Did last night’s episode of Real Housewives of Orange County have a theme? I mean, a theme besides “ZOMG PLASTIC SURGERY AND FAKE TANNING” because that’s more or less what all the episodes are about, right?

I don’t think it did, but then again, I shouldn’t be looking for narrative structure in the Real Housewives franchise anyway, I suppose. What I did get out of last night’s episode was a stark reminder of how objectively awful this show is. I have a house guest for the weekend that flew in last night and was forced to watch with me, and he had no context for the show and had never seen it before.

Normally I watch my Thursday night guilty pleasures all by myself, sometimes with a pizza and some beer, but never with a buddy, because I don’t know anyone with the intestinal fortitude to withstand this crap. But he didn’t have a choice, and as things wore on and we saw Slade’s junk covered with only a sock, a teenager at a nose job consultation, and Vicki & Co. acting like the quintessential Ugly Americans in Italy, he asked me if I actually liked the show. All I could think of to say was, well, they give me a lot of material.

And then I’m pretty sure he judged me. Right there in my own apartment.

The first thing we saw was the tail end of last week’s Shootout at the Cuff Coral, which really just seemed like a bunch of reedited footage that we had already seen. We did get to see Jeana imply that Tamra was white trash (and then Gretchen out-and-out said it), but the Evil Blond Bobbsey Twins had already departed, so we didn’t get to see anyone’s reaction. Sad. The reaction show is what this show is all about.

But fret not, on to the next Party For No Reason! And this time it was a spray tan party at Gretchen’s house, which…were you guys aware that you could have a spray tan party? I certainly wasn’t. After seeing one in action, I wouldn’t recommend that anyone else try it at home, because it seems to be utterly horrifying. You get drunk, get naked in front of your guests, and then some stranger paints you orange, and maybe all of your friends see your boyfriend’s wang. With a sock on it.

I hate to say it, though, but Slade and Gretchen actually seem kind of adorable together. Like, not in a way that makes me want to be their friend or anything, but in a way that makes it even more clear that Tamra’s dislike of Gretchen is really just thinly veiled jealousy. None of these women are actresses of any caliber, and it seemed like their affection for each other during something so simple as an afternoon party or a garage sale was too genuine to fake. So I guess that’s nice. Not particularly entertaining, but nice.

So for a dose of the opposite, we have to look no further than Vicki. Her daughter just graduated from nursing school, and as a graduation present, Vicki is taking her (and, for some reason, grandma) to Italy for a week and a half. Which is a really nice present! For them, at least. Not so much for the Italians.

Everyone in my family hates to travel, so I’ve never been in the country, but the brief minutes that we spent abroad with Vicki pretty succinctly explained why everyone in the world hates American tourists. First, Vicki had four suitcases all to herself for a 10 day trip of fairly benign sightseeing and shopping. Then she brought her terrible mother, who thought that everything in Italy was absolutely stupid and had no problem telling everyone about it. And they all complained about how small their hotel room was, meaning that they apparently missed the memo on, I don’t know, history? Europe? Bueller? Of course they were also upset that not everyone in Italy spoke perfect English and that being blond and American didn’t get them special treatment.

One question: if Vicki was out of the country, for the love of Pete, WHO LET HER BACK IN?!?!?! We were so close to a Vicki-free country. Way to drop the ball, whoever is in charge of that.

While Vicki was in Italy doing things that make everyone that cares about America’s image abroad sad, Tamra was at home, doing things that made only herself sad. Namely, putting her house on the market and having dinner with new housewife Alexis and her husband, who are incredibly smug and annoying about their perfect relationship.

First, the house – for a moment, I actually had some sympathy for Tamra. She’s upset about the house (and about the fact that some kind of shady tequila business is her awful husband’s only income), and that’s pretty relatable, I think. And also, she’s an ugly crier, and, honey, me too.

And then she had to go to dinner with Alexis, who seems like she’s going to be entertaining, to say the least. Her and her husband are those awful kind of people that are constantly all up on each other and want to tell you about it – she even made him a little plate of food like he’s not capable of dumping a couple hors d’oeuvres on a dish for himself. And they just can’t stand to be apart, in contrast with Tamra and creeptastic Simon, who just won’t let her be apart from him. So, you know, it just becomes more and more clear why she’s so jealous of Gretchen.

Who have we missed? Oh, Lynn and Jeana. Well, Lynn wants a face lift to go with her painful-looking implants, and she took her teenage daughter along with her to the consultation to see about getting a nose job. Because that’s exactly the message everyone should be sending to teenage girls – plastic surgery will give you self-esteem! When her other daughter found out, she was super jealous, because mom, it’s not fair, she already got a BMW!!!

So there were a lot of things to make you sad for humanity in this episode, but the thing that gave me the biggest frown was the news that Jeana will be leaving the show after next week’s episode. At least that explains why she didn’t get a much of a storyline in either of these episodes – no need to set her up for anything later. We’ll miss you, Jeana! Don’t leave us alone with these crazy people!

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Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • otter

    I love Jeana and am sorry that she is not part of this “show” anymore. It will be different now.

  • S

    LOL I love your recaps and agreed with your musings on Atlanta Housewives. But I hate Gretchen. She is so immoral and conniving, its gross. Tamra is jealous but too dumb to hide it. And Gretchen never stood up for Lynn when the ladies dogged her (including nice old Jeana). I don’t care that Gretchen is a skank, but don’t cry about it when people call you out! Tamra is right about one thing: Gretchen loves to play victim. And um Slade and Gretchen make me want to throw up. That aint gonna last. That is the first part of a relationship where lust trumps seeing each other for who they really are. I prefer Jo to Gretchen – she was just materialistic. Not a phony.

  • Handbag Lover

    Hey Amanda, love the recaps. I tried to watch this but i found myself looking at the game. Labron and Dwayne Wade were more exciting :)-. I watch the repeat for as much as i could but i turned it off. This show is so boring and lame. Gretchen is cute but she is so phony and gets on my nerves and her relationship with slade makes me want to up chuck. I am sick of Jenna talking about her situation and still shopping, stay yo a$$ out the stores and go out and work like the rest of us who are hurting, have to do. Vicki and her mother got on my last nerves (a person can only take so much yelling). Lynn and her daughter need help. The little girl is sad where is Dr. Phil when we need him. Real Housewives of Orange County makes me want to get a big bottle of Crown Royal. That is the only thing that can make me continue to watch this boring show. I try to see what new styles they will show, but ugh, they get on my nerves. (yes can you tell it is one of those days, lol)

  • Eva

    Ok I was just in Italy last year. Vicky needed to doher homework before going to another country.Rome spends more time on their meals than americans do. They are a course meal place. If she would shut her mouth more and listen more she would of had a better meal. I love you the best of all housewives because you are a career woman like me but money or not do your homework. Tamra needs to mind her own business. Its obvious fromthe year before last year she WAS… and wasss the hottest housewife and there was GRETCHEN!!!! Jealous she was. sooo.. that explains this year doesnt it???? dont fret Gretchen she is jealous. Gina Im sorry things have been so hard for ya. lynn you have the hottest body of all. good work. I only wish I had the will power you have. Love the OC.

  • Evie

    First of all, I went to Rome and I had a lovely room with a terrace and I paid 300 euros less than Vicki. Vicki is such a horrid person and now it appears that she will even stab Tamara in the back (i.e. “she should get a job”). Calling Jeana toxic, in my book, put Vicki in the top 100 peole to despise. I feel sorry for Donn since he is never invited anywhere. As for Gretchen, I like her and I think she’d be fun to be around; she has a great laugh. She is a single woman so she can sleep with just about anyone she choses so in my mind, Tamara is just plain jealous. I mean, she’s stuck at home with creepy Simon, who btw, made her take ettique lessons last year because he didn’t think she had any manner. I personally don’t like Slade but her came along and help Gretchen. I truly believe that she was really sad when Jeff died. Every one deserves to be happy. Alexis is a smart cookie and she knows her way around a man. Men love nothing better that to be adored and waited on and her making her husband a plate made him feel like he was a king. I’m sure Simon was so jealous that there was a huge fight with Tamara when they got home (or maybe in the car on the way home). As for Lynn, she need to stop thinking of herself and be a mother to those girls. They are completely out of hand and there will be hell to pay sooner or later. I’m just waiting for the DUI’s. So sad that Lynn is so afraid of growing old so the plastic surgery begins and you can bet that this is just the start of a downward spiral. She seems to have BDD and should seek counseling before she proceeds. I’ll miss Jeana but I’m sure she’s glad to be out of it.

    BTW, Vicki did not have to hire a private car. Rome has the best transit system I’ve ever seen. You have the train, the metro, cabs, and buses. I also found it a very clean city and very friendly people who will help you out even if they have to draw you a picture. Rome is a wonderful city. I’m not surprised that Vicki came across as the UGLY American. So sad.

  • kacee

    i too love your recaps and am seriously going to miss jeana! she certainly has her issues but she’s the most “real” person on this “reality” show. the housewives are my guilty pleasure…for each wish i make about someday winning millions in lotto there is a moment on every show that i say…wow, having a lot of money sure does not make you a better mother, friend, or daughter, nor does it really make anyone happy. it just gives one more reason to shop. ugh, i hate that i love watching them so!

  • bagolicious

    Last night’s episode was beyond pathetic. And Vicky, along with the rest, needs to buy herself some education. Their scene in Italy was beyond embarrassing.

    • JenG


  • bagolicious

    Evie-Vicky was hardly bright enough to order a meal. How is she going to figure out public transportation in Rome? And yes, it is quite simple to figure it out for the “average” person. She obviously has very few “real world” lifeskills.

  • PhotoGirl

    Vicki is horrid.
    Rome is fabulous.
    Slade is creepy.

    When do the NYC “housewives” come back?

  • JenG

    As usual I fell asleep. Jeana was my favorite RHOOC, so I am sad that she is leaving.

  • K

    I am sorry, but this show makes well to do women in California look really shallow and pathetic, they always go on about how much class they have, but none of them have any, even some of the men. They are embarrassing.

  • Jean

    Do we know why Jeana is leaving? I feel bad for her, but she still has four homes and her thousands of dollars for her bedding from last season…if someone saw the market tanking, wouldn’t you have socked a little away?

  • Sher77

    Vicky was so very ignorant in Italy. Did she not read a book about traveling in Italy or Europe before going? Had she never been out of the country before? It’s very pleasant ant EASY to travel in Italy. English is spoken and when it isn’t you can certainly communicate, if you have any intelligence. Why did she take her Mother? She just wanted to be home.How did Vicky get on the show?
    Sorry Jeana is leaving.

  • divnanata

    I was speechless with disgust during the whole broadcast. Sadly – I watched the whole broadcast. Why can’t I stop – why? These Housewife shows are ruining America by dumbing down everything they touch. Including moi!

    • Katie

      “I was speechless with disgust during the whole broadcast. Sadly – I watched the whole broadcast. Why can’t I stop – why? These Housewife shows are ruining America by dumbing down everything they touch. Including moi!?

      I agree completely darling divnanata! I could have spent that hour reading but, oh no, I spend it watching this truly pathetic show!

      I love Italy and have seen those ugly Americans there and watching Vicki and her Mother just made me cringe! Geez, 4 suitcases for 10 days?! I took ONE for a month!!! If you can’t carry it yourself in Europe, don’t take it!

      Amanda, this is the first time I’ve read your blog and you had me LOL! Seriously! The thought of someone who doesn’t watch the show actually seeing me watching it was some funny stuff ;) You are a great writer!

  • karen

    why does tamra give a rats @#s what gretchen does, i agree it has to be jealousy…i felt bad for vickys daughter, what a nightmare, beautiful italy and shes stuck with her mother and her obnoxious granny…poor kid. here’s a tip for all of them,in particular, lynn, STAY OUT OF THE FREAKIN SUN…that may help with your aging wrinkled faces, yes, they do get spray on tans, but you know they are out in the sun also…nothing looks worse on an 40+ woman then a gross dark tan, some color, great, but not dark, yuk….

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