On last night's episode of Real Housewives of Orange County we met new girl Lydia McLaughlin. Lydia's kinda like Rainbow Bright on acid, isn't she? She also sort of looks like a Bratz doll. She was bringing all my 1990's childhood cartoon flashbacks to life with her little squeakerton voice and her goofball expressions. Whatever – I fully expect her to go SheRah Princess of Power on these bitches before the season's over. Watch it blondies!
Things begin, oh where did they begin? With all the bad dye jobs and bad plastic surgery blurring together sometimes I lose track of where things even started. And speaking of plastic surgery things began with Vicki Gunvalson and Alexis Bellino. She and Vicki are BFF now since everyone hates their significant others and what better way is there to bond, I s'pose? I mean it worked for Alexis and Gretchen Rossi for two seasons, so Vicki picked up where Gretchen participated in a gang intervention. And girls who share plastic surgeons together, stay together!
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NO! JUST NO! Get make-up remover ASAP!
**I interrupt this recap to comment yet again on Vicki's Tammy Faye Baker creeptastic 'When Insects Attack' false lashes. What is going on? Did a sharpie eat her eyelashes? Did she end up using some way past sell-by date mascara? I'm sticking with my original belief that she got duped into rocking some Gretchen Christine Bootay lashes and they are made a fungus grow. Or her makeup artist just seriously hates her. Whatever the case, I imagine she's probably been fired.**
Anyway, Alexis has come to smear lipgloss and hairspray fumes all over Briana's new baby. She gives Troy a gift, and thankfully it was not Alexis Couture. Over lunch Alexis asks Vicki how things are going with Brooks. Cue monologue about how no one understands their love and since they can't be together they might as well just pull a Romeo & Juliette. Ok, it wasn't that dramatic, but this is Vicki we're talking about. While she's on this teenage wasteland tangent about how no one will let her have her love, Briana is rolling her eyes and giving us killer face. And by that I mean 'If looks could kill'. She is not having Brooks. Not at all. Girl, we feel you.
Moving on, Heather Dubrow, rocking her Chanel tennis duds, strolls into Terry's office only to learn he is not in fact in Heather-approved tennis whites, but scrubs. I'm going to start counting Heather's eyerolls during her scenes with Terry because either she actually can act or she has some serious Adrienne Maloof-level contempt for her husband!
Heather has some news; her friend so-and-so knows a girl who owns a magazine and that girl happens to be the new RHOC cast member and well, well she wants to feature Manse de Dubrow in the 'zine and do a big ol' photo shoot. Terry doesn't want his house photographed, which makes no sense since it's featured on a reality show. Heather, reminding him of contractual obligations, decides she'll take a meeting with this magazine girl.
While they're talking Heather gives Lex Bellino Realness by stuffing some silicone implants under her jacket. "Too tacky and gauche," she says wrinkling her nose before gingerly putting the Jesus Barbie model back onto the shelf. Heather doesn't do fake – at least not with physical objects.
Gretchen and Tamra Barney do some baby shopping for Briana. Gretchen spends the whole time running around doing that annoying donkey laugh pretending she has a baby. She's getting up there in years and so maybe the time is now to start reproducing. I am so not excited when they reveal the positive pregnancy test on either the finale or the reunion.
Why has Slave not been sterilized yet?
Even Tamra can barely contain her annoyance (which may have been because she wasn't the center of attention) because while Gretchen was acting like a teenager, Tamra was reminding her that babies are, like, actually work. Gretchen stares at her blankly, her airbrushed make-up face plasticy like the dewy complexion of a Madame Alexander doll and says, "But I have my Slave. Oh and you know, the dogs can help. Also, I guess I'll get a nanny, right? And OH! I can make Gretchen Christine Diaper Bags! And Accessories! And it will be just like an American Girl Doll!…" Tamra wanders away signaling SOS to the producers. Oh wait – maybe that was me. Is that why they always wear white pants so they can easily wave the white flag of surrender?
Then Tamra and Eddie talk about Vicki. Eddie has developed a serious distaste for Vicki somewhere along the line. He warns Tamra to be careful. Um… right warning, wrong girl! Tamra is the master of frienemyship!
Briana shows up at Vicki's office where she's clearly post-prego hormonal and I have to give these Gunvalson girls some serious props. Powerball could not pay me enough money to appear on national television weeks after plastic surgery or having a baby. Briana helps Vicki assemble some insurance paperwork and they talk Brooks. Briana and Ryan are paying rent to live with Vicki and Briana basically says Brooks is scummy and untrustworthy so she doesn't want him around the house or her baby.
Briana says if Vicki wants to have Brooks around she'll move out. Poor Vicki. Why must no one understand how amazing Mr. Hallmark is? All his affirmations. His constant reminders of how she is important while she writes him checks and pays his car payments. Oh he's such a charming man. She barely even notices when he grabs her Mercedes keys and her wallet and takes his 22-year-old mentee who looks like Pamela Anderson on Baywatch for a inspirational chat because he helps people. He's always affirming! He's a helper! He's a lover! He's aaaaaah-maaaazing!
Also Briana reveals that Vicki secretly spends hours on the phone with Brooks while hiding in the bathroom. Really, Vicki? Really? Stop reliving my adolescence. It was annoying enough the first time. What do we want to bet Brooks has Vicki listening to "Stand By Your Man" on repeat all day, everyday?
Lydia arrives at Heather's and immediately goes in for a hug. Heather doesn't like germs. Or people. Or being touched, so she tepidly returns the favor and then excuses herself to walk through the designer hazmat chamber. They sit down with some wine and Lydia gushes all over Heather's house in her chirpy little tehehehehe voice.
Then she ruins everything by sharing that she used to be neighbors with Alexis and they hung out together a few times because no one with small children lived in their neighborhood. 'Oh,' says Heather. 'Let me show you the door. BTW: We don't do magazines unless we get a cover.' HA! Who does Heather think she is Angelina Jolie?
During this five minute interview which Lydia clearly fails by association, Heather half-heartedly compliments Lydia's ring. Only to learn it's fake. No, not a fake diamond – that's so Alexis! – but not her real ring cause hers is at the jeweler. 'You know,' says Heather conspiratorially, 'Alexis had to pawn her ring or something, so I've heard, but she wears a fake one. She told me so! Can you imagine the tackiness?!'
Lydia leaves. And Heather calls Terry to report that Strawberry Shortcake on The Rocks is a big ol' goofy-googly NO. When Terry asks why, Heather says 'She's friends with Alexis. Oh and she clearly doesn't get work done. She's of no use to us.'
And then we get to see inside Strawberry's home. She's Disney on Ice this one. Her husband is a hottie and they're uber Christian. They met at a missionary meeting. They both grew up richie-richifers but they want their kids to be down to earth. Lydia describes herself as down-to-earth but a princess. And she gets everything she wants. They also live within in their means, it's just that their means are like Bill Gates sized so like what?! She's Princess in the Peons.
Someone on twitter wondered if Lydia was of drinking age. Proving she is, on date night with hubby, she orders an adult beverage and then makes honking sounds as she describes how she's 'bout to get crunk! You know, I kinda like her. She's weird, she's goofy, and she definitely seems like she knows how to beat these biatches at their own game. Case in point, her and the hubs practically laugh at the Dubrows thinking they're "Celebrity" enough to land a magazine cover. Anyway…
So it turns out Tamra's new gym is across the street from Coto Insurance. Isn't that fun. Vicki pays Tamra a visit at the office and she drives there. She drives across the parking lot. Then she tells Tamra she needs to start working out. Uh-huh. As soon as she is in the door Vicki is boom with the 50 questions! When she discovers Tammy Sue and Eddie Too don't have insurance, Vicki is all like um… hello? Have you heard of Coto? We provide… now I'm sure Tamra eventually went with Vicki's company, but dang! Slow it down. Vicki is also confused about why Eddie and Tamra are business partners since Tamra wants to be so independent.
Tamra and Vicki do dinner and things start out suuuuper awkward. Like wine was necessary to cure the ills awkward. Eventually they work through things and have a rational adult conversation about how feelings were hurt and bad decisions were made and no one was really at fault. And just. like. that. the return of TamIcki! Cheers to old friends and collective backstabbing resumed. We love ya girls.
Oh, and Tamra is having a dinner party for the opening of her gym and Vicki is bringing Alexis as her date. I see Tamra will finally put her big girl panties on and start acting like an adult. #sarcasm.
Before we end the episode, Heather and Terry remind us they have not made peace. Heather still can't stand him and since they're about to celebrate Yom Kippur and atone for their sins, Heather has a few Terry can work on. Poor Terry – it will take him all of this year to atone for last year's sins according to Heather.
His biggest failing seems to be that Heather doesn't feel Terry is dedicated enough to spending time with his family and that he shirks his responsibilities as a father by not being involved. They also have a Milania-esque terror on their hands in the form of youngest child Colette. While the other three Dubrow children are sweet as pie and about as willful as a creampuff, Collette is child all her own. In Temple she tantrums and acts up the entire time and poor Heather gets stuck holding her in the back during the ceremony. In a not made-for-reality TV moment you can tell she is really and truly annoyed that Terry dumps all the kid responsibilities on her and she feels trapped. It was sort of palpable.
Across town, in a marriage that has seen it's share of faults and led many to believe divorce was imminent, Alexis gushes that Jim has undergone a renaissance! And taken up gardening. And he's always all smiles! I call that damage control!
And next week the drama really begins when Tamra throws Alexis out of her dinner party. Classy, that one.
[Photo Credits: BravoTV.com]
TELL US – ARE YOU HAPPY TAMICKI IS BACK? HEATHER AND TERRY: MADE FOR TV DRAMA OR REAL MARITAL TROUBLES? WHAT DO YOU THINK OF LYDIA SO FAR?
And in honor of Vicki & Brooks…