Last night’s episode of Real Housewives of Orange County was one of those slightly tedious midseason evening where not a whole lot happens except vicarious shame for everyone watching, or as Bethenny said on Watch What Happens Live, ain’t nothin’ going on but the rent. These ladies have to pay their bills (mostly because their husbands don’t work, at this point), and shows like this one are their bread and butter.
We saw plenty of bickering and snarking and behind-the-back talking, and then we nearly saw Alexis’ chacha a few times while she was photographed for her dress tags by a very beleaguered photographer. And then a fire alarm went off, perhaps symbolically telling us that we should all be evacuating this entire mess. But we won’t be evacuating, we’ll be recapping.
We started with Lynne and Tamra, who sat down together for cocktails and immediately started talking about that time that Tamra and Fernanda kissed like a year and a half ago, back when Lynne was still a housewife and continually whacked out on muscle relaxers and tequila. This time, she stayed sober long enough to tell Tamra that Fernanda’s in love with her, at which point she immediately chugged some sort of giant peach-colored martini while some poor waitress looked on, baffled. Also, I don’t believe for a second that Lynne has never kissed a girl. I’d believe that she did it and doesn’t remember it, though. Lynne’s like the protagonist from Memento who can’t make new memories.
Over at Alexis’ house, Pegatha stopped by while on her paper route to discuss Alexis’ stunt at last week’s dinner party. Alexis came clean and told her that Earth Jesus does not approve of those kinds of people and now refuses to hang out with them, although he apparently sees no problem with lying and flaking out on events to which he’s RSVP’d. He’s Earth Jesus, everything he does is perfect and just, and the little people are going to have to deal with that, even if it hurts their simple little brains.
When Peggy brought up that they never hang out anymore and Jim had gotten condescending with Micah over Lamborghini sales tax (and I’m not even making that up, I couldn’t make that up), Alexis pointed out that they had had four Lambos, but, uh, that wasn’t the point, the point was that Micah should take that up with Jim if he thought Jim was rude! And, really, Jim is rude to everyone, we already know that and so does Alexis. She just wanted to make sure that Pegatha knew her station in life, which is somewhere under Alexis and Earth Jesus. Counting her possessions is how Alexis shows dominance. Although I wonder how many of those Lambos were paid in full. (Actually, I don’t wonder. I’m feeling fairly certain it was zero. Notice that Alexis didn’t mention currently having any Murcielagos.)
At Vicki’s house, the dissolution of her marriage was continuing apace. She and Donn did their best to wander around the kitchen and pretend like the other wasn’t there, but when actually forced to speak to each other, they made sure to never make eye contact and use the most obviously irritated voices imaginable. Vicki was worse about it than Donn, naturally, because Donn is still people. Vicki, on the other hand, long ago turned into a cocktail-swilling, woohoo-ing Bravolebrity fembot. And I have no more snark about that situation, because it’s just sad and uncomfortable to watch.
Next up were Gretchen and Slade, who were getting ready to haul their entire handbag line (HAaaaaahahaha. Sorry, I can’t help it.) out to Texas to be on a local San Antonio morning show. They were also going to haul Alexis, Peggy and Fernanda out with them for reasons that weren’t entirely explained (but probably just so Bravo would pay for the trip), but it wasn’t quite time for that yet. First, Slade and Gretchen got into some kind of snit over luggage, but Gretchen finally put her foot down and reminded him that she’s paying the bills so she makes the luggage rules, and he just sat and drank his sippy cup of orange juice defeatedly. At least he had washed his hair for the occasion, which marks the first time in the entire season that he saw fit to do so. Unfortunately, it didn’t last for the rest of the episoded.
We then skipped straight to wine tasting with Pegatha, Vicki and Tamra, who were enjoying the time-honored Housewives tradition of riding around in the back of a limo and talking about people who weren’t present. First it was Alexis and Earth Jesus, who no one seemed to miss at all, and then the conversation turned to Vicki and Donn. Apparently the decision to not have children together was actually a mutual one and not all Donn’s doing as it was made to seem on the last episode, which just makes Donn’s little outburst at her seem more reasonable. If your wife freaked out and got her tubes tied before you had settled into the marriage enough to get her pregnant, then it’s probably not entirely your fault that you guys didn’t have kids together.
When they arrived at the wine tasting, things were fun and obnoxious at first, but when they all moved on to a different winery, things got decidedly less fun and more obnoxious. Vicki called the Puerto Rican winery employee a Mexican and then told him that Tamra liked dark meat, and when he corrected her and said he was Puerto Rican, I could swear that Vicki very nearly said, “Whatever, same thing,” but managed to stop herself at the last moment. Tamra is the only person in this entire show who seems to have ever met or interacted with a non-white person in any kind of social capacity, and she was appropriately mortified by the whole thing. And Tamra isn’t embarrassed by anything, people. She’s perhaps more impervious to shame than any of our other housewives.
Tamra wasn’t the only person who felt the hot burn of shame creeping up her neck; I wanted to crawl under my couch and never come out, but as it turns out, my couch isn’t far enough off the ground to accomodate that. These are the kind of white people who give the rest of us a bad name. We’re not all Vicki, I promise. That’s just all I can say. Things got even more awkward when Peggy brought up Donn and Vicki completely shut down, but at least it stopped her from saying more things that embarrassed the poor guy who was tasked with serving them wine. Did he lose a game of Rock, Paper, Scissor to get that job? When Real Housewives walk into a restaurant, are there constant games of Rock, Paper, Scissor going on in the back to see who has to deal with them? Best two out of three?
Our next stop was at Gretchen’s house to meet Slade’s mom, who seems like the smartest person to grace Real Housewives of Orange County since…ever. She seemed to be of the opinion that both Slade and Gretchen are idiots, but she expressed that in only the way that a mother can – by suggesting that maybe Slade should go to law school so that Gretchen’s parents will approve of him. Slade is nearly 40, and if that’s the best advice that anyone can give him about getting his life together, then that probably says it all. And if it doesn’t, then Slade’s mom out and said that she has no idea what Slade’s job is other than being Gretchen’s lackey, and that was probably why Gretchen’s parents don’t like him. How did such a dim person come from such a smart lady?
Our next awkward interaction was between Tamra and Fernanda, wherein Tamra explained that she’s a lesbian only in the Katy Perry sense of the word, and Fernanda seemed as confused by why anyone would do that as my grandmother would be. If Fernanda’s spent her entire dating life as a lesbian, you would think that she’s encountered a straight girl with daddy issues who doesn’t know the difference between negative and positive attention, right? It seems like a pretty common phenomenon in all the crappy bars I’ve ever been to. Although from the relatively unemotional interaction, it was clear that Fernanda wasn’t really in love with Tamra as Lynne had previously claimed; at best, it seemed like kind of a stupid crush.
Speaking of crappy, our next stop was a photo shoot for Alexis Couture, which was held at the St. Regis because that’s the only location in Southern California classy enough to contain the classitude of Alexis’ dress line. Which is named the same thing as a plus-size porn star, just in case anyone missed that in the last recap. I bet the real Alexis Couture is really irritated that some dumb Real Housewife is stealing all of her good Google rankings from her years of hard work in the porn trenches. That hardly seems fair. And in case you wondered whether or not our Alexis had ever modeled, her ability (or complete lack thereof) to strike any sort of pose that didn’t make me want to push her down the stairs should answer that for you.
Just when I thought I couldn’t roll my eyes any harder for fear of actually injuring myself, Earth Jesus sensed that there were too many ladies having thoughts without the close supervision of a man, so he showed up to demonstrate his expertise (or, again, complete lack thereof) as an artistic director. He made sure that Alexis bent over far enough that we almost saw her ladyparts and advised her that her face-against-the-wall, ass-up pose wasn’t just exactly right. And then he slapped her on the butt and told her to do like Marilyn Monroe. And then the photographer went into the bathroom, popped two Xanax and gave herself a little pep talk about how this was a good, paying gig and that there was only a couple of hours left until it was over.
And then the fire alarm went off. That was all the photographer’s doing as well, since as long as she’s required to be there and listen to those morons blather at each other about poses and styling and dresses and how awesome they are, she might as well have some fun. And maybe it wasn’t completely on purpose, but she certainly did grin pretty hard when it happened. I’d be excited over embarrassing a bunch of vapid reality show stars in public too, particularly while they’re feeling very self-serious and fancy about their polyester zebra print dresses.