Last night, the Real Housewives of Orange County continued their race to the bottom by trying their hands at comedy. Slade and Gretchen, specifically, which went just about how you’d expect it to go. Because nothing else even remotely interesting has happened in Slade’s life except his perpetual housewife-adjacency, his routine was all about how to hunt and capture your very own reality star.

Some other stuff happened, but it was only vaguely entertaining at best. Vicki’s daughter accused her of being herpetic, Eddie made a joke that made it sound like he once peed on Tamra, Tamra tried to give Vicki some sex toys. The Orange County housewives are like the collective fart joke of the Bravolebrity universe. Adjust your expectation accordingly.

We started at Vicki’s house, where Tamra had shown up to separate eggs and have an awkward conversation about whether or not Vicki said goodbye to her at the painting party. Vicki didn’t, which she didn’t even convincingly lie about, and then she cackled at Tamra about “brown noses” and how sex toys aren’t Biblical and aren’t for people in love. If ever I’ve encountered someone who would benefit from a Xanax and a vibrator, for the love of god, it’s Vicki. Oh, and did I mention that Vicki and Alexis have made friends now? Excellent. My two favorite people.

Speaking of Alexis, she and Heather got together to drink sake and glare at each other, and if you consider that the goal of the meeting, then it was a successful one. They mostly bonded over mutual lying about the intent of the jokes that they had made at Heather’s paint party, and the face that Alexis made when she had to admit she was more Jillian Barberie than Katie Keurig almost made the entire scene worth watching. Almost. And hey, I guess I should give her a little credit for answering that question correctly. We also learned that Alexis no longer has any nannies instead of the two that we met when she first joined the series, which would seem to confirm all the loud rumors about the family’s financial state. Not that the lack of childcare has motivated Earth Jesus to actually do any parenting, though. I wouldn’t hold your breath on that issue. He might get his white velour track suit dirty if he interacted with his kids.

Continuing the episode’s theme of awkwardness, we then visited Slade, who was running through his upcoming comedy routine for his mom. Naturally, his comedy routine was terrible and unnecessarily lewd, and his mom had no problem totally shutting him down and telling him that he’s not funny. She also had an, “Oh god, no!” reaction when Slade said he wanted to marry Gretchen, which is the only true reaction that anyone can possibly have to their son marrying Gretchen. Slade’s mom might be the best reality TV mom ever, mostly because she’s completely mom-like and not afraid to be a mom in front of the cameras. (Example: Passive-aggressively reminding Slade that Gretchen used to call him Tubba Wubba.) She and Kim’s dad from Atlanta should get a show together.

Slade’s mom left, probably to go sit in her car in the driveway and question where her parenting had derailed and created Slade, and Gretchen came home so that we could learn a little more about Slade’s comedy routine. It apparently included lots of unflattering photos and stories about Gretchen’s cast mates, some of which seemed to be in a PowerPoint presentation. First of all, how bad does a routine have to be to include a PowerPoint, which is something normally relegated to meetings that no one wants to attend? Second of all, can’t Slade find a way to make a living that doesn’t involve cashing in on the fact that he’s dating a Real Housewife? Does the man have no actual skills to speak of?

Before we knew it, we were at the Improv with Slade and Gretchen, who was inexplicably wearing a bikini under an inmate’s coveralls. They sent her out onstage to open the show, and because Gretchen is unable to hold more than one thought in her head at a time, she asked everyone if they had ever heard of Facebook and then forgot to do the half of the routine that explained why she was dressed as a female prisoner. However, Gretchen did do a fine job of striping down to her bikini, so at least there’s that. We’ve found a skill that Gretchen has other than curling her hair.

While half the cast was humiliating themselves at the Improv, Eddie and Tamra were making up for last week’s humiliation (and the awkward implication that Eddie had peed on Tamra from earlier in the episode) by having a nice dinner together to talk about their future. During their conversation, Tamra actually said some of the smartest stuff that we’ve ever heard come out of her mouth: She doesn’t want to move in with Eddie for a few reasons, including the wellbeing of her kids and her desire to find independence before finding herself barefoot and pregnant again. Unlike his behavior last week, Eddie was totally open and supportive to what Tamra was saying and didn’t get defensive or take her hesitation to move in with him personally. It was almost like two adults who care about each other were having a conversation.

Lest we get too used to maturity and compassion, we were then back to the Improv, where Slade had taken the stage to embarrass himself and others. We didn’t see his material about the other wives up front, but we did see his PowerPoint presentation of stock photography and watch him make some awful pelvic thrusts while screaming, which might have actually been worse. Just when I thought we might be off the hook, Slade retook the stage from a comic that was actually funny and finished up with all of the fat jokes that the pictures of Tamra and Vicki had promised.

I’d say that Slade shouldn’t quit his day job, but he doesn’t actually have one. Gretchen had asked him not to do the jokes about Tamra and Vicki, he did them anyway, and hopefully Gretchen will remember that when he asks her to marry him. I know I said earlier that it would be a horrific idea for him to marry her, but it’s just as horrific if you switch the pronouns. It’s bad from every angle. I’m not sure if that means it should never happen or if they totally deserve each other.

While Slade embarrassed himself and everyone he knows onstage, Vicki and her daughter Brianna were our having dinner and discussing things both serious and completely non-serious. My notes for this series of scenes includes only the words “Vicki makes out with people who have herpes,” and although I know that it also included some things about Brianna having her thyroid removed, I think I’ll just leave it at that. Vicki has cooties. We all knew it was true in our hearts, didn’t we?

At the Improv once more, Heather, Alexis and their husbands had come backstage to greet Slade and Gretchen, and Alexis seemed to actually think that the routine was a hit. In fact, she much preferred Slade’s schtick to the routines of the actual professional comics that had performed that night, which pretty much confirms everything we’ve always assumed about the stray thoughts rattling around inside of Alexis’ head. You know who wasn’t amused by the whole thing, though? Gretchen. Gretchen was decidedly not amused.

During the car ride home, Gretchen rightfully fussed at Slade for both messing up the tentative detente she has with her other cast mates and being a jackass in general, but her position with the other women probably won’t be helped by the fact that she kept yelling about them being bitches. Slade countered that Vicki and Tamra have gone out of their way to spread rumors about both of them and that they have no right to get upset over a few fat jokes (and Vicki does kind of look like Miss Piggy, even if Slade didn’t tell the joke very well). Something tells me they won’t see it that way; skipping out on your kid or cheating on your terminally ill fiance is probably more worthy of ridicule than having a little cellulite after birthing four children, right?

If Gretchen can get over the things said about her and try to mend fences, so should Slade, at least for the sake of their relationship. After all, the things said about Gretchen have been worse, in my mind. They were speculation and rumor, whereas it’s public record that Slade owes a ton of back child support to his seriously ill son. If Slade would like people to stop talking about that, he should probably take steps to rectify it, including petitioning to have his child support reduced because of his unemployment. He’s been a deadbeat for literally years, what’s the holdup on making that happen? If Slade genuinely has little to no income, that should be easily provable through tax records by now. Sadly, it looks like the Battle of the Deadbeats between Slade and Brooks will have to wait until another day.

  • jomarie

    Wow! Vicki’s refusal to face reality was so disturbing to me. Won’t face the fact that coldsores are herpies virus, won’t discus a very real possibility that her daughter has thyroid cancer, won’t cop to her part in her impending divorce….. I had to explain to my husband during a brief pass through he made while I was watching that the whole point of the series is women behaving badly. Women that by cultural definition are supposed to “have it all”. They aren’t just embarrassing themselves any more!

  • Seejayluvsbags

    Vicki is sooooo unlikeable, OMG! She acts old, bitter & jealous. While I don’t believe Tamara & Gretchen will last long, it’s so exhausting to be angry & argumentative. Alexis is wy worse than Gretchen. And I’m sick of Heather & those disturbing round eyes of hers! eesh!

  • Kitty

    Could someone explain to me the strange new manicure that the housewives are sporting. First it was Phaedra and Sheree and now Gretchen.  Four fingers are one color and one is different. I don’t get it. To me it looks so dumb.  Please someone enlighten me.

    • A Reader

      That’s called an “accent nail.” It’s quite popular right now and you will see it at the Grammys, in magazines, on the runway and all over the internet. Not everyone’s cup of tea, to be sure, but not exactly unheard of, either.

    • LuvelyJubley

      Kitty, I though this was a mistake the first time I saw it as well.  A younger friend explained it to me.  It’s intended to draw attention to the hands, which I guess it does…

  • Kate M

    They need to give Slade’s mom her own show. I would call it Reality Check and give her the opportunity to save people from their own assholery. Maybe some would listen. I mean, if Tamra can pull off intelligent and mature, I think there’s some hope. Not for Slade, obviously.

  • Suz

    Still love your recaps, Amanda……..but. I just can’t watch the show any more.  I’ve analyzed it (great waste of brain cells) and I’ve come to the conclusion, it’s because they’ve all had so much filler, they’re incapable of smiling….and each one is stupider than the next….and no one has a sense of humor or any realistic sense of self.  Agh-h-h… It’s just too painful to watch.  I’ll keep reading your recaps as long as you keep writing them…..but this particular group of women is the worst of the worst.

    • AmandaMull

      That’s sort of the sense that I’m getting about both the Atlanta and Orange County housewives. The pageviews for the recaps are the same as in past seasons, but the comments are down, which seems to me to mean that people are growing tired of these particular casts – they’re not all that much fun to discuss anymore, and people don’t have strong reactions to them like they have in the past.

      I’m going to continue to do the recaps because the number of readers is still the same, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they decreased next season without some serious shakeups in both casts. Jersey and Beverly Hills still get people riled up, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re reaching the beginning of the end of Housewives supremacy. 

      • Suz

        Atlanta, at least, has some laugh out loud moments of tacky and/or outrageous….although I’m probably done with them as well.  This African trip has been so prolonged and uncomfortable…….But, Amanda, you are such a good writer (and wise beyond your years), so, no matter what, I’ll keep reading your posts…. 

      • NCGal

        Then, you will write YOUR crazy-hilarious collection of recaps and posts…right? Now that’s a book, I’d buy!

      • Suz

        I second that!

  • Relli

    I just got cable back! So I was able to catch some of this and al I can say is everyones acting has improved except Slade’s. GOODNESS what was that! I honestly cannot fathom what G sees in him as a partner let alone consider buildig a life with him. I am also beginning to think he may not be in on the joke of himself and I loved that the only 1 who got him was Alexis! I missed the stuff with Vicki but Tamara and Eddie’s heart to heart has me giggling because what Amanda said about them being jr. High lovers and their teen angst glances across the table.

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  • LuvelyJubley

    I’ve thought this since learning that Slade and Gretchen were dating after Jeff died, but I’ve never voiced it…Gretchen strikes me as the type of woman who dates men who are unmarry-able because, in her heart, she doesn’t really want to be married or have any other sort of truly committed relationship.  With Jeff he was 30 years her senior and terminally ill; with Slade, well, he’s Slade.  This is something I’ve also thought of Kat Von D as well.

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