What’s the best way of escaping the horrors of a global pandemic ravaging the entire planet? Why, going on a vacation, of course! So this week, the Real Housewives of Orange County pack up and head off to Lake Arrowhead for a much-needed girls’ trip full of bonding, face masks and arguing over whether Black lives matter! (Which, they absolutely do, for the record.) Well, not all the ‘Wives. Because for some, the coronavirus had already caught up before they could make their getaway to the lake.
Last week’s Real Housewives of Orange County ended with the news that one of Shannon Beador‘s twins had tested positive for coronavirus. Which obviously sent the veteran ‘Wife into a full-blown panic lockdown. And now, Emily Simpson can’t go on the cast trip either because she too has tested positive. Her symptoms are mild — she doesn’t even have a fever — and she can’t pinpoint where she caught it, but she’ll be quarantined with her family until further notice.
Finally! I’ve been waiting all season for something to finally happen on Below Deck. And we finally got an episode filled with drama, nearly from start to finish. We had upheaval in the crew. The coronavirus pandemic started creeping its way into the Caribbean. World War II-era warfare erupted thanks to toxic fumes! And a rogue preference sheet sent one crew member over the edge. Needless to say, it was a lot. And most of all it was great.
Last week’s Below Deck ended on a cliffhanger with Shane Coopersmith getting called into a meeting with Captain Lee Rosbach and Eddie Lucas. And this week, the hapless deckhand lasts about five seconds into the episode. That’s right; the sun has gone down on Sunshine. And strangely, Shane seems utterly blindsided by being fired. Like, he didn’t see this coming at all, you guys. Which is bizarre, considering all the napping. And waking up late. And leaving the laz door open all night. And…et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Shall I go on?
Remember how last week’s episode of The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City ended with apologies and tears and everyone wearing their hearts on their sleeves? Yeah, that lasted all of 0.5 seconds. This week’s episode throws us right back into the middle of Mary Cosby‘s bizarre Met Gala-themed luncheon on the heels of Jen Shah making up with Meredith Marks. The jewelry designer accepts her pal’s apology with grace, but Mary’s wondering where her apology is. Especially considering she’s the one who Jen called a “grandfather-m-f’er” (Mary’s words, not mine. Or even Jen’s, technically. What she actually said was “you’re going to go with Mary, who f–ked her grandfather?” But something’s clearly been lost in translation…)
In trying to explain herself, Jen jokes, like so many Housewives before her, that she simply says what everyone else is thinking but is too afraid to say. Naturally, Mary jumps on that comment to put herself above her nemesis. And before you can say “smells like hospital,” the two are at each other’s throats again. Jen claims she was just trying to do what Mary had asked, which was to open up about something vulnerable. And now Mary’s using it against her to poke, prod and instigate a fight.
Welcome back to The Real Housewives of Orange County. Where, in case you missed it, the apocalypse has happened. After weeks of encroaching panic, the coronavirus has descended upon the OC. Production has been shut down indefinitely. The ‘Wives are all in isolation and have resorted to documenting their lives in quarantine via iPhone. It’s scary. It’s more than a little triggering to watch play back nine months after we all just lived through it. But it’s also a fascinating experiment in keeping the cameras rolling during a truly unprecedented time in history.
Unsurprisingly, all of the women are handling the pandemic differently. Braunwyn Windham-Burke has gone digital with her sobriety journey by attending AA meetings online. Elizabeth Lyn Vargas is focused on helping animals while spreading ridiculous conspiracy theories on her social media. Shannon Beador has forced her family into full lockdown mode. And Kelly Dodd is busy giving a giant middle finger to lockdown protocols altogether, jetting off to New York City to visit her boyfriend.
How do you solve a problem like Shane Coopersmith? Unfortunately for Eddie Lucas, Below Deck is not The Sound of Music. A super yacht is not an Austrian nunnery. And you can’t just ship off the crew’s problem child to nanny for some Caribbean version of the Von Trapp family whose seven children are desperately in need of a new governess. (Though in this analogy, Captain Lee Rosbach would be the crew’s indomitable Mother Abbess. And what any Bravoholic wouldn’t give to hear the Stud of the Sea belt out “Climb Ev’ry Mountain” from aboard the bridge. To push the limits of the analogy even further, what song would our sweet, bright-eyed Sunshine sing as he leaves My Seanna? Why, “I Have Confidence,” of course.)
But like I said, this isn’t The Sound of Music, no matter how many striking similarities in disposition Shane may have to Maria Von Trapp. Which, now that I’m thinking of it, are many. But while Maria eventually grew to inspire countless generations of regional theaters across the world, I don’t think anyone will be writing a Below Deck musical anytime soon. At least not one with the flailing junior deckhand as the hero. Week after week, Shane’s mistakes have been piling up. And it looks like his time aboard My Seanna may finally be coming to a close.
Can you believe it’s been almost two weeks since we had a new episode of The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City to obsess over? For anyone who joined the watch party of Real Housewives of Salt Lake City Episode 3 on Twitter the day after the second episode aired, it feels like an eternity. I’m sure you were all dying to know how Whitney Rose‘s 1920s party ended. And believe me, whether you waited thirteen days or seven, it did not disappoint.
Jen Shah was itching for a fight at the end of the last episode, and she finds one this week with Meredith Marks. Pulling her pal aside, Jen wastes no time laying out all the issues she’s built up in her head over the last few days. She’s angry Meredith cancelled their sleepover. She doesn’t believe Meredith really wanted to spend time with her kids. She’s angry Meredith went to Mary Cosby‘s church. In fact, she’s angry Meredith’s struck up a friendship with Mary at all.
Well, this is it. The very last episode before The Real Housewives of Orange County gets overtaken by the coronavirus. It was a good run. (But…was it, though?) All season, the looming threat of the global pandemic has tugged at the show’s periphery. You know it’s coming. But with a wave of the hand, it’s been constantly batted away and dismissed as the women have squabbled. They have more pressing things to fight over, after all. Like alcoholism, gag orders, tinctures and lice. Coronavirus has been something distant and irrelevant to joke about and toast to…and occasionally get mildly annoyed over. (But only when your precious natural products expo gets cancelled and you have nowhere to hawk your vitamin-infused water.)
But somebody call the CDC because there’s a life-threatening virus on the loose in the OC. However, we’re still treated to about 33 minutes of willful ignorance this week before the pandemic unleashes its full wrath on RHOC. Because these women would much rather ignore it for just a little while longer. They simply refuse to let a novel coronavirus harsh the vibe of their cast trip to Palm Springs. I mean, it would be a shame for a little thing like that to get in the way of gossiping about each other.
Is anyone out there starting to feel like this season of Below Deck is perpetually stuck in first gear? For the first couple episodes, I chalked it up to a new crew. After all, we didn’t have Kate Chastain as our fearless leader to get things going. Plus, Captain Lee Rosbach spent almost the entire first episode in the hospital. For the first time, our real fearless leader arrived on My Seanna hobbling and, well, fragile. As a result, everything felt hesitant and uncertain. But at a certain point, you expect everyone to get their sea legs under them and get the show moving. Right?
However, that hasn’t really happened yet. As a result, we’re five episodes deep into the season, and everyone’s insecurities are running rampant on this boat. Captain Lee may be recovering, but the only crew member who really jumped in and dealt with her insecurity was Izzy Wouters. And look at her now! All it took was a change from interior to deck crew and she’s thriving on board. Most of the others? Not so much…