During last night’s episode of Real Housewives of Orange County, someone on my Twitter feed mentioned that the OC ladies are probably the least likable group, as a whole, of any of the cities that Bravo features. Although I think that Miami is currently giving the OC a run for its money, that statement struck me as entirely true. Is there a standout awesome person in Orange County? I think not.
It’s certainly not our new housewife Peggy, who we met last night. And it’s not Gretchen, who seems to have lost all sense of humor about herself since last season. Or Vicki, who is Vicki. So far this season, Tamra and Alexis seems to be the least awful cast members, and it pains me to even say that. We all know how I felt about them last season.
We started with Gretchen and Slade, just in case we had forgotten how slimy and gross Slade was since we saw him last season. Gretchen joked about paying him in sex and they ate some bacon in the bathroom. Literally. That’s what happened. Nothing else happened because Slade and Gretchen are two deeply insipid and uninteresting people, so all they really know how to do when they’re on camera is emote unconvincingly about how much they love each other and watch Gretchen do her hair.
Once her hair was done to both of their satisfaction, Gretchen’s assistant came over and Gretchen fussed at her for not having her back properly when Alexis called her a princess last week. With how serious Gretchen was, you would have thought that being called a princess was sort of like being called a Nazi or a child molester, and the assistant’s attempts to diffuse the situation were not appreciated. Bravo then played the clip of what her assistant actually did say, and it was that being a princess is a compliment, which seems like a perfectly reasonable tactic to calm down a drunk person who is about to fly into a rage over an infinitely small perceived slight.
Next up was Tamra, who’s living in what looked like kind of a crappy apartment but still has her fancy-shmancy wine opener and novelty wine glasses. Tamra knows what’s important! She sat down with Fernanda the Brazilian lesbian trainer (those are the only things we know about her so far) to talk about her double life – Tamra’s kids haven’t met her new boyfriend Eddie yet. That’s got to be kind of awkward when her adoring public had all seen pictures of him as soon as Simon filed for divorce, but maybe her kids aren’t old enough for those kinds of Google searches.
When Fernanda asked about the divorce process and if she’s still friendly with Simon, Tamra started with the sobs. But it was a weird Botox cry – none of the muscles around her eyes or in her forehead moved at all, so it was sort of like watching an inanimate doll burst into tears. I’m giving Tamra the benefit of the doubt this season since she’s behaved herself so far and Simon seemed so utterly and unredeemingly awful (and, in some situations, probably abusive), but I couldn’t feel any sympathy during that scene because I was too distracted by Tamra’s motionless forehead and Fernanda’s perfect abs.
Over at Vicki’s, suitcases were being packed for a business trip to Seattle. While she was picking clothes, Vicki talked about what a good spot her marriage was in and how much she liked how it had evolved. That was awkward, naturally, but it was mostly alleviated with a sad story about a dog that had passed away and a cute story about their new pug Walter. Donn seems like such an affable to patient person, which is probably the only reason that he didn’t divorce Vicki long ago. I hope he gets to keep Walter in their split.
After that, we finally got to meet our new housewife Peggy. She’s friends with Alexis; or, more accurately, they’re frenemies. Since they have children who are about the same age, they get to have all kinds of awkward conversations about whose kids are more advanced and if they’re going to pursue child modeling and which of their precious little snowflakes is the snowflakiest. That’s what happens when you don’t have accomplishments of your own ladies. You end up sitting in a playground with some other moron, subtly arguing over whose toddler forms the most complete thoughts. Go to college. Learn a trade. SOMETHING, ladies.
Up in Seattle, Vicki’s daughter arrived to take part in the insurance trip while Vicki was in some sort of corporate meeting being called psychotic (in a good way?). Brianna had just come off of 13 hours in the ER before she flew up to Seattle and she still might have thyroid cancer, but that didn’t stop Vicki from barging in to wake her up so that she would go drinking with everyone else. Because it’s very important that the Real Housewives aren’t self-aware at all, it didn’t occur to Vicki that with all of her carping about how everyone doesn’t understand the time that she has to take out for work, it might be nice to respect the time that her daughter has to devote to her job as well. Only Vicki’s job is important to Vicki.
Back in the OC, we got to know Peggy a little better while she went shooting with her husband Micah. He’s younger than her but still rich (or “rich,” as most of these OC househusbands tend to be), but she thinks that because she married someone younger, that means she’s not a gold-digger. She still is, though! Just an aging gold-digger. Peggy made sure to say that she didn’t marry JUST for money in one of her one-on-one interviews, and I think that we all know that “just” is the most important word in that sentence.
If you’re not the kind of person that’s turned off by smug suburbanites slinging around assault rifles like they’re toys, you should probably look around at the rest of Peggy’s life for proof that she and her husband likely aren’t people who can be expected to safely and intelligently handle firearms. In fact, the entire scene made me wonder if Orange County got sucked into a vortex where it’s still 2003. Peggy had a big, ugly, custom-chromed Hummer out in the driveway, and I didn’t even realize that people still drove Hummers. Don’t even get me started on her outfit. Someone ripped off the back of her shirt, and apparently no one told her before she left the house. Her husband looked like an Ed Hardy VIP customer. These two are going to provide lots of schadenfreudtastic entertainment in the episodes to come, I’m sure.
Over in Tamra’s neck of the woods, she went about looking for a rental house so that she could ditch her crappy apartment. She moaned a bit about downsizing and divorce, but since their previous lifestyle seemed to be entirely built on a structure of chewing gum and paper clips, it was a little hard to feel sympathy, particularly since the houses she visited look like fine places to live. I’ll forgive her for all of that, though, because she made a funny about Gretchen’s assistant holding Slade’s balls later in the episode. The only time it’s appropriate to talk about Gretchen and Slade making the beast with two backs is when we’re mocking them.
Lest we forget Vicky, though, she was up in Seattle hurling single men at her daughter, who seemed utterly mortified even to be in the presence of her mom. That’s probably a constant state for Brianna, though, and it continued later when Vicki thoroughly enjoyed being lightly pawed by some random guy at a bowling alley. Then Vicki sexually harassed her employees in their hotel rooms. Or hotel ROOM, is it were. Singular. Why were there six people in that room? Why was everyone changing their clothes in front of not only their coworkers, but also the Bravo cameras? Why did Vicki yank down the covers and spank her terrified-looking social media guy? Is he going to sue her? He should definitely sue her.
Next up were Alexis and Tamra at pilates class, where it looked like me might see one of Alexis’s breasts pop out of her utterly ridiculous workout top. I don’t think her boobs move, though, so we were mercifully spared the wardrobe malfunction. The two ladies then went straight from pilates to cocktails, which is never an urge that I’ve had directly after working out, particularly not so strong that I showed up at some swanky, pretentious lounge in my workout gear and sweaty hair. (Only Tamra’s hair was sweaty. Alexis doesn’t sweat, Earth Jesus doesn’t allow it.) Thankfully, though, the bar was where things really got good. Alexis and Tamra got down to business about how irritating it is to be stuck at home with their kids and not have much adult time, and Alexis announced that she’s coming out with a line of dresses.
She claimed that Jim/Earth Jesus/her husband is supportive of her desire to dabble in things beyond mothering and plastic surgery, but I, like Tamra, am not so sure. Earth Jesus seemed to be the kind of man that likes his woman in her place, which is at home in full hair and makeup and a pair of stilettos, waiting for his attention, should he deign to give it. Alexis has been claiming all along that she totally agrees with him and that a woman shouldn’t work outside of the house, but now that she’s gotten a little taste of what it might be like, it seems as though her curiosity toward modern womanhood beyond the kingdom of Earth Jesus might be piqued.
I wouldn’t sign her up for a NOW membership just yet, though. When Tamra mentioned that Jim reminds her of Simon in some ways, Alexis went on the defensive to explain just how much Jim is nothing like the controlling, stubborn, anti-feminist traditionalist that Tamra is currently divorcing. Except Tamra enumerated a couple of compelling reasons that they’re exactly alike, and Bravo was so kind as to play some helpful footage to further demonstrate the point.
During last season when the show included periodic clips of the husbands socializing together, it alway seemed to me that Simon practically aspired to Earth Jesus’ level of misogyny and control. So maybe Alexis is right; maybe Jim isn’t anything like Simon. Maybe he’s a lot worse. I certainly wouldn’t put it past him, and I wonder if Alexis’ shiny car and updated highlights are worth putting up with Earth Jesus every day. While it’s probably not nice to speculate on the future end of someone’s marriage, I have to say that I agree with Tamra; I wouldn’t bet on the long haul for Jim and Alexis.