I guess I forgot that Real Housewives of Orange County had so much drama to cover. Normally I’m bored by the middle installment of a three-part reunion, but I found myself reasonably entertained last night, from Gretchen’s manila folder full of tweets (how do you even print a tweet?) to Lydia’s explanation of why she doesn’t do her own laundry – she doesn’t have to. (That is, incidentally, also why I don’t do my own laundry, although I take it to the lady down the street instead of having my nonexistent household help do it for me.)

1. Vicki’s face looks a lot better now that her plastic surgery has settled down. If we’ve learned anything this season, we’ve learned this: If you’re on a reality TV show and planning on getting some plastic surgery, get it as soon as your season ends so the swelling and bruising are gone by the time you have to film again. Being a veteran at this sort of scheduling, you’d think Vicki would have planned ahead.

2. Maybe I’m dumb, but I think Tamra might have actually changed a little bit. Tamra has been a mean girl for a long, long time, but if anyone has a past that explains it, she does. I don’t ever have much faith that anyone on reality TV will use the experience to evolve as a human being (devolve is a completely different story), but it’s a titanic victory of self-awareness to be able to connect your actions to their motivating neuroses and identify behaviors you’d like to change, and Tamra’s done that work. I can’t honestly say the same of anyone else I can think of on any Housewives franchise, so I think she’s earned a little credit. Being able to be a better, more functional person going forward is a whole different step, but at least she’s made it this far.

3. Gretchen came armed with a lot of evidence, but nothing really proved what she claimed it did. She had a voicemail from her agent about Malibu Country, but it didn’t prove anything beyond what we already knew from other people on the cast. She had emails from Tamra saying that she still didn’t like Alexis, but Gretchen had thrown such a hissy fit over her coming to Tamra’s dress appointment that it seemed plausible that Tamra would just tell her what she wanted to hear to get things temporarily resolved. I’ve had that friend. I lied to her all the time just to avoid her whining.

4. So THAT’s what happened with Heather and Gretchen’s warring TV roles. For the first time this season, the whole Malibu Country kerfuffle seemed clear to me. The show was toying with having a Housewife appear as a guest, and when they decided to have Heather appear in a slightly larger role, the other spot went away – the casting people had laid groundwork for both options and one worked out, obviating the need for the other. Well, if they had just explained that earlier, maybe I would have cared about that plot line before now.

5. Everyone is so sick of Gretchen that it’s starting to make me paranoid about whether or not she’s being set up. When everyone agrees too wholeheartedly about someone’s general dastardliness at a Real Housewives reunion, it makes me suspicious. It’s so rare that five out of six cast members on this show agree on anything that it starts to feel a bit too neat and tidy, although if anyone were to be set up as the villain, Gretchen’s certainly an easy target. She’s so smug, makeup-shellacked and Slade-covered that who would ever believe her? I certainly don’t, despite my vaguely tingling spidey senses.

6. They lost me at the Alexis “bullying” stuff. We’re being mean to Gretchen now, try and keep up.

7. Watching someone cry with a face full of Botox is horrifying. Gretchen’s tears looked sincere, as much as anything on this show looks sincere; I don’t know how someone can cry that hard over Slade Smiley, but she definitely did. Watching her paralyzed face trying to contort itself into a display of emotion, on the other hand, was beyond belief. Can you pull a muscle in your face? If it’s possible, I bet Gretchen did it while her visage struggled to pull itself into a shape resembling human sadness.

8. Somehow, Bravo managed to make next week’s reunion finale look interesting. This part of the reunion was pretty interesting too, and last week’s wasn’t bad. I didn’t expect that Bravo would be able to pull three hours of reunion drama out of this rather innocuous season, but they did it. Congrats. Sort of.

Unfortunately, we won’t be having a recap next week because I’ll be on vacation. I’ll be watching, though – are you looking forward to watching Brianna confront Brooks?

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Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • winterpenny

    What’s up with all the printouts. I think Bravo should ban physical evidence from reunion shows. And I totally buy Tamra’s reason for telling Gretchen what she wanted to here. We have all had friends like that!
    I think the thing that bothers me most about Gretchen and reveals her true character is the way she dumped Alexis after she reconciled with Tamra. She is a user and will use anyone to get what she wants. Oh wait, there is something else that is equally repulsive about Gretchen…her attraction to Slade – ICK!
    Usually I’m bored by now, but the whole Brooks thing looks interesting. Since Slad is a large part of the show, will he be on next week? Can’t wait to see who they address the whole drama between Lydia’s mom and Briana’s hubby.

    • I would like to see a moratorium on fighting about tweets, emails and text messages in general, with or without physical evidence. No one wants to see half a dozen middle-aged women argue about whether something was a tweet or a retweet.

  • sher

    I don’t believe for a second that Tamra has changed. She is totally playing Alexis and Gretchen. Either they are both too dumb to get that or are too afraid of Tamra’s ruthlessness to care. I believe Tamra talks about both of them and could care less for either of them. Poor Alexis she thinks she has a friend in Tamra. I think the reunion reinstated what I already thought of Tamra – she is a lying mean and very sad woman. If the worse these ladies can say about Alexis is that she pretends to be richer than she is than she is a saint in comparison to the other women!

    • You know, I don’t actually think Alexis considers Tamra a true friend. I think they are both perfectly aware that they’re never going to be super close, but its in their mutual best interest to get along for purposes of the show – it helps Tamra shed her mean girl image and gives Alexis a solid link to the rest of the cast. If she didn’t have anyone willing to film with her or invite her to show parties, then she’d be irrelevant and probably get replaced. Alexis isn’t the brightest bulb, but that’s fundamental Housewife strategy.

    • Canuck65

      I agree – I don’t think Tamra has changed a bit. I do think she has been working on her “image” in the hopes of getting a spin off show – more than just her pathetic wedding mini spin off.

  • twirler

    Love her or hate her, I think Alexis came off as the most sane of the bunch. She’s been the only one to keep her compusure throughout the reunion.
    Gretchen’s face is beyond horrifying!! I’ve always thought she had a lot of work done before coming on the show, but it’s just gotten ridiculous!

  • Amy

    Did Gretchen get a role on a Love Boat remake? Because that dress would be perfect for crushing on Gopher and sitting at the captain’s table…

    • Priscilla

      I bet you think you are so funny with that comment! ***Eye roll

  • Camille

    I’m sick of Gretchen. There is no way to prove she was cheating on Jeff. However, it is clear that she gave every appearance of cheating on him. At the least she is guilty of behaving inappropriately as an engaged woman whose fiancé was in the hospital. She wants to make it some kind of ‘badge of honor’ that she isn’t going to admit to cheating. Hey Gretchen, how about admitting you acted like a slut in public while your dying fiancé was hospitalized. I don’t really care if Gretchen actually did the deed, she showed her true character by her actions with this other man while supposedly in a committed relationship with Jeff. Bazinga biatch! And BTW her botox frozen face attempting to squeeze out tears and show some kind of emotion resembling sadness will haunt my nightmares. I heartily agree with point #7
    I have to wonder if all the other ladies got together behind her back and decided to collectively dress down compared to past reunion shows just so Gretchen would look even more ridiculous. I mean, Heather didn’t even wear jewelry for pete’s sake.
    Tamara has issues and can be a mean girl for sure. Hope she is truly getting help for this, but the jury is still out on whether she’s really changed or is just trying to redeem her image.
    Vicki looked pretty. Face looked good, makeup was nice, she got rid of those black caterpillar eyelashes thank God! Dress was pretty and I really liked her jewelry. Can’t wait to see Part #3 and watch Brooks and Brianna go at it. Wonder if Brianna will address her husband’s freak out at Vicki’s party.

    • Jean

      Of course Brianna will think her husband didn’t do anything wrong. She’s dumb and can’t see clearly. She even said something like she won’t even let me put my feet on the couch…meaning Lydia’s mom was wrong. Her husband’s is a freak and has no respect for adults. The way he yelled at Lydia’s mom and the way he talks to Vicki is totally disrespectful. It’s disgusting! Both him and Brianna’s behavior are. Who do they think they are living in Vicki’s house?! He acts like he owns the damn place and thinks she needs his protection when he’s only paying $1000 rent. Who are they to tell Vicki who can come to the house or not?! Yeah not stable for the baby. Maybe the baby should take a look at his father!!

  • Designda

    Does anyone know how much they make per episode?