As we head into the hardcore festivities that make up this awesome season, it has become abundantly clear to me that God is seriously fucking with my life. I don’t say this lightly. Despite the ice storm, the lack of power, the gas guzzling generator, the Judeo-Christian holy war that opposing family members are waging in my house, and the latest snow storm, it wasn’t until I watched this week’s episode of RHOC that I finally realized that I am on the holy shitlist.
You don’t believe me? Consider life as a recapper when presented with this:
But having to restrain myself because when she’s not shaking her tits and ass for the camera, Gretchen is selflessly nursing her fifty something year old fiancÃ© through his dying days.
On the other hand, if I’m going to hell anyway, I might as well get drunk and have a party. So, join me after the jump, but only if you don’t want Santa to visit this year…
This week we not only have a new housewife, we also have a central theme of daddy issues running concurrently through each of the housewives abodes. I personally suspect that at least one of the producers is working out his or her own issues with this episode. But whatev, the housewives make awesome therapeutic devices.
I put a glass of champagne in her hand to make her look more real.
For the first time ever, Lauri is absent from the opening credits and we get our first glimpse of the new housewife, Lynne, who looks a lot like a thinner, tanner, Jay Leno. She is, we gather from this brief exposure, obsessed with being young. Just once I’d love for the opening shot to show an older unbotoxed woman. Remember Mrs. Olsen from the Folger’s commercials? Now that was a housewife.
Ah, yes, the days when housewives weren’t easily confused with sex toys.
But, sadly, times have changed. Instead of inviting her friends over for a gentle cup of coffee, Gretchen has invited her friends over for a burlesque party. After all, what else is a girl to do when her fiancÃ© is laid up in the hospital battling leukemia?
Anyhoo, Ashley from Bad Behavior, a quaint little store, is present to market their pasties, whips, and crops. This is definitely a hands on party. Don’t be shy, now. Grab a crop and smack a bottom or two. Nope, no lesbian overtones here. One of Gretchen’s friends voices the same thought entertained by adolescent boys everywhere: “We wanted to see how the crop works and thought Gretchen’s ass would be perfect.”
She thinks I’m perfect!! Oh, just my ass?!?
Of course, being non-scripted reality TV, this is all very spontaneous. There’s no posing for the camera going on here. But I can’t help wondering if Gretchen doesn’t have some ulterior motives going on with this segment. I mean, the Ikki twins have abandoned Hef and moved on to their own reality show. Gretchen’s a little old for Hef, but she doesn’t mind being whipped with a crop on national TV and she has extensive experience meeting the needs of the elderly.
I’m totally loving Bad Behavior’s sales girl, Ashley. Hiding behind the longish bangs and horned rimmed glasses, you know there’s a sexy dominatrix that’s just dying for her own reality show.
Ashley says to put on your masks and kneel.
Gretchen has gone all out for this little shindig and hired some burlesque dancers to strut their stuff and instruct the gal pals on the technical aspects of tassel spinning. Because what could be a bigger treat for an audience of ostensibly heterosexual housewives than half naked women shaking their ta-tas for them.
Maybe the Chippendales dancers were booked for the week?
Our sweet companion/nurse, Gretchen, isn’t much of a watcher; she’s more of a doer. And I have to give her credit for tipping me off on just the thing to cheer my husband up, if he’s ever in a hospital dying of a horrible disease. I’ll call in a camera crew and take my clothes off on television. I’m sure that will make him proud. On the other hand, I really do have to thank Gretchen for introducing this woman to TV.
No, really, do you I’m too sexy?
Of course, there’s no way that Gretchen is going to have backup dancers that are as trampy as she is, because it’s hard enough being an older woman and trying to get Hef’s attention without competition. I totally feel for Gretchen. It’s a bitch being an older woman in today’s job markets.
Before I make a premature judgement that Gretchen’s slutty behavior stems from self-serving motives, she explains that her noble ambition is to put on a show for Jeff when he gets back from hospital. I’m pretty sure she’s right; her personal burlesque show is either going to lift his spirits or give him a heart attack.
Over at Jeana’s abode, preparations are underway for another type of dance. It’s the day of her youngest son, Colton’s, prom. Mama Jeana is all excited. Colton, not so much. Colton is supposed to leave the house at 4:15. So, what’s he busy doing at 4:00? Sleeping of course. You show ‘em how it’s done, Dude. Don’t bother leaving time for a shower, because any girl would love to go to the prom with a guy who’s using cologne to cover up over-sleeping, sweat smells.
Like any proud momma, Jeana has a few words to say to her son before she releases him into the wild. First of all we don’t want any drinking, before, after, or during the prom. Personally, I’m guessing that ole Coulton ordered himself a limo with a fully stocked bar, but I’m a cynical kind of mom. Even more importantly, Jeana reminds her son that she doesn’t want to be a grandmother tonight.
Got that sonny boy? No drunken naked wangin bangin your prom date.
Colton manages to reassure his mother and dress himself in time to make it out to his limo, and he’s looking mighty dapper. Uncle Ritchie and Jeana are the only family members around to see Colton off which seems a little sad. I’m also noticing that Uncle Ritchie is doing pretty well at logging in the camera time this season, especially considering that he’s not a housewife, a love interest, or a relative. If he keeps up at this rate Jeana’s going to have to start banging him just to justify his presence on the show. After all, he’s already playing daddy figure since creepy, felon, Matt isn’t around. Jeana shares that Colton needs a man around the house and since Matt is absent she’s trying to be both a father and a mother. I’m guessing that when Matt is present, she still has to be the father. Without a daddy to help him, Colton had to make all of his own prom arrangements, like picking out his tux, renting the limo, and buying his own condoms. But, for that last man-to-man pre-prom pep talk, Uncle Ritchie is present to fill in, alongside Jeana and the camera crew. Possibly feeling like the presence of so many strangers is cramping his style, Uncle Richie gives a pretty pared down prep talk. “Wear a condom and don’t drink and drive.” Mama Jeana isn’t impressed.
Seriously? That’s the best you can do?
On the other hand, maybe Uncle Richie has it right. Keep it short and easy if you want people to remember what you’re telling them. Besides, if more people could just master those two basic rules life would be so much better.
Last week, Vicki had the profound revelation that she has a much greater chance of groping a man if he is trapped on a boat with her. Buoyed by the memory, she is more determined than ever to buy a yacht of her own, and she’s brought her entire family with her, including Michael’s girlfriend, Lauren, to see her dream yacht. I can totally see how Vicki is a top life insurance sales person. She’s the master of the hard sell and she’s yammering away a mile a minute. The sale’s guy doesn’t even bother to make his pitch. He’s probably sitting on the deck swigging a beer and taking notes.
Even Donn is getting enthusiastic about the yacht, while Michael just keeps happily repeating “trash compactor” over and over. I’d hate to see what his dorm room looks like. However, there’s always one holdout in every group and this time it’s Vicki’s daughter, Briana. Vicki takes Briana and Lauren to lay out on the deck and explains what a de-stresser the yacht is, but Briana is still not up for selling her cherished childhood vacation home. Not even if it means that her mother will never have the money to purchase a cool boat perfect for trapping scores of unsuspecting boy toys with promises of pretty baubles, free drinks, and a chance at handling the wheel.
But darling, how else am I going to get laid?
Vicki knows that it’s fatal to allow time for reflection after a high pressure sales pitch, so she quickly moves for the family vote. Generous to a fault she even includes Lauren. Because why not give the wishes of your son’s girlfriend the same importance as your own daughter’s wishes. Especially, when you know the girlfriend is going to vote the way you want and coincidentally completely neutralize your own daughter’s vote. Oh, Vicki, you sneaky little vixen. You’re a credit to cougars everywhere.
Briana is really upset about selling her childhood vacation home, and about her mother’s fixing the vote, and about being ganged up on. So, she does exactly what I would do in a family crisis; throw a tantrum and cry a lot. Seriously, I’m planning on doing this a lot this week to keep my various guests from killing each other. Of course, Briana has the advantage of TV camera’s. After all, there’s no way that Vicki is going to take away the place of her daughter’s most poignant memories on national TV. After this season ends, I’m guessing the Havasu house will be on the market with 24 hours. Sorry, Briana, but your mama’s not getting any younger and she needs some boy bait.
All this family angst is just bringing me down, luckily our editors have decided that it’s time to introduce the new housewife!! Yay!! It seems as though in the past Jeana has been the most common route of introduction onto this show, but I might be wrong about that. Anyhoo, Jeana’s too busy worrying about whether she’s a grandma and just doesn’t know it, yet. So, Gretchen gets to do the honors. Having all these realtors on the show is handy that way because realtors offer a convenient excuse for having met just about anyone. In this case, our new housewife, Lynne, hired Gretchen to help her and her hubby to purchase some property. Of course, this led to an instant friendship and now they’re BFF. Which means that we have the privilege of watching them do what BFF’s do in Orange County. They shop, assume Betty Boop like poses, and check out each other’s asses, while Gretchen makes thinly veiled catty comments.
I think Lynne looks great for her age. You know, being ancient and all and for having two daughters. Cuz there’s nothing like multiple pregnancies to kill your figure. When you figure that she’s done it twice, why it’s amazing that she’s doesn’t look like pile of potatoes stuffed into a bag, so I think she looks great.
Despite her age and her pregnancies, Lynne is still a “a typical OC housewife, obsessed with being young”; translate this to a serious fitness freak, with the muscles of a twenty year old varsity wrestler. Seriously, do not fuck with this woman. With her penchant for kickboxing, I’m thinking that maybe the producers hired her like to take out Vicki in a catfight.
For the promise of a lifetime supply of botox, this woman would probably take out the pope.
Lynne’s been married to her husband Frank for 18 years. Frank seems like a decent guy, which leads me to ask, what the hell is he doing on this show? Seriously, has he looked at the track record of men on this show: Slade Smiley, Matt Keough, Donn Gunvalson. So far, Simon is the only male that isn’t victim to an insane wife, or a slimy foreclosed on jailbird. However, before I can think too much about the new dude, I’m totally distracted by their poor obese dachsund.
It looks like he’s being fattened up for the Christmas feast.
Lynne has two charming girls, Alexis, age 15 and Raquel, age 17. Lest we think that this family is a tad bit boring, Lynne is quick to explain that Raquel’s 18th birthday is around the corner and she wants a BMW and a major birthday bash. Whatever is a parent to do? After all, there’s no MTV show titled “My sweet 18″ featuring the parties of spoiled young rich girls. Either the parents are going to have to set some boundaries or go with the flow. I’m hoping that they go with the flow and the party morphs into some lunatic rave that brings police, drug sniffing dogs, and paparazzi. I have high standards for the Orange County Housewives.
Leaving the new housewife, we move on to pay a visit to awesome Simon. Simon is spending some quality time with Ryan, his resentful stepson. And what better way to demonstrate your faith and trust in someone than teaching him to shoot a gun. Personally, if I was Simon I would have started petitioning the courts years ago to declare Ryan unfit to own a weapon, but that’s just me. I get nervous when people who have deep seated grudges against me are standing nearbye with loaded firearms. On the other hand, this isn’t just any stepfather/stepson bonding experience, there’s a purpose here. Amazingly enough, Ryan is planning on testing with the California Highway patrol, and, apparently, he has to have some proficiency with a gun.
Chicks dig guys with guns.
So, now it totally makes sense that Simon would be risking life and limb to help Ryan out. Hell, he’s probably ready to throw a major hoedown party, if there’s even the slightest chance that he won’t end up supporting Ryan off and on for the rest of his life.
While the boys are a-shooting, Tamra is taking her friend, Anne, to meet Gretchen for lunch. OMG, this is such a high school thing to do. If you’re uncomfortable meeting someone because they might be mad with you, you always bring a friend to hide behind. So, what’s the uncomfortable topic that requires a bodyguard? Oh yeah, those mean things Tamra was saying about Gretchen in the limo. You know, the cute little quip about hanging on to your daddies, which I personally thought was funny. Then there’s another Tamra comment about Gretchen looking familiar because she used to be a man. I’m pretty sure that this comment was edited out of the limo scene, possibly because it really is pretty bitchy. Before Gretchen can get upset and take a swing a Tamra starting a good old-fashioned catfight, ripping hair and yanking on bra straps, Tamra makes everything alright by explaining the concept of hazing.
So now I can pick on the new girl? Oh, Goody! Something else to do while Jeff’s in the hospital.
Not wanting the suspense of the impending birthday party drama to build to a dangerous level, our editors take us to the restaurant where Lynne and her daughter Raquel are having lunch and discussing her birthday plans. Of course, Raquel wants a super expensive car, and so do I, so no surprise there. There’s a little teaser disappointment when Lynne pushes for a smaller car, but the big disappointment comes when she tells Raquel that her dad’s not going to go for a big party at the house. Well, Raquel’s not going to take no for an answer. And, really, why should she, if she’s used to getting her own way? She’s a resourceful girl and she’s going to figure out a way to have her birthday bash at the house with or without her mother. Oh goody, it’s going to be a monster party, with cops and everything. I bet I read about it on TMZ. Lynn accepts Raquel’s threat as a reason to relate drunken exploits from her own youth. Belatedly remembering her role as a mother, she awkwardly attempts to stick a moral on the end of her tale and brings up hangovers. However, darling little Raquel has not wasted her education. She has learned to Google and read which is enough to get by in life. Or at least to access really, really bad advice. Like treating a hangover by getting into a shower and switching the water temperature from hot to cold. I so hope they show Raquel trying this one the morning after her birthday party.
Lynne assures us that while her kids are not angels, they do have good hearts. And then tries another tactic to ward off her daughter’s incipient alcoholic tendencies.
Remember, alcohol is fattening. So you either have to have lots of sex when you drink, or drink enough that you throw everything up anyway.
I don’t know why the editors are giving us so much time with Ryan this episode, but here we are again. This time we’re at Ryan’s favorite hangout Hennessy’s bar. Now that he has a camera crew following him around, everybody wants to sit with Ryan. Even when he comes out with such sparkling conversational gambits as, “I haven’t puked in like so long.” Yup, that’s the kind of statement that a man should feel proud of. Never one to waste an opportunity to have a girl lead him on and then dump him the minute the cameras turn off, Ryan calls the nearest blond attention whore over to get some camera time. In a quick interview, Tamra explains that Ryan’s not really looking for a relationship, because he’s more into “dating”, wink, wink, nudge, nudge. Yeah, that’s it. Just like Norm and Cliff were more into dating all those years they spent sitting on bar stools pursuing their vaguely homoerotic relationship. Now that I think about it, Ryan is a lot like a young Cliff from Cheers. And, it could happen, because Ryan’s pretty much over wanting to join the California Highway Patrol. After all, two traffic tickets in a week would be enough to piss off any red blooded young stud.
Did I ever tell you the one about wanting to be a highway patrol cop?
Of course, there’s going to be the little problem of letting his proud mom and stepdad know about the change in his plans. But I wouldn’t worry too much. They’ll probably be let down, but not surprised.
Jean’s daughter, Cara, has heard about Simon’s shooting lessons and she’s all excited about getting Simon to take her to the shooting range. This girl’s got ambition. There are two things that she wants to do; shoot a gun and drive a stick. Simon’s willing to teach her to shoot a gun, but no way is she touching his stick.
As a mother, Jeana has a natural concern for her daughter’s safety, and is happy for Simon to help Cara get her handgun license. I know exactly how she feels. I often feel that way about Flipit.
“Momma’s not there and neither are the dobermans so she [or in Flipit's case, he] be packing.”
After about two minutes of listening to Cara’s adult style, weirdly retro-feminist, banter, I’m pretty much ready to hit my mute button. I can only guess that she’s the ultimate conversation stopper in her college dormitory. On the one hand, her assertion that just because she has a “vagina” doesn’t mean she can’t shoot, would resonate well with most groups on campus. However, her questioning of whether she hit the target in his “pee-pee” could be viewed as perplexingly infantile. But, her final joyous assertion that she knew she was born to be a republican because she hit her target, could only have left her ultra liberal roommates with their mouths hanging open.
Look! Proof that I’m part of the supreme race!!
Jeff is back from the hospital and we take a few moments to visit with him and Gretchen, as a nurse gets ready to show Gretchen how to manage an intravenous feeding tube for Jeff. Crap! I feel so bad for Jeff suffering from this horrible disease and I’m so appalled that the course of his illness is being recorded for posterity on the Real Housewife’s franchise.
Moving on to a slightly less uncomfortable scene, Ryan has come over to Tamra and Simon’s house to share his change of heart over testing for the California Highway Patrol. Twerp. Not unreasonably, Tamra wants to know what made him change his mind. Ryan offers up that he couldn’t see himself as a cop for the rest of his sorry life, because sitting on a bar stool at Hennessey’s and pretending to be a big shot is so much more appealing. Tamra is struggling not to blame herself for Ryan’s failure. But, as bad as she feels, she’s at least got some perspective on the situation when she says, “it’s never been a battle with drugs or alcohol, it’s just more of the spoiled rotten brat.” Don’t worry Tamra. Cliff turned out fine and I’m sure Ryan will look really spiffy in those cute little blue shorts that mailmen wear.
After the pain surrounding Vicki’s yacht plans, Vicki and Brianna decide to spend a little quality time together. Over an intimate mother daughter dinner, Briana drops the bombshell that she has trust issues with men. Vicki is, of course, horrified that this could happen to her perfect child. But, despite her mother’s protestations, Briana is adamant that she was abandoned by her natural father and never had a strong, steady, father figure.
But what about Donn? Just because I push him around and publicly humiliate him doesn’t mean that he isn’t a strong male.
Oh, hell. Donn I hope you’re not watching this. Briana is either having a moment where she hates Donn or she has just forgotten that the cameras are recording her.
You’re married to Donn? I thought he was just a houseboy.
On a roll now, Briana tearfully shares that she wishes she had her dad and that she feels like her dad doesn’t want to know her. Just in case this little revelation isn’t upsetting enough for her father to see when he tunes in to watch the antics of his ex-wife and daughter on TV, Vicki decides to chime in as well.
Basically, your father is a malignant narcissist and devoid of any normal human emotions, but that shouldn’t affect you in any way.
For our weekly group gathering, Tamra, Vicki, and Jeana are meeting for lunch. Sadly, Gretchen was unable to join the other shiksas because her fiancÃ© is back home dying and Lynne is too new to squeeze in on short notice. Being a good caring friend, Tamra thinks to call Gretchen and offer some support sort of like those old AT&T commercials. From the conversation it sounds like Jeff is failing fast. But a little pneumonia in the right lung of a dying man isn’t enough to evoke even the tiniest bit of compassion from Vicki, who tells us that “there’s times you don’t want to hear about it or talk about it, so if I sound bitter and pissed I am.
I never said malignant narcissism was a bad thing.
But, forget Vicki! Hey-Ho! It looks like Tamra got with a new stylist for her interviews!!
Looking like the queen of pentacles out of a tarot card deck is a huge improvement over looking like wilted vegetables.
The discussion of Gretchen’s and Jeff’s situation quickly changes to a more interesting subject for Vicki; that being Vicki and Donn. It’s nice to have a wide variety of interests in life. When Donn and Vicki married, Donn was 42 and had never been married, while Vicki was only 32. Tamra mentions that she had heard that Donn was a player back in the day. A thought that totally make me feel nauseous and makes Vicki feel defensive. Vicki tells us that she doesn’t care if Donn cheats. She forgets that he needs attention, but if he wants to find attention somewhere else, well, there’s the door. There are support groups for people with mentally ill spouses, right?
Tamra shares how her children are still suffering from her divorce. And, Vicki explains about Briana still missing her father, because why talk about Tamra’s problems when they could be talking about Vicki’s? But, then things get ugly and Jeana and Vicky have a little bitch slapping argument. Jeana explains that she always felt Vicki took the children away from Mike so Mike couldn’t be a father. Vicki talks about Mike’s alcoholism and the fact that Jeana doesn’t understand. Jeana talks about alcoholism being a disease not a choice. And, on that cheery note we wind up this week’s episode.
I hope you all have fantabulistic holidays, and that those of you hit by the latest round of storms are safe and warm.