The demise of Shannon Beador and David Beador‘s relationship has been a long and drawn-out storyline on the Real Housewives Of Orange County. Shannon joined the cast fresh off of dealing with the infamous AFFAIR and gave an honest look into them attempting to repair their marriage. While we didn’t have high expectations, their attempts at reconciliation did give us iconic scenes, like when they both had to give each other eulogies at the other’s fake funeral. Let’s be real — we all knew it was over the second they renewed their vows.
Somehow (not shocked) all of this work couldn’t stop David from being the cheating, gaslighting partner he is, who would rather munch on chips than have to talk to his ex-wife. But now he’s moved on with his new family — his wife, Lesley Cook Beador, just gave birth to their first baby together.
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.
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.
Season 15 of Real Housewives of Orange County centered, for better or worse, around Braunwyn Windham-Burke. She admitted that she is an alcoholic. Braunwyn told RHOC viewers that she had physically hit her husband, Sean Burke, in front of their children. Sean, of course, stood up for his wife.
In December, Braunwyn announced that she is a lesbian. She started dating her girlfriend, Kris, but has no plans to divorce Sean. Braunwyn said, “I think, for me, the most important thing is when I’m with Sean, I’m with Sean. When I’m with Kris, I’m with Kris. … [I] give them a hundred percent of me when I’m with them.” Does Braunwyn have any time in her jam-packed schedule for her seven kids?
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.
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.
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?