It’s only three episodes into the latest season of Real Housewives of Orange County and I’m already tired of approximately everyone on the whole show. Just when I though I was sure I disliked Alexis the most, newbie Heather starts competing for the title in earnest. She was such a shining beacon of brunette hope, but it seems as though she’s too intent on playing the character of a snobby housewife to actually demonstrate any likability.

And then there’s Vicki’s hypocrisy over her deadbeat boyfriend who left two baby mamas in the lurch, which is competing with Vicki’s dislike of Tamra and Gretchen’s friendship for the title of Most Annoying Vicki Behavior. In the background, there’s Alexis being Alexis and Gretchen showing off more of the most awful wardrobe on the face of the planet, but this week, they were barely a blip on the radar compared to everyone else’s shenanigans.

Last night, Bravo plopped us right back down in the middle of Tamra and Eddie’s make-up, which was continuing apace. He explained that he had no interest in Vicki beyond friendship (Did Tamra really think he might? How much had Tamra had to drink?) and apologized for cursing at her. Tamra recognized that retaliating for anything by forcing a friend’s boyfriend to grab her tit was immature and she told Eddie she loved him. We all moved on. Sort of.

Back in the OC, Heather and her husband were out to dinner and laying it on thick for the cameras to establish themselves as haughty assholes. In addition to taking issue with the way that they were handed the menus when they sat down to dinner, Heather assured the waitress that she’d be sending back her dinner and implored her to provide the thinnest piece of fish possible. I hope Heather likes spit in her food, because I have a feeling she’s consumed a lot of it in her life. Sending food back with any regularity, in and of itself, is an utterly classless behavior. Warning a server beforehand that you intend to do it, even if the dish is cooked properly, is even worse. It means that you recognize that you’re being classless and you think it’s hilarious. Put a sock in it, Heather. No one gets their own spinoff by acting like that, and I think that’s the endgame she has in mind.

In Catalina (or still on the boat? Who knows.), the two couples had sat down to eat dinner and were pretending that no one had touched anyone’s boob while Tamra continued to drunkenly blubber in her chair. Eddie and Vicki tried to explain why they hadn’t been serious before, and in doing so, they nearly made a high five, you guys. At the dinner table and everything, like a couple of common whores. Tamra immediately lost her mind again, and then she quickly lost it in a new direction – asking Brooks if he likes boobs or butts better, and (follow up question!) how he feels about fake boobs. Exactly how much had Tamra had to drink? Enough to choke a pony? Probably.

The next day, we were treated to another one of Gretchen’s Ugliest Outfits in the World, which was a dog-walking ensemble composed of a bright pink turtleneck with matching hair bow, the smallest white shorts known to man, pink and white knee-high socks and knee-high white sneaker-boots trimmed in fur. If I could never utter any of those words again, in that combination or any other, I’d be a very happy woman. I’d also be happy if Slade never again claimed to be a comedian, which was the gist of the conversation that they were having while Gretchen was wearing that godforsaken outfit. Heaven help us if we have to watch Slade’s improv routine.

On the boat back from Catalina, Tamra had sobered up and she once again reiterated her apology to Eddie. There was a bit of a disagreement about taco stands vs. hot dog stands, but…yeah. I can’t even. Meanwhile, Heather was calling all of the wives and explaining to them the concept of painting and why it might be a fun thing to do for an afternoon. Not only can Alexis not eat food that isn’t covered in ketchup, but none of them can even bear the creative stress of a paint-by-number. There may be no less cultured group of grown women in the entire country.

Speaking of which, Tamra had made it back from Catalina and she and Gretchen got together to go sex toy shopping for absolutely no appreciable reason. It never ceases to amaze me to see Housewife after Housewife act like they’ve never seen a vibrator before; the giggly, awkward trip to the toy store practically has its own spot on the Real Housewives Official Bingo Card by now. Vibrators, ladies. Forget diamonds, vibrators are a girl’s best friend. There’s no need to pretend demurely that you’ve never seen one before or don’t know how they work. This isn’t an Edith Wharton novel.

Pretty soon, it was painting party time and everyone was on their way to the paint shop. Gretchen and Alexis rode together, and the entire way, Alexis ranted about Peggy and how obsessed she is with her precious Earth Jesus and why the whole thing is just bad and wrong and other short words that Alexis knows. (And that Gretchen knows, to be fair.) I don’t disagree that Pegatha should just drop the whole stupid thing and ride off into the sunset in her husband’s pre-owned Bentley, but it seemed like Alexis is just as irrationally obsessed, if not more. If your friend’s husband tells you not to tell her something and it’s not the kind of horrible offense that your friend needs to know, then you don’t meddle in the marriages of others. If you don’t believe me, try it. Seriously, go tell your girlfriend something medium-bad about her dude. Watch it come back to bite you in the ass in 30 minutes or less. I’ll wait.

Once everyone had arrived at the party, things were particularly feisty. Tamra and Gretchen recounted their trip to the sex shop like it was some kind of wild safari into parts unknown, and in doing so, they mentioned the magic blowjob machine they had seen. Heather took exception to the mention of sexual acts in public, because apparently she’s never seen this show before and had no idea that none of them are smart enough to talk about anything but fake boobs, lip gloss and how much they either like or don’t like having sex with their husbands. Later in the evening, Heather’s extremely tight rectum was featured again, this time when her husband appeared out of nowhere and made a harmless joke that caused her to stomp out of the room and chug a glass of wine.

Eventually all of the wives were sent to their canvases to paint, the process of which quieted them down long enough for Vicki to realize that Gretchen and Tamra had suddenly become friends. She was obviously incensed at that development, just as Tamra knew she would be, because Vicki likes to be able to choose all of her friends’ friends, and her sudden lack of complete control over Tamra rattled her ego too much for her to stay sane. We didn’t see the real Drunk Vicki Rage last night, but it’s undoubtedly forthcoming.

Luckily for Tamra, though, the painting eventually ended and everyone was distracted by Heather and Alexis’s competing awfulness. Heather seemed totally pretentious and haughty in this episode, and in most situations, I’d appreciate it if a cast member tried to call that out or take her down a peg – there is usually at least one clever Housewife per cast for just these purposes. Alexis is so clueless and self-righteous, though, that when she does it, it just comes off as pathetically, ineptly snotty. Not to mention that watching two dumb people argue is, in fact, not that entertaining. Despite the fact that it’s the narrative basis of Real Housewives.

Our last word of the night came from Gretchen and Slade, back home and eating pasta sauce straight out of the jar in front of a laptop. I was getting ready to feel my usual derision toward the couple, but they actually had some useful information to share: Brooks, Vicki’s new boyfriend, has been arrested twice for failure to pay child support to two different women. If you recall, Vicki has always been adamant that Slade is an awful person who she hates because of his child support issues, so shacking up with a man who has committed the same moral crimes (plus a few legal ones) seems like pretty hefty hypocrisy. Not that Vicki is any stranger to acting like a moralizing asshat, of course. I can’t wait for the eventual smackdown that this knowledge causes.

  • Lisa in Oregon

    I really wanted to like Heather, too. I’m disappointed. She reminds me too much of Season 1 Camille.  (Trying too hard to convince us that she’s superior)  I was really counting on her to be the Bethenny of the group and disect the awful behavior of the rest of the cast. I really want to see her size up Alexis, but now I know she’ll most likely replace Alexis on my list of most deplorable housewives as well. Bummer. (her husband isn’t any better)

  • NCGal

    Brilliant, Amanda. JEEZE, and I was all set to fall in mad, crazy housewife love with Miss Heather, but I am with you: what a pretentious ass, straight up. Sure she has the chops, but pahleeze, I was fake gagging all episode with her ass-ness. Ugh. I am more and more convinced with each season that both Vicky and Tamra are alcoholic and it is their anger, their shitty self-esteems, and their enmeshment and emotional dependency issues that draw them together, rather than anything healthy and creative. Grethchen’s an ambition dork and that doofy laugh of hers is so fake and usually follows some put-down. Alexis is another Taylor, only not in that scary-sociopath-Taylor-way…just in that I-am-miserable-and-need-to-constantly-qualify-and-justify-my -life-choices-Taylor way. Slade is a bitchy angry queen straight up…he and Gretchen are mutually using one another, ick, ick, icky. Did I say I really wanted to like Heather? Why can’t Bravo find some bright, rich OC women (like the DC gals) that can at least press up against this crap intellectually and provide some balance?

    • Adrienne Z

      Radaronline has today posted a report that Taylor has been asked back on the show: http://www.radaronline.com/exclusives/2012/02/real-housewives-beverly-hills-cast-season-three and they start taping in July. I’m Pissed! I already switched channels.  Bravo is not going to get any of my support. Shame, too – because that’s usually the first channel I check to see what’s on.  I sent them a comment stating as such, but don’t know if they got it because I got no confirmation that my comment was received.  I can’t have any bad Taylor karma in my aura anymore. It’s too stressful. I’ve had enough! Nice talking to you ladies – I’ll check back in every once inawhile, but I’m so digusted, I’m done!

      • NCGal

        Noooooo!!!! Please come back, Adrienne!!!

  • Relli

    I think Gretchen’s horrible taste in clothes is 50% living where she does and 50% she thinks is cute enough and young enough to pull it off. I dont have cable anymore but between pictures  and your description of her last outfit, 1 part western barmaid and 1 part mall girl, i  think she struggling fashion wise to find that perfect style for her 30′s. Which, is tough you dont want to be overly matronly but there are certian things that just don’t work anymore no matter how young you think you look (Parents who shop at Abercrombie I am looking at you).

     Amanda, i love that you pay attention to how the cast members treat staff; hotel, restaurant, or house because you can really tell a lot about a persons character based on these interactions.

  • Kitty

    Amanda, please don’t tell me you missed Vicky’s awful behavior towards the paint shop owner. For goodness sake she had the audacity to make fun of the woman’s name and her mother for choosing said name. Could she have been a bigger ass. I think not.

    • AmandaMull

      I think I got a phone call during that scene, I only halfway caught it and I couldn’t remember which Housewife did it (they seriously need to vary their hair colors more) so I didn’t include it. 

  • Reality Junkie

     Not only did Gretchen and Slade eat the pasta sauce out of the jar, but they spooned it out of the jar COLD! what the hell? Who DOES that? On TELEVISION!
    I personally hope that we get to see Slade’s entire standup bit! I think it will be hilarious, but not in the way he intends it be hilarious.
    Does anyone else want to throw up when when forced to watch Tamra and Eddie’s I-love-you-so-much-it-hurts-my-soul middle school makeup sessions? 

    • Mele Gellner

      Lol!!! I thought I was the only one who caught the pasta sauce!! Ga-ross!!!!!

    • AmandaMull

      One of my former roommates did that and it seriously made me want to vom. I had no idea people did that and thought she was the only one until I saw them do it last night.

    • Adrienne Z

      @Reality Junkie – check out my reply post to NCGal. Nice dishin’ with ya!

  • Reality Junkie

    @Adrienne- I hadn’t heard that Taylor was being recast and I am as disgusted as you. I’d like to say I won’t watch because of it, but these shows, along with the recaps by Amanda Mull and Karen Valby (EW.Com) are my guilty pleasure and I am too weak to take a stand. I enjoy your comments and I hope you”ll change your mind, Adrienne! NEVER SAY NEVER!
    And remember, karma often manifests itself when least expected. Taylor’s being cast next season, if in fact it happens, may very well (even likely) be what leads to the ultimate public exposure of her true character and soul. Let’s see how she behaves in the aftermath of her husband’s death, her financial and legal issues, her continued attempts to elevate her social status, and-most importantly- what steps does she take to help Kennedy recover from the trauma of the first six years of her life?

  • Celticterry

    Amanda I absolutely love your recaps! Did anyone notice Tamra and Gretchen were wearing the same outfits in the sex toy shop that they wore to their peace-making luncheon? I think that was all one excursion, not after Catalina like Bravo portrayed it.

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