Real Housewives of Orange County s08 e01 recap

We had another Real Housewives double-header last night, with Real Housewives of Orange County making its eight season debut before the second part of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills reunion. I was worried that the reunion must be super boring if they were hiding it behind the OC premiere instead of giving the episode its own week, which most reunions have for at least one of their segments. Neither of Beverly Hills’ two parts had that leisure, and unfortunately, it was because nothing much interesting was said.

The OC premiere was a little more successful, mostly because Vicky is still a stark, raving lunatic who has now inserted foreign objects into her face. Most of the rest of the premiere felt like a mid-season episode, which might bode poorly for the entertainment value of the season to come. Still, let’s have a recap. That’s what I’m here for.

1. Vicky had a chin implant. For the love of everything holy, if I had made a list of cosmetic procedures I thought might improve Vicky’s facial appearance, a chin implant would not have been in the top 30. If I’ve learned anything from living in a neighborhood with lots of rich older women who have had weird plastic surgery, it’s that implants and injectables are bad, modest lifts are good. Instead of getting a facelift, which is really all that Vicky would have needed if she was unhappy with her loose skin, she just tried to fill the loose skin with random junk.

2. Vicky broke up with Brooks. So, you know. One good decision, one bad decision. Par for the course, almost literally.

3. Or did she break up with Brooks? MORE TO COME.

4. Tamra and Eddie have moved in together and did start a fitness studio. There’s trouble in paradise, though, because Eddie doesn’t want Tamra to wear her shoes on the carpet. Don’t let the man get you down, Tamra.

5. Brianna had her baby. Vicky’s now a grandma, which will no doubt inspire a half dozen more ill-advised cosmetic procedures. Also, I’m pretty sure she had pipe cleaners glued to her eyelids for her interviews instead of fake lashes. Unrelated, but still worth noting.

6. Tamra and Vicky still hate each other and everyone still hates Alexis. Or at least Tamra, Gretchen and Heather hate her, which might as well be everybody. For the record, I still hate Alexis too, even though I think she looks nice without all her fake hair.

7. Earth Jesus thinks he’s an art connoisseur. That’s it, that’s the joke.

8. Alexis thinks that if she keeps saying she got bullied, it’ll eventually be true. Sure, the women weren’t super nice to her, but all the stuff they said in Costa Rica last year was stuff that someone needed to say to Alexis. She is a shallow, materialistic faux-snob who acts better than everyone else out of the transparently insecure hope that maybe, someday, people will believe her. Trying to alert someone to their own bad behavior, however indelicately, is not bullying.

9. Heather put Tamra and Vicky across from each other at her dinner party. That’s a super amateur hostess mistake – if two people don’t get along, you put them on the same side of the table, but with at least one person between them. Maybe Heather wants someone to get forcibly drowned in her new pool, though.

10. Do we like any of these women? Toward the end of the episode when they were setting up the fights for next week, it struck me that I don’t think I have much, if any, genuine affection for anyone on this cast. Vicky is a dumpster fire of a human being. Tamra is funny, but craven and mean. Gretchen’s just on the show to push her various poorly conceived product lines. Alexis has a nice new haircut, and that’s the only positive thing I can say about her. If Heather says “champs” one more time, I’ll hunt her down and personally throttle her. In all the other versions of this series, there are people for whom I root in spite of their faults. In the OC, I just want to watch the world burn.

And now for the reunion…

1. Kyle tried to gloss over the difficulties in Adrienne’s marriage but Lisa wouldn’t let her finish her story. Kyle’s been Team Adrienne all season, of coure, and when Andy asked about their marriage, she started in with the normal platitudes about how she thought their bickering was adorable and normal for them, but Lisa cut in and said that, actually, things have been bad for a while and Paul had moved out before. Clearly, there are future commissions to be had from Adrienne and Paul, so Kyle’s still walking the company line.

2. Pretty much all of the Housewives seem to think that Adrienne’s using her personal chef to plant bad things about Paul in the press. It certainly lends credence to what Brandi and Lisa have been saying all season about Bernie’s involvement, and not even Kyle spoke up to contradict the speculation that Bernie was making false abuse allegations against Paul and that Adrienne was likely on board with it. I’ve always been adamant in my belief Taylor was genuinely and repeatedly abused by Russell, and I’m just as sure that Paul wasn’t doing the same thing to Adrienne. Nothing about their relationship dynamic shows any warning signs, and unlike Taylor, there’s no documented medical history of injuries or incidents. If the rest of the cast is right, Adrienne might be the worst person we’ve ever had on Real Housewives. There’s little lower than making false abuse accusations. It’s like falsely reporting a rape; lying only makes it more difficult for real victims to be taken seriously and have their attackers prosecuted.

3. Kim may or may not have had poop on her pillow. I felt like we glossed over this one – where did the poop come from? Why did Kim seemingly admit that there was poop? What’s the storyline around the poop? Talk about burying the lede here, Bravo.

4. Ok, so it was said poorly, but I kind of get what Brandi was saying about Kyle and Kim’s sobriety. No, I don’t think Kyle is “hoping” for Kim to fail. I do think Kyle is constantly trying to remind herself that something could go wrong, though, because she’s watched her sister self-destruct for decades, and getting her hopes up for a 100% successful recovery must seem like a terrible emotional risk. I don’t blame Kyle for trying to temper her expectations, and I do think that can come across as Kyle being unimpressed with Kim’s efforts and maybe even wishing that she’d hurry up and fail and get it over with. I don’t think that’s what it actually is, and I think Brandi should have thought about it a little harder before she said it, but I can see where the generalized sentiment would come from and why Kyle would act that way.

5. Paul no longer hates Brandi, but Adrienne still does. Paul at least bothered to film a little statement for the reunion, which is more than we can say for his ex-wife, who is apparently hoping we’ll all forget she exists but still buy her ugly shoes and disgusting flavored vodka.

6. Kyle and Mauricio’s real estate machinations are increasingly transparent. Even while Mauricio was claiming that he and Kyle didn’t butter up Adrienne and Paul in order to get the listing when they sold their house, he couldn’t help but brag that when he did get the listing, he sold it in two weeks. Real convincing there, you guys. I suppose Bravo cut out the part where Mauricio distributed his business card to everyone at the reunion shoot.

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  • Webaj

    Thanks for the double recap Amanda! I totally agree with you about not liking anyone on RHOC anymore. Last season, I found Heather to be fresh and amusing. Now, she seems to have become way too enamoured of her moment in the reality TV spotlight and is more caricature than character.

  • winterpenny

    RHOC – You nailed it with #10, which basically makes points #1-#9 irrelevant. Everyone on the show is boring and predictable…especially Tamara. I’m getting tired of her little funny/nasty names for those who she doesn’t like. You did miss one of the things I found incredulous. Gretchen really doesn’t know how to use a Kuerig? Lets hope she doesn’t get pregnant because that poor baby doesn’t stand a chance! My 7 year old figured out how to make hot cocoa in the Kuerig!
    RHBH – Agreed that Brandi used the wrong words, however, it is apparent that Kyle is waiting for Kim to fail. Though the feeling seems natural given their history, those are feelings that you mask for the sake of Kim. I was also getting tired of the Kim show. Sobriety is her battle, yet she thinks everyone should fight it for her. That isn’t how the real world acts! If she is so fragile that she needs other to alter their behavior to control her sobriety than she needs to avoid those dangerous interactions. Honestly, I’m always amazed at how often the housewives are drinking, so I don’t know why Kim is even on the show! I did read that Fay Resnick turned down joining the cast for next season because she said RHBH is wrecking her life. Is that the same thing you do when someone dumps you, you start telling everyone why you dumped him? No way was she ever offered a spot on RHBH.

    • Webaj

      I read the Faye Resnick “turned down” story on Radar Online…which, as we all now know, is Adrienne’s “go to” resource to get her “spin” out in the media. I am sure she shared her contacts with her good friend Faye.

  • Nancy

    Do we like any of these women?

    NO! Last’s night’s RHoOC debut was downright boring, especially considering many of us are mourning the loss of the very entertaining Lisa, Brandi and Yolanda for 9 months.
    I am so disappointed that Vicki is back. Her narcissism is exhausting. Tamara and Gretchen acted like middle school children. Earth Jesus is still demeaning & borderline abusive to his wife: “Tell me what you know about art”!. As an artist, looking at the paintings and “sculpture” in that room, I can tell you his taste is horrific. He clearly knows nothing about it himself.

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Amanda Mull

      I’ve long held that Earth Jesus is, at the very least, very controlling. Maybe even emotionally abusive. He clearly has a great deal of contempt for his wife, and probably women in general.

      • Susie

        I agree. He came across as someone who looks down on his wife when he asked her how much she knows about art. As if he did? Clearly he is an abusive misogynist.

    • Susie

      Tonight I typed the work “boring” and “orange county” and very quickly found other who agree about the season opener. It was boring. Or maybe I am just bored with these women. I did see a glimmer of hope when the preview indicated that the lovable and sincere “Crooks” is still in the picture. His nonsense should be good for a few laughs. Poor Vicki trying to figure out if they are still together or not. If you have to ask Vicki, then you are not. This devil is still playing his connection to you for making new connections to other women and for work. Otherwise, boring.

  • Laura

    I still want to reiterate your sentiment that Bravo should give us a show that is entirely about Lisa’s closet. That would probably do better than this season of RHOC, for sure.

  • twirler

    Alexis is clearly a weak person, but in the adult world if you don’t like someone, reasonable people simply ignore them and get on with their own lives. Sorry Amanda but it seems extremely immature to encourage girls to “point out others’ bad behavior,” whether it’s true or not. It’s not like the girls are true friends dishing out constructive criticism to help her.

    • Susie

      Agree. She is in denial. It is easier to blame people for picking on her than to listen to what they are trying to tell her.

  • http://www.facebook.com/donna.a.hoskins Donna Augustine Hoskins

    I find it incredible that ANY of the housewives would have anything at all negative to say about Vicki’s face work when not a one of them is without their own hmmmm, facial enhancement. Give me a break! Tamara and Gretchen snickering and making fun of Vicki for getting work done when they are both walking ads for plastic surgery, botox, fillers, etc. etc. is the real joke. Make snide remarks about Vicki being incredibly self centered, desperate for male attention, for her screaching tirades and her inability to put her own daughter before her sleazy con man/boyfriend…those are all legitimate gripes. But to start out the show trashing her for getting work done??? At least she owns it, unlike some of the housewives. Tamara is just not a nice person. Not at all. She’s fake and vulgar and has a whiff of white trash that expensive perfume can’t cover up. She and Eddy are doomed whether they make it to the altar or not. Her poor children. At least Gretchen hasn’t reproduced…yet. God knows Slade needs to pay more child support for yet another child he will end up visiting rather than raising. Idiots. Speaking of idiots, Alexis and Earth J talking art??? His hideous taste is epitomized in that hideous sculpture. Did I mention he has no taste and that sculpture is hideous??!! Alexis gets a haircut and considers it a life change but at least she doesn’t like that hideous sculpture. Heather is just being catty as usual and I’m sort of neutral regarding her so far. But to answer you question, NO I don’t like any of these women. Not a one.

  • Amy

    The Beverly Hills reunion (and season in general) and the premiere of OC has confirmed my longtime belief that Atlanta is the only entertaining franchise left! I wish you would have recapped that instead, as I would have LOVED your commentary on Kenya Moore and the always hilarious NeNe!

    • Guest

      I find Atlanta to be nothing more than a supremely annoying minstrel show. It utterly confirms my belief that Andy Cohen is both a racist and a misogynist.

  • Yassi

    Thank you for writing this synopsis, I’ve been living in India for two months and I can’t watch the shows here not even from the web channel, thank you very much!

  • mj

    you literally write the BEST RH recaps, and always make any and every point that goes through my head. I stopped watching OC and am just reading your comments of gold. Thank you

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