Real Housewives don’t always leave quietly. Even less so for veterans with big egos like Vicki Gunvalson. She’s the OG of the OC, and probably feels a sense of entitlement in sharing her opinion about anything Real Housewives of Orange County.
And certainly there’s a lot to talk about. RHOC just had a big cast shakeup. Elizabeth Lyn Vargas, Braunwyn Windham-Burke, and Kelly Dodd Leventhal were all axed after completing Season 15. Tamra Judge is hinting at a return to the series, and alum Heather Dubrow’s comeback has been confirmed.
For the first time in several seasons, I’m actually excited to watch the Real Housewives of Orange County. Bravo finally took out the trash and fired Kelly Dodd and Braunwyn Windham-Burke. And at long last, Heather Dubrow is making a triumphant return, no doubt with a bottle of champs in hand. It was a close call of whether or not RHOC could be salvaged. But if anyone can do it, it’s Fancy Pants.
The peak of RHOC is obviously around Season 10, when the Brooks Ayers cancer scam took the Bravo world by storm. Meghan King was the main crusader in exposing Vicki Gunvalson and her man’s lies, even though Vicki will continue to shout from the rooftops that she’s NOT A CON WOMAN. Meghan was not afraid to go head-to-head with Queen Victoria, and she was damn good at it.
Real Housewives of Orange County wasn’t always a hot mess. In fact, RHOC had an amazing run from Season 3 to Season 11. That’s nine seasons of good TV, which is a difficult feat for any show, scripted or otherwise. We can attribute a lot of this success to stellar casting decisions. For instance, Tamra Judge’s arrival in Season 3 changed everything about the OC. Heather Dubrow’s debut in Season 7 had the same positive effect on the show. After Season 11 however things went south – or at least THAT’S MY OPINION. I attribute the descent into awfulness to two things. The first is the casting of Kelly Dodd and Heather’s subsequent termination. Now, after five years, Bravo finally saw the light and reversed their terrible mistake.
The second catalyst of this downward trajectory was Vicki Gunvalson and Brooks Ayers’ cancer scam in Season 10. Brooks was rightfully questioned by the women on the show for all of his past shady behavior. To rehab his image, Brooks faked having cancer for sympathy. This phony story was initially brought to light by Tamra’s psychic, and then vehemently unraveled thanks to the serious detective work of Meghan King. Vicki has always claimed she “wasn’t in on a cancer scam!” She just wanted casseroles. Most people agree with Shannon Beador’s assessment that Vicki is “too smart” to not know. Bottom line, this cancer scam put a dark spot on RHOC and showed the lengths desperate people will go to on reality TV. Regardless of Vicki’s involvement, this dark spot will always be over her head.
The most recent, and frankly most disappointing, season of the Real Housewives of Orange County really made me miss the good old days. I miss Vicki Gunvalson’s screaming outbursts and self-comparisons to Jesus Chris. I miss Tamra Judge stirring the pot and always finding a hot tub to get naked wasted in. I miss Heather Dubrow the most and her endless fountain of champs. And when I think back to my favorite moments of RHOC, I cannot overlook the Brooks Ayers cancer scam and expert sleuthing skills by Meghan King.
Detective Meghan has gone through a whole lot of life events since leaving RHOC. She’s a mom of three, newly divorced and has been on the dating circuit kissing a lot of frogs. But good for her — the divorce from Jim Edmonds was messy, with custody battles and cheating allegations left and right. There was a sexting scandal. A threesome scandal. A nanny scandal. It had it all, and the cameras weren’t even there to film it.
It’s no secret that we’re way past the golden age of the Real Housewives of Orange County after the mess that was Season 15. And it’s no wonder people are calling for a total overhaul of the cast. Long gone are the days of the tres amigas drama or the Brooks Ayers cancer scam. I miss Fancy Pants Heather Dubrow getting down and dirty with Tamra Judge. And Meghan King Edmonds going in on Vicki Gunvalson amidst the aforementioned scam. The show has strayed so far since the good old days, and I’m not even talking about when Jeana Keough had a starring role on the show.
I’m a proponent of bringing Fancy Pants and Detective Meghan King back to RHOC. Particularly Meghan, who’s undergone quite a transformation in the last year or so. Starting with a sexting scandal that propelled her split from Jim Edmonds. And from there, things only went downhill and boy were they nasty. The drama involved unusual nanny relationships, threesome rumors and a whole lot of back and forth accusations in the press. The two got coronavirus and grappled with some serious medical issues with their children, not to mention an entire custody battle. Meanwhile, Meghan’s been dating the whole time and being fairly blunt about what she’s looking for in a man. Where were the Bravo cameras for all of this?
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills are back, and this season is setting up to be a doozy. And this time, the crew didn’t even need Brandi Glanville to come in and make things interesting. Obviously, the biggest story fans are expecting is to see Erika Jayne’s legal issues and divorce involving Tom Girardi play out. Tom is being accused of misappropriating more than $26 million in unpaid settlement funds to victims of car crashes, fires and more. And the accusations just keep coming. While Tom is now broke, unable to practice law and very sick, Erika is doing anything she can to absolve herself of any fault in the case. But the receipts aren’t looking good so far. And her questionably timed divorce, which she says is the result of Tom’s infidelity, looks like another attempt for her to protect her assets. The judge did have to stop her from selling her clothes online after, so it doesn’t look good.
The premiere of RHOBH Season 11 was eerie when it came to Erika Girardi’s impending issues. Erika talked about dinners with Tom and cleaned out her “overflow” closet in her $16 million mansion without a care in the world. Little does she know she’s about to move to a place of her own and lose her $40k a month glam squad. And she thought #pantygate with Dorit Kemsley was bad.
Who even knows what the future holds for the Real Housewives of Orange County these days. Kelly Dodd and Brauwyn Windham-Burke made Season 15 pretty insufferable. Tamra Judge and Vicki Gunvalson are ready at any time to swoop in, whoop it up and save the day. We saw Shannon Beador as the veteran cast member last season, which is about as exciting as it sounds. No wonder Andy Cohen says Bravo is taking their sweet time before casting Season 16. Just bring back Fancy Pants Heather Dubrow and Detective Meghan King Edmonds and all will be right in the OC again.
And the year is 2021 and somehow, we’re still talking about Shannon and David Beador’s divorce. Even though he has a new baby with a new fiance. And Shannon is just waiting for the right moment to marry her new boo. However, the Beadors just can’t quit each other, especially when it comes to bickering back and forth about the most ridiculous situations.
The Real Housewives of Orange County has undergone a dramatic change from its first seasons that put Real Housewives on the map. Vicki Gunvalson, the OG of the OC, is out, and left kicking and screaming along the way. Can you really blame Bravo after her involvement in the Brooks Ayers cancer scam? Her best amiga Tamra Judge left with her, even though they both seem like they’d pick up their oranges in a heartbeat if production asked. Long gone are the days of fancy pants Heather Dubrow and getting naked wasted with Gretchen Rossi. And after the mess of Season 15, it’s obvious the show needs to make a change for it to be as good as the old days.
Even though Vicki is gone, she’s never forgotten. Or maybe, she doesn’t let us forget her. That’s why the OG kid of the Real Housewives Briana Culberson recently appeared on a special kids version of Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen. Briana is all grown up, a mommy of three and continues to be Vicki’s voice of reason.