Last night’s episode of Real Housewives of Orange County was one of those where I’m not sure if it was a boring episode or if I was simply in a curmudgeonly mood. There was certainly enough bickering and drama for it to have the patina of entertainment, but for some reason, I was just not about that life last night. All of the Real Housewives casts have problems with bringing up conflicts that the viewers are sick of hearing about, but perhaps because Orange County has been around for the longest, its conflicts feel particularly old. Still, we once again adjourned to Canada for an hour, where the ladies were not being polite, despite their environs.
1. Where exactly did Lauri come from? One of you guys brought this up last week, and it’s a good question – she’s back to stir the pot, but how did she get here? She hasn’t been around in seasons, and when she left, she did so voluntarily to create the Orange County Brady Bunch with her rich new husband. Did Bravo ask her back because they didn’t foresee enough drama among the existing cast members? Did she ask to come back because she missed the attention? Is she bored of her husband and her spoiled kids? All of the above? She’s certainly committed to causing problems, whatever the reason.
2. The Housewives are all about buzzwords. Alexis got “bullied.” The email from Lauri’s husband’s ex-mother-in-law (got that?) went “viral.” Someone get them off of Twitter.
3. Irony. That Gretchen might try to explain the finer points of irony and how it differs from hypocrisy sent a cold chill down my spine. I started to see stars. I became short of breath. Was that a panic attack, or is that what it feels like right before you die?
4. I no longer care about Gretchen’s dead fiancé and whether or not she cheated on him. The man is dead, can we not just let him be dead? Whatever Gretchen did, if anything (and probably something), she’s never going to admit to it, and the person she did it to isn’t here to be mad about it in any case. It’s not like Vicki’s trying to avenge him, after all. She just wants to divert attention from herself.
5. Gretchen’s biggest problem with Vicki is Tamra. I don’t think that Gretchen really has as much self-righteous interest in Vicki’s infidelity, beyond the fact that she’s irritated that her own keeps getting brought up, but she’s correctly identified Vicki as a potential weak link in her alliance with Tamra. If she loses that relationship, she’s essentially shut out of the cast and set to be pushed out on an ice floe with other past Housewives who no one wanted to film with. Which, to be fair, is probably something that Vicki also understands, so it makes sense that she’s trying to insert herself between Gretchen and Tamra. In that regard, I can support Vicki, if only because being rid of Gretchen means we’d be rid of Slade until he dumped her to form a meaningful relationship with Tamra and Eddie’s dog in order to garner some camera time.
6. The best way to stop reality TV stars from arguing is to give them a physically strenuous task. There was plenty of sniping and bickering and arguing and finger-pointing up until everyone got on snow mobiles (or snow machines, as my Alaskan friend from college would want me to call them), and then they were onto snowball fights and all manner of childlike frolicking. As someone from a warm climate, I can understand that reaction to snow.
7. Heather still really cares about the wording of Gretchen’s Malibu Country offer. She is the only one. Not just the only one on the cast, but the only one, period. In the known universe. She got asked to be on the show because you’re a Housewife just like Gretchen and Alexis, not because she’s a notable actress, and she needs to get over it.
8. In Canada, you can go vodka-tasting at -26 degrees celsius in an ice room. It was like the Canadian version of the walk-in beer cave at the Kroger supermarket in my college town, except I never got my tongue stuck to the side of the beer cave.
9. Terry sees a spark in Heather now that she’s acting again. That spark is the light in your eyes that probably flips back on when a grown woman gets to interact with other grown people on a semi-regular basis by way of a break from wrangling four young children. Parenting is a precious responsibility, of course, but I can’t imagine how psychologically straining it can be not to get more variation.
10. Oh god, Gretchen is recording a single next week. Oh god oh god oh god.