Last night’s Real Housewives of Orange County episode was an odd one. The Housewives all got out of town, presumably because everyone, including Bravo producers, knows that sending a cast on a trip is one of the best ways to force them all to spend time together and manufacture the kind of drama that viewers love. This trip was nominally about picking wine for Wines by Wives, Tamra and Vicky’s mail-order wine club, but as with all Housewives trips, it was actually about drinking too much and arguing.
As has been the case all season, bizarrely little happened that was actually worth arguing about, but that didn’t stop things from devolving into a screaming match anyway. Everyone acted like children, naturally, and I yearned for Lydia’s formerly stoned (and maybe still a little bit stoned) mother. Can we put a camera on her and just, you know, follow her around for a little while?
1. It is possible to love a man enough that you enjoy clipping his toenails. Apparently Heather loved her husband that much at one point, but I’m assuming she was actually just under the influence of some kind powerful psychotropic drugs for a since-healed back injury that she’s forgotten about. Men have unloveable troll feet.
2. There is wine in Malibu. The cast went to see it, except for Alexis, because she had to support Jim while he opened some kind of trampoline business that will fail in three months. (Except he won’t call it a failure, he’ll call it a “strategic investment.”) Did you know there was wine in Malibu? I didn’t.
3. Vicky thought the winemaker’s daughter was his girlfriend. Even after the dude introduced her as his daughter, she questioned them about her age and their level of affection with each other. Apparently Vicky’s not aware that most people’s children don’t have to hide their exact addresses from their parents and set up security cameras to keep out their mom’s skeezy grifter boyfriend. A certain amount of hugging and genuine enjoyment of each others’ company occurs in most families.
4. Alexis thinks her husband is a business genius. That’s it. That’s the joke.
5. Vicky got teary because she had to go on a trip with a bunch of couples and she was by herself. Vicky is a grandmother. Vicky is not a lone, awkward teenager going to prom by herself. Her mom did not have to pin her corsage on her and send her outside to take solo pictures in front of the rose bushes in her dowdy, synthetic prom dress. If Vicky has not developed the coping skills to spend a day or two around a few couples of average-at-best happiness while unescorted, then it’s no one’s fault but Vicky’s.
6. Vicky has a vodka line. Raise your hand if you think it’s decanted rubbing alcohol with a fancy label.
7. Going on reality TV will screw up your marriage. No one’s marriage gets stronger after a stint on reality TV except Lisa Vanderpump’s, and it’s been established that we’re all decidedly not Lisa Vanderpump in any way. Heather and Terry seemed fairly happy last season, but for some reason, Terry felt the need to confess to the group over brunch that he had stupidly threatened Heather with divorce during an argument. Why, exactly, he chose to humiliate his wife in front of the cast and the cameras didn’t even seem all that clear to him, although I do wonder if their marital strife is perhaps put on for the cameras.
8. Vicky sets herself up to be the victim. Vicky got upset that she wasn’t being included in the wine selections during the trip to Malibu, despite the fact that she had been invited on the trip in the first place to taste wines, and also despite the fact that while Tamra was tasting wines and talking about purchasing and whatever else, Vicky was trying on tacky faux fur in the gift shop and doing her best to make sure she wasn’t included in any way so that she could complain later. That’s right: while actively ignoring all the wine parts of the trip, Vicky was complaining about not being included in the wine parts of the trip. That’s some impressive logical gymnastics, folks.
9. Can’t we all just agree that Wines by Wives is probably BS anyway? Who in the whole, entire world spends his or her hard-earned paychecks to receive the vino picks of a bunch of women who don’t seem particularly picky in the first place? Aren’t we in a recession? Don’t dollars mean something to people these days? Has the news been lying to me all along? Because if there are enough people subscribed to a Real Housewives wine delivery service to keep it afloat, maybe we need to burn down the US economy and try again.
10. Tamra seems like she’s been in some therapy recently. Her end-of-episode monologue about how she says hurtful things to other people in order to protect herself against those same types of hurtful things sounded a lot like the surface-level self-discovery of someone who’s finally started unpacking a life of weird human interaction with a professional. At least for the moment, Tamra’s shrink appears to know what she’s talking about – Tamra is definitely a person who strikes first in order to avoid being on the receiving end of the same kind of barb. Self-awareness! The rarest of all Housewives treats.