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.