bar with Ben and Jackie.  They talk about Jackie looking forward to Gina’s dinner.  They then start discussing their own longer-term plans.  Ben seems to want to move to the US for his music.  Jackie is not as convinced about moving as she feels more settled now in Melbourne and thinks if she falls pregnant she will want to be close to family.  They also talk a little about Jackie’s upcoming Psychic Tour and Jackie seems very excited about that.  Was it just me or were the hilarious references that Ben was making suggestive that his mind was more on motorboating his lovey ladies ‘z’ cups than planning any tours?

We then meet the first of the two new cast mates Venus looking stunning in her home making a traditional Persian dish ‘Ghormeh Sabzi’ with what looks like a Persian feast for the family.  I must admit it looked great but I did wonder if her Ghormeh Sabzi was as good as mine! She was born in Iran and works as a Lawyer.  She is married to James who has an inherited ‘Lord of the Manor’ title which makes her officially Lady Venus Behbahani-Clark. She has young daughters and James plays a fatherly role to them. She describes their lifestyle as better than royalty as they ‘keep it real’.  Venus explained that she felt she was a “hideous looking” teen who focussed on her academic goals.  When she achieved what she aimed for, she then had the money to spend on her appearance.

Next, we see Gina and Venus in what looks like a Law library.  Gina is thanking Venus for supporting her after her father passed away.  Venus tells us that she has a great deal of respect for Gina and looks at her relationship with her as she would an older sister. Venus is also thinking of joining the Bar and practicing as a Barrister and Gina is supportive of this and tells us she will gladly mentor Venus if she pursues that path.

Gamble meets with Alin Le’Kal, her friend and dress designer to be fitted in her Logies dress.  Gamble does look she has lost weight and she explains to us that she needs to be on the skinny side for a dress designer. I’m sorry I totally disagree with this Gamble as there are many curvaceous women who are dressed beautifully in gowns all over the world, and certainly the best designers should know how to design for the curvier woman.  Alin mentions that he’s also dressing Gina for the Logies.

Gambles next question is a surprise to me as she asks Alin if Gina is letting him design something elegant for her – err, throwing some shade there much Gamble? She even goes on to say that Gina hasn’t changed her look since the Pyramids.  Well it certainly is beginning to seem that there are definite hurt feelings on both sides of this fractured friendship. We did see her try on her gown and she did look stunning.

We see a lot of buzz going on as the girls are preparing to attend the TV Logies.  We are shown them being squeezed into their Logies gowns with the help of their assistants and made up by their glam squads.  Gina tells us that her Logies dress was almost not going to arrive in time as Alin was running behind.  She said she warned him that it’s things like that, that can ruin both their careers and it is no surprise that after that, her dress did in fact arrive that morning.

Gamble joins Jackie and Janet for pre-Logie drinks and talks about feeling somewhat left out.  She explains that she hasn’t really spoken to Gina about their issues since her wedding last season and Janet seems really shocked by this which made me chuckle because I wonder if anything ever really gets resolved on any of the housewives’ franchises.  Jackie then asks Gamble if she is going to the dinner and her question is followed by an awkward “what dinner?” from Gamble.  Gamble tells us that she sees being excluded from Gina’s table as a massive statement and that she couldn’t ever do that to Gina.  She tells us that she “loved that girl’ and that she “looks like a dickhead for it” and my heart just broke for her at that moment.  It’s such a difficult thing to lose any relationship that you have invested yourself into, but I come from the position that you should never be hard on yourself for opening up or allowing yourself to be vulnerable.  We need to remind ourselves that at that moment in time when we were investing into a relationship we were doing so because the situation was right at that time.   So, in my opinion Gamble, no, you don’t look a dickhead at all.

Next up we see the girls on the red carpet at the Logies.  Lydia tells us she received negative feedback about her dress and it was said that it was not flattering for her figure.  She proudly tells us she doesn’t care as she embraces her curves and is aware that half the women of this world are curvy – well said Lydia!  Janet is looking beautiful and very Scarlett O’Hara and Jackie, Gina and Gamble all also look amazing in their gowns.

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The girls were surrounded by reporters when Gamble turned around towards one of them, crashing into their microphone and had her front teeth broken!  The poor woman must have been traumatised but she managed to hold it together and decided that it would not ruin her night.  I was really impressed by this show of strength as I don’t know if many people would, or could stay and enjoy their evening if their teeth were knocked out.  It was reassuring to see that Gina was quite genuinely concerned for Gambles dramatic weight loss as well as her teeth being broken and made efforts to speak with her. It was great to see Gamble joke with Gina and share a laugh.  I thought that it looked quite hopeful at that point that the two might resolve their differences.

The night after the Logies we join Gina and Lydia waiting for the other girls at The Point for dinner.  Gina mentions that she thought Gamble looked like a broken bird and I think she meant that with her weight loss and then her teeth being broken, that she seemed somewhat fragile. She told Lydia that she would like to speak to Gamble alone.  She then says that she hopes that Gamble doesn’t know that the dinner is happening as she doesn’t want her to be hurt.  She’s obviously unaware that Gamble did find out about the dinner at ‘pre-Logies’ drinks with Janet and Jackie.  They both then arrive and they start off discussing how sad it’s been for Gina to lose her father. Janet explains she doesn’t attend funerals because she doesn’t like them and I nearly fell off my chair laughing as I don’t know anyone that actually likes funerals – but it’s OK, we know what you meant darling! Jackie asked if the empty chair at the table was for Gina’s father (as many cultures and faiths do in fact believe the deceased hangs around for a period of time to ensure those grieving are alright before they move on into the afterlife). Gina explained the chair is for Venus and she would hate to think of her father as being anywhere but where he is should be, which is in heaven.  I found that an interesting point because I wonder where Gina, and probably millions of other people actually think that Heaven is.

Soon after Venus arrived and the girls exchanged some friendly banter before they began discussing Gamble.  Gina said she’d like to catch up with Gamble alone.  Gambles weight was brought up again and Janet and Jackie mention they think she’s unhappy and stressed.  Jackie tells Gina she thinks it is about her and asks what Gina’s issues are with Gamble.  Gina turns around saying her issue with Gamble, was that Gamble had issues with her!  She felt that they had a short friendship of only 4 months and that there was no reason for Gamble to feel stressed by her.  Gina said that Gamble was demanding and that there was a problem in every interaction.  Jackie then said that Gina needs to give Gamble the respect she deserves and she should tell her what her issues are.  At that point Lydia chimed in asking Jackie why she is not doing that with her as they had problems within their friendship last season too.  Jackie explained to Lydia that if she is going to talk to her, that she would do that when they were alone.  Just as they finish talking, the waiter arrived with a large gift box and tells Gina it’s a special gift from Mrs Wolfe.  Gina looked quite surprised but pleased as she opened it to find what looked like a dozen long stem red roses and a note that she read aloud…

“Dear Gina, I would never have excluded you from my table. Have a great night, love to the girls, Gamble”.

Well everyone’s faces just dropped and Jackie was first by saying that was not cool and it was a bit “fuck you” from Gamble. Gina tells us there’s nothing sweet about the gesture and calls it “sugar coated arsenic”.  Gina looks visibly shaken by the gift and says that it has actually spooked her, and that the roses remind her of the ones she left with her deceased fathers coffin.  She asks the girls to take away the flowers and also mentions that it’s the type of thing a crazed stalker boyfriend would do.  Venus tells us that Gamble should be very careful as Gina doesn’t take any crap from anyone.  Gina then starts saying the behaviour is that of a stalker and she may need to get a retraining order! At that point she is pleased that she didn’t invite Gamble to the dinner. Gina rips up Gambles note and says” that’s it for me, you really have some problems”.

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In the midst of conversation Janet said that Gamble messed up and that everyone has done it. Well not all of us have quite done that, but I’m sure we all have done things that were not so smart.  Up until the moment the roses arrived I was feeling dreadful for Gamble and Gina and I believed that the two would be able to mend fences. However, after thinking about it I’m not so sure that the two will get through it now as that gift made Gina feel very uncomfortable and that’s not a good place to begin.
What are your thoughts?  Don’t be shy- feel free to comment below.

Have a great week!
Becca Balayance