Braunwyn Windham-Burke somehow went from a misunderstood, tepid freshman housewife to….well, this. The Real Housewives of Orange County star suddenly found herself as less of a victim of Tamra Judge and Vicki Gunvalson and more of a villain. She came under fire for supposedly lying about Shannon Beador’s assessment of Gina Kirschenheiter’s house. Newbie Elizabeth Lyn Vargas caught her investigating her financial situation. And Kelly Dodd outright accused her of being a fan alcoholic for a story line.
Despite the fact that she has a lot to be cheered on about, it seemed like everyone was over her this season, including fans. Braunwyn not only came out and got sober, but she was heavily involved in activism too. But some are finding it disingenuous. I don’t think it helps that she’s already floating the idea of bringing her new girlfriend, Kris, onto the next season of RHOC. Talk about putting the cart before the horse.
Going into the latest Real Housewives of Orange County, I assumed I would be supporting Braunwyn Windham-Burke 100% of the way. She was a very vocal supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement. She was very supportive of the LGBTQI+ community before ultimately coming out as a lesbian herself. And then she managed to be so frustrating, annoying, and hypocritical that it has been so hard to root for her.
After Braunwyn hit her husband Sean Burke, offered her drug dealer’s contact information to Shannon Beador’s then-14-year-old daughter Stella Beador, and all of her other offensive behaviors and hypocrisies, I just cannot be a card-carrying member of Team Braunwyn. She even hired a professional photographer to take photos of her during a Black Lives Matter protest, which comes across as incredibly self-serving.
Who would have thought that Gina Kirschenheiter would come off of a Real Housewives of Orange County season appearing like the most together cast member? One season, she was catching Ubers, unable to drive following her DUI. The start of the next season involved some questionable fashion choices and some ratchet hair extensions.
However, despite appearances, she became the voice of reason on this show, saying what many viewers are thinking and putting things into perspective. She was also the most compassionate toward Braunwyn Windham-Burke in the midst of her struggles with alcoholism, her marriage (she hit her husband Sean Burke in front of their kids), and her sexuality. (she recently came out as a lesbian and said she was never attracted to men). However, even Gina, ass nice as she tried to be, just couldn’t help being annoyed by Braunwyn’s “me me me” persona and constant hypocrisy at times.
Whitney Rose went on her Las Vegas trip knowing that she had conflict with most of the other Real Housewives of Salt Lake City cast mates. Jen Shah gave the impression that she forgave Whitney for bringing drama to her husband’s birthday party. But of course, Jen was still simmering underneath, and she took her anger out on Heather Gay of all people.
Meredith Marks and Lisa Barlow hadn’t yet shared their grievances with Whitney. They were last face to face at Sharrieff Shah’s birthday where Whitney accused them of talking negatively behind Jen’s back. There was no chance of resolution before the Vegas trip. Lisa got her own ride out of town to avoid Whitney, and the tension was palpable.
Well, the ladies on Real Housewives of Salt Lake City had quite a first season. Even though some of us are still coming to terms that Lisa Barlow is not Meredith Marks, most of the cast stood out on their own merit. While Utah definitely had some moments, there was something else that made this franchise different from the rest.
This is the first time we have seen religion featured so heavily on Bravo. In a largely Mormon environment, Mary Cosby came in as a Pentecostal pastor married to her step-grandfather. On that alone, Mary could have stayed seated and still had a storyline better than anyone on Real Housewives of Orange County this year. Viewers gained some insight into running a
scam church, fears of 7-11, and the dreaded scent of hospitals. Now it’s time for the reunion! Most of the ladies were there to resolve conflict, but Mary was there for a snooze.
Real Housewives of Orange County is over. It ended on the beach with a womp womp from producers and editors. They said without really saying, “we tried it without Tamra Judge. Replaced her with real live charisma vacuum, Elizabeth Lyn Vargas. And we know, it didn’t work.” The whole series needs an overhaul.
None of these women are natural together. The only thing they have in common is not liking Braunwyn Windham-Burke. The reunion was hard to watch. There was a lot of deflection from every single woman on stage, except Gina Kirschenheiter. Kelly Dodd is not a Covidiot, she’s Black! Braunwyn isn’t a mess. She just had seven kids with her husband because she’s an alcoholic! Emily Simpson does too support LGBTQ people. She went to a club with drag queens that one time! Deflections and irrationality everywhere, and Gina is happy to call it out.
Shannon Beador is having to defend herself all over the place lately. Even her other amigas have turned on her. Her time may really be up. Overall, she’s been a pretty blah the entire 15th season of Real Housewives of Orange County. She was hardly even memorable at the reunions. Pretty hard to do when you drop a bomb like Braunwyn Windham-Burke offering your child cocaine.
Whether it’s just due to Braunwyn’s ability to suck the focus from anyone, or her actual lack of personality shining through, Shannon is getting left behind. Unfortunately, she’s been remembered this year for a Housewife’s worst nightmare. Bad work.
For being one of the most consistently contentious casts, there is finally something *most* Real Housewives of Orange County can agree on. Their dislike for Braunwyn Windham-Burke. As the season closed, the cast seemed to hit new theatrical heights all around. But no one was more dramatic than B. To be fair, she was grappling with some pretty shitty news.
Shannon Beador let it drop that Braunwyn had previously (and drunkenly) offered her 14-year-old daughter cocaine! Yeeeesh! At another point, Braunwyn accused Shannon of having a drinking problem too. Of course, Shannon denies this. She claims shes “fun” not an alcoholic. Okay then.