On last night’s Real Housewives Of Orange County the seeds of an impending feud were planted as newbies Gina Kirschenheiter and Emily Simpson complained that Shannon Beador doesn’t want to be their friend. And just in time for a cast trip to Jamaica. Jamaican Me Crazy, surely!
The thing is this is the type of drama that only happens in the alternate reality of reality TV. In the real world if your disparate friends don’t really like each other you’d just hang out with them separately. After all, it’s not like we’re permanently stuck in high school – or Bravoland – together and forced to interact. But in reality TV land three people who have zilch in common must pretend to be part of an established friend group who is now having problems.
The problem here is that Shannon, as she said, is 20 years older than Gina, and they just don’t have a lot in common other than knowing Tamra Judge (and probably secretly hating her) and getting divorced. Except Gina’s divorce is the Unikitty version of a split. It is sparkly blue eyeshadow that leaks tiny droplets of glitter when you cry, and it is platinum fingernails to replace your platinum ring, and it is repurposing all the expensive bikinis you bought for a couples trip by just wearing them on a girl’s trip.
What I mean is that Gina is divorcing the divorce of a young person who has not wasted 20+ years on small humiliations and is now subsumed in the fear that she’ll never again have sex without worrying that the guy needs viagra, whereas Shannon has sacrificed her dignity, self-esteem, and her waistline to David and those slights have developed into avid emotional gulfs swallowing her up in an herbal tea of animosity and regret. Gina says she can’t cry anymore because she’s getting wrinkles and as Emily warns, will get kicked out of Orange County, however, Shannon has long surpassed this. Her wrinkles have metastasized into a fury that turned fault lines into rocks, which then built a barricade against anyone not experiencing the same hellish version of her divorce.
I really don’t know what Emily’s issue is, other than her feeling like Shannon isn’t being fun or friendly enough in her presence. Sure, that’s a buzzkill, but like Shannon said it’s not like Fun Emily and Awesome Shane have been making an appearance!
And here’s the other thing, Emily and Gina actually have a lot in common. They have young kids, probably a similar social set, and are closer in age, so why can’t they just be happy with that and treat Shannon like an acquaintance the same way she treats them? Kelly Dodd straddles the middle and from what I understand Kelly likes straddling things. And doing sexual things. And being on her knees. Especially now that what she’s straddling isn’t Michael but milkmen with attitude problems and 30-year-old’s pectoral muscles. So Kelly finds herself in the middle (literally and figurative) of both groups, relaying information from Gina to Shannon and back again. No one will shoot this messenger, though, cause she’ll shoot first.
So onto the play-by-play! Gina goes over to Emily’s where they do Richard Simmons-style aerobics in her living room as Emily’s dog bites the trainer’s ankles. Baby Kingsley got the most exercise there. Afterward, Emily makes smoothies while Gina talks about herself. Gina complaining that Shannon thinks the world revolves around her (and her divorce) is hilarious considering that ALL GINA DOES IS TALK ABOUT HERSELF and her divorce. Which is the best divorce ever, you guyzzzzzzz! She pauses for Emily to turn on the blender and reveal that she’s going to the fertility doc for advice on what to do about her remaining embryos, then Gina goes right back talking about how she and Matt are splitting but not actually doing any actual divorcing. Whatever, Gina.
Vicki Gunvalson envisions herself marrying Steve Lodge and forming a modern-day Brady Bunch. Steve has 3 kids (or is it four) and Vicki has two kids (and maybe a mysterious one she’s added) to give them a combined total of 6. Michael is now living with his girlfriend Dani, who looks exactly how everyone imagines when they hear Orange County. After years and years of having his mother banned from his home, Michael finally relented and invites Vicki, Steve, and Steve’s daughter plus her boyfriend over for dinner. Michael should have stuck to his resolve because almost immediately Vicki started lecturing him about how he needs to hurry up and impregnate Danni who at 30 is almost over the hill. Vicki, the only thing over the hill is your concept of reality. I’m sure Vicki also wants to be right there watching and yelling “WOO HOO” as Michael’s sperm inseminates Dani’s egg, but Michael and Dani would rather adopt another pug.
Vicki also wants to marry Steve. IMMEDIATELY. Because she’s the OG of the OC and Bravo has never given her a wedding before! Everyone loves a happy ending, but Steve’s happy ending probably includes Vicki’s life insurance policy. I kid – that was Brooks.
Anyhoodle, no marriage and babies happening over at Casa de Gunderpants. Also, Vicki made a taco dip for Michael and just put it in a plastic Tupperware. Tacky!
After being in Philly with Shannon for 4 days Tamra is again leaving Eddie to go be by Shannon’s side. This time for a “celibacy party.” What Tamra means is a celebratory party. Although as Tamra points out Shannon is celibate too – and has been for years, even when she was eating yuckamole in a hot tub with naked David. But the party is actually to celebrate Shannon selling a lot of frozen salmon and cream cheese on QVC. She also wants to share a potential new recipe with the women.
One thing Tamra is not celebrating is that despite another heart procedure Eddie is still in AFib. Poor Eddie. I feel so bad for this guy!
I don’t feel bad for Shane, although maybe I should because Emily is pushing him to have another baby even though they already have three little kids, plus two kids from his first marriage. Emily wants her daughter Annabelle to have a sister, and Shane just wants to be 6 feet tall. Shane wishes he was a little bit taller, he wishes he were a baller, he wishes for a rabbit in a hat… Oh wait that’s Skee-Lo, not Shane-Lo. At least Shane has a girl who looks good, although he doesn’t want her to call her fertility doctor to ask about impregnating someone with their nine remaining embryos.
But Emily does just that and then she brings her IN-LAWS and TWO KIDS to the doctor. I am all for having a close relationship with your in-laws, but isn’t that a little, um, much? Emily brags that her in-laws do everything together – her father-in-law even drives Pary to the hairdresser and waits outside. Which sounds like a creepy Lifetime movie to me, but it’s what Emily wants for her marriage to Shane. Somehow I never see that happening, but a girl can dream … of my nightmare.
Ultimately Emily decides to just keep paying the storage fee on the embryos. Which seems like the best decision.
I have many complaints about Kelly’s parenting, but I have no complaints about her bonding with Jolie by volunteering at a food pantry. I love this! Jolie is a sweet, compassionate little girl who is truly learning the realities of how many children grow up with barely enough food to eat. Such an important lesson and one which will stick with Jolie the rest of her life. I’m so proud of these two for making this commitment.
Then everyone meets at Shannon’s for a dinner party which Shannon doesn’t want to be hosting. We’ve all been there where you think something is a great idea in the emotional fun-high of a moment but later when the reality of cooking for 5 ungrateful people comes crashing down, you just want to be watching Netflix in your PJs while eating popcorn and wine for dinner. Alas, Shannon is now snapping at caterers over pork tenderloin while Gina has a sobbing meltdown on her sofa over what to do with all the bikinis she bought for a couples trip with Matt that never happened.
It all started when someone suggested they take a girls trip to celebrate Shannon’s new-found independence. Eventually, they decided on Jamaica because these women want to go somewhere exotic, uncharted, and completely untouristy. #SARCASM This spirals into Gina sobbing over how she and Matt take great vacations together but now she’ll never get to see his parents again. Shannon immediately hightails it into the kitchen and mumbles into her meat that she’s really glad she doesn’t have to deal with Gina’s “little meltdown” which I thought was insensitive. Wasn’t Shannon JUST complaining that Gina isn’t taking divorce seriously enough and is acting like it’s no big deal, yet when Gina finally shows some real emotions about the process being painful Shannon snubs her and gripes that she’s ruining her party by crying?
It’s because Shannon has the monopoly on inappropriate party meltdowns. It’s probably written in the RHOC code of conduct. Gina is correct that Shannon needs to be the center of the ‘WORST EVER…’ universe. Just like Vicki has to be No. 1 Vicktim, Shannon has to be the one enduring the hardest hardship and her divorce must get all the attention because David is the most awful (he actually is) ever. Shannon needs to have her feeling validated so often she probably yells “Alexa: Validate my feelings!” all hours of the day. Does Alexa provide counseling?
Shannon also gets annoyed because Gina goes to the bathroom to pull herself together and is then late to the table. Shannon is old enough to be Gina’s mother and will treat her accordingly! Like a love-sick teenager breaking up with her high school boyfriend during freshman year of college. Of course, Gina finds herself sitting across from Shannon and being visibly ignored when Shannon doesn’t bother to ask what’s wrong. Shannon is polite in the crisp, forced way one is with people they don’t really want to interact with. It’s barebones and harder than the pork the caterer left in the oven for an hour.
Look, Gina – if you want people to take you seriously as an adult, stop wearing makeup and clothes which belong on a Barbie from the 90’s. Although the 90’s are back…
After the dinner party debacle, Gina takes a walk with Kelly. For about 2 seconds they discuss the history of Jamaica (Oh, Kelly…) then it’s right back to discussing the history of Shannon hating Gina and Gina getting divorced. Gina just doesn’t understand how to become Shannon’s friend. Like Shannon is always putting Gina at a distance even though she goes out of her way to be nice, and Emily is in the same predicament. For instance, Shannon never responded to their generic texts about QVC. Kelly has been there, and worse, and advises giving it time. Isn’t that how friendships generally work anyway?
Kelly being Kelly she turns around and meets Shannon for lunch then immediately tells her that Gina and Emily think she’s standoffish and aloof. If there’s one way to rev Shannon into a frenzy, it’s to let her know that other people have a problem with her! Shannon’s complaints are valid: She barely knows Gina and Emily, they always seem like they’re trying to poke at her, and she’s many moons and several crystalline nucleates older, plus she’s just so busy being the worstest divorcee in Orange County that she doesn’t have time for Gina’s baby divorce from a man who hasn’t yet experienced the threat male pattern baldness will wreak on his ego.
Kelly chortles into her “Anti-Bitch Serum” coffee cup as Shannon rants that she’s still waiting to see FUN EMILY and stuffs some F-U risotto into her mouth to prove that Fun Shannon doesn’t need to care about how she looks in a bikini. I actually think I’m Team Shannon on this one. At least so far…
Next week the women hit Jamaica and
Peter Thomas appears as Kelly’s blind date all sorts of hell breaks loose, mon!
TELL US – IS SHANNON KEEPING GINA AND KELLY AT A DISTANCE OR ARE THEY JUST TRYING TO STIR THE POT?
[Photo Credits: bravo]