It’s reunion time! And the Real Housewives of Orange County are gathered for a safe, socially distanced sit-down at L.A.’s historic Wilshire Ebell Theatre. The ladies dressed in their best red, white and black, and they’re ready to do battle. Can you guys believe this is the fifteenth time we’ve done this in Orange County? We’ve certainly come a long way from watching clips from the season on a rolling TV in Vicki Gunvalson‘s grotto sans Andy Cohen. And also Kimberly Bryant. Remember her?
Let’s talk about the Real Housewives of Orange County reunion fashion, yes? The color palette doesn’t seem to have a definitive theme and the looks are…varied. To say the least. My personal vote for best of the bunch goes to Emily Simpson for her va-va-voom burgundy gown. It’s a fab update on the red velvet wrap dress she wore at the Season 14 reunion, which also happened to be my favorite look that year. (Em sure tends to turn it out come reunion time, doesn’t she?) It seems she knows red’s her color, and she looks better than ever.
Someone went to their local community college and took a course on how to maintain a job in reality television. Gina Kirschenheiter may want to look into this class… Real Housewives of Orange County star Braunwyn Windham-Burke made a not-so-shocking revelation. After a long marriage, many children, a sketchy mother, and acknowledging alcoholism, Braunie has come out of the closet.
Braunwyn should be applauded for being able to finally live authentically, but it didn’t come easy. This one broke the mold when she showed up on RHOC, and hers is no ordinary family. Between Dr. Deb’s
big fat mouth homage to Rainbow Brite and “renegotiating” her marriage with Sean Burke, Braunwyn’s household is colorful. Sean has been ride-or-die with Braunwyn since day one. He’s done everything from watch her give birth to struggle with booze. Now we learn just because Braunwyn identifies as gay, doesn’t mean Sean identifies as gone.
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!
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?
Braunwyn Windham-Burke’s shoulders are super strong since she’s carrying all the storylines for the next few seasons of Real Housewives of Orange County. In the first episode, Braunwyn told frenemy Emily Simpson that she’s an alcoholic. Since then, we’ve learned that production kept her alcoholism under wraps during her first season and a crew member accompanied her to her first AA meeting.
The other bombshell Braunwyn dropped is that her and her husband, Sean Burke, are no longer living together. The couple is currently “redefining what marriage means.” Oh and that she has a new special someone in her life who is likely a woman. According to her RHOC cast mate, Gina Kirschenheiter, Braunwyn’s family “is in crisis.” Or are they?
Braunwyn Windham-Burke’s family life is eclipsing the current season of Real Housewives of Orange County. She has been very open about her alcoholism and its effects on her husband Sean Burke and her
manipulative, thirsty, toxic mother Dr. Deb.
Braunwyn has also said that she has another love interest outside of her marriage, which Sean is, apparently cool with. Oh, and she and Sean aren’t even living together these days. There is a lot to unpack there, so it’s interesting how Braunwyn had found the time to diss Gina Kirschenheiter for her love life, specifically Gina’s decision to move in with Travis Mullen six months into their relationship and eight months after her split from Matt Kirschenheiter. As the viewers have seen, Gina, Matt, and all of their kids (six of them) are living in a three-bedroom condo together.
Technically, Tamra Judge is not a cast member on the current Real Housewives of Orange County season, but she might as well be. She has been mentioned multiple times throughout the season’s first two episodes.
Kelly Dodd and Emily Simpson made many jokes about the demise of the Tres Amigas. Braunwyn Windham-Burke revealed that her mom Dr. Deb outed her alcoholism to Tamra to get back at Braunwyn for comments Braunwyn made about Deb’s terrible parenting during her first season. Gina Kirschenheiter concocted a storyline based on a one-off conversation with Tamra about a text Sean Burke sent her last season. No one, to my knowledge has said Vicki Gunvalson’s name, other than obviously including her in the mention of the “Tres Amigas,” but Vicki is acting like she’s mad about the many mentions she thinks she’s getting.
Hello Real Housewives of Orange County fans! We’re two weeks into the seismic change that is this year in the OC and I’m pleased to announce that I’ll be recapping the lives of the First Ladies of Bravo for the remainder of Season 15! I’m an OG RHOC fan — I’ve been watching since Season 1, Episode 1. That was all the way back in 2005 when I’d sneak Bravo on the TV in my parents’ room, daydreaming about life behind the tony gates of Coto de Caza. Well, that and crushing hard on Shane Keough while stressing about whether Lauri Waring Peterson would ever live the OC lifestyle again. Of course, none of the women currently on the show were even a twinkle in Andy Cohen‘s eye at that point. And to be frank, I had my fair share of reservations going into the season because of that.
Could RHOC survive without Vicki Gunvalson? What about Tamra Judge? As a resident Housewives expert, I’ve always been an ardent believer that each city in the franchise needs an OG to act as anchor to the show’s history. So no matter how many ‘Wives came and went through Bravo’s revolving door, there would always be someone who’d been there from the very beginning. And whether I loved or hated them in any given season, I truly expected to watch Vicki and Tamra whooping it up in a retirement community thirty years from now for Season 45.