All good things must come to an end, and then there’s this season of Real Housewives of Orange County. Because of the Rona, we didn’t have as many episodes produced, so that was a tiny gift to viewers. I doubt anyone will dispute it was Braunwyn Windham-Burke’s season. Not so much because she is a compelling individual, she just pulled every card in the Bravo playbook and laid them all down.
Elizabeth Lyn Vargas was supposed to be a breath of fresh air, but, was she? Elizabeth may or may not be hiding stuff about her marriage, divorce, and relationship with that dude she definitely isn’t banging. Shannon Beador’s new man was supposed to soften her attitude. Unfortunately, that ‘tude is sharper than ever and those edges are jagged – and for Christ’s sake, she asked for EGG WHITES. Our favorite scientist Kelly Dodd’s job might be on the line, because her mouth is it’s own entity. RHOC is finally over and the reunion is coming. Let’s see what we’re in for.
This is it! We made it to the season finale of The Real Housewives of Orange County! It came suddenly. Yet it took forever to get here. What a strange, strange season this has been. It’s worth noting before diving into the drama that, clocking in at just 14 episodes (and assuming there’s no Secrets Revealed episode after the two-part reunion), this is the shortest season in RHOC history since Season 4. That was back in 2008. During the earliest days of Tamra Judge pointing her finger across the table at Javier’s and accusing Gretchen Rossi of going to Bass Lake.
It’s also only one episode longer than the freshman season of RHOSLC that’s also airing right now. Blame it on the pandemic. Or on the First Ladies of Bravo showing their age after 15 years. Or some combination of both. But it’s truly unprecedented for a flagship show that has regularly delivered 20+ episodes per season for the last decade. And is it just me, or did it sort of feels like production just…decided to wrap things up? Was it the worst season in Housewives history? That’s to be decided. But was it one of the weakest? Almost certainly.
Hmm. For the penultimate episode of the season, this week’s Real Housewives of Orange County sure felt strange. And honestly, I have to admit it feels quite odd to be recapping tonight given the chaos that’s happened in Washington D.C. today. Over the last 15 years, the Housewives franchise has often provided a much-needed dose of escapism from the horrors and headlines of real life. Tonight in the O.C., however, provided no such relief from the reality of a mob storming the Capitol in an attempt to overthrow the democratic process. But alas, here we are. And the recapping must go on…
I think my biggest issue with this episode of Real Housewives of Orange County is that it really just boiled down to a series of one-on-one conversations. Because of coronavirus restrictions, the women haven’t been able to congregate together since the trip to Lake Arrowhead. And really, they haven’t all been together since before the pandemic shut down production. Right? Since the cast trip to Palm Springs? So basically they’re left to talk in pairs, or film with their kids, siblings and significant others. None of which is particularly interesting on its own without a main storyline driving the narrative.
It’s been 000 days since Tamra Judge’s last comment on Real Housewives of Orange County. For someone who claims not to watch the show, she certainly has a lot to say. But this is what we’ve come to expect from Bravolebrities who have
been fired taken a pause from reality television.
Tamra has never been quiet. Some folks won’t go away gracefully and apparently all of them have worked for Bravo. But don’t underestimate Tammy Sue, she knows what she’s doing. She has provided more info to the media about this season than Gina Kirschenheiter, who actually filmed. Now Tamra shares her thoughts on what next season will bring. Spoiler alert, it will bring Tamra.
Shannon Storms Beador has really been working the “new me” edit on this season of Real Housewives of Orange County. Despite getting into some early trouble for possibly being elitist against Gina Kirschenheiter’s new house, she is really trying to come off as more likable.
She’s lost all her Vicki Gunvalson stress weight. She has a new man in her life (and all his kids too). She even has a new house, complete with a painted picture of her own face hanging in her gym. Presumably so she can stare into her own mug as motivation to work out. I don’t get it but I also don’t work out soooo……
Tonight on The Real Housewives of Orange County, we finally met the real Elizabeth Lyn Vargas. No more half-truths. No more gag orders. And no more hiding behind claims of being the “richest bitch in Newport.” No, this week, the newbie laid bare her past and a lifetime of hidden trauma for the Bravo cameras. And if I do say so myself, the whole thing was pretty dang riveting. (But maybe that’s just because I have a deep, deep fascination with cults?)
That’s right, Elizabeth grew up in a cult. Which she revealed to Braunwyn Windham-Burke last week on a walking path in Lake Arrowhead. All before promptly breaking down into a full-blown panic attack on said walking path. Which, can you blame her? Surely, sharing such a deep and painful secret was not exactly what she had in mind when joining a show about, well, being one of the richest bitches in Newport.
Tamra Judge ditched Real Housewives of Orange County before Season 15 began filming because she wasn’t offered an orange. Instead, she was offered a three-episode arc to conclude her story. Housewives producer Andy Cohen has floated the idea of Tamra one day returning.
Well, dear readers, sometime might be sooner than anyone thought. During this dark season of RHOC, it’s almost like Tamra never left. Oh, how I wish Tamra was at Lake Arrowhead with Kelly Dodd, Braunwyn Windham-Burke, Gina Kirschenheiter, and newbie Elizabeth Lyn Vargas. Watching everyone do outdoor activities isn’t exactly riveting television, although watching Gina is hilarious. We need someone to stir up some trouble, which happens to be Tamra’s specialty.
The Real Housewives of Orange County sure are squeezing as much out of this Lake Arrowhead trip as they can, huh? In no year other than 2020 would a non-international cast trip featuring only four of the ‘Wives get stretched out for three episodes. Just imagine the quick Season 6 jaunt to San Antonio lasting that long. Because Lake Arrowhead is basically the equivalent of that, just with fewer Gretchen Christine Beaute handbags.
This trip has thrown Braunwyn Windham-Burke for a loop. She calls her BFF Shari from her hotel room to vent about the “anti-Braunwyn campaign” the other ‘Wives seem to be on. And sure, you can argue that Braunwyn is being paranoid. Except that at that very moment, plenty of anti-Braunwyn gossip is being thrown around the house by her cast mates. Kelly Dodd calls her a “Debbie downer.” Gina Kirschenheiter says she came in “nervous and aggressive.” So is she really that wrong that an anti-Braunwyn campaign is happening?