Braunwyn Windham-Burke really did the most during the latest Real Housewives of Orange County season… both on the show and on social media… and in interviews. It really turned into The Braunwyn Show, which many of us grew tired with.
She just seemed to do whatever she could to be seen, including hiring a professional photographer to take pictures of her at a Black Lives Matter protest. Trying to spotlight yourself during an event like that is just beyond cringe-worthy. Since then she “just happened to be photographed” while she and husband Sean Burke were walking out of a sex shop. Really? Paparazzi just happen to be following a second-season Real Housewife who lives in Orange County, California? No one believes that. Just like no one believes that the paparazzi “just happened to photograph” pictures of Braunwyn with her new girlfriend Kris. Kelly Dodd called her out for saying it was all staged, and, clearly, she’s right.
Going into the most recent
flop of a season of Real Housewives of Orange County, a lot of viewers expected to “side” with Braunwyn Windham-Burke. She supported disenfranchised groups and she seemed to be open-minded. During the premiere episode, she revealed that she is an alcoholic and started her journey of sobriety. She had a lot of people behind her, supporting her.
Then, the tide started to turn. She hired a professional photographer to take pictures of her at a Black Lives Matter protest, which doesn’t exactly scream “sincerity.” She admitted to hitting her husband Sean Burke… multiple times… in front of their children. After that, she came out as a lesbian, claiming that she has never been attracted to her husband, the father of her seven kids. She’s also been calling the paparazzi on herself. Basically, it just feels like a lot of attention-seeking and hypocrisy. No wonder, she’s had issues with every single one of her co-stars this season.
Going into the latest Real Housewives of Orange County, I assumed I would be supporting Braunwyn Windham-Burke 100% of the way. She was a very vocal supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement. She was very supportive of the LGBTQI+ community before ultimately coming out as a lesbian herself. And then she managed to be so frustrating, annoying, and hypocritical that it has been so hard to root for her.
After Braunwyn hit her husband Sean Burke, offered her drug dealer’s contact information to Shannon Beador’s then-14-year-old daughter Stella Beador, and all of her other offensive behaviors and hypocrisies, I just cannot be a card-carrying member of Team Braunwyn. She even hired a professional photographer to take photos of her during a Black Lives Matter protest, which comes across as incredibly self-serving.
Who would have thought that Gina Kirschenheiter would come off of a Real Housewives of Orange County season appearing like the most together cast member? One season, she was catching Ubers, unable to drive following her DUI. The start of the next season involved some questionable fashion choices and some ratchet hair extensions.
However, despite appearances, she became the voice of reason on this show, saying what many viewers are thinking and putting things into perspective. She was also the most compassionate toward Braunwyn Windham-Burke in the midst of her struggles with alcoholism, her marriage (she hit her husband Sean Burke in front of their kids), and her sexuality. (she recently came out as a lesbian and said she was never attracted to men). However, even Gina, ass nice as she tried to be, just couldn’t help being annoyed by Braunwyn’s “me me me” persona and constant hypocrisy at times.
For being one of the most consistently contentious casts, there is finally something *most* Real Housewives of Orange County can agree on. Their dislike for Braunwyn Windham-Burke. As the season closed, the cast seemed to hit new theatrical heights all around. But no one was more dramatic than B. To be fair, she was grappling with some pretty shitty news.
Shannon Beador let it drop that Braunwyn had previously (and drunkenly) offered her 14-year-old daughter cocaine! Yeeeesh! At another point, Braunwyn accused Shannon of having a drinking problem too. Of course, Shannon denies this. She claims shes “fun” not an alcoholic. Okay then.
Braunwyn Windham-Burke has had a long journey to authenticity this season. The Real Housewives of Orange County star shocked us episode after episode. She revealed she’s an alcoholic, had a woman move in with them, and then ultimately came out as a lesbian. She took it one step further at the reunion, saying she was never attracted to husband, Sean Burke. And that was AFTER a vow renewal this season.
But aside from her revelations, fans have seemed divided on what to think. Braunwyn is coming out thirstier and thirstier as the days go on. She hired a photographer to take pics of her at BLM rallies. The ladies on the reunion were all too happy to point out. She also recently claimed that she only came out because TMZ had pics of her and her girlfriend. That had a lot of people scratching their heads, wondering if Braunwyn is a big enough star for TMZ to actually care.
This is it. The end of Season 15 of The Real Housewives of Orange County. We made it, guys. Now, I for one wouldn’t actually say it’s been the worst season in modern Housewives history. (That distinction still goes, in my opinion, to Season 13…) But it certainly was an odd duck in the show’s fifteen-year canon. And sure, there are plenty of reasons. Blame it on the pandemic. Or in the glaring absence of Tamra Judge and Vicki Gunvalson. Blame it on the new girl. Or on the fact that these women don’t really have authentic friendships anymore.
But really, when you look back at the history of RHOC, the show veered off course after Season 11. And it’s been in a never-ending nose dive ever since. (Though I for one rather enjoyed most of Season 14…) Personally, I have my theories about why that is. (Read: the unforgivable loss of Heather Dubrow, which many fans are just now starting to recognize four seasons after her exit.) But either way, this is where we’ve arrived. So for one last time, let’s dive back into the complicated mire that is Season 15 in the OC.
Real Housewives of Orange County had a crap year and it’s difficult who to blame the most. Emily Simpson and Gina Kirschenheiter were reduced to being the condiments in a giant, useless sandwich between two pieces of unfortunate bread named Kelly Dodd and Braunwyn Windham-Burke. Poor Shannon STORMS Beador is kind of a discarded piece of lettuce clinging to the plate. There really is no prettying up this season, no matter how you slice it.
Kelly and Braunwyn were…something. Braunwyn managed to reveal numerous issues that negatively impacted both her well-being and her family. She managed to insult as many people as possible by shaming those who protect themselves from diseases and spent the remainder of her camera time unleashing her 23&Me results to prove she isn’t racist. Now Kelly is chomping at the bit and saying she refuses to film with Braunwyn going forward, and we all know how much Bravo loves an ultimatum…