Real Housewives Of Orange County Recap: The Saving Of Shannon Beador

All season I’ve been thinking Real Housewives Of Orange County was boring, or not boring per se, but just… not living up to its potential. An under-achiever, even though the abilities were there. In short, these ladies were lacking in motivation, but then came Jamaica which turned out to be RHOC’s version of The Shining. These images will haunt your dreams, which is perfect for Halloween.

I am beginning to think Kelly Dodd is right about lots of things though. And that truly is a scary place to find yourself in, but Shannon Beador needs help. Is she really calling Kelly and Tamra Judge “all hours day and night” to cry and bemoan how hard it is to make kids’ lunches while also paying the water bill? Is this really going on!? Has Dr. Moon not drained Shannon’s lymphatic sad artery and given her cupping full of good vibes? Or maybe that’s what the vodka was for? Regardless, she’s been behaving this way since her first season on this show, divorce or no, and it’s time to do some soul-searching and re-evaluating. 

And even worse, I want to be mad at Tamra for talking crap about Shannon and literally convincing Gina Kirschen-ohWHOCARES to do her dirty work by confronting Shannon, and yes, all of that is B-A-D: bad, but I can relate to Tamra’s frustration. In fact, I have a friend like Shannon presently so maybe I’m just feeling particularly inspired to take said friend to Jamaica and vent all my lack-of-air conditioner-angst onto her under the guise of being concerned.

So yes, Jamaica is dreadful and I’m not even talking about the way everyone looks on this island. What IS going on? The only person whose hair doesn’t look like half of it got run over by a train is Kelly. The only person who looks remotely sane, glossy, and befitting of an actual Bravo reality show is Kelly. Were they not allowed to bring their glam squads due to budgetary restrictions since last season was also boring? Because they all look dreadful! I mean Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills are going to Jamaica, aren’t they? Or the Bahamas? Wherever tropical locale they choose, you know no one will look like depressing escapees from a cult that saw hairbrushes as instruments of satan. (Satan is confusing!)

And what was Vicki Gunvalson wearing during this ‘Save Shannon‘ intervention? She looked like a brothel madam from an old-timey saloon, or like she was in the middle of making hot granny love to some unwitting man when she had to go respond to an emergency right outside her door. Lady, to quote the illustrious Kate Chastain of Below Deck, “Where is your bra?!” Does Vicki expect us to take any of her concerns seriously when we’re distracted by worrying that her mammaries would flop right out of that indignant and clearly not very organized negligee to show themselves to the world? Like boobs having an identity crisis and ready to proclaim their independence from misogyny.

Anyway, it’s been a long day of getting giardia in Jamaican rivers and then having to bathe in sweat so it’s no wonder everyone looks terrible for dinner. Everyone except Kelly who, for the most part, is pretty delightful this season, and looking sensational. Tamra gets tired of waiting for Shannon and Vicki to cluck around so she leaves in a huff and these two have to ride to the restaurant as a twosie with roadies.

Gina confronts Shannon

The minute Shannon sits down with her I Dream Of David Dumping His Girlfriend ponytail, Gina and Emily Simpson start ragging on her about when “Fun Shannon” is going to make an appearance. I’m sorry but Fun Shannon? Who and what is this? Fun Shannon is the ghost of Shannon’s past delusions. Shannon can’t be Fun Shannon because she’s actually the flying spaghetti monster waving her arms in the air to try and show David how BUSY. BUSY. BUSY, with a capital and non-toxic B, how busy she is! And divorce is exhausting and she does not want to have any emotional connection with Gina who is still sleeping with her ex-husband, because that, according to Shannon Beador, is not divorce!

Of course, immediately after Emily and Gina call Fun Shannon to come over and play, Gina starts complaining that Shannon is rude, dismissive, and wah, wah, wah doesn’t want to be her friend. Oh, shut up Gina. We all know this is Straight Outta Tamra. She put you up to this, she is making you fight her battles because she’s wanting to make Shannon look bad as an excuse to cause drama and escape this toxic friendship. And sure enough not 2 seconds later Gina wallops Shannon with the blow that she’s not even a good friend to Tamra!

Tamra counsels Shannon

Shannon shrilly insists she is such a wonderful friend, just ask Tamra. So Kelly did! Eyes alight, literally waiting on baited breath to see if someone (besides her) would FINALLY confront Tamra, but Shannon instead storms away from the table to throw a big tantrum in the bathroom about how terrible Gina is. Shannon and The Storm Offs. It’s like a high school punk band from the 80’s.

Tamra tries to explain that she feels it’s time for Shannon to let go of so much negativity – like perhaps her friendship with Tamra? – but Shanon doesn’t actually believe she’s negative, so… deaf ears! Instead, Shannon is actually enraged at Tamra for re-inflating squashed arguments to make her look bad. Even after Kelly tried explaining that Tamra is upset about Shannon being too self-focused since she’s also going through a rough time but wasn’t feeling supported. Shannon knew all this and thought she and Tamra had fixed it at some lunch. Then she had to hear from Gina, of all people!, that nope things still aren’t OK! Needless to say, it was a very awkward bus ride home which turned into a night of frights (most scary being the state of Vicki’s boobs in that dress (See above)).

Emily Calls Tamra & Shannon A Friendship Of Convenience. 

It’s in the parking lot of the hotel when things really hit the invisible fan. Shannon storms off (again) because she “needs a moment” to rip her mic off and blame everyone at Bravo for her problems. Tamra, wanting justice and also an Emmy for most histrionic over-acting on a reality show, chases her down with lectures about how it’s time to “flip the switch” from negative to positive, but we all know that ain’t gonna happen. I think we’ve all given up on the idea of a Shannon Beador Redemption Story.

Back in the hotel after Shannon had her alone time and the other ladies got a drink to put their collective ducks in a row they go back to the room to find Shannon still raging and hysterical. This turns into an accidental (and totally failed) intervention about Shannon’s constant anguish and her erroneous belief that she’s the only person who struggles. Since Kelly has now left her life to join the peace corp she knows hardship! And it ain’t living off $22k a month and having to hawk cream-cheese smothered salmon on TeeVee.

Kelly calls Shannon out

It kills me, but I have to be somewhat on Tamra’s side here. They’ve all had bad divorces – like Tamra’s ex tried to take her kids away so she probably had the worst one (in addition to being the worst person)! In so many ways Shannon is a delusional mess. Like insisting that she started this QVC business from scratch when in reality all she did was actually know someone who worked for the network, then just went on QVC to sell the food. After probably telling whatever chef she hired what she likes to eat, then just tasting the meals. Shannon has lived in a bubble of privilege for so long she doesn’t even realize that other people live in homes where their decorator was a trip to HomeGoods and every available wall space is covered with kitschy signs that say “FAMILY” attached to photos of dogs (GINA). Or that people live with Shane and his judgments and his “snarkasm”. Or that people live with Vicki! I mean call Donn if you want to know hardship.


Speaking of Donn, Vicki decides Shannon needs medication to deal with divorce-based depression, which she understands: after she left Donn (ahem…) she cried so much she also got on medication. All of their concerns are very, very valid but this is Shannon so everything goes horribly, horribly awry. So horrible that Brooks comes bubbling back up to the top and Kelly has to remind everyone that we’re going FORWARD because Shannon is going to give herself a heart attack if she doesn’t stop over-reacting whenever someone says BOO!


Instead of hearing her friends concerns, accepting that yeah she’s in a really bad headspace, and thanking them for caring, Shannon blames them, insists that no one understands what she goes through (except they do since she’s calling them all night), and tries to push them away with a vengeance.


Tamra finally just throws her hands up and says “I don’t care” and then gets back to the important business of packing to move to a new villa which has… AIR CONDITIONING!! That should make everything better, right?! At least the hair situation!

The next morning after unloading on Shannon for being such a selfish friend, Tamra is feeling self-righteous and smug as she joins Vicki in bed for breakfast and a cuddle. No-one has heard from Shannon so they don’t even know if she climbed into her suitcase and demanded to be rolled home. It does seem that what Shannon mourns the most in her marriage is the security of knowing how easy it was – David paid the bills, David took care of all the taxing stuff, and she just swanned around rattling off her list of invisible concerns and first world problems while shopping for energy crystals and shoes. After getting a dose of Shannon’s blaming, shaming, and hysteria, Kelly openly wonders how David put up with it that long and starts to sympathize with the dude. I wouldn’t go that far, but it’s an illustration of how far Shannon can push people close to her!

The plan for the day is an excursion to the bobsled track where the Jamaican Olympic team practiced, then lunch in the jungle. Shannon doesn’t show up. Gina feels bad that she started it all by confronting her, but in New York they share their feelings. Like a lot a lot. Like Gina even feels neglected by her bobsled who left her all alone and then went slow, so she was the last one to finish and it was scary out there by herself… just like divorce. Divorce makes her feel this way too. Luckily Shannon’s crazy eclipsed any time Gina could have to talk about her divorce. WHICH WE DO NOT CARE ABOUT AT ALL.

Tamra doesn’t feel bad at all though. In fact, after Eddie sent her a text praising her for finally standing up for herself, she feels vindicated. Does Eddie know Tamra at all?

Vicki twerks

The most important thing was Vicki wearing a lace jumpsuit over a lace swimsuit and I really don’t understand her look this trip. Its like Golden Girls meets Elvira? But when Vicki starts doing a geriatric hip thrust (which looks like what a physical therapist recommends to increase mobility) and calling it “twerking” all you can do is laugh for crying. As Vicki herself said, she is a grandmother and businesswoman (and desperate to make Steve love her) so she probably shouldn’t twerk. Then it’s back to business as usual with Tamra shading Vicki about her looks and speculating that she had butt implants or just gained weight. Oh, Tamra…

Vicki is clearly miffed that Shannon brought up Brooks and all that ugliness with the cancer since Vicki is re-writing history, and squeezing into her revisionist narrative like a too-tight lace swimsuit cover-up, so she will not have Shannon violating their peace treaty with reality! To get revenge Vicki mentions that the previous night Shannon was in the kitchen pouring herself a glass of vodka before going to bed, which is a HUGE red flag for everyone. So it looks like we’re headed for another Shanner-vention. Even though they all drink to excess and not two seconds after Vicki shares this revelation she’s demanding everyone get cocktails. Oh bother…

The best moment of the show though was in the gift shop when Vicki says she wants to “grab Shannon a little something” to make her feel better then announces to the clerk that her friend needs an XL shirt. Not a large, but an EXTRA Large. Vicki also makes sure to tell the shop attendant that the XL isn’t for her because she wears a Medium. Oh Vicki, don’t ever change.


[Photo Credits: Bravo]