Recap: ‘The Real Housewives of Orange County’ – ‘Southern Hospitality’

02.15.12 6 years ago


So, “The Real Housewives of Orange County” may have been the first in the housewives franchise, but increasingly it’s starting to look like a tired, middle-aged trophy wife who’s trying too hard. Yet again we get another week of petty spats that go nowhere, bimbo logic and a few dramatic moments that, bluntly, defy logic. Maybe the housewives are just getting tired. Maybe the scripting is falling flat. Or maybe (shocker!) the ladies are just learning to deal with their problems in their own weird, dysfunctional way. 

We kick things off with a party at Vicki’s house, which is a “celebration” (Vicki loves those air quotes) of her having to sell her house now that her husband Don is being kicked to the curb. But who cares? She’s now dating a man from “the South” and will be giving her guests regional “cuisine” to celebrate her new direction. And Vicki’s upper arms are no longer flabby, as constantly flipping air quotes does “wonders” for your body!
Since Gretchen and Tamra are now besties, we have to look for someone else to kick up a fuss at the party, and that means it’s up to Alexis and Peggy to haul out an ancient grudge. Peggy dated Alexis’ husband Jim fifteen years ago and neglected to tell her. Not really sure why this is an issue at all, but apparently it is. Alexis thinks Peggy should have told her, while Peggy points out that Jim screamed at her not to say anything and hey, it was Jim’s damn job to be honest with his own damn wife. I tend to side with Peggy here, but logic (or, like, books or big words or reading or thinking) is not Alexis’ favorite thing, so the grudge holds.
After some random swipes at one another which are hardly swipes (though they are certainly perceived that way), Peggy gets weepy at the end of the party. This might also have something to do with the fact that Vicki tried to make everyone eat crawfish out of plastic bags, but no, Peggy is hurt. She and Alexis were friends! For years! And now she’s changed! Tamra and Vicki encourage Peggy to talk to Alexis, seemingly for no other reason than to see if there’s a cat fight so that Lex messes up her manicure. 
Peggy rushes to Alexis’ limo. She wants to clear the air! Alexis doesn’t! It’s late, she wants to go home and see her kids. Peggy is done with her! She won’t be blown off this way! Um, okay. I think she said she doesn’t want to talk about it RIGHT NOW, but she’d be okay having lunch the next day. So what does Peggy decide to do? Have lunch? Heavens, no! She’s not going to hang out with any of the girls in a group anymore. It gives her anxiety. Actually, if this means I don’t have to see one more minute of this ridiculous non-fight, that’s fine with me.
Meanwhile, Gretchen and Tamra’s fragile alliance seems to be headed to the crapper when Tamra suggests that Gretchen’s had lip enhancement surgery. How evil of her! Haven’t they ALL had extensive plastic surgery? Since when is this an insult?
Well, one thing we know about Gretchen is that she’s one hundred percent real. At least from the nose down. Anyway, next Gretchen gets to do a nude photo shoot for breast cancer awareness. This is so exciting to her! Because she’ll be helping women? Because she’ll be saving lives? No, silly, because she loves pink! She also takes the photo shoot as an opportunity to make it clear that Slade is her bitch, and that she wears the pants in the family. Wow, I feel so empowered watching this. 
Meanwhile, Tamra and Vicki will be taking their respective boyfriends (Eddie and Brooks) on a trip to Catalina. Tamra can’t wait, because she never has drama with Vicki. HINT, HINT! Besides, she wants to make sure Brooks is a decent guy, because she’s all about defending her bud Vicki. 
So, I’m still not sure how this nice little trip melts down so completely. I think Tamra, who is so far past the honeymoon phase she trims Eddie’s nose hair IN THE LIMO, might never have the chance to hear the musical quality of Eddie’s farts again. Vicki and Eddie flirt. Vicki and Eddie joke around. Tamra tells Eddie he’s being disrespectful. Eddie is livid that Tamra’s let another man touch her boob (how did I miss this?). Oh, and Brooks wears Crocs. So, Tamra’s relationship is somehow in the toilet, and I’m not really sure why. I think they’ve had too many tequila shots, so maybe no one will remember in the morning anyway.
Finally, we spend some time with the newest housewife, Heather. She showed up at the party, and when everyone wasn’t worried about Peggy and Lex, they were quietly jealous of Heather. Heather isn’t just rich, she’s crazy rich. She has an ELEVATOR in her house. And a movie theater. And it’s still too small for her and her brood and her much older husband. Anyway, everyone is quietly annoyed that she thinks she has a crap engagement story because it happened on a plane… to PARIS. Yeah, last time I checked Tamra was living in a dumpy condo, so maybe Heather should cool it on the poor me stories. 
But we know Heather and Gretchen are destined to be bitter enemies simply because Heather smirks and says “Aren’t you cute?” whenever Gretchen says something unspeakable stupid, which is often. Slade tries to assure Gretchen that she’s doing this because Heather’s in her 40s, and Gretchen is in her 30s, to which I say, really? Because Gretchen looks like she’s been rode hard and hung up wet and I wouldn’t guess her to be a day under 45. Still, there’s tension in the air. Honestly, I can’t see Gretchen winning this fight, though, even if she thinks she is the whole package. Apparently, the whole package is code for “kinda dumb but nice fake boobs.” They do talk a little different in the O.C., don’t they?
Do you think Peggy overreacted? Is Heather fun or annoying? And what do you think upset Eddie? 

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