In the season premiere of Real Housewives of Orange County we join the ladies after last season’s milestone changes: TAMRA got the tattoo of her ex-husband’s name removed from her ring finger, HEATHER legally took her husband’s last name and begrudgingly gave up her nonexistent acting career, and VICKI’s daughter BRIANA got married and pregnant just in time for the baby to enter a world where a chinless VICKI exists no more.
And that’s where we begin, with Bravo’s tenured housewife, VICKI. Wasn’t she supposed to sell her house? Whelp, her dream has come true: DON’s out and BRIANA plus baby are in! Happiness and joy fill the Coto de Caza home. Oh, and despite her proclamation of independence and self-assuredness to do what she wants on her whim and no one else’s, VICKI destroyed her face with plastic surgery because an unemployed SLADE SMILEY attempted stand up comedy and used her appearance as the butt of his jokes by calling her Miss Piggy. Instead of brushing it off and looking forward to her new grandchild, VICKI decided to play the victim by breaking up with sketch fest of a boyfriend BROOKS and paying lots of monies to cut up her face to inadvertently look more like Miss Piggy than we could ever have imagined. There are no winners here.
Up in the cement fortress of the DUBROWS, HEATHER brings home lobsters to taste-test for this episode’s critical junction of Housewives: a faux clambake. HEATHER and DR. TERRY bicker like a pre-divorced COUPLE MALOOF, and she informs her onion ring-wanting husband that she’s invited all the women except ALEXIS.
On to TAMRA. She and her kids have moved in with EDDIE and things seem kinda maybe OK. The lights and carpet are the last things EDDIE and TAMRA should be fighting about because those business cards are heinous acts of graphic design. In preparation for filming, EDDIE downloaded an illegal version of Photoshop, watched a seven-year-old in Australia’s YouTube tutorial on color gradients, and spent a total of 25 hours on the two versions of the business cards he showed TAMRA on camera. Dear EDDIE: both are terrible.
At an obligatory HOUSEWIVES shopping meet-up, TAMRA and GRETCHEN learn from speakerphone HEATHER that BRIANA’s in labor. TAMRA rehashes her beef with VICKI and all the “Evil Eye”/God stuff that only happens in Orange County. Every Housewives franchise has their hodgepodge of psychics and idiots parading around, but the OC is especially into this Evil Eye thing and this Jesus thing. TAMRA and GRETCHEN both agree that a hideous handbag is adorable and we all barf.
After a lot of time captions on screen, BRIANA has the baby. Or, VICKI has a baby through BRIANA and he’s a beautiful little bundle of joy who sneezes! It’s so cute! BRIANA, her husband, and new baby try to snap a #selfie of the new family, but they aren’t quick enough before big mama VICKI stuffs her Muppet face into the shot. #Vickihas #nofilter
In the house that HOMEGOODS built, GRETCHEN pretends she doesn’t know how to make a coffee with a Keurig and calls SLADE for guidance. SLADE has a new gig as a radio host and is no longer her out-of-work bitch, which is a shame for viewers. Still, we haven’t actually seen SLADE at the so-called “office” doing his so-called “job” as a so-called “radio host,” so until we do, we can assume he answered GRETCHEN’s call hiding outside in the doghouse GRETCHEN made him build. When he hangs up, he tries to exit the doghouse but can’t figure out how he manipulated his body to fit in there in the first place. It becomes his own personal 127 Hours which he documents on his smartphone instead of calling GRETCHEN. When GRETCHEN finally saves him, SLADE runs to the bathroom to drink his own pee because he always wanted to try.
And finally, we get to the craziest one of them all, ALEXIS and the “Bellino Five,” a term ALEXIS coined for her family all by herself because there are five of them and they are Bellinos! Husband of the year JIM walks in the door red-faced and bloated trying to act all Ricky Ricardo. But this wouldn’t be a “BELLINO FIVE” taping without some chauvinist putdowns. JIM tells his wife she knows nothing about art and that she dresses like slut, which is why God wants him to make the family decisions. Within the realm of the BELINNO FIVE 6,000 square foot house soon to be in foreclosure, his logic is not circular and he is considered the epitome of handsome.
ALEXIS and her fresh new hairdo inform us that she has pulled back on Alexis Couture (it failed) and that she’s no longer working with Fox 5 (she was fire). It’s all God’s will, and now she can spend more time chained to the refrigerator. What ALEXIS doesn’t realize is that the biggest bully in her life isn’t TAMRA or GRETCHEN; it’s her husband and her husband’s God. While giving a breathtaking sermon on who ALEXIS should hang out with and who she shouldn’t, Jim and Jim’s God forget that ALEXIS doesn’t really have a choice: she’s wasn’t even invited to the clambake. Amen.
Finally, in this uneventful season premiere, we make it to the faux clambake. HEATHER’s backyard table is set up Orange County-style: tacky. The whole thing is almost beautiful but the unkempt grass, construction in the background, and the needless security squad standing in front of the door lowers its appraisal.
When the first guests arrive DR. TERRY opens the door with the greeting he’s been planning ever since HEATHER said “no” to his onion rings. “WAZZAAAA!” he shots to TAMRA and GRETCHEN. It’s so awkward that it goes unaddressed. What does go addressed by TAMRA and GRETCHEN is that VICKI may possibly be feigning her breakup with BROOKS to get people off her back about the sketchiest dude to ever grace our televisions. Also DR. TERRY and BROOKS hang? I’d pay to see that interaction. Maybe I won’t have to.
In one of the saddest limo rides in Housewives history, VICKI rolls up to HEATHER’s pile of cement with no one on her side and a Miss Piggy face she cannot hide. Will TAMRA say hi first? God only knows.