Well darlings, if The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City started out with a snowstorm, it’s safe to say it’s quickly becoming a pop culture avalanche. At the every least, the (snow)ball is rolling down the hill, and gaining momentum with each passing week. After last week’s ski day showdown, the Housewives are supposed to be starting over with a clean slate. But like generations of Bravolebrities before them, when has that ever successfully happened. In Utah society, only God forgives, after all. And rarely does a Housewife forget…
It also appears that battle lines are starting to be drawn. And I could not be more here to see it, even if some of those lines seem poorly etched for the time being. I mean, did you ever expect to see Jen Shah pit herself against Meredith Marks? I mean, calm, cool and collected Meredith? The cast’s voice of reason? Of all people? And so quickly into the season too! But now I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s back up and start from the beginning, shall we?
Welcome back to another week of The Real Housewives of Orange County. One with, frankly, a whole lot of drinking and not a lot happening. Out of everything that’s happened so far this season, this episode felt most like a bunch of filler. Which is especially strange considering all of the women are stuck together. In Palm Springs. For Braunwyn Windham-Burke‘s 20-year vow renewal. You think that equation would equal fireworks. But instead, it was a whole lot of…nothing.
Honestly, the biggest confrontation comes at the very top of the hour, with Shannon Beador continuing to argue with Kelly Dodd over the concept of a tincture. But even that simmering feud isn’t that interesting. Because it really just boils down to the fact that Kelly doesn’t understand what a tincture even is, and was flat-out wrong in accusing Shannon of starting a water line. Shannon never said any such thing. And if there’s one thing we’ve learned this season, it’s this. Never tell Shannon Storms Beador she said something she didn’t say!
Is there anything more obnoxious than a bunch of drunk, entitled college kids? Oh wait, I can think of one thing. A bunch of drunk, entitled college kids…on a yacht. In the Caribbean. Unsupervised. I honestly can’t decide what I’d rather put up with for a charter: these spoiled children or the first group of equally terrible adults. Seriously, whoever’s casting the charter guests for this season is really putting the Below Deck crew through it.
And is it me, or is the season just not…gelling yet? We’re already on the fourth episode, second charter, and something just hasn’t come together yet. We’re also on the fourth episode, second charter and nearly half the crew has broken down in tears already. I mean, is the spirit of Kate Chastain haunting My Seanna? Was the looming threat of the coronavirus ruining the vibes in the Caribbean long before the pandemic shut down production on Bravo shows across the board? I simply can’t put my finger on what’s happening with the vibe of this post-Kate season.
Welcome back to Episode 2 of The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City! I have to be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited for a second episode of Housewives in the history of the franchise. And of course, I say that realizing I may be biased being from Utah. But judging from the overwhelmingly positive response I’ve seen online from the premiere, it seems most of my fellow Bravoholics feel the same!
Now, before jumping into this week’s avalanche of drama on the ski slopes, I have to back up. Because in all my excitement about the premiere, I completely forgot to judge the first set of RHOSLC taglines! So let’s dive into the ‘Wives icy one-liners, shall we? Overall, I think it’s a strong bunch that makes a memorable introduction to the Utah ladies. Jen Shah is clearly happy to position herself as the resident queen bee of the group. Which, I feel the need to point out isn’t just a Beyoncé comparison; for those in the know, it’s a Utah reference. (Because of their community-minded work ethic, early Mormon pioneers christened Utah “the Beehive State.” There are even beehives worked into the architecture of many of the oldest buildings in downtown SLC.)
Well, that’s it. My brain is permanently scarred. My eyes can’t unsee it. Did anyone have Kelly Dodd filming in bed with a shirtless Rick Leventhal on their 2020 Bravo bingo card? Because that’s how this episode of The Real Housewives of Orange County opened. And in the immortal words of one Valerie Cherish, “I don’t need to see that!” (Listen, if you know, you know.) Honestly, the less said about the Fox News reporter wanting to hang things Kelly (in 7 minutes though?), the better. The only good thing about suffering through that opening scene was seeing it get interrupted by Hoda Kotb reporting on the encroaching coronavirus.
This season is turning out to be a bit like Game of Thrones when it comes to the pandemic. Like the families of Westeros, the women are busy fighting and feuding and getting offended. But the real problem on the horizon is the proverbial White Walker they’re all dismissing. It’s coming, ladies. Even if Rick Leventhal isn’t worried about it. And it’s going to lay waste to this season, which apparently, we might already be about halfway through? If that’s true, is this jaunt to Palm Springs supposed to count as one of Season 15’s cast trips?
It’s only Episode 3 of Below Deck and everyone’s ready for it to be over. The first charter, of course, not the entire season! We’ve suffered through two weeks with these horrendously high-maintenance guests and it’s time to get them off the boat. So thankfully, although this week picks up right at the end of the fight over James Hough, it all fizzles quicker than Francesca Rubi letting the air out of a balloon. In fact, the only thing not deflating looks to be James’ chances with Francesca? Because surprisingly, the chief stew doesn’t entirely turn down the junior deckhand’s flirtatious banter. But maybe that’s just a sign that this first, terrible charter has made everyone on board crazy.
The next morning, the charter draws to a blessedly quick close. One that’s made even quicker by the fact that Captain Lee Rosbach opts to pull anchor and head for the dock early on account of the rain. So after a streamlined breakfast of French toast by Rachel Hargrove and a particularly tight docking, it’s time for guest departure. Oh, but one more thing! Because of course there’s one more thing. Primary guest (from hell) Charley can’t help but be a bit condescending in his goodbye, but follows it up with a giant tip — $25,000 to be exact. Which is huge, especially considering the crew was literally expecting no tip at all. But does giving a giant tip truly make up for being a terrible scourge on charter crews everywhere? I guess that’s just the world of yachting…
Welcome to The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City! Over a year since it was first announced at BravoCon, the newest Housewives franchise is finally here, and let me tell you, dear readers. The wait was worth it. In the famous words of the Mormon prophet Brigham Young, who settled the Salt Lake Valley in 1847, “This is the place.”
I feel confident in saying the premiere episode was pretty well near perfect. (Which makes sense because, as one of the ‘Wives says of life in Salt Lake City, “Perfection is attainable!”) The last time we were graced with a first episode this good was back when Real Housewives of Potomac premiered in 2016. (Though the hype surrounding RHOP was comparatively much smaller at the time. Bravo even leaned into a full slate of ads asking “Where is Potomac?” ahead of the premiere. And it took seasons of under-the-radar perfection for the show to finally be respected today as the top-tier Housewives franchise it is.)
For a filler episode, this week’s Real Housewives of Orange County was quite the roller coaster, wasn’t it? There was a heartwarming high. There were low-budget lows. And then right at the end, was the lowest low of all. Personally, over the course of the episode I went from getting choked up. To being weirded out. To being completely shocked, emotionally triggered and happily surprised at the return of a familiar face. And finally, to feeling physically sick to my stomach by the final scene. For a Housewives season many fans are choosing not to watch, this year in the OC is certainly delivering all kinds of emotions so far. And we haven’t even reached the earth-shattering outbreak of a global pandemic!
Let’s just start with the low-budget low, shall we? The episode kicks off with Emily Simpson FaceTiming Gina Kirschenheiter to rehash last week’s drama. Which would be a totally ordinary thing to do in the world of Housewives if Gina weren’t busy shopping at…Walmart. Now listen. I’m not saying shopping at Walmart is sad and depressing the way some ‘Wives might. But it’s normal. Which is precisely what I don’t want from a Housewives show. Give me luxury! Give me wealth! At the very least, give me Trader Joe’s. I mean. Can you imagine Heather Dubrow deigning to shop at Walmart during her five seasons on the show? I didn’t think so. Gina getting caught shopping at Walmart on camera just goes to show how far this show has fallen from its glory days.