Against all odds (and in diametric opposition to the last few episodes), last night’s Real Housewives of Orange County was actually pretty entertaining. It’s funny what happens to Housewives when you move them to a second location – suddenly they’re energetic and hilarious, even if they’re objectively neither back home. The nominal reason for the trip was Tamra’s bachelorette party, but because Vicki was invited, the actual reason for the trip was so Vicki could woo-hoo her way through the men of Puerto Vallarta. (It was not her first time at that rodeo, as she made sure to mention frequently.) We only saw the beginning of the debauchery last night, but for the first time in a while, I’m actually looking forward to what comes next.

1. I love some good reality TV handbag ogling. Heather’s Prada Saffiano Lux Tote and Louis Vuitton Miroir Speedy were great, as was Lydia’s sparkly Louis Vuitton Speedy. Also, if Lydia can get Tamra and Alexis to have a civil conversation, then she might be the second coming of Jesus himself, or at least a celestial step above Andy Cohen. (Those two thoughts are not necessarily related, but the Speedy was present when Lydia proposed detente, so in my head, the bag and the truce go together.)

2. Gretchen is right: Tamra would probably be confused by an art gallery. I would be so mad if any of my friends ever got me male strippers for the imaginary future bachelorette that’s happening in my mind, but Tamra’s the kind of broad who needs an oiled-up dude to wag a giant dong in her face to feel like she’s had The Bachelorette Experience. A night in an art gallery and a lovely garden would be a beautiful evening befitting of grown women, but since when has anything that could be described that way ever been embraced by Tamra? Except perhaps the cheese plate that she assembled for Lydia, which is the exception that proves the rule.

3. The women think that Tamra won’t guess they’re taking her to Mexico. Since when have the Orange County women done any kind of cold-weather activity? I don’t think any of these women own shirts with sleeves, let alone appropriate clothing for “cold weather” destinations. Except for fur coats, of course. They have fur coats because they are classy ladies and the best way to telegraph that to their adoring public is to wear a fur coat in warm weather.

4. Might Tamra be experiencing actual growth as a human being? I don’t know how Tamra found the therapist that she’s apparently going to or who it is, but she needs to handcuff herself to this magical person forever because she’s starting to sound like a grownup on the regular. She had a positive, seemingly genuine conversation with Alexis and only one babysitter and no fighting!

5. Vicki: alleged to cheat with ladies, toothless foreigners. Lauri is just a fascinating font of information, isn’t she? I don’t know that I believe all of the weird details that she included in the tales of Vicki’s wandering eye, but considering how needy Vicki is of romantic attention on the show, I can only imagine that she’s about 100 times worse in private. And hey, if you need to fill that emotional hole within yourself with dentally challenged Greek men…no, on second thought, that’s not something I can advise in any scenario. At least cheat with a dude who has most of his teeth.

6. There is a difference between a “donkey show” and a “donkey ride.” I’m not going to explain the difference, and I’d very much advise you NOT to Google it, especially not at work, but there’s a difference. It’s significant.

7. Our lovely ladies are bored by nice restaurants. Gretchen was scared of Tamra’s shrimp cocktail because she once had a bad shrimp elsewhere and now she’s scarred for life. Tamra made fun of pork jowl on the menu, when in reality, pork jowl is delicious. (Fette Sau in Brooklyn. Thank me later.) Vicki wouldn’t shut up about wanting to go party, because everything is all about Vicki, always. Heather sat quietly and ate her food, which looked delicious. (Can someone bring me a salad with that much goat cheese on it, please?)

8. Vicki, Tamra and Lydia waited until Gretchen and Heather weren’t looking and then ran off to the bars. I’m not sure exactly how it happened because my attention had wandered from listening to everyone pout about going to Real Adult Dinner, but suddenly Vicki, flanked by Tamra and Lydia, was tearing down a cobblestone street in wedges, somehow using her giant breasts as a counterweight to prevent herself from toppling over. Gretchen and Heather were in a limo, presumably outside of the restaurant that everyone hated, waiting to be told where to go. Good luck with that, ladies. Vicki just pulled off a flawless Irish exit, and she’s had decades to perfect it.

9. Wait, why was Tamra having a bachelorette party? This didn’t occur to me until my second time through the episode, but weren’t we recently discussing how Tamra and Eddie have yet to even set a date? Aren’t these types of parties usually planned for a couple weeks before the wedding itself? bra

It’s that time of year again, PB readers. All your favorite network shows are having a summer siesta, which means it’s time for the Kardashians to forsake their otherwise completely private personal lives and take over your Sunday nights on E!’s Keeping Up With The Kardashians.

As you probably know, the big dangling carrot on the season premiere was the Kimye baby-gender reveal. I’m sure some super fan somewhere had a baby reveal KUWTK viewing party/shower, complete with cupcakes that were pink OR blue on the inside (please invite me next time, because I love cupcakes), but because I had to white-knuckle it through of 55 minutes of non-baby gender reveal-related filler, you’ll at least have to indulge me and speed-read the rest of my review before I dish about the results of Kim’s big reveal. (I’m kidding of course, it’s already all over Google News. You’ve read 16 different headlines by now. )

If you paid attention to the last season of KUWTK, you’ll remember that things ended with a premonition of things to come – Kim wanted to get her eggs frozen because she was suddenly very concerned about her fertility, and scheming momager Kris Jenner, being the wise celebrity sage/witch doctor that she is, encouraged Kim to get off the pill and “listen to her body’s natural rhythm,” which in Hollywood is code for “ride that Kanye cash train for another 18 years, guaranteed.” Not to invalidate Kim’s own unique life goals, or to imply that she’s just a pawn in an ever-complicated Kardashian money-making scheme, but yeah, you get the idea.

So as with any ep of the Kardashians, this episode was woven together with a series of plot lines that weren’t necessarily related, but all served one collective purpose: killing time between ads. I MEAN, enlightening us about the Kardashians and their unique lives and thoughts. In this episode: Bruce and Kris were having marital troubles (per usual) that they both tried to pass off as no biggie, Scott wanted Kourt to get more adventurous in the bedroom with a little backdoor action. (Yes, this was an actual plotline. And surprisingly, it was my favorite part of the episode. More on that later.) And of course, Kim was having a lot of FEELINGS about her pregnancy/lot in life, and they weren’t all positive, necessarily.

I’ll tackle one of my favorite Kardashian topics first: Kris and Bruce! In an effort to get in a little man time, Bruce decided to have a boys’ night at the beginning of the episode, but Kris, of course, couldn’t deal with the noise or tolerate the presence of people in her home who couldn’t really do anything to forward her career. Bruce and his bro-hans were playing with those flying helicopter toys you get at the mall and taking the grand tour of Casa de Jenner, but Kris was already tucked under her bed covers, where she remained there, even while Bruce was showing a pal their pimped-out bedroom renovations. Classy. I’d have any sympathy for her at all if there weren’t 18 other rooms in her home she could sleep in. Later, Bruce disturbed her while she was getting a massage, and she wigged out about how Bruce knows he shouldn’t disturb her during her special private lady time, which then makes Bruce lament doesn’t have any space in this house for special private man time. Then they discuss finding him some man space. This all, of course, sounds like very thinly veiled divorce talk.

So Bruce and the Baby Jenners started checking out beach houses – Kylie and Kendall were a tad concerned about their parents ever-crumbling marriage, though surely they must’ve realized the obvious teen perks of having dear old dad rent out a beach house for the summer. The Jenner boys, Brody and Brandon, (who I suspect will play a more active role on this season) tagged along for round two of home-shopping with Bruce, and they were likewise perplexed about why Bruce was suddenly in the market for other living quarters. Both Bruce and Kris insist that they are simply acquiring a little extra bit of space, which is perfectly healthy for a couple that’s been married for a bazillion years, you guys!

Things inevitably backfired when everyone wanted to hang with Bruce 24/7 in Malibu, and Kris was left to her own devices in her big empty Calabasas mansion. So of course, Kris staged a Malibu beach house invasion and berated Bruce about his slovenly man-cave ways. It was her way of letting him know that she missed him, of course, because she can only show love through guilting, shaming and manipulating people, basically. Oh, and cooking, apparently! Kris insists that she loves cooking for her family, (as does her live-in chef, I imagine). For the entirety of this episode, she will only ever be seen making pasta.

So, the, ah, sex thing. It all began with, what else, a giant sibling discussion about everyone’s sexual predilections! Because THAT’S very normal! Both Scott and Lamar Odom apparently have no problem discussing their sex lives with their brother-in-law, Rob. (The Kardashians…fostering healthy family relationships since…well, never really.) Scott was totes jealous of Khloe and Lamar’s FREAKY sex life, which was/is, by Rob’s personal account, REALLY freaky. (I did watch a few eps of Khloe and Lamar, and sadly, I can attest that yes, Khloe and Lamar’s bedroom activities are not limited strictly to the missionary position. But a gal does have to get creative when she’s having sex with a giant.)

Scott, like so many other men, was jealous that he was the only man in the family who remained banned from backdoor action. He broached the subject with Kourt, who was not at all game until she got the brilliant notion to call his bluff. She conceded to the idea, with one not-so-tiny condition: she would get the pleasure of performing it on Scott first. To really, uh, drive the point home, she purchased a rather large purple adult novelty and tried to entice Scott with her shiny new plastic toy. Of course, Scott’s butt practically zip-tied itself shut at the sight of Kourtney doing soft shoe while wearing a giant purple marital aid. (This was, frankly, my favorite part of the episode.) Congrats, Scott. You are now officially a bonafide heterosexual man, complete with all of a bonafide hetero man’s standard sexual hang-ups. Kudos to ladies who can out-freak their supposedly freaky partners.

Anyhoo, Scott and Kourt are clearly in a much better place now than they were last season, because Scott’s constant sex talk only evoked coy Kourtney smiles and not evil Kourt death-stares. (The heavily pregnant Kourt of last season was like a tiny, angry monster. I’m glad she’s gone.)

So at long last, we come to Kim’s pregnancy issues. Kim expressed her qualms about bringing Kanye West’s baby into the world while she’s technically married to another dude very early on in the episode. As this new season starts, Kim’s very pregnant, practically homeless and still entrapped in her forever on-going divorce proceedings. (I believe it’s basically the same in real-time, only she and Kanye now have a swanky new pad.) Kim was upset that her divorce might not even be finalized by the time she popped out little Kimye, and this was preventing her from really enjoying her pregnancy. (What’s to enjoy, exactly? You can’t drink, eat sushi, or wear good shoes. Not that that stops Kim.)

Of course, no one could ever seem even a little excited about Kim’s baby when standing next to Kris Jenner. Kris was out-exciting Kim at the doctor’s office, she was installing a nursery in the Jenner household explicitly for Kim’s baby (I don’t remember her doing that for Kourtney’s kids…), and she was rallying the Kardashian troops around Kim in order to get her way more stoked for her impending mama-dom. “If one of you are pregnant…we’re all kind of pregnant!” she exclaimed. “We’re all in this together!” (Later in the season, Kris will literally offer to carry Khloe’s baby for her. BOUNDARIES, WOMAN!) Kris was upset that Kim wasn’t having the time of her life every single day while four months pregnant, and I suspect this will be an on-going problem throughout the season: Kris’ expectations for Kim’s pregnancy not being met. Just wait until she finds out Kanye doesn’t want to film the birth OR sell the baby photos!

Anyhoo, all the Kardashian ladies tagged along for Kim’s big gender reveal – it’s a GIRL, btw. This news finally got Kim genuinely excited about the fetus that had already taken up residence in her womb for four months. After her big news, Kim let Kourt take her out for a day of baby-centric shopping, and they decided that baby Kimye definitely needed a “YOLO” sign for her nursery. Which is funny, if you think about it, because a baby can’t wrap its tiny infant mind around the fact that it’s alive at all, let alone the fact that it only lives once. That’s bound to be disappointing later on, when the little Kimye baby finally achieves self-awareness.

To tie a neat little bow on all the other threads in this episode – Scott will very likely never request backdoor sex play from Kourtney ever again. Meanwhile, Kris dressed up and cooked a homemade meal for her man Bruce, and they reminisced a little about their early days of courtship, eventually living happily ever after. Until next week, of course, when life will become uber-challenging again.

A few additional Kardashian house-keeping notes:

Rob has gained a little weight since last season. Try not to look too alarmed.

Kim is under the impression that babies don’t walk until they’re two. I don’t even like babies and I know that’s not right.

Also, while visiting her OBGYN, Kim mentions that she really wants to eat her baby’s placenta. I can’t even go there. I just can’t.

What was your take-away from this week’s scintillating episode, Kardashian fans? (Or Kardashian haters. We have space for you here, too.)

The PurseBlog team took the day off yesterday to celebrate Memorial Day with family and friends, and because of a very pressing nice-weather-on-a-patio situation, I missed last night’s episode of Real Housewives of Orange County. If you had already finished your day-off revelry and made it inside in time to watch the episode, we’d like to provide you with a spot to talk amongst yourselves about what transpired.

Frankly, I’m surprised that Bravo aired a new episode last night – in general, the network runs repeats when a popular series bumps up against a holiday that takes people away from their televisions. If you watched the episode, please weigh in as to why that might be: was it a particularly boring episode that the powers that be were trying to burn, or is this entire season doomed to bore us, causing the network to try and speed through it? Or maybe, possibly, it was a solid episode and I’m a conspiracy theorist. I feel like it’s a longshot, but stranger things have happened.

Last night’s episode of Real Housewives of Orange County was so boring that I may or may not have had a quarter-life crisis during it. (Or a third-life crisis, because let’s face it, my liver isn’t making it to 100-plus.) Which of my life decisions had lead me to that place, where I was willfully sitting through an hour of manufactured drama, except that the producers didn’t even have the common courtesy to make it actually dramatic. And if I could identify the choices I had made that lead me to watching that episodes of Real Housewives, would it be too late to go back and change them? The episode mercifully ended before I came up with any answers, but I did come up with a recap.

1. Husbands who are used to childcare aren’t great at pitching in, even if they mean well. Just ask my mom, who came home one day during my toddlerhood to find that I had crawled up the stairs and was eating a sponge in her bathroom. I think my dad was watching a baseball game. At least Terry didn’t let any of his kids eat foreign objects. (Don’t get me wrong, my dad is great.) (But that actually did happen.) (He got better at it.)

2. Lauri! I always liked Lori. Or at least I think I did, because it’s been about 800 years since her seasons of Real Housewives were on the air and I only vaguely remember her. She made perhaps the most graceful exit from Real Housewives ever, though – she got married to a super-rich guy, to whom she is still married, and she left to live a life of leisure. She and Tamra got together to gossip about Vicky, apparently, but mostly I just spent that time ignoring them and trying to remember things about Lauri. All I came up with was her Austin Scarlett wedding dress.

3. Lydia’s mom might still be a pothead, maybe. That shouldn’t come as, like, a huge surprise to anyone who saw her a few episodes ago, but instead of the conversation being light-hearted and funny, it was a little somber. Growing up with a mom who’s constantly on anything, even something as relatively benign as weed, has to be a bummer. But then again, jeez, Lydia, quit harshing your mom’s mellow.

4. Alexis isn’t good at defining words. In her defense, everything her acting coach was saying to her also sounded totally made up. Forrest Gump didn’t become Tom Hanks. That’s idiocy. Also, Alexis’ “interest” in acting only exists so that she can have a storyline even though no one will hang out with her, so I refuse to dignify it with a response.

5. I forgot Gretchen was on the show. Was she in the episode last week? Did I totally space on her existence? Until that (leased, natch) Rolls Royce came around the bend, Gretchen hadn’t crossed my mind once in the entire episode, which is probably bad news for Gretchen.

6. No one can name a single thing that Heather has ever acted in. Despite the fact that Tamra and Lydia both had ample time to look at Heather’s IMDB profile, neither of them bothered to. Hell, I’ve had a year to do it and still haven’t. WWHL did feature a clip of her on Married With Children, though, so there’s that.

7. Are television tapings a party? I ask because it seemed strange that everyone got dressed up and took limos to LA to see Heather film a guest part in a cable show. On the upside, the entire cast managed to behave themselves and sit in their seats for the entire thing, except for Gretchen, who chose that exact moment to learn how to use an iPhone. While I always appreciate good behavior, having such a large part of the episode hinge on an event where most of the cast was required to be silent for an extended period of time was probably not the best idea that Bravo producers have ever had. We don’t tune in to watch these women sit silently and applaud politely.

8. The good behavior did not spill over into dinner. It never does. Never! Tamra and Vicky calmly called each other names with fake smiles on their faces and Gretchen claimed Slade had bought her a Rolls Royce when he had actually just leased it. By normal Real Housewives standards, though, the entire thing was pretty tame. Just like the episode as a whole.

Last night’s Real Housewives of Orange County episode was an odd one. The Housewives all got out of town, presumably because everyone, including Bravo producers, knows that sending a cast on a trip is one of the best ways to force them all to spend time together and manufacture the kind of drama that viewers love. This trip was nominally about picking wine for Wines by Wives, Tamra and Vicky’s mail-order wine club, but as with all Housewives trips, it was actually about drinking too much and arguing.

As has been the case all season, bizarrely little happened that was actually worth arguing about, but that didn’t stop things from devolving into a screaming match anyway. Everyone acted like children, naturally, and I yearned for Lydia’s formerly stoned (and maybe still a little bit stoned) mother. Can we put a camera on her and just, you know, follow her around for a little while?

1. It is possible to love a man enough that you enjoy clipping his toenails. Apparently Heather loved her husband that much at one point, but I’m assuming she was actually just under the influence of some kind powerful psychotropic drugs for a since-healed back injury that she’s forgotten about. Men have unloveable troll feet.

2. There is wine in Malibu. The cast went to see it, except for Alexis, because she had to support Jim while he opened some kind of trampoline business that will fail in three months. (Except he won’t call it a failure, he’ll call it a “strategic investment.”) Did you know there was wine in Malibu? I didn’t.

3. Vicky thought the winemaker’s daughter was his girlfriend. Even after the dude introduced her as his daughter, she questioned them about her age and their level of affection with each other. Apparently Vicky’s not aware that most people’s children don’t have to hide their exact addresses from their parents and set up security cameras to keep out their mom’s skeezy grifter boyfriend. A certain amount of hugging and genuine enjoyment of each others’ company occurs in most families.

4. Alexis thinks her husband is a business genius. That’s it. That’s the joke.

5. Vicky got teary because she had to go on a trip with a bunch of couples and she was by herself. Vicky is a grandmother. Vicky is not a lone, awkward teenager going to prom by herself. Her mom did not have to pin her corsage on her and send her outside to take solo pictures in front of the rose bushes in her dowdy, synthetic prom dress. If Vicky has not developed the coping skills to spend a day or two around a few couples of average-at-best happiness while unescorted, then it’s no one’s fault but Vicky’s.

6. Vicky has a vodka line. Raise your hand if you think it’s decanted rubbing alcohol with a fancy label.

7. Going on reality TV will screw up your marriage. No one’s marriage gets stronger after a stint on reality TV except Lisa Vanderpump’s, and it’s been established that we’re all decidedly not Lisa Vanderpump in any way. Heather and Terry seemed fairly happy last season, but for some reason, Terry felt the need to confess to the group over brunch that he had stupidly threatened Heather with divorce during an argument. Why, exactly, he chose to humiliate his wife in front of the cast and the cameras didn’t even seem all that clear to him, although I do wonder if their marital strife is perhaps put on for the cameras.

8. Vicky sets herself up to be the victim. Vicky got upset that she wasn’t being included in the wine selections during the trip to Malibu, despite the fact that she had been invited on the trip in the first place to taste wines, and also despite the fact that while Tamra was tasting wines and talking about purchasing and whatever else, Vicky was trying on tacky faux fur in the gift shop and doing her best to make sure she wasn’t included in any way so that she could complain later. That’s right: while actively ignoring all the wine parts of the trip, Vicky was complaining about not being included in the wine parts of the trip. That’s some impressive logical gymnastics, folks.

9. Can’t we all just agree that Wines by Wives is probably BS anyway? Who in the whole, entire world spends his or her hard-earned paychecks to receive the vino picks of a bunch of women who don’t seem particularly picky in the first place? Aren’t we in a recession? Don’t dollars mean something to people these days? Has the news been lying to me all along? Because if there are enough people subscribed to a Real Housewives wine delivery service to keep it afloat, maybe we need to burn down the US economy and try again.

10. Tamra seems like she’s been in some therapy recently. Her end-of-episode monologue about how she says hurtful things to other people in order to protect herself against those same types of hurtful things sounded a lot like the surface-level self-discovery of someone who’s finally started unpacking a life of weird human interaction with a professional. At least for the moment, Tamra’s shrink appears to know what she’s talking about – Tamra is definitely a person who strikes first in order to avoid being on the receiving end of the same kind of barb. Self-awareness! The rarest of all Housewives treats.

Despite the fact that I continue to be suspicious of this season of Real Housewives of Orange County, last night’s episode was…okay. I’ll grant it that. Mostly I enjoyed it because Brooks made his debut for the season and I find him so compellingly, watch-ably skeevy, and his presence brings out a whole new layer to Vicky’s mid-life crisis. You know who I bet is really happy to see Brooks, though? Donn, Vicky’s ex-husband, who always seemed like a pretty good dude but now looks comparably even better.

Sure, other cast members had scenes and we even got to meet newcomer Lydia’s mom, who’s a hilarious pothead in recovery, but the dazzling stench of Brooks was what really made the episode. Here’s hoping Vicky doesn’t wise up and give him the heave-ho before we get out full entertainment value out of him.

1. Lydia thinks that she can be friends with two people who hate each other. Lydia and her fairy dust and her cute little sparkly headband are just adorable, aren’t they? She may have never seen this show before signing up, though, because she didn’t know to order the low carb Kobe burger at her lunch with Heather and Tamra, or that if she tries to maintain positive relationships with two other cast members who don’t get along, she’s going to get her face clawed off in the process.

2. Vicky agreed that Brooks wouldn’t be around before Brianna and her husband moved in. Well that puts things in a different light, eh? According to the conversation that she and Ryan had in the garage (which was perhaps even stranger than the conversation that Alexis and Jim had in the bathroom while apparently getting ready for bed), Vicky had agreed to keep Brooks out of the house as a condition of the kids (and the eventual grandkid) moving in. If that was agreed upon up front, then Ryan and Brianna have every right to expect it. I had assumed it was an issue that came about after terms had already been finalized and the couple had moved in, but if it was something Vicky conceded in order to con her daughter into raising the grandkid in her house, then I have far less sympathy for Vicky. (Not that I really had any to begin with.)

3. Lydia has a stoner mom and she’s totally cool with it. In fact, her entire family sounds kind of nutty, but in a way that’s fairly benevolent and makes for good party stories (and also apparently netted Lydia a lot of stoned shopping trips as a kid). During their not-stoned shopping trip, Lydia’s mom appeared to be covered entirely with fairy dust, especially circa her face, and pontificated on how shopping bags hurt trees. It was great.

4. Gretchen has had to deal with a lot of sad stuff on camera. I don’t particularly like Gretchen (or anyone on this show, except for Lydia, who is brand new), but between her dying fiance, the very serious real-life problems that were keeping her and Slade from getting married, and now her wanting to have a baby and feeling like she can’t bring it up because Slade’s young son is sick…well, I do have a certain amount of empathy for her. That’s kind of a lot of stuff, particularly for someone who’s still trying to start up a family of her own.

5. Vicky and Brooks went on a date. Vicky went all out for the occasion with a mink and a cocktail dress and big earrings, while Brooks showed up in his finest long-sleeve T-shirt. During their conversation, it came up that Brooks has dated other people since he and Vicky went on a “break,” and he doesn’t think it’s his job to win Brianna over. But, I mean, isn’t it your job to win over your spouse’s kids, or at least give it enough of a good-faith effort that the relationship can actually work? Or at least not speculate about hiring foreign hookers to the son-in-law who thinks you’re a security threat? You know, just some suggestions.

6. “I want a boy in my life!” If there’s anything more pathetic for a twice-married grandmother to wail tearily at a public dinner with her deadbeat ex-boyfriend, I’m certainly having a hard time imagining what it might be.

7. “You cannot put the purse on the ground. All the good chi comes out of the purse.” That is a thing that even I didn’t know about purses. If anything, I guess we all now know exactly how much weed Lydia’s mom has smoked in her life if she thinks that handbags have energy that falls out on the floor. As far as I know, mine just has lipstick and spare change that falls out.

8. Terry is nominally supportive of Heather’s new role, but maybe not actually supportive. Terry seemed excited for Heather’s guest starring spot on Hot in Cleveland at first, but then he did that thing that husbands on these shows do when their wives start wanting to do things besides sit at home and supervise the kids, and he got a little weird and undermine-y about the whole thing. Heather might have gotten a little too upset about it, but telling someone who’s upset to “lighten up” instead of addressing what actually went wrong is a sure way to prolong an argument. And then, after “apologizing,” Terry got in a little dig about how what he does (nose jobs for rich, vain Southern Californians) is so much more stressful than raising four small children. I’d be terrified simply to be alone in the presence of four small children. You’re outnumbered.

Considering how many of the pre-season preview fight clips came from the fight that we witnes last week and last night on Real Housewives of Orange County, my hopes are not high for this season’s entertainment value. Even after a full week of contemplation and the additional scenes from last night, I still don’t understand exactly why the fight happened or why I should care.

In fact, the most interesting part of last night’s episode was Vicky’s son-in-law making an aside about her skeevy maybe-boyfriend Brooks, who is easily the most compelling character we’ve had on Real Housewives of Orange County in years. He hasn’t even made a cameo on this season yet, but he will eventually, and that’s when this season will really be worth watching.

1. Despite looking it up, Alexis still doesn’t have a firm grasp on the definition of “bullying.” Poor Alexis. Even when she’s in the right, she’s wrong. Was she being bullied in Costa Rica? No, we’ve established that. Was she being bullied at dinner? Probably not, and throwing the word around just makes her sound like a jackass for trying to co-opt the pain of persecuted 12-year-olds for her own PR benefit. All of that makes it hard to remember that Alexis had been more or less perfectly polite since arriving at the party as an invited guest, at which point Tamra blew up at her and Heather and Gretchen joined in. Also, Alexis pronounces it “BOO-leed,” which is at least as annoying as “champs.”

2. Once Alexis had been run off, Heather tried to explain to Tamra why her behavior was wrong. Wait, wasn’t Heather also badgering Alexis until she was forced to leave? Didn’t she take part in that mean girl mob? Am I taking crazy pills?

3. Alexis is on Xanax. Also, she offered to go home and slit her wrists to prove to Lydia that she’s being bullied, which is maybe one of the most dramatic and ridiculous things I’ve ever heard anyone utter on Real Housewives. Also, Tamra had a point – if being on the show and around the rest of the cast means that Alexis has to be on medication, maybe she should reevaluate being on the show. After all, it’s her job to fight with the cast members. Her entire job. Maybe she’s not cut out for it.

4. Vicky would like you to know that Gretchen is stupid. She said it about 40 times, as though continuing to say it would somehow manifest it as reality. Gretchen might be annoying and screechy and craven, but she’s not stupid. Vicky’s criticisms would sound a lot more reasonable (and Vicky would sound a lot more articulate) if she actually called it what it is.

5. Eddie maybe just proposed to Tamra to shut her up about getting engaged. Eddie is not interested in helping plan the wedding, or being involved in it at all. Also, he would rather put it off until he has “time” so he doesn’t have to “stress out” over it. I’m only 27, but as I understand it, that’s dude code for, “I put the ring on it, the one with the diamond, so is the other one with the legal significance really THAT important? Please say it’s not, even if it’s just because you’re afraid you’ll look like a bridezilla if you tell the truth.”

6. Vicky’s mom has the same spontaneous rage issues that Vicky has. She got arrested for telling a cop she had a gun. Seriously.

7. Lydia is still new enough to be a good person. Forgive people! Don’t keep score! Don’t show up places where you know you’re not wanted, even if invited! Turn the other cheek! Remember what the Bible says! Housewives are so cute when they’re new.

8. Brooks scoped out prostitutes in Mexico. He tried to conscript Brianna’s husband into scoping them out as well, as though because they’re both dudes, they “get” it and it’s cool. (“It” being “cheating on their significant others with questionably sanitary prostitutes while on vacation,” of course.) Brianna’s husband seemed suitably horrified.

9. Vicky’s son won’t tell her exactly where he lives. If anything’s indicative that you have boundary issues, it’s when your grown kids won’t give you your address because you can’t be trusted with it. Helpfully, Bravo reminded us of what happened last time Vicky knew how to find her son’s apartment, even though it was out of state.

10. Should Ryan and Brianna get final approval over who Vicky has over to the house? On the one hand, Vicky wants them there and they pay to live there, and if someone makes them truly uncomfortable, I can understand not wanting that person around their newborn. On the other hand, I don’t think they have any proof that Brooks is dangerous; he’s just a gross person who’s probably trying to live off Vicky’s money, and, well, she’s a grown woman and can make that decision if she wants to. You can’t save a reality TV star from herself, in my experience.

Normally, I love a good Real Housewives dinner party fight, but on last night’s episode of Real Housewives of Orange County, the drama and strife just all seemed so…manufactured. The show is almost completely manufactured, of course, and generally I don’t mind it if that fact seems obvious here and there; that’s how our reality TV sausage is made. Last night, though, Tamra forgot to give Alexis the opportunity to be a bad guest before reading her the riot act for being one.

The entire episode was a build up to the fight, which we only saw the first portion of at the end of the episode. I still don’t understand why everyone was so heated, and I probably never will. Still, let’s have a recap.

1. Alexis got Vicky a mirror as a congrats-on-your-face-surgery present. I couldn’t even make that up. That is brilliant on a level that I am unable to attain. It’s so dumb that it loops on back around to brilliant.

2. Alexis mistook Vicky’s need to have an ally at Tamra’s party for Vicky wanting her actual friendship. “Aww, Vicky, you really wanted me there!” Sometimes I feel bad for Alexis. Not often, because generally I don’t find willful ignorance to be a sympathetic trait in grown women, but she’s been on this show for years and seemed generally touched to be invited to a party as a diversion. Or as a battering ram, depending on how craven you think Vicky is. In return, Alexis invited new-girl Lydia to be her diversion, except she forgot that no one hates Lydia yet, so it didn’t work out all that well.

3. Heather is a better substitute talk radio host than Alexis was a local news fitness bunny. Heather is a good reader, which is always an admirable quality in a Housewife. Side note: how did people get these entertainment-adjacent gigs before there was reality TV to propel them into a low-level spotlight?

4. “We don’t feel the need to put every nook and cranny of our house out for people to see.” Said Heather, as the show gave us the hundreth wide-angle shot of her home’s interior this season. Lydia and her husband, to their credit, shall not be extorted into giving anyone the cover of their magazine.

5. Tamra was so nervous about seeing Alexis that she had the nervous poops. It was like me before debate tournament finals in high school, except I wasn’t trying to simultaneously pick out a cocktail dress.

6. Heather, Tamra and Gretchen seemed deeply concerned about Alexis’ arrival at the party. I know Alexis is kind of annoying in general – I’m the first one to admit that – but she’s probably the least threatening person on the face of the planet, or at least on the face of whatever planet these women live on. She’s not rabid, and she’s not smart enough to be truly mean or conniving. On the other hand, Vicky, who is the genuinely crazy person that everyone should worry about, was somehow not a cause for concern. After eight seasons, Vicky knew exactly what hauling Alexis to the party would do: let her off the hook by giving the other women a target. It was like a zookeeper throwing a beef shank over the railing of the lion enclosure. Poor Beef Shank Alexis.

7. Lydia was the only one mature enough to try to make any pleasant conversation at Tamra’s party. When she finally gave up and let things fall silent, Vicky took up the mantel by reminding everyone that her insurance office was across the street and then declaring that she had a new baby. When Gretchen pointed out that it was kind of a funny way to say that her daughter had had a child, Vicky called her a stupid person, which Gretchen thankfully didn’t flip out about. Unfortunately, she and the other women seemed to be conserving their energy to chase Alexis around the room later.

8. Tamra, in her infinite maturity, announced at dinner that she didn’t actually want Alexis to come. And then it was off to the races about lawsuit threats and slander, as though we were watching Beverly Hills all over again, except without the veneer of interest that those problems had at the beginning of the Beverly Hills season. It frustrates me to have to take Alexis’ side, but we all know that Tamra can stand up for herself, so if she didn’t want Alexis at the party, she shouldn’t have told Vicky it was ok to invite her. I don’t think Alexis was bullied in Costa Rica and I think it’s silly that she keeps trying to cash in on that incident, but it’s genuinely mean to extend an invitation to someone and then proclaim at the event that you wish they hadn’t come, completely unprompted. Dinner hadn’t even been served yet. At the very least, Tamra should have given Alexis more of an opportunity to make an ass of herself before freaking out.

9. And then Tamra stuck her fingers and her ears and shouted LA LA LA LA LA, because she is an adult. Just to put the cherry on top of the whole ridiculous evening.

Well, first of all, it seems only human to acknowledge that watching Real Housewives of Orange County last night, in light of the day’s tragic events in Boston, seemed even sillier than it usually does. Still, one of the great beauties of entertainment of all types, even trashy reality television, is its ability to provide a small bit of mental or emotional relief (maybe relief isn’t the word – maybe it’s more like distraction) when we need it this most. So we’ll busy ourselves with the minutiae of a bunch of crazy middle-aged women in California, just like we normally do.

I didn’t see last week’s episode because of my vacation, and I expected to be a little bit behind as a result. If I hadn’t known that I’d missed an episode, I never would have guessed. As much as Bravo tries to make these shows into solid narrative arcs, I suppose that when we’ve already seen these women fight and make up in every configuration imaginable for eight years, there aren’t that many stories still to be told. That won’t stop us from having a recap, of course.

1. Alexis and Vicky have teamed up because no one else will hang out with either of them. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, even (especially?) on reality television. It wasn’t that long ago that these two were screaming at each other on a day trip to LA, right? (That’s not a rhetorical question; I have a hard time remembering who has fought with who and under which circumstances on this show, probably because the vast majority of cast members over the years have all looked like aging fembots.)

2. I’m not sure I believe Vicky and Brooks are broken up, just like everyone else. Take, for example, this exchange about Brooks between Vicky and Alexis at lunch: Alex: “So you’re broken up, or you’re just taking it slow and slowing down a litte?” Vicky: “….yeah….” That wasn’t a yes-or-no question, Vick.

3. Heather’s husband thinks that they shouldn’t bother with magazine features unless they’re cover stores. Heather’s husband is Naomi Campbell, in case you weren’t aware. (Also, is this a new Housewives Bingo square? Didn’t Joanna get upset about the same issue in Miami?)

4. Vicky hides when she talks to Brooks and then denies it to her daughter. If ever I’ve seen a mother-daughter role reversal, it’s with Brianna and Vicky. Vicky wants to have her terrible boyfriend over to the house, Brianna doesn’t want all that conflict and negative energy around her new baby. Vicky doesn’t want Brianna and the baby to move out, though, so she locks herself in the bathroom to call him and pretends that they haven’t seen each other in six weeks. Vicky is 14 years old.

5. Lydia is our new cast member for the season. Lydia was neighbors with Alexis back before Alexis and Earth Jesus had to vacate their previous home, so naturally, Heather thinks she’s going to be terrible. From her first foray into the show, though, she seemed perfectly reasonable (in Housewife terms), particularly when you consider that most new cast members go out of their ways to make fools of themselves at the beginning because they think it’ll make them memorable or earn them extra camera time. (Remember Heather’s antics in the first few episodes last season?) Anyway, Lydia and her husband run Beverly Hills Lifestyle magazine, which does not want to put Heather’s house on the cover.

6. Wait, so Tamra hasn’t exactly opened her fitness studio yet. She has, however, rented an empty space. Vicky came over (she drove across the street, more specifically) to try and sell Tamra some insurance for it.

7. Are you allowed to drink while you operate a boat? Again, this is a real question. I know people are allowed to drink on a boat, but even the person steering? (Note: I know nothing about boats.)

8. “I just feel kids and boyfriends are off limits.” Vicky Gunvalson, who may or may not have come after Gretchen’s boyfriend with near-literal torches and pitchforks in the past.

9. There’s trouble in paradise for Heather and Terry. Reality TV is bad for everyone’s marriage except Lisa Vanderpump’s, which is a stone-cold fact of which we should all be aware by now. Vicky and Tamra have both gotten divorced while on the OC cast, not to mention the various women from the other cities.

10. I don’t know why Housewives think it’s ok to invite enemies to each others’ parties. I know it’s probably a setup by producers, but then again, I don’t necessarily believe that Vicky is sensitive or logical enough to understand why it’s not ok to invite random people to private parties, let alone people who the party-thrower actively despises. Of course, if Real Housewives is about anything, it’s about going to parties with people you hate.

I’m on vacation until Wednesday, so unfortunately, that means no Real Housewives of Orange County recap this week. We still like it when you guys drop by and chat amongst yourselves, though, so feel free to share your feelings about the episode in the comments. Things will be back to normal next week!

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