Well, the time has come. My favorite new Bravo show has come to an end. It’s time to say goodbye to our favorite new Brits and Yanks, the Ladies Of London. As of right now, there’s been no word as to whether Bravo will renew this show for a second season. It’s definitely too soon to tell. But tragically, there will be no reunion special for us to enjoy, no behind the scenes clip show for us to tape on our DVR and forget about until weeks later when we’re home sick from work and looking for something to watch. I’m still pretty bitter over the cancellation of Gallery Girls, so I ask Bravo: please do not cancel the Ladies Of London. I like it a lot.
This week, everything came to a head at Caroline Stanbury’s dinner party, which ended up being a very subdued version of a disastrous Real Housewives-style party gone wrong. There was no screaming. No crying. Nobody pulled out anyone’s extensions and certainly no one threw a leg. These are dignified Londoners and sometimes, that’s what I want to watch, you know? Ice queens and not drama queens. I appreciate having balance in my divas. Let’s talk about our divas, hopefully not for the last time.
After a tough season, Juliet actually came out of the Ladies Of London finale unscathed. Sure, she’s still going to be the one who showed up in hoochie shorts and butchered the national anthem. But in terms of season-finale-sh*t-stirring drama, Juliet managed to stay out of it. Though it’s clear that she’s Team Caroline all the way, she didn’t bust in with her unsolicited opinion at the dinner party. She didn’t insist that Caprice apologize or call Noelle out for talking behind Caroline’s back. She didn’t even seem to get drunk! And what’s more? At the end of the summer, while attending the last polo match of the season, Juliet doesn’t jump and scream like she’s at an American football game, even when her friends encourage it. Looks like somebody is learning some social etiquette from their mentor Caroline, even if they don’t want to admit it!
Speaking of learning lessons, I am going to give the award for Most Improved to Annabelle Neilson. Annabelle started the season off as an insufferable snob, picking on anyone she deemed to be uncool (spoiler alert: almost everyone) and setting impossible social standards for those around her. She was judgmental, superior and downright mean. Plus, a person who constantly refers to themselves as someone’s “muse” is nauseating, no matter how true it may be. However, Annabelle went through an amazing transformation over the last few episodes. After her devastating riding accident, she seemed to grow up. I guess it takes almost dying and dealing with the agonizing pain of a broken pelvis to provide some perspective. Annabelle’s accident helped her to realize what mattered (not dying on a horse) and what didn’t (petty fights with your friends). Even though her role on the show was limited, she gave some good (albeit ignored) advice to both Caprice and Caroline in the end.
Oh boy, Noelle sure got herself into some trouble, didn’t she? Last week, I observed that she was digging herself pretty deep into the sh*t between Caroline and Caprice, and man, I was right. We all know that she visited Caprice the day of Caroline’s dinner party and subsequently threw Caroline under the bus for “giving her a hard time” about the baby shower situation. Caprice, who interpreted this as bullying, then decided to stop at the party and confront Caroline. It was, of course, all Noelle’s fault. Caprice never would have shown up to the party in the first place, if Noelle hadn’t added that fuel to the fire. My guess is, this is why she got drunk right away. When you’re trapped in the middle of two very powerful, socially domineering women, you want to be drunk. Noelle had to work pretty hard to dig her way out of this predicament, first working to clarify with Caprice that she never used the word “bully” and then apologizing to Caroline for discussing it with Caprice in the first place. My guess is that Noelle will try and stay out of things next time. It’s much better to be a listener and an observer than an informant.
Noelle should take a page out of Marissa Hermer’s book. She’s a pro at giving her friends a shoulder to lean on, without letting her own opinions drive the controversy. It was pretty clear that Marissa had quite a few reasons to be annoyed this week. First, Noelle got them both into trouble by going to Caprice about Caroline. Marissa wasn’t the one who ran to Caprice to tattle on Caroline, and she had to make sure she wasn’t included as part of that situation. Second, Caprice kept insisting that Marissa offered to throw the baby shower, which was not the case. Caprice asked Marissa and Matt to throw it at their restaurant. It took quite a bit of gentle reminding before Caprice blamed the miscommunication on “pregnancy brain.” Finally, Marissa had to account for Noelle’s drunk ass, whispering and slurring like an idiot at the dinner table. But did Marissa lose her cool? Did she blame anyone else for these obvious social missteps? No. She was polite and considerate, managing to stay friendly with everyone. And that, Noelle Reno, is how you get invited back.
Unfortunately, we didn’t get a lot of Lady Hinchingbrooke in the season finale – she didn’t even get an on-screen update at the end! Tragic. I would love to see her become a bigger part of the show next season (knock on wood) because she seems to be genuinely kind, classy and interesting. I mean, hello, she’s royal and she does the Arsenio Hall “whoop” to Prince Charles at a polo match? Talk about a well-rounded lady.
In the great battle between Caprice and Caroline, I have to give Caroline the win. I just don’t think Caprice came out of this looking as good. Granted, it’s been said a million times before, but it bears repeating: the woman was very pregnant. And not only was she dealing with the physical and emotional weight of carrying a child, but she had the additional stress of a pregnant surrogate on another continent. Talk about carrying a heavy load! That’s an excuse, sure, but it’s a darn good one. If anyone had the right to act irrationally on Ladies Of London, it was Caprice. That being said, boy was she irrational, huh? First of all, why did she even go to the dinner party? The obvious need for attention was almost unsettling. Her surrogate is in the United States and going into labor, and Caprice is at a dinner party? Why wasn’t she on an airplane? Well, my guess is that because she wouldn’t get her Big Finale Moment on an airplane. I think she wanted to get her last word in with Caroline and the TV show – this level of exposure is very important to her. And that’s why I think Caroline came out on top – she just didn’t seem so desperate. Caprice clearly craves the spotlight – and so does Caroline, don’t get me wrong! It’s just that Caroline invites it with an air or indifference while Caprice begs for it by waving her arms at anyone who will listen. Luckily for Caprice, she has more going for her than just Caroline Stanbury – namely the birth of two healthy baby boys. I will never understand why people allow cameras into their delivery room, but hey, more power to you, Caprice! Mazel tov!
My fave from the beginning to the end, Caroline Stanbury. What a classy b*tch. Caroline is so not amused by your presence at her dinner party. I mean, look at that face. That face is not amused. When Caprice shows up, she fails to greet her host. Okay, so maybe Caroline fails to stand up for the arrival of her guest. But then Caprice has gifts for some of the attendees – not the host. That’s pretty rude. Plus the whole showing up and accusing Caroline of being a bully thing. NOT AMUSED. Caroline makes it pretty clear from start to finish that she doesn’t need Caprice. Maybe she’s hurt on the inside, but she refuses to express it in the middle of the party. It’s that British thing where you have to hide your feelings – and it may be a little cold sometimes, but I do agree that screaming and crying in front of everyone (and on TV) isn’t the best way to present yourself. Plus, she’s not seven months pregnant, so if she acts crazy, it’s just because she’s crazy, right? Ultimately, Caprice doesn’t think she handled the baby shower the wrong way, and Caroline thinks she did. They’re never going to agree on this, because it’s not the issue here. The real issue is, “You didn’t want me anymore.” Caprice felt threatened by Caroline’s new friends. Caroline felt rejected by the baby shower situation. They are Blair and Serena – they don’t necessarily want each other, but they don’t want the other to stop wanting them.
In the end, Caroline and Caprice are no more. The post-script at the end of the show tells us that they haven’t spoken since that night. Marissa is still a fanatical Brit. Annabelle still wants to race a horse someday. Noelle and Scot lost a lot of money in his divorce, then got engaged. Juliet is still Juliet. Now there’s nothing for us to do but hope for a second season – fingers crossed!