How bizarre was last night’s episode of Real Housewives of Orange County? Deeply bizarre, I think. Gretchen flew Slade around Orange County in a helicopter, and instead of having someone spontaneously push him out over the ocean like we all silently hoped she would, he landed and she was in what looked suspiciously like a cheap Vegas wedding dress, waiting to ask him to marry her. And that’s to say nothing of Vicki’s AgroCrag-covered Winter Wonderland Pool Party. I understand all those words, but I’m still not sure if they make sense in that order.
1. The previews for this episode consisted almost entirely of a montage of Slade being awful. I’ve said this before, but sometimes, if you pay attention and watch this show often enough, you can tell when the producers are letting you know what they think of someone. Slade seems not to be a favorite of theirs. This is my surprised face.
2. “I feel like sometimes I do like him, and then he talks.” Lydia said this about Slade, but really, it applies to so many people. So many people are great until they say words.
3. “Shut the hole that makes the words.” Heather’s kid knows what we’re sayin’ here.
4. All the talk of people shutting up and not making any more noises was a fitting preamble to Gretchen’s song. At least it was short! If there’s anything I’d ever want to thank Gretchen for, it’s recording a short song. I’d also like to thank Slade’s radio co-host for having hair interesting enough that I could use it as a distraction while waiting for the autotune to stop.
5. The whole engagement event made me vicariously embarrassed for Gretchen. Is vicarious embarrassment a positive emotion, in a way? I suppose it means that, at the very least, I can instinctually recognize some sort of humanity in Gretchen, who otherwise comes across as mostly craven and vapid. So yeah, let’s go with positive.
6. Alexis came to visit Tamra’s fitness studio and even brought a gift. Alexis, despite not being a particularly interesting element of the show for most of the season, has really come a long way toward not being terrible or even objectionable. That’s an admirable transformation, but also sort of risky – Alexis’ ability to enrage both her cast mates and the audience is what has kept her around thus far, and Bravo tends to get rid of people who suddenly stop provoking that kind of reaction in favor of being bland but well-liked. Exhibit A: Camille Grammer.
7. Slade has a grown kid? Slade has a grown kid. The more you know.
8. SLADE’S BROTHER KENT. Ok, so he has a mullet and his grill is kinda busted, but I bet he’s not nearly such a smarmy bastard as his brother. That may not count for anything on reality TV, but it counts in my heart, ok?
9. I am not OK with Vicki’s white dress. You guys know I rarely, if ever, comment negatively on how anyone’s body looks in any particular thing. That’s just not my style, and I tend not to believe that certain looks just have to be reserved for certain body types or ages. That being said, on top of all of Vicki’s ill-advised plastic surgery, a dress that’s short, tight, shiny, low-backed and low-cut only makes her look even more desperate to convince others that she feels young and sexy. Girl, you doin’ too much.
10. What kind of woman is ok with marrying a guy who can’t stop talking about how ugly other women are? This is really more a reaction to next week’s preview than this week’s episode, but really, what kind of woman do you have to be to think that a man who has based most of his public persona on bashing other womens’ appearances – and not just Vicki’s – is a halfway decent dude, let alone a good man to hitch your wagon to for life? Does Gretchen have low self-esteem or is she just as toxic? I guess that’s the primary question of their entire relationship, though, and so far, the probable answer’s not looking too good.