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!
Elizabeth Lyn Vargas is an interesting addition to Real Housewives of Orange County. I say “interesting” because I genuinely can’t tell if I like her or not. She has all of the things you might want in a housewife. She has a billionaire ex-husband. Elizabeth has an obsession with general materialism fancy cars. Then, there’s her odd outlook on sex, and a kind of tragic backstory. Plus, she makes Shannon Beador squirm.
Shannon can barely contain her insecurity around Elizabeth because she knows she has some real green money. Elizabeth was married to Bernt Bodal, (sounds like a Bond villain), owner of American Seafood Group, for five years. We also know Elizabeth couldn’t take being a billionaire’s wife and that he got some other woman pregnant. That sucks all around, especially because he told her he didn’t want kids. Now, Elizabeth is coming to collect.
Since Lynn Curtin’s daughter was served eviction papers on season three of Real Housewives of Orange County, who even owns their home on these shows has been a topic of conversation. On RHOC particularly, these women seem to exist on one of two extremes – they’re like Heather Dubrow and Shannon Beador (circa her first season) and have homes that could be described as compounds. Then there are the Lydia McLaughlin’s who rent.
This season is no different. Newbie, Elizabeth Lyn Vargas has a huge beach-front mansion that gives Shannon pangs of jealousy and nostalgia for days past. Then there’s the ridiculous feud about who called Gina Kirschenheiter’s townhome “sad.” Braunwyn Windham-Burke has admitted she wanted to hurt Gina with that comment. Now she’s clarifying why she doesn’t actually own the new McMansion she’s been filming in.
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?
During the most recent episode of Real Housewives of Orange County, Gina Kirschenheiter shared her hilarious commentary on Shannon Beador’s
blatant jealousy of Elizabeth Lyn Vargas’ wealth awkwardness with newbie Elizabeth Lyn Vargas.
Shannon’s facial expressions when Elizabeth showed off the expensive features of her home, just said it all. And then, when the three women sat down for lunch, there were labels left behind on the food. Some mused that Elizabeth left those on to show off how much she paid, which is kind of absurd since it’s from a supermarket deli. It’s not as if she has caviar and escargot on the table.
Real Housewives of Orange County is only a few episodes in. So far, we have seen some big changes and already, big drama. It seems that everyone has moved, some of them being in the same exact neighborhood. And we had a new addition to the cast, Elizabeth Lyn Vargas. The jury is still out on her for me.
But one thing we can always rely on when it comes to RHOC is the fashion. More like, lackthereof. Does everyone remember OC Fashion Week? Aside from a crazy lady with a microphone, it was underwhelming to say the least. Many of us (more like all of us) were shocked to even realize that OC Fashion Week existed. I’m still shook.
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.
Who knew a housewarming party could drag on for so long? I mean, seriously though. This episode of The Real Housewives of Orange County revolves almost entirely around last week’s drama at Shannon Beador‘s party and its immediate aftermath. Hence the foreboding title of the episode: “The Aftershock.” And if last week’s glass throwing by Braunwyn Windham-Burke was the splash heard ’round the OC, this week is the aftershock heard round…what exactly? Well, at least around the Porch Streets of Newport Beach. Which are, you know, all within walking distance of one another.
Cut back to Shannon‘s rented suburban dream home. Braunwyn has just stormed out in the wake of her argument with Gina Kirschenheiter. The rest of the ‘Wives are positively scandalized by the lone, unbroken glass sitting at the bottom of Shannon’s pool. It’s almost as if they never watched Tamra Judge throw red wine in Jeana Keough‘s face back in the Season 6 finale. Oh right, none of them did. Because none of the women in this cast were on the show back at the very start of the Real Housewives of Orange County glory days.