Can you believe that we’ve been through six seasons of Real Housewives of Orange County already? Last night’s premiere marked the beginning of the seventh season, and I couldn’t help but look back and think about all the housewives who have come before us. Jo, for instance. Remember Jo? I wish I didn’t remember Jo. Or how about
Lynn Quinn? Cougar Lynn Quinn with the awful wigs? Yeah.
This season brings us yet another new housewife, Heather, who differs a little bit from the rest of the cast. First, she’s a brunette. Second, she’s actually rich, at least as far as we know. Third, she isn’t hauling around eight pounds of silicone in her chest. It’s a whole new world for our Southern California ladies.
We started with Gretchen and Slade, who are improbably still together even after Gretchen spent the entirety of last season calling him fat. They were in the bathroom and seemed to be arguing about why Gretchen was going to lunch with Tamra, but I was far too distracted by Gretchen herself to even think about their conversation. (Plus, we already all know Tamra and Gretchen are friends now.) First, new boobs? New lips? Something is new. What is it? I can’t say exactly. Second, what the hell was wrong with that outfit? A lace corset top, a full skirt, an ugly pale pink jacket and thigh-high black boots. Gretchen not only went and purposefully bought all of that at the mall, but then she decided to put it all on her body at the same time and go in front of a camera in it. Contemplate that.
Our next stop was Vicki’s house, which is for sale. If you remember last season, Don and Vicki are getting a divorce, but…Don’s still living in the house? Sort of like how Jeana’s husband was still living in the house? Vicki said it was for financial reasons, which flies directly in the face of her claims about how incredibly successful and affluent her family is. She claims to have not seen Don in two months despite his residence in her home, and she also has a new boyfriend who lives in Mississippi (Please please please let’s send Vicki to Mississippi this season, you guys. PLEASE!!!). New Boyfriend Brooks has not visited her home out of “respect” for Don, which makes me wonder if Vicki would like to take back her criticism of Jeana for letting her husband hang out at home indefinitely.
Elsewhere, Gretchen arrived to lunch with Tamra at a restaurant I could swear they’ve been to before. Although things started off slowly and awkwardly and then got more awkward with the presentation of a homemade friendship bracelet with a symbolic key (don’t even ask me, I have no answers), Tamra offered what seemed to be a sincere apology and we were off to the races. I found the entire conversation a bit tedious, if only because Tamra and Gretchen did a round of interviews together before the start of the season and are clearly still friends. Two cast members making friends with each other isn’t much of an entertaining storyline in the first place, and it’s even less so when there’s no possibility that they lose their minds and yank each others’ extensions out in three episodes.
We were then on to Alexis, who has a “career” now, which consists of doing one morning news segment on beauty and fitness per week in San Diego. So between that and normal mom duties that all moms, working or stay-at-home, have to do and caring for her beloved Earth Jesus, she’s just so busy, you guys. So busy that she didn’t bother to put her new home phone number into her phone, or even to memorize it. That became clear when Alexis was driving (or, excuse me, being driven by some sort of surely long-suffering assistant) to San Diego and realized that she had forgotten to set an alarm to wake up Earth Jesus so that he could slap some granola bars in the kids’ hands and point them in the direction of school.
And, I mean, there are so many things to discuss here that I don’t even know where to begin. Earth Jesus can’t even set an alarm clock one day per week without his wife/nanny doing it for him? Doesn’t Earth Jesus have to get up and, you know, go to work? (No, Earth Jesus doesn’t work, he just receives blessings all day.) Where exactly does one get a head-to-toe red workout suit that simultaneously creates a camel toe and renders the wearer incapable of wearing a sports bra? Is there some special store in areas that are saturated with fake tits that caters to such needs? I bet Alexis runs in a tube top.
Anyway, after a pitstop with Vicki and Tamra for expository reasons (Vicki’s having party, she doesn’t know that Gretchen and Tamra are now playing nice, etc) and to talk about how Vicki might have to pay spousal support (cry me a river; we’d all think Don was a deadbeat if he made more and didn’t want to pay), we moved on to meeting our new Housewife, Heather. The setup for the meeting was that Tamra has the listing for a beachside lot that costs a gajillion dollars and Heather and her husband would like to buy it and build a new McMansion. The reason? Well, their current McMansion was specially designed with three kids in mind, and then Heather accidentally got pregnant again. OOPS. Time to spend millions of dollars so that the precious little darling can have its own room!
The problem with that entire scenario, though, is that we all know that Heather went through contact negotiations and vetting and was brought onto the show purposefully, so watching Tamra and Heather pretend to “meet” was a little tedious. After seven godforsaken seasons of this stuff, can’t we just be honest about what’s going on? Everyone can see the seams by now, and setups like the one between Tamra and Heather are boring even if we couldn’t. It’s time to acknowledge the fact that these women are, in fact, on a popular televison show.
Down in San Diego, Alexis was starring in the most low-rent morning TV segment that I’ve ever seen in my entire life. The station had dressed up some random crew member in a lab coat and dubbed him Dr. Booty (credentials pending) and he and Alexis were going to teach everyone how to have a perfect butt. Unsurprisingly, she proved herself to be functionally illiterate and with only slightly more ability to focus than a cracked out kindergartener at recess. After she verbally tripped her way through the entire segment, Alexis declared that despite her lack of journalistic background and training (YA DON’T SAY), she’d love to be like Katie Keurig. That’s right, that journalist/coffee maker that we all know and love. She interviews presidential candidates and makes you a nice vanilla soy latte to drink while you watch.
Speaking of coffee, Tamra and newbie Heather got together to have some and gossip about the other wives. Tamra thinks Alexis is going to hate Heather because she desperately wants to be someone like Heather, which seems like a reasonable prediction; Alexis is a striver in every sense of the word. Tamra may be generally kind of a terrible person, but she tends to be genuinely on point with those kinds of observations, and I can’t help but agree with her. Alexis spent all of last season trying to compete with Pegatha over dumb things like whose husband knew more about Lamborghinis, so naturally meeting a newcomer who’s even moderately sophisticated and actually wealthy will send her over the edge.
Our next two scenes were with Peggy (I thought she was off the show?) and Tamra and Gretchen and Alexis, respectively, while they mentally prepared themselves to attend Vicky’s cast-wide shindig. Tamra mostly grilled Peggy on why it was that she and so many other women had been attracted to Earth Jesus back in the day, and Pegatha hemmed and hawed and finally groaned some words about him having “toys.” I’m not sure if that was meant to be a euphemism for his penis or a euphemism for all the fun stuff he wasted his money on, but whatever it was, it was all Peggy was willing to say. I, like Tamra, want to know more because clearly whatever the reason is humiliating for all involved.
Honestly, I don’t remember what was covered at Alexis and Gretchen’s pre-party summit at all, mostly because neither of them ever say anything that’s even remotely clever or interesting. I can’t even imagine having to sit down and make conversation with those two at the same time; other than hair dye and lip gloss, what would you discuss? The two duos eventually collected their other friends and headed to Vicki’s party, but then everything just…ended. No party at the end of the show. Wait ’til next week! I hate when Bravo does that.