This week Bravo has hit a new low. It’s sad when women with all the advantages of living in Orange County are outclassed by the Clampetts from The Beverly Hillbillies.
No matter how drunk Gretchen got on their grain alcohol, you know Granny wasn’t going to stand for any foolishness from her menfolk.
Warning: This is an episode that requires a crapload of comfort food. Preferably the kind that comes in little pieces to facilitate quick ingestion and easy throwing. Plan on having to clean your TV screen at the end of the night…
***To read chapter 3 of The Traveling Prayer, Yenta’s novel, click here!
After oh so many weeks of backbiting, nasty and tacky behavior, our producers are finally getting a clue. Or maybe one of them tuned into VH1. Either way, this week we start with an attempt to send Tamra to the OC version of Charm School. Except in the OC they call it etiquette class, because if you’re blond, with perky implants and a spray on tan, you have all the charm you need. Of course, I’d pay good money to watch Sharon Osbourne slapping the OC hos around in an effort to get rid of their mean backstabbing ways. Sadly, instead of Sharon Osboure we get Naomi.
She’s the one showing a strong propensity to slouch.
There are certain basics that most people have figured out by the time they finish high school, if they don’t want to go through life known as a complete loser skank. You know, things like: don’t talk smack about your “friends”; don’t try to make other people look bad; don’t grab your hubby’s no-no sacks in public; and, you should only do hoochie dances over waterjets in the privacy of your own bathroom without cameras. Sadly, Naomi’s etiquette course fails to address any of these remedial points. Instead, she focuses on the important things in life, like how to pick up a napkin, hold a fork, and cut your meat.
Proof that it’s not worth trying to teach a pig to whistle. It just frustrates you and annoys the pig.
Tamra explains that Simon is British, which in her mind automatically equals perfect manners. As an example of his high standard of behavior, she shares that he often tells her that he would never take her to see the Queen. It’s unclear whether he’s talking about sitting down to tea with her Majesty, or just staring at her from a proper distance. Personally, I’m guessing that Perfect Simon’s connection to the Queen is more along the lines of standing amongst the throngs of admirers that line the streets during a procession. Simon can probably relax a little. Under those circumstances, Tamra probably won’t even need to curtsy.
There’s always something to be grateful for.
While Tamra is struggling to find a place for sporks amidst all the fancy silverware, Lynne and Frank are leaving their darling girls alone and going out to dinner. Watching these two, it quickly becomes evident that they are adorably infatuated with each other, and their wine. It’s nice that they get to have a romantic evening and if they feel comfortable leaving their lying, law breaking, booze-chugging, floozies alone, I’m sure they know what they’re doing. But, I hope they at least alerted the local police, or maybe paid for armed security guards to patrol their property.
Frankie is hoping to have even more time alone with his wife in the future. Lynne agreeably responds that she’d “be down with that” causing me to shudder, because hearing that phrase from the mouth of a forty-something-year-old mother of two is roughly equivalent to hearing nails raking down a blackboard. Lynne is quick to point out that not only will alone time with Frankie have romantic benefits, it will also make her adorable offspring appreciate her more. After all, where oh where, will her daughters find somebody to put up with their atrocious behavior like momma Lynne does. That’s easy, just find an actively drinking, semi-comatose, barfly and prop her up in the kitchen with a mimosa in her hand. Personally, I’m thinking that Lynne and Frankie’s alone time will set the stage for their children’s introduction to the juvenile justice system. But all is not lost. I’m sure that that experience will make the girls appreciate their family life, as well.
Who wouldn’t want to grow up with a fully transgendered Steve Tyler?**special thanks to Sarlynn.**
Speaking of Lynne and Frank’s lovely daughters, we get to watch Raquel and her friends spend some innocent recreational time engaging in that wholesome all-American sport of bowling. These children are so creative. They’ve created a whole new game for kids called ‘I’m underage and drunk’ bowling!! How fun!! A few of the lucky girls have their faces blurred out. I’m sure in theory this was a wise choice as they were being filmed while actively engaged in breaking the law regarding underage drinking, as well as the rules of the bowling alley. Unfortunately, blurring out their faces probably won’t be enough to completely protect their anonymity.
This is so cool. The rents are never going to know.
You have to wonder if the owner of the bowling alley had the opportunity to enjoy this segment of the show. I bet having underage drinking and smoking filmed at his business and shown on nationwide TV was just the kind of publicity that he was hoping for.
Raquel takes a moment to tell us how glad she is that she got a car for her birthday, because having a car has changed a lot for her. Since she doesn’t, as of yet, have a driver’s license, I’m going to assume that the great change she is referring to involves compulsively running out to the driveway to look at her car instead of running to the mirror to check her hair. It’s so nice to see a young girl’s interests begin to evolve beyond her own self. Personally, after seeing this enlightening little segment, I would have hauled this bimbo out of school and grounded her for the rest of her underage life. And for God’s sake, would somebody hire a tutor for this child. When she assures us that she’s a responsible person, it becomes painfully obvious that her school is falling behind on the vocabulary section of their curriculum.
So, responsible means lying, cheating, and drinking, right?
But, don’t get the idea that these girls are in any way trashy. Nothing says class and elegance like being filmed running into a public bathroom to drink and smoke, followed by sitting on your ass in a bowling alley totally drunk. Besides, everybody knows that rolling a round object down a lane is a truly difficult and stressful feat, so it’s understandable that these little darlings feel that alcohol and cigarettes are absolutely necessary. Of course, mitigating the stress of a bowling alley with alcohol as a teenager might make it more difficult as adults to find something strong enough to mitigate the stress if they ever get audited by the IRS.
For those of us that are feeling pretty cynical about young adults, it’s nice to see how awesome Jeff’s kids are. Sadly, they’re packing up to fly home and they’re feeling pretty guilty about leaving their dad. Really, this has to be so hard for them. But the girls are planning on flying back out in August for two weeks. I can only hope that they got to spend some more time with him before he passed away.
Vicki is in Illinois visiting with her family and she’s off to a barbeque at her little brother Billy’s home. Vicki’s spewing out her words like a machine gun on rapid fire, so I think it’s safe to say that she’s chemically prepared herself for the event. But, for once, Vicki’s craziness is completely overshadowed by another guest. What family event would be complete without Chucky the pyromaniac? Chucky decides to douse the pile of wood with gasoline then cover it with a gasoline soaked towel and light the whole thing on fire.
Fuck the Molotov Cocktail
I’m not sure Vicki should be around too many fires.
Too much stimulation!!
And, wow! Mother/daughter dynamics are never easy, but Vicki and her mother are made for a TV sitcom. Vicki’s mother wants her to come back to Illinois to live, because she’s not going to be alive much longer; the mother that is. Vicki will probably live forever. But don’t even suggest that momma Gunvalson make the trip to Orange County, because Vicki’s way too busy to make sure her mother’s gin and tonic is always full.
Vicki does her normal needy best to get Momma Gunvalson to verbalize her love and devotion for her crack ho daughter. But Momma’s just not performing up to standard. This maternal lapse leads to nostalgic memories about Vicki’s perfect daddy. Perfect because he told Vicki that he loved her everyday, thereby setting the standard for Vicki’s future husbands. Anybody else seeing a trend in Vicki’s, Tamra’s, and Gretchen’s relationships with their fathers? If the RHOC has any lasting lessons for the viewing public, let it be a warning against treating your daughters like princesses lest they grow up to be reality TV attention whores.
One of the family friends has come up with the amiable idea of fixing his father up on a blind date with Momma Gunvalson. I hope to hell that his dad is a tough old geezer, because it’s pretty clear that Momma’s a high maintenance kind of gal, who’s more than capable of drinking most people under the table. Because no scene in this episode can pass without some form of regrettable action fueled by inebriation, Momma Gunvalson immediately stows the poor guys number safely away in the depths of her massive cleavage and her devoted daughter immediately dives right in after it.
Because that’s the way the Gunvalson women roll.
OMFG, the Bravo recycling department is at it again. Somebody needs to explain to them that recycling former contestants into current shows doesn’t constitute going green. And, who is the lucky past season has been? Why it’s season Three Top Cheftestant, King of Seafood, Brian Malarkey. The same Brian Malarkey who has sworn never to appear on Reality TV again.
“One reality series in my lifetime. You’re not going to see me Dancing With the Stars.” Which is, of course, totally different that cooking for the housewives.
Tamra is almost pathetically desperate to turn her house into a culinary Babylon. She’s got tents, waterfalls, candles, lights, flower, and lots of alcohol. And, oh yeah, the food. She wants the food to match all the grandeur, as long as it’s not too sophisticated. Got that Brian, the lady wants fancy, but not too fancy. Something a little more than Red Lobster, but a little less than what you were hoping to serve up for the Top Chef finale. Sorry, Malarkey, someday you’ll be able to show off that meal, but not with these shiksas. Perfect Simon appears to keep his wife from ruining all by confusing the idea of earthy flowers with elegant flowers. Because, God forbid her Majesty the Queen happens to see this episode on British TV.
Before the thought of this dinner party can become too stressful for the viewing public, the editors decide to grant us a vicarious yoga experience. And look, there’s Gretchen looking like an ad for really healthy expensive granola.
Everybody relaxed now? Good. Because there’s nothing funny about the following interview with Gretchen. I am definitely not a passenger on the Gretchen fan bus, and I think that she makes some spectacularly poor choices. But, that being said, there’s no way to offset the shock and sadness when someone you’re close to decides it’s time to stop fighting a fatal illness. I think it’s atrocious that Bravo is broadcasting what can only be a profoundly difficult time. According to Jeana’s blog, Tamra’s dinner takes place the same day that Gretchen received the news that Jeff had decided it was time to go home to die. I have no idea why Gretchen would then go on to film her evening out, but it’s clearly not a good decision on her part.
Luckily, before I can get too depressed, we get to watch Lynne work on her mothering skills. Momma Lynne is taking some time out of her busy shopping/drinking/tanning schedule to talk to Raquel about drinking and driving. Well, she’s kind of skipping the ‘don’t drink’ part and going straight to the ‘don’t drink and drive’ part. Not that Lynne condones drinking, but she’s pretty sure it’s going to happen. Of course this begs the question of why the hell she thought it was a good idea to buy her daughter a car? Not to worry. Lynne’s got a plan. If Raquel knows that Lynne would never get mad at her for drinking, even if she was “falling down drunk on the sidewalk’, then Raquel will feel comfortable calling Lynne for a ride.
Mother of the year
Taking the concept of “spoiled” to a whole new level, Raquel complains that her mother is being unreasonable for nagging her about drinking and driving. Seriously, I have never had a desire to reach into the TV to bitchslap a child before. But before I can even throw my herb butter and cheese popcorn at the TV, Lynne, the mother of all airheads and daughter, Raquel, has let her drunk driving lecture be derailed into a nostalgic drunkalogue of her own teenage love of White Russians. Apparently, Lynne has a deap-seated love of milky white substances. Thankfully, before she can move on to other milky white substances she imbibed as a teenager, a little warning bell goes off in Lynne’s head.
Darling, don’t drink those nasty White Russians. They’re way too fattening.
And, finally, it’s the night of Tamra’s party. Brian Malarkey has his special oyster champagne concoction ready for Tamra and Simon to try. It’s important to give Tamra a preview of the dish so that she avoids making a complete fool out of herself when it’s actually served. No worries though. The oysters are so good they taste like a party in Tamra’s mouth, and, if there’s one thing that Tamra likes, it’s a party in her mouth.
Chef Brian’s happy because Tamra’s happy. What’s more she’s expressing her delight in new and exciting ways. It must be refreshing to hear that his food compares favorably to a beer bong. After all, the judges on TC were always so conservative in their praise.
Tamra grabs her slimy douchebag son Ryan and her etiquette book for some last minute cramming. Of course, the problem with cramming is that you’re bound to miss some of the more basic concepts, but Tamra is such a naturally graceful personality, I’m sure that she’ll be fine. It’s worth pointing out that Ryan is looking particularly elegant this evening in a cheesy black silk shirt draped over his bony frame.
I’m telling you, babes everywhere are going to be throwing themselves at the TV screen.
Gretchen and Jeana are the first guests to arrive. Gretchen is looking lovely, if a tad bit loose and free. Tamra proudly introduces Ryan to Gretchen and I think it’s safe to say that Ryan appreciates her loose and free style. Before Ryan can attempt to actually climb inside of Gretchen, the rest of the guests arrive. As acting assistant bartender for the evening, Ryan is in charge of serving up Simon’s homemade tequila, and Chef Malarkey appears with his ‘party in your mouth’ oysters.
Sadly, Vicki’s not that into fish. You know that smell isn’t for everyone and Vicki’s more a breast person. Oh the other hand, the fish smell doesn’t bother Simon at all and he’s pretty much loving the party oyster. Watching Simon suck that oyster down might have gone a long way toward stopping Vicki’s infatuation.
That mouth will never touch mine.
As the guests take their seats, it becomes evident that some of the place cards have special nicknames on them. No playing favorites allowed. Gretchen wants a nickname too. There’s an awkward silence as a variety of embarrassingly appropriate nicknames flash through the other guests minds. But Simon is the only one brave enough to verbalize his thoughts, dubbing her “Greedy Gretchen”.
In England that’s what we call Gold diggers.
Tamra officially starts the evening off with a tearful toast proclaiming how close she feels to all of her guests, just like one big happy family. Or at least one big family with some relatives that keep showing up whether you want them to or not and you just have to make the best of it. Sort of like Lynne and Frankie. Some people work hard at making everybody in a family feel comfortable. Tamra takes a different approach. She ignores the unwanted relatives and hopes they disappear.
Jeana has apparently graduated from an advanced etiquette course, that covered such topics as how to make the people around you feel wanted and comfortable. She takes a moment to compliment Frankie and Lynne on their relationship and somehow this segues into the question of whether or not the secret to Lynne and Frank’s happy marriage is a serious devotion to marijuana. Drawing on her personal knowledge of substance abuse, Vicki is quick to interview that she’s pretty sure Lynne’s a pothead. Obviously, considering her own crack habit she can’t possibly mean this in a disparaging light.
Potheads are so lame. Crackheads are the real movers and shakers.
Chef Brian Malarkey gets his two extra seconds of fame, when he introduces his menu. Poor, poor, foolish Brian. When are you going to realize that you’ve been pimped out based on your short lived recognizability and not your talent? These people aren’t here for the food. That would require some level of sophistication and culinary appreciation. These folks are here for the booze and the drama.
Ryan is obsessively focusing on Gretchen the same way an unneutered toy dog might focus on a standard poodle in heat. To his credit, he seems to have realized that he doesn’t have a shot in hell of talking Gretchen into playing a game of hide the salami with his little schnitzel. Or, at least he doesn’t have a shot in hell with a sober Gretchen, but, hey, he’s a bartender and Gretchen wants tequila. Instead of threatening to pack her son’s teensy weensy and probably tattooed schnitzel in ice, our charming hostess decides to encourage him to get Gretchen drunk. But Tamra’s actions are springing from the most noble of motives. Since none of the viewing audience is able to judge for themselves the true extent of Gretchen’s compulsive fame whore behavior, it’s imperative that Tamra place Gretchen in a situation where her true character is revealed. Really, Tamra is only sacrificing her own good name for the sake of the RHOC audience.
Somehow, I’ve always functioned under the belief that my duty as a hostess included ensuring the safety of all of my guests. Apparently, in the exclusive circles of Coto de Caza this is an outdated notion. In this upper class community, the concept of hospitality is slightly more elastic. Consciously engaging your horny son to ply your female guests with alcohol in hopes that they’ll do something that they’ll later regret seems to be perfectly acceptable. It’s amazing that hordes of women aren’t currently packing up their houses in order to move closer to these women in hopes of striking up friendships.
As the meal progresses, Gretchen gets drunker, and Tamra proclaims her own hotness. For some unknown reason, Simon decides to prompt his wife into giving an etiquette demonstration. Obligingly, Tamra instantly asks Ryan to step into the kitchen and tells him to stay the fuck away from Gretchen. But she uses more polite terms. Well, actually, she says nothing to Ryan and goes on to demonstrate the proper use of a fork. After all, etiquette is first and foremost about the proper use of culinary implements.
Drunken Gretchen is less interested in the etiquette portion of the demonstration and more interested in the similarities between eating food and oral sex.
If Simon’s really lucky the entire royal family is watching this episode.
Brian Marlarkey comes out in the middle of Gretchen’s halibut porn to introduce the harpoon swordfish. You have to admire Gretchen’s ability to adapt her performance in the face of this interruption. She’s a master of improvisation and immediately switches her attention from her fork to Chef Brian, begging him to stick it to her good. Because, you know, professional chefs love being treated like strippers.
At this point, Chef Brian and Frankie seem to be the only males on the premises who aren’t actively picturing Gretchen spread out naked on the table. Chef Brian because he’s more interested in the food he’s been slaving over and Frankie because he’s actually a decent guy.
Albeit slightly stoned.
On the other hand, Simon, Donn and Ryan all have expressions reminiscent of virgin teenagers at a strip club experiencing their first lap dance. And, in reality, that might not be too far off from Ryan’s actual experience of the evening.
Vicki looks like she’s close to slicing Gretchen’s sexy throat, and for once I have some sympathy for her. It’s hard to watch your husband reacting to a pathologically sexualized, drunken, attention whore.
On the other hand, if Vicki wasn’t such a cracked out, walking borderline neurosis, Donn might not be so susceptible.
Gretchen announces that she needs to clean her palate and Tamra, ever so helpful, is happy to pimp out her son by encouraging Ryan to clean Gretchen’s palate for her. Ryan takes this as a green light to move in for the kill, or at least take a seat close enough to Gretchen that he might be able to sneak a handful.
So close yet so far.
Gretchen happily pets Ryan in the same manner that she might pet an annoyingly affectionate puppy, but she’s got her drunken sites on bigger game than that little pipsqueak. Smiling innocently across the table she asks Tamra if Simon has any girlfriends? You mean Ryan, Right? Tamra demands indignantly.
Jeana tells us that, when the desert course came, it was apparent that Gretchen wasn’t going to be driving home. Gretchen is completely smashed at this point and her normal propensity to hump anything has now blossomed into full on raunchy grinding.
The most action Donn’s seen in years.
Lynne and Jeana get kudos for trying to dissuade Gretchen from continuing to poor tequila down her throat. Unfortunately, Gretchen continues her well-established habit of making unbelievably poor choices.
At this point, Ryan is actively snuggling up to Gretchen for a few free gropes. Tamra, apparently not understanding how completely gross it is for her son to be mauling a drunken guest, warns Gretchen that Ryan is a “man-whore”.
So what’s a rufi?
Gretchen is almost falling down drunk, or at least she seems to need Ryan to hold her upright, and Ryan is overjoyed to be of service. I’m guessing that he’s actively entertaining hopes for a bright future. I’m actively entertaining hopes that Gretchen spews fish and tequila all over his skinny naked body. Lynne offers to drive Gretchen home, but Tamra intervenes saying that Gretchen is going to spend the night. A decision that I find both suspicious and very, very creepy.
Tamra shares that she’s never seen anybody as drunk as Gretchen, except for herself once or twice. I can only hope that when Tamra was that wasted she got to experience the pleasure of having a horny 22 year old following her into the bathroom. What actually happens in the bathroom between drunk Gretchen and horny skanky Ryan will be continued next week. Personally, I don’t expect to find out that much happened. And, at this point, I honestly hope I’m right. I’m not sure I can stomach eavesdropping on acts that are approaching date rape.
Thanks mom, it’s like the best present ever.
Well Gasmi, this evening has been a delightful experience. I want to extend special thanks to Tamra for preparing such a special event. My life is definitely richer for the experience.
I adore you all and love your comments. You definitely make this show worthwhile for me. Next week, my recap might be a day later than normal because I have to fly out to Chicago for a few days. The good thing is that Chicago is supposed to be about 40 degrees warmer than it is here. Woohoo!!
***To read Chapter Three of Yenta’s novel, The Traveling Prayer, click here!