Last night’s Real Housewives of Orange County Reunion Part 1 went pretty much how you’d expect. The OC ladies are more than willing to catfight with each other in whatever setting they might be thrown in to, so there was plenty of drama and entertainment. People called each other fake, shifted alliances were called into question, Alexis continued to mispronounce things, Tamra’s hair was enormous.
As always, I zoned out during some of the more impenetrable shouting matches, but of the things that I did catch over all of the shrill squawking, some of them were actually sort of interesting. As is traditional with reunions, I’ve enumerated the stuff I learned after the jump. Thankfully things ended after an hour, because I was almost starting to feel a little twinge of sympathy for poor ol’ dumb Alexis. I’m sure I’ll be back to hating her at full speed when Part 2 of the reunion airs on Monday.
1. Gretchen and Tamra are still friends, Vicki and Tamra are still not. Gretchen and Tamra were even sitting next to each other on the couches, and Gretchen insisted that the rumors about their dueling engagements weren’t true. So. For their part, Vicki and Tamra both nearly cried while confirming that their feud lives on.
2. I don’t think that word means what you think it means. Andy Cohen doesn’t know the definition of “betwixt” – it means “between.” It’s not a synonym for “confused.” Also, Alexis thinks that she mispronounces things because she has an “accent.” I can’t even touch Vicki and her use of the term “gangbag.” Nope. Not touching it.
3. Heather is not amused with Alexis. I suspect that Heather dislikes Alexis for the same reason that Alexis rubs me the wrong way – she’s a weak-willed, intellectually bankrupt perpetual victim who glorifies a marriage model and a version of womanhood that are both straight out of the 1950s and entirely embarrassing to women who see themselves as functional humans without the instruction of a man. You can’t really discuss the history of gender roles in the context of a Real Housewives reunion, though, and I’m sure that even if anyone tried, that’d be the first bit of footage to hit the cutting room floor in favor of everyone learning about Vicki’s Botox schedule or something. Instead, Heather reminded Alexis that she’s a mean girl just like everyone else, and simply not a very funny one. In some far-off college town, a Women’s Studies grad student readies her dissertation. It’ll be called something like, “Botox, Boobs and Brawls: The Real Housewives and the 21st Century American Woman.”
4. Vicki blames Tamra for why everyone used to hate her. This ignores two things. First: Vicki does a lot of hatable things that have nothing to do with any of her friends working on her half to alienate others. Second: Most everybody still hates Vicki.
5. The montage of Brooks’ saccharine hillbilly nonsense was amazing. I’ll tell you what – yankee boys love a girl with a southern accent, no matter what we’re saying. It’s a phenomenon that I’ve tested myself with my own (amplified) twang. It looks like the same thing works when the genders are reversed; Brooks spends all of his time babbling about a whole lot of nothing, and even though Vicki admitted as much, she still eats it up because she’s just happy to have someone who will tell her what she wants to hear. Even if everyone involved knows it’s bullshit. Does that make anyone else kind of sad?
6. Vicki only cares what God hates when it’s convenient for what she’s complaining about. God hates divorce, but Vicki doesn’t so much care that he probably also hates that she’s having extramarital sex with Brooks while still married to Donn. Because Donn’s doing it too! God totally sees that, and he’ll cancel out Vicki’s sin because of Donn’s sin, because that’s totally how sin works in Christianity! Right?
7. Vicki was spitting straight up nonsense in general last night. She wrote a letter to the judge to try to get Brooks out of jail while he was imprisoned for not paying child support, but that doesn’t mean that she supports a man who doesn’t pay child support. Gretchen does, though, because she’s trying to encourage Slade to get his life in order (including his child support) instead of breaking up with him straight away. I tried to reason my way through that argument, but it made my eyes go crossed.
8. The most interesting moment of the evening was Heather’s accusation that Alexis treats the crew like trash. Everyone else on her couch nodded along with her, and although there’s no way for me to independently verify it right now, it pretty much groks with what we know about Alexis’ personality and her delusions of grandeur. People who don’t actually have all that much but who want to appear to others like they have everything do a lot of easy-to-spot things: they brag about depreciable assets like cars, they rent giant houses but mysteriously never buy one, they wear a fake ring because “the real one’s in the safe.” You know what they also do? Make sure that they treat the help like they assume rich, snooty people treat the help, so that everyone gets the idea that they are also rich and snooty and irritated to interact with those who are beneath them. I worked in retail for years, this is a known behavior.
9. Nordstrom is apparently the happening place in Orange County. In addition to treating the show’s crew like crap, apparently Alexis treats Nordstrom salesladies like crap, and then those salesladies vent to other cast members, who are all too happy to hear the gossip. I’m no Alexis defender at all, but fighting about things that anonymous Nordstrom staffers said is as boring as listening to people argue about tweets that we don’t get to see. If it’s not independently verifiable, let’s move it along unless it pertains directly to things that happened while making the show. At least the complaints about mistreatment of the crew have that going for them.
10. “Jesus Jugs” is trying a bit hard, Tamra. It’s Jesus Barbie or Jugs for Jesus, adding a third nickname for Alexis is reaching. Again, as much as I don’t like Alexis, let’s be reasonable, mmk?
11. LOL THE BIRD ON ANDY COHEN’S HEAD. I mean…