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Wedding bells are ringing for the Real Housewives of Orange County all over Laguna Beach!  If you listen carefully, you can hear them…just make sure you're wearing a rain poncho.  As you all know, where there's a formal event with these ladies, there is also a copious amount of wine hurling. 

Today's RHOC news brings you the setting of a wedding date and an engagement.  I really wish I could be with y'all in person as you read this, just because I think it would be fun to play a guessing game to find out who was recently proposed to and who is about to get hitched.  Okay, okay, the wedding news is easy.  Tamra Barney and boy-toy Eddie Judge have set the date for the first of I'm sure SEVERAL ceremonies.  They've got to do at least one for the show you know!

But who got engaged?  Drum roll please…congratulations Vicki Gunvalson!  I kid, I kid.  However, wouldn't that be some juicy gossip?

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Oh Lord.  Who knew that stripper-gate would be the scandal of our generation?  Somewhere Richard Nixon is laughing his arse off at all of this.  I gave up wishing the ladies of Real Housewives of New Jersey would go away in the off season, but doesn't it sound like such a nice break? 

We'll probably never know exactly what happened between Melissa Gorga and sister-in-law Teresa Giudice.  To be honest, I don't even care anymore.  At all.  Of course, the women think we do, so they're going to keep talking about until the next big drama occurs.  You do realize that means we'll be hearing about this until the show airs again, right?  That's kind of a long way off from now.  Yikes.

I know you're waiting with baited breath, so I'll get right to the point of this post.  Melissa takes to her Bravo blog to answer her fans' most burning questions.  It's deep y'all!

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Can we get a slow clap for everyone's favorite momager Kris Jenner?  On the heels of Khloe Kardashian being named an X Factor host alongside Albert Clifford Slater Mario Lopez, we're now learning more about the negotiations–or rather break down in negotiations–that occurred prior to the big announcement.

I, for one, am thrilled to see Khloe separating herself from her sisters in the business world.  She needs her own platform to shine, and that will never happen if Kim is involved.  I mean, didn't Kim make Khloe's infertility issues about herself when she decided to freeze her eggs so that she could breed on down the line with the tiny rapper?  Khloe can't have anything–even a heartbreaking situation–that isn't overshadowed by a certain ego-driven sibling.  Mark my words, Khloe and Mario will be sharing strained banter on the upcoming X Factor season, and Kim will streak across the stage, upstaging the next Susan Boyle (yes, I know she was Britain's Got Talent, but her first foray into reality television is still the most amazing thing I've ever seen.  Tears.) wearing nothing but Kanye West's $5,000 high tops and a smile.  I hate that I can picture it.

Now, we're learning that there is one other person in the family who also needs to reap the headlines when one of her offspring does something right.  That's right.  Kris Jenner needs to go quietly into the background and watch her creations succeed at…well, just being alive…and talking…in a microphone. Of course, we all know Kris' contract won't allow her to do that!

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Last night's Flipping Out showed a break down in the relationship between Jeff Lewis and Zoila Chavez, and they head to therapy after some tense fighting.  Jenni Pulos and Gage Edward are very secondary on the episode, with Andrew barely making an appearance.  He's certainly toned it down, hasn't he? 

Jeff sees Lupe as a long term employee, and he wants her to come on full time to help Zoila.  He has Zoila translating for Lupe since Lupe speaks very little English and Jeff knows zero Spanish.  He admits that he probably should have found another translator because as far as he knows, Zoila could be telling Lupe to hand over half of her salary.  Zoila will be Lupe's manager, a title she clearly loves, but Jeff still needs to stir the pot and encourage some friendly competition between the two maids.  Gage unveils a portrait of Lupe (seriously?  I have got to work for this man.), and you can see how threatened Zoila is. 

We learn that Jenni lives across the street from Jeff's brother Todd and his wife.  Todd has become such good friends with Jenni's fiance that he will be planning the bachelor party.  He and Jeff tease Jenni about strip clubs and hookers.  Jenni is a tad worried about the party where Todd is concerned, but she really doesn't listen to Jeff…it's not like he knows what goes on at bachelor parties!  Jeff, Jenni, and Vanina are meeting with Extra producer Lisa to pick out tile and back splashes for her home.  They are not having much luck finding something that Lisa likes.  When they finally do, Jenni raps to celebrate.  On the way home, Jeff chides Jenni about her pre-marital counseling.  Jenni reveals that the priest thinks she interrupts too much, and Jeff is thrilled that someone else has finally noticed.

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I guess it's par for the course.  If you go on a Housewives franchise, chances are people will dig up dirt on your past.  Even better?  If you don't have a juicy past, they'll make up some stories!  Just ask Real Housewives of Miami's Joanna Krupa.  She was recently accused by The Dirty (because that's a legit site) of being a high priced call girl.  As you know, the story was quickly retracted (or taken down…I doubt anyone at The Dirty knows the meaning of the word "retracted") when the supermodel threatened legal action. 

So, what have we learned?  The Polish beauty never accepted money in exchange for boring, rich, socially awkward men's attention.  Color me shocked…not.  However, the reason her name (and picture) was brought into this crazy gossip has finally come to light.  It's basically the ol' bait and switch…some millionaire Madame shared Joanna's pictures on her website, and when men would request the leggy blonde, said madame would do her best to hook him up with a lookalike.  That is not shady at all…said no one EVER.

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I don't know what it is lately that I feel the need to put a disclaimer in all my blog posts, but here's another one.  I really do like the Sister Wives!  Actually, you need to take that statement literally.  I like the Sister WivesKody Brown and his golden mane I can take or leave.

It's almost as if I've started liking reality shows that don't provide the normal extravagant lifestyle, Botox, and Patron-infused escape.  Now, I truly enjoy watching the reality programs that make people think and make people mad…for a better reason than someone said something contrived in a cookbook.  Social issues, family dynamics, real problems…this is what I'm now drawn to these days.  I have to ask, WHAT'S WRONG WITH ME?  I like to think I'm growing up…maybe?  Enjoying fluff and Cartier is so much simpler.  Being concerned about who got blackballed from the season's charity event is way cooler than worrying about how real people are actually perceived.  Am I right, or am I right?

That said, I think the Sister Wives are awesome.  Can we just have an understanding from here on out that when I say "Sister Wives" I mean Meri, Janelle, Christine, and Robyn?  We can leave the adult Simba out of my praise.  Regardless of how progressive his wives are, he's still a tad too controlling for my tastes.  Here's the deal.  Do I think polygamy is weird?  You can bet Annie's bottom dollar I do!  Would I share my future husband ever with some Midwestern hussy(ies)?  I think not…of course Ryan Gosling knows better (Eva who?).  But was I put on this earth to judge? No.  To snark?  Well, duh, but to truly judge?  Absolutely not.  Apparently UNLV shares my beliefs, as the Browns were recently the subject of a campus-wide panel discussion.

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We resumed last night's Basketball Wives: LA with the altercation at Gloria Govan's going away party.  It's every bit as ridiculous and as anticlimactic as it was when it left off last week. 

Malaysia Pargo is holding back Draya Michele with the help of Brooke Bailey.  After Jackie Christie calls her a "ho" for the fiftieth time, Draya swings.  Even Malaysia can't believe how Jackie's acting.  Security pulls Jackie away while Laura Govan laughs about Draya trying to hit "auntie."  All of the girls find the scene hilarious except for Draya.  She's not proud that she let Jackie rile her up like she did.  Gloria urges her sister to go check on Jackie since they're "BFFs."  Laura does not like working this hard on a friendship! 

Jackie asks for Laura's honest opinion, but she won't really listen.  According to Jackie, Draya was ugly to her while she was trying to extend the olive branch.  Were we watching the same altercation?  Jackie claims her soul is hurt.  Laura can't help but feel sorry for her.  Thankfully, Jackie has found solace in her new biffle Bambi.  Poor Bambi doesn't know these women well enough to know she needs to be running as fast as she can in the opposite direction.  Bambi feeds Jackie's ego, and Jackie needs a giant groveling apology from Draya to even consider letting her back in her good graces.  Jackie threatens to take down Draya if that doesn't happen.  This dynamic between Bambi and Jackie seems so phony…at least on Jackie's part.

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I'm going to be totally honest, which seems to be my theme with these Here Comes Honey Boo Boo posts.  Here's the deal, one hundred percent of the time when I'm writing, it's because I love to express my opinions through the written word.  Eighty percent of the time I'm snarking, it's because I find humor in such crass sarcasm, and seventy-five percent of the time I'm watching these shows, I'm watching because I'm deeply enthralled…not just on the level of reality television, but as if I'm a sociologist with the stars, the viewers, the blog commenters, and Andy Cohen all as my study materials.

If I had to create a Venn diagram with each circle encompassing writing, snark, and a genuine affinity for programming (respectively), I can only guarantee that one show would make it to the center of that triad on a consistent basis.  That series is, of course, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.  If you take the viewers, the haters, and the family, you have such a study in socioeconomic groups, family dynamics, gender stereotypes, childhood obesity, charity, pigs as pets…the list is infinite.  Alana Thompson and her family are literally taking pop culture by storm.

I am likely to get skewered as this post continues, but I owe y'all the thanks for my thick skin.  Maybe it's because I'm from the South (and no, I have never seen a family like the Shannon-Thompsons on a regular, non-televised basis), or maybe it's because I spent a lot of time teaching in the public school system where I met my fair share of Alanas who didn't have the support at home, but I look at this family and see something special.  Call me uneducated (you'd be wrong), call me lacking in taste (let's call it a draw), or call me high on a fried chicken binge (I should be so lucky), but I adore this crew.  If you've never watched it because you're disgusted, I can't blame you one second.  I think only my teaching background (there are things with those children you can't un-see!) afforded me the luxury of not gagging during the majority of the season.  However, before you jump to judgment having never viewed anything more than a forklift foot promo commercial, I implore you to read on about Mike "Sugarbear" Thompson's (you know, Alana's dad with the dip and constant subtitles) homosexual younger brother.  Without further ado, I present to you a Poodle retrospective.   

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