Real Housewives of Orange County Recap – 7/25/16

The thought came to me while I scrolled through my Twitter feed and saw all of the unironic cry-face emojis reacting to Theresa Giudice’s reunion with her square-shaped husband after spending some time in jail: I’d make a really terrible Real Housewife.

To be fair, I did not watch Theresa’s triumphant return home because I’ve sworn off the Jersey ladies in much the same way I’ve also sworn off carbs. As I see it, the only real difference between the two – both of which are terrible for you and leave you feeling sluggish – is that I still crave one of those things desperately, though I can promise and swear that the thing I miss did not create an offspring I’m fairly certain is from another species entirely. What I’m trying to say (besides that I think little Milania will one day help to usher in the apocalypse) is that my reaction to hearing about this woman coming home was different than I think it was supposed to be. I did not cheer her homecoming. I did not pour myself a celebratory glass of Fabellini. I did not tear up and I did not tune in.

I’m sure Theresa would say I don’t like her because I’m jealous. Calling someone who hates you “jealous” is a very Housewives thing to do. Over in New York City, Luann is all but making commemorative tees that proclaim how jealous everyone on the planet is of her joy and she will shoot those shirts from a cannon while she performs one of her hit songs at her upcoming wedding. It appears that you cannot be a Bravo Housewife and not wholeheartedly believe the root of someone’s discontent with you is always predicated by a hungry green-eyed monster. It also appears you cannot earn a paycheck from the network without having to continually associate with the very people you can no longer stomach and you must do it while wearing a rather hideous jewel-toned cocktail dress.

Being on a reality show means you have to get dressed up and go hang out with people who plot against you like you’re all still in the eighth grade. You have to attend theme parties. My standard answer to a probing question I don’t much feel like answering – Yeah, I’m not talking about that – probably wouldn’t go over all that well at one of those parties and definitely would not fly at the Reunion. However, using the answer I employed the other day when speaking about someone I know well – She’s behaving this way because she’s an assh*le – might very well get me a raise on one of these shows. That line would probably be used in the coming attractions for the season, but it would be misleading because I’d never actually get into it with the assh*le. Assh*les, you see, very rarely realize they’re assh*les, even when provided with a color-coded flowchart that maps their assh*le behavioral history. Not being on a reality show means I get to ignore assh*les most of the time. But if I were an OC Housewife, I’d have to endure that never-ending conversation (yet again) as the assh*le before me mimes the crucifixion (yet again) while both of us wear the closest approximations of polyester chic we were able to locate so we can fit right in at the seventies party neither of us particularly wanted to attend in the first place. It all just seems exhausting.

Speaking of total assh*les who exhaust me, I look at Vicki Gunvalson and I cannot believe she has been on this show for eleven seasons and has seemingly learned so little about herself and rational human behavior in the process. It also stuns me that she hasn’t started to dress differently or mastered a new way to shriek so every Schnauzer in the neighborhood will not begin to howl whenever she gets angry. And it’s most difficult to believe that after going through a divorce and watching her friendships implode into a smoldering pit of ruins, she still doesn’t long for just the tiniest bit of privacy.

Vicki is the perfect Real Housewife because she never learns a blessed thing.

Someone who has learned a bit is Shannon, and I guess what she’s learned the most is how to enunciate during a verbal smackdown so we can all hear the insults clearly as they flood out of her mouth. This episode starts with a f*cking bang as the music at the seventies party Shannon has thrown skids to a stop and the next shot we see is of Vicki and Shannon’s husband, nose to nose, berating the hell out of one another. From there we cut to Shannon telling Kelly to get out and a fight between them ensues after Kelly sneers, “Now I know why your husband cheated on you.” How did we get to this horrifying place where grown women heave terrible insults at one another while rocking afros and hot pants? Seems we have to go back in time just a little bit to find out where it all went wrong and while starting at the day Andy Cohen was born seems like it makes a good deal of sense, let’s contain the investigation and just go back forty-eight hours.

It all starts so innocently. Shannon and her family go shopping for the perfect ensembles to wear to what will end up being a party drenched in misery. She’s looking for the wearable equivalent of a burnt orange shag carpet while David tries on a curly wig that makes him look like a very sad version of Mr. Kotter. Shannon decides to use this shopping excursion as a history lesson and expounds upon her knowledge of streakers in the seventies. Her daughter then turns the topic to a Sex Ed lesson and asks her father if he’s ever had a wet dream. Shannon dissolves into giggles while David calmly responds, “I think every boy goes through that once or twice.” Seriously? Shopping for synthetic clothing should always be this edifying an experience!

Also searching for garb to wear to the next place they’re all scheduled to fight are Tamra and Kelly. As they rifle through the racks of clothing, Tamra does her f*cking job by asking Kelly how she feels about Shannon now. (I tell you, the way these nonorganic conversations begin sometimes makes me really giggle.) Anyhoo, Kelly thinks Shannon is kind of a “Negative Nancy” who simply cannot see the glowing awesomeness that is Vicki Gunvalson and that has to mean Shannon is blind because Kelly sees Vicki’s innate goodness. Besides, hasn’t everyone had issues with Shannon? To her credit, Tamra tells Kelly that her former iciness with Shannon was all her fault but Kelly is too stupid to care about such logistics. As far as she’s concerned, Shannon harbors grudges and that’s just idiotic and who even cares that Vicki lied and told her that her boyfriend was so sick in the dead of night that he needed an IV administered to him at his bedside? The real issue is that Shannon never brought over a f*cking casserole and Kelly is outraged on Vicki’s account and all of this means that Kelly is officially dead to me.

Heather, however, is not dead to me. I love Heather. She’s obviously almost too ridiculous for words, but I mean that as a compliment. She’s thinner than thin, richer than rich, discusses building an onyx bar with a straight face and manages to appear classy in spite of the fact that she’s a Real Housewife. The woman is an enigma and I will worship her until the end of time. Into her holy home stumbles Meghan, who arrives with a bottle of champagne and is thus given access to the inner sanctum. Meghan’s a month into giving herself IVF shots and she can feel her uterus expanding even as she speaks. Unfortunately, her stomach feels particularly swollen today (while looking flat as can be) so she needs Heather to stick her with the needle. It’s a good friend who can and will do such a thing. In other impressive news, Meghan and Heather will soon be heading to Washington, DC where they will speak to lobbyists about funding, awareness, and prevention of colon cancer and all of that is fantastic, but the mood turns just a wee bit darker once Terry enters the room. Heather is annoyed at him because he just keeps working and working and working and sure, I understand that she feels slighted that one of his business trips will take him away on Mother’s Day, but I also can’t help but hear Ari Gold’s voice in my head at this exact second. Remember that episode of Entourage when Ari’s wife took him to couple’s therapy and his phone rang and she didn’t want him to answer it? This was his exact response: “If you want a Beverly Hills mansion and you want a country club membership, and you want nine weeks a year in a Tuscan villa, than I’m gonna need to take a call when it comes in at noon on a mother*cking Wednesday.” The guy had a point and so does Terry. He is financially responsible for building a behemoth of a mansion; he is not about to slow down his work schedule at any point in the near future, no matter what holiday he misses.

(By the way, my favorite thing about Heather’s fight with her husband is that she held a flute of champagne the entire time. The woman commits and I applaud her for it.)

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