Another episode of Real Housewives of Orange County, another hour of mostly filler where nothing awesome happened except an almost-fight. Maybe I’ve been spoiled by the table-flipping and wig-tugging of, as Ludacris would say, the hoes in other area codes, but all we saw last night was a tupperware party, some family problems with minor children that should have been private, an awkward office tanning party and a day at the races where everyone was more concerned with their big hats than the horses.
So, when is Lynn going to get kicked out of her house? When are we going to see the epic Alexis-Vicki smackdown that we were promised in the preseason previews? This season only has, at most, five more episodes (but likely four more and a two-part reunion), and I’m not even sure that Vicki and Alexis have met each other yet. These Housewives have phoned in this season thus far, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to phone in the recap.
Our first two plot points in this episode were fairly stereotypical for housewives: First, Tamra and Alexis played a flailing, exasperated game of tennis and then sat in the shade (being near trees made them feeling like they were in Manhattan, apparently, which makes me think that neither of them have ever seen New York City or trees) and talked some smack about Gretchen for reasons that I can’t entirely remember and that aren’t important anyway. In a fit of normalcy, Alexis wore something that covered her giant boobs.
One thing that they did talk about after the tennis match was the second stereotypical plot point, the upcoming tupperware party at Gretchen’s house. Tamra insisted she wouldn’t go to because she doesn’t like Gretchen’s blogging. Ok, whatever. As if anything Gretchen said about Tamra is worse than what Tamra continues to say about her every week on the show. Self-righteous indignation doesn’t fit her very well. Can they just agree that they’re both kind of crappy people and move on?
Gretchen wasn’t the only housewife that sat out – Vicki also didn’t show up, because apparently she works 24 hours a day, and also she had to fit in time to have aestheticians come and spray-tan and Botox everyone at her office, in an effort to give them some kind of reward that didn’t really seem like much of a reward to me. Particularly for the guy that had to strip down to his underwear and have it done on national TV. That’s got to violate some kind of OSHA rule, right?
Although, I have to admit, I use the “I can’t come, I have to work!” hooey to get out of going to stuff all the time. No one I know understands what exactly it is I do all day or knows my schedule, so it’s pretty easy. Since none of the other housewives appear to have held any sort of gainful employment in the last ten years, Vicki probably still has them all confused about what it is that she actually does, or when she actually does it. If I was invited to a tupperware party, I would “have to work” too.
Too bad for Vicki, though, since she missed the best fireworks since the season’s first episode. First, there was tequila. That’s a respectable way to get any party started, right? Then, when everyone was good and liquored up, they brought out the drag queen. Her name was Kay Sedia (say it fast a few times), and she was a Tijuana-bred international fashion model that also sold tupperware in her spare time. Everyone, including the straight guys at the party, seemed to think that this was all in good fun. Except Alpha Douche Jim.
Only men that are deeply uncomfortable with their sexuality are unnerved by drag queens. Of course, only men that are deeply uncomfortable with their sexuality need to make sure that they have the hottest wife in town and constantly parade her around in the tiniest outfits possible. Maybe Alpha Douche Jim has something to tell all of us.
In another colossal display of insecurity, this time coming from the other side of Mr. and Mrs. Alpha Douche, Alexis made a public scene and was about to throw some bows on some poor little brunette woman that had the nerve to speak to her husband. First, I think it’s a little presumptuous of Alexis to assume that anyone would want to hit on him without at least seeing some ATM receipts. Hello, I doubt Alexis banged him without running a credit check first. The man is so slimy that he probably leaves a trail when he moves, and random women don’t risk life and limb to hit on that at a party when the guy’s wife is also present.
Second, I hate hate hate it when women blame other women for inappropriate behavior without holding their men responsible. Not only did we not see any proof of inappropriate behavior of any kind (and if the room was full of cameras, wouldn’t we have seen it?), but if Alexis thought that Alpha Douche Jim was entertaining the (nonexistent) advances of another woman and not trying to remove himself from the situation, isn’t that cause to be mad at him? I mean, he said the vows and everything, right? Wouldn’t Jesus be really disappointed in him? Shouldn’t she remind him of how he’s disappointing Jesus?!?!
Instead, she fully realized the hysterical woman stereotype in front of everyone, and her husband had to extract her from the party, lest she rip that woman’s face off for the crime of leaning on her husband’s chair. When Gretchen later asked Alpha Douche if her friend had actually been flirting with him, he couldn’t even look her in the eye when he hesitated and said “maybe a little flirty.” Doesn’t surprise me that he’s not a good liar – he’s not confident enough. After all, Jim is too insecure to allow Alexis out of his sight. Alexis returns the favor by being too insecure to remain composed when Jim speaks to another woman. Their relationship sucks all of the air out of the room.
After making a scene at her party, Mr. and Mrs. Alpha Douche decided to smooth things over by going to a horse race with Gretchen and Slade, during which I think I actually might have nodded off a little bit. They talked about Tamra a little bit, and about having Alexis play mediator, and then about their hats. Moving on.
The only person left to talk about is Lynn, and by extension, her train-wreck of a family. I wish I didn’t have to because the whole thing makes me kind of sick to my stomach, but this is what they pay me for. Lynn continued to be a spectacular failure as a parent by grounding her daughter Alexa and then doing absolutely nothing to enforce it or to punish her when she flagrantly disobeyed. Then she set up an appointment with that teen-whisperer lady from a few episodes ago, and Alexa didn’t bother to show up. Then Alexa cried about how she felt like she was the bad guy.
It was all just kind of gross and unpleasant to watch, because Alexa is, what, 16? 17? If that? It’s not her fault that her parents both seem like they’re functionally illiterate and incapable of parenting her. She didn’t ask for that, and she also didn’t ask to have her teen growing pains broadcast on TV for people like me to pick apart. She doesn’t seem like the ideal kid, but I think basically all of that blame has to go to Lynn and her husband – if Alexa thinks that negotiating with her parents after she completely disregarded her grounding is a reasonable expectation, it’s only because they’re the ones that have made her think that.
If I had been grounded as a teenager and left my house anyway, and my parents had found out where I was (as Alexa’s did), they would have marched straight down there, embarrassed the crap out of me, and dragged me to the car. I was fully aware of that, and that’s why I behaved myself. Alexa made a very salient point about her parents in all of this – she’s going to push them until they do something to her, and she’s yet to find the point at which they will. I shudder to think what that point may be, but she’s completely right. Perhaps if Lynn wasn’t so distracted by shiny objects and her own aging body, her kid would have a chance. Now? Unlikely.
In an effort to end this on not such a sour note, did anyone notice Gretchen’s TurboTax commercial in the middle of the show? If you’re trying to convince America that your software is idiot proof, I guess the best way to do that is to show one of the Real Housewives using it. I was dubious at first, but on reflection, the whole thing seems surprisingly brilliant.