I generally have no patience for a three-part reunion, and last night’s first installment of the Real Housewives of Orange County Season 8 Reunion was the perfect example of why. It covered most of the controversial stuff from the season, with the exception of a few loose ends that can be tied up in part two, so what exactly are we going to talk about by the time this whole three-parter winds down? Is the last hour just going to be an informercial for Vicki’s Vodka? Actually, I would watch that, in the same way that I find myself entranced by the Slap-Chop commercial every time it comes on. Anyway, let’s cover the salient points of what happened last night.
1. Vicki and Donn still aren’t divorced. I hadn’t realized that the whole thing had yet to be settled, so this was something of a surprise to me. Vicki did some hemming and hawing about why they had yet to sign, but she admitted the real reason before long – signing the papers means that she’ll probably have to pay Donn spousal support, and she’d rather delay that. Well, that makes sense.
2. Alexis and Gretchen looked like they had shown up to film an episode of Dynasty. Unlike most of the past reunions, the majority of the Housewives managed to dress themselves vaguely like adults, but between Alexis’ boob holsters and the sleeve that had apparently been torn off of Gretchen’s dress in a terrible mishap with a carelessly closed car door, there was plenty to look at. Look at and ponder. Ponder and mourn.
3. SURPRISE: Tamra and Gretchen aren’t besties anymore. I think we all saw this one coming, right? Tamra’s worked on herself quite a bit and is now on good terms with all of the other wives, and Gretchen’s behavior and attitude have only deteriorated. Also, Slade. Who wants to be around Slade in any capacity, other than Gretchen? Tamra doesn’t need her for strategic purposes anymore and Gretchen seems like a tedious person to hang out with, so we’re back to square one.
4. I still don’t care about Gretchen’s improprieties from several years ago. For some reason, I just can’t gin up the outrage over that story. None of it was ever on camera, so it hardly makes compelling television, and now it was so long ago that it seems like all it does is cause everyone to yell at each other, nonsensically and in high-pitched voices, until Andy Cohen gets irritated and shushes the entire group. No more of that, please.
5. Andy Cohen wants to know why Lisa Vanderpump is a bigger celebrity than Heather. Does he really need Lydia to explain that to him? His own network seems to be fully on board with that estimation of the two Housewives; Lisa, after all, has her own show, and Heather doesn’t appear to be getting the same deal any time soon. And then when Lydia stated the obvious to ask the question that was pointedly asked of her, Heather accused her of sneaking in an insult. And the insult was…what, exactly? Admitting that there are people who are more famous than Heather?
6. In general, people seemed to gang up on Lydia. Perhaps some of the other Housewives were irritated because of Lydia’s generally positive portrayal on the show and the relatively friendly fan reaction to her, but they seemed more irritated with her than her actions seemed to merit. Yeah, she giggled a bit over Heather trying to get on the cover of her magazine, but on Real Housewives, that’s the least of the offensive things that happens in a single episode. Compared with Vicki calling Gretchen the c-word, a cackle and an eye-roll seem so tame.
7. The more Lauri talks, the less sympathetic she is. Now Vicki suddenly didn’t ever give her a job? As much as we’re all sick of Vicki’s particular brand of BS, that seems like revisionist history at best. If she’s willing to recast that situation in order to make herself look better, even though everyone agrees on what actually happened and has for years, it only makes all the other ridiculous accusations she’s hurled seem less likely to be true. Since most of them only seemed halfway true to begin with, Lauri’s not doing herself any favors.
8. I’m not sure what could possibly be in the next two installments of this reunion. We’ve already covered Tamra and Gretchen’s feud, Lauri’s accusations about Vicki and all the beefs that everyone has with Lydia, so are we going to dedicate an entire hour to Brooks and an hour to Gretchen’s involvement with Heather’s dearly departed Malibu Country?
9. And now, a little survey question. Will you guys be watching Real Housewives of Miami? Are you interested in us recapping it, or can we take a break until the return of Beverly Hills? Is there anything else you’re just burning for us (either me or Emily) to recap? Give me your thoughts.