Finally we have reached the end of the line with Real Housewives Of Orange County. It has been a long and confusing season of many Housewives I do not particularly like. Tamra Judge, I am looking at you. Furthermore I am so thankful I will no longer have to type Brauwnyn Windham-Burke‘s exhausting name, as exhausting as the woman herself, every week. Ugh.
Among the many revelations from part 3 of the reunion, we learned that skanky behavior has always been a cornerstone of the show’s foundation and Andy Cohen will not have you argue it any other way. Boobs out, girls!
We open with Vicki Gunvalson accusing Braunwyn of violating the show’s moral compass, causing Vicki to lose 2 clients. I’m sorry, so dating cancer scamming Brooks Ayers meets Vici’s clients “moral compass”? Andy reminds Vicki that she has flashed her tits at the dinner table, given fake blow jobs (in addition to plenty of low blows) and participated in the Naked Wasted episode with Gretchen Rossi, so why the revisionist history??
Vicki now wants to set herself above all the licentious behavior and set an example for women. Yet, as Gina Kirschenheiter points out, if it’s Vicki’s show, she paved the way for today’s modern itineration! But now she is old and wants to class it up so it fits the grandmotherly Vicki. Time to retire boo-boo!
I personally think RHOC has always skated along a scandalous edge – as most of the Housewives shows have – and has not shied away from sexuality or outrageous behavior. One thing I love about the Housewives franchise is that it shows that sexuality doesn’t die the second you turn 40, but Brauwnyn has taken things too far and it seems obvious the reason why is because she wants a job and attention. What Vicki was trying, inarticulately, to explain is that Braunwyn is contrived and her sexual freedom seemed forced. Tamra went along with it for the same reason.Vicki isn’t able to make that point cogently because she’s too emotionally invested in being demoted. Like Braunwyn yanking Tamra’s clothes off … not appropriate, and also rapey.
The lactation party is another prime example of Braunwyn’s obvious need to be considered fun and hot. That wasn’t empowering, but gross and overly raunchy, and it was totally designed for shock value. Also, like Vicki, I am tired of Braunwyn’s spiel about how many years she’s been pregnant. YES. WE. GET. IT (and it was your choice).
The other issue with Vicki is that seems mostly upset that Brauwnyn is polyamorous and it’s coming across as bigotry. No one really cares what Brauwnyn does in the bedroom – me especially – and my thoughts are that for the sake of her children she should keep her clothes on and her proclivities to a minimum on TV, but Braunwyn claims it was empowering to her kids, one of whom came out as gay after seeing their mom gyrate all over Tamra on television.
Instead of being embarrassed Braunwyn is proud of how brave to admit that she’s attracted to women.
Then Vicki and Andy have a semantical argument about how she came to be on RHOC. This in reference to Vicki believing Braunwyn tailored her interview tape to ensure she would get cast. Vicki claims she was just herself and never never even interviewed, but Andy rolls a footage of Vicki’s initial tape, filmed by her neighbor, Scott Dunlop, who pitched the show to Bravo. The tape featured Vicki and Briana describing their family room and it said Donn worked at Home Depot (he was an executive), while Vicki ran a successful insurance business. As Vicki is preparing to leave the stage hisses to Andy, “Don’t forget where you came from. YOU.” WHOA!
The true meltdown happened when Vicki was walking off set muttering that she hates Braunwyn because she tries too hard, and she feels, like a lap dog being kicked off her own show for a fake pretentious wannabe. As Vicki is unzipping her dress and ranting about Braunwyn being embarrassing, slams her dressing room door on the cameras amid a slew of F-Bombs. So that is how we said goodbye – hopefully for the last time – to Vicki. Elevating women and the show, huh?!
Meanwhile on stage, Andy asks Tamra if she thinks RHOC has changed. She doesn’t, but I disagree. It does seem a whole lot more forced, and the casting has a lot to do with it. Much like other franchises they can’t attract actual socialites when they are casting for drama and women who will do anything for attention.
For instance after the break we get to hear all about how Tamra had a lesbian orgy for her 50th birthday that started when some of her friends intercepted she and Eddie Judge having sex in public and then joined in. WWJD… Tamra? I guess faith abandoned you again! Whatever church baptized her needs to have it’s license revoked. I love how Emily Simpson asked if these were people Tamra hired. HA. Meanwhile Kelly Dodd is the one who got accused of having a train…
Thankfully things are good in Kelly-land. She has fully made amends with her mother, who visits every other week to help with Jolie and she is in the process of forgiving her brother Eric, who started the stairs rumor and many others (including, according to Vicki, the cocaine story).
Kelly dumped Dr. Brian the night she met Rick Leventhal, while she was hanging out with Ramona Singer. They haven’t worked out the parameters of where they’re going to live and Kelly says Jolie can choose who to live with. So what about Michael? Surely Kelly knows he will fight any custody changes! Shockingly Andy is the only person whose met Rick. Is this a fake engagement?
Finally it’s Emily time! Emily opens up about being candid with her weight struggles. She feels like she to show her daughter that women are worth more than a number on the scale. Contrasting Emily’s handling of weight issues with Shannon Beador‘s was amazing, and so much more refreshing. Emily approached it as weight not being the only thing that defined her, and still tried to dress cute and have fun with it instead of sobbing constantly and hiding in muumuus. Good for you!
Then Shane Simpson joins the stage and is surprisingly human. Gina and the other women feel Emily majorly contributes to the issues in her marriage, then only shares the bad things about Shane, thus making herself look like the victim. I think they were going through a tough time and lack communication skills. Yes, marital issues are often a two-way street, but we witnessed Shane acting egregious time and time again, so obviously Emily isn’t making the whole thing up. Gina shares an incident where Emily was trying to text Shane some nasty things and sent it to Pary instead, who stopped speaking to Emily for a time.
Since the show Shane and Emily have been working on their marriage, including writing mission statements. Their fighting was so intense at one point Emily asked for a divorce and that’s when they made the decision to try and get back to loving each other. Shane decided not to attend the Burlesque in Vegas when he realized it was a stunt for the show, instead of a legit anniversary gift. Which makes sense – I can understand that. He thinks Emily is beautiful at any weight and listed all the reasons he loves her, including that she taught him how to be a father. They seemed more connected, and Shane seemed more humble last night. I hope we’ll see a more human side of him, and that they make it.
Finally Andy touches on Gina’s situation with Matt Kirschenheiter and we learn the details of what happened the night Matt was arrested. First of all, my heart BREAKS for Gina. She clearly lived in fear and isolation for a long time dealing with Matt’s abuse. Matt sounds horrendous and I’m relieved she finally found the strength and courage to leave. I’m sure the paycheck from Real Housewives Of Orange County was instrumental in enabling her to do that. Gina is now with a new man and has realized what it’s like to be in an equal, loving relationship. I think Gina needs therapy a helluva lot more than she needs to be jumping into another relationship!
Matt was arrested one month after they decided to reconcile. They had an argument earlier in the day and he was fuming when he learned Gina had revealed his affair on the show. They had plans to go out with friends that evening and had a great time, but in the Uber on the way home Matt was yelling so much the Uber driver pulled over and kicked him out.
Gina continued to take the Uber home and got a call from Matt saying he couldn’t order a new Uber since she was in the one he requested. She was almost at her destination so she figured it wouldn’t be a big deal for him to wait 5 minutes, then order a new one. Gina also assumed Matt would go to his own house.
In between calling Gina and an Uber, Matt’s phone died and he ended up walking all the way to Gina’s, working himself into a rage, then let himself in, where they had a horrible fight with him screaming and threatening her. Gina was so afraid she ran to the neighbors and banged on the door to wake them up. Matt chased her down the street and dragged her back to the house. Luckily multiple neighbors called the police and Matt was arrested before things got too bad, but it is clear this was not the first incident and it certainly wouldn’t have been the last.
While Gina is sobbing through this account, Kelly tells Tamra, sitting next to Gina, to hug her, but Tamra claims a pillow is in the way and she can’t. She literally sat there and let her so-called friend bawl through this painful story and didn’t even offer her her hand. This is why Tamra is a monster and the devil.
Andy closes the reunion by having each woman mimic the bowl/gong circle from Miraval, but no bowls were on anyone’s head. Everyone went around and listed something they want to let go of and something they want to welcome. It was positive and sweet. So that’s a wrap on another season of Real Housewives Of Orange County, which hopefully will be getting some casting changes next season!
TELL US – WHO DO YOU WANT TO SEE COME BACK NEXT SEASON? DID BRAUNWYN’S SEXUAL ANTICS GO TOO FAR? HAS THIS SHOW EVER HAD A ‘MORAL COMPASS’?
[Photo Credits: Bravo]