The Real Housewives of Orange County: Reunion – Part 1

Everyone who was present during this reunion is nuts, each in their own way, but nuts still the same – and that includes Andy Cohen.  There isn’t one of them that is smart enough, humble enough or honest enough to take a good hard look at themselves, check their respective egos at the door and even try to see how foolish they all look, act and sound.  The only good thing that came out of this reunion episode was an attack on Andy by a kamikaze bird.  Whoever paid that little guy to swoop in and do to Andy what so many of us wish we could do is deserving of “Mazel of the Year”.  So for that, we thank sparrows everywhere.

The term hypocrite came up, more than once and directed at more than one of the women.  Vicki took most of the hits for the accusation, but she has more than enough company in that category.  Brooks is a deadbeat dad.  So is Slade.  Vicki and Gretchen want us to believe otherwise, but we’ve seen and read enough to know better.  If either of these poor excuses for fathers are anywhere close to making things right by their children, it is because two foolish women have been writing some large checks.   If Vicki and Gretchen continue to profess their love for these men, then they deserve whatever happens to them in the future.  There will be no long-lasting relationships for these couples unless having one’s love tank filled is the same thing as having joint bank accounts, a place to live and a car to drive, for free.

I found it a little odd that Vicki is fighting the idea that Donn should receive spousal support.  The man accepted, raised and loved her two children as his own.  Those children, from all appearances, love and respect him.  Vicki admits that she was distant from him during their relationship – especially after she found Brooks – preferring to be at work until all hours of the night.  She also says that nearly clawed Donn’s new girlfriend’s eyes out, but wants everyone to accept Brooks, while she picks up his tab.  I think Donn deserves not only spousal support, but hazardous duty pay.

Heather loves to talk about teaching moments, particularly when she is directing her comments to Alexis.  She wants Alexis to listen to the advice that the other women are offering in order to see the errors of her ways.  According to Heather, and her backup singers, Alexis is phony and pretentious – this from a woman who called in the National Guard because someone broke a bow on a cake.   I’m not sure I’d be listening to much she has to say either if I had to listen to her constant references about “champs”.  That isn’t pretentious at all.

While we’re still having the intervention for Alexis, which, apparently, didn’t end in Costa Rica, Tamra, always the voice of reason, tells Alexis that she agrees with Gretchen and Heather.  To put a finer point on their harangue, the trio come up with some stories about how badly Alexis treats the production crew at Bravo and the clerks at Nordstrom’s.  We have no way of knowing if any of this is true or not because we haven’t seen any of it on the show.  What we have seen is Heather, the up and coming restaurateur, complain about how menus are handed to her, and how the food is either too large or never cooked right.  Bravo is pretty good at editing things for emphasis, good and bad.  I would think that if they wanted to show us that Alexis is mean to people, we would’ve had hours of footage by now.

There’s something else going on between Vicki and Tamra that caused them to breakup.  What we’ve seen doesn’t make any sense.  Their situations at present should have given them even more reason to stay friends.  The jewelry swapping between Tamra and Gretchen is about as real as Vicki suddenly befriending Alexis.  There couldn’t be two  women more different than Vicki and Alexis.  I mean, really, what do they talk about – insurance, religion, Hallmark cards?  Then again, this the HWs and we don’t know what the word friendship even means to these women.

Just a little observation and complaint from this peanut gallery.  Andy Cohen  should try to be fair about what is and isn’t appropriate and offensive when it comes to his guests and cast members.  I’m far from prudish, but letting Tamra call Alexis “Jesus Jugs” and then repeating it is really not right.  It’s no less offensive to some of us than when Juicy Joe uses the word “faggot”, or Rich Wakile utters the term “muff-diving”.   Some of Andy’s guests, including Juicy, Teresa, Danielle and even Marlo, have been made to apologize for that type of language while others  are given a free pass.  I understand that Andy’s intellectual maturity is stuck somewhere around that of an eighth grader, but an offense by one is an offense by all, with the same rules, judgments and punishments applied equally across the board.

Next week, Andy and the ladies will be joined by Brianna and Brooks for part two of the reunion.   I hope the bird shows up, too – and then writes a tell-all book.


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38 Responses to The Real Housewives of Orange County: Reunion – Part 1

  1. Lisa says:

    Fabulous summary!

  2. Kaereste says:

    I could not watch this season of OC and I never watch reunions. Too much painful and pointless warfare, as if I’m listening to my neighbors having a nasty marital argument about doing the dishes.

    Orange County may be a lovely place to live but it certainly does not attract deep thinkers, self examination, charity or humility.

    Jesus Jugs is an awful thing to say.

  3. klmh says:

    I agree with your summary of the first part of the reunion, except for one part. We have seen Alexis demean others on the set, like Heather and what she said about her acting. I get where Heather is coming from and Alexis unknowingly set the tone for their relationship. Just like Ramona setting the tone for her relationship with Heather on HWNY. Alexis isn’t the brightest star in the firmament and I don’t believe she sees herself the way others interpret her actions and words.
    I also remember when she took a dress that was a part of her design line, and took the scissors to it, in front of the seamstress. She had no compassion or thought for this lady and did as she pleased because she was the boss. She was laughing about it. I can definitely see what the other ladies are talking about. By the way, I don’t care for either Heathers…

    • I absolutely agree with you about Alexis and I didn’t mean it to sound as if I was cutting her any slack in the pretentious/hypocrite/mean girl department. I was caught up with the gang mentality against her, something which Bravo has reveled in lately. As I said at the beginning of my post, each and every one has their own hypocrisy and blame for a lot of what has transpired. There isn’t a one of them that should be casting stones. Alexis’ level of intelligence does not give her an excuse – especially with what we saw with the dressmaker.

  4. Lisa Renee says:

    Good Afternoon Empress, thank you thank you thank you. The spousal support issue was discussed late last night in bed because I am so worked up about it. As I was venting to the hubs I prefaced my rant to tell him while they are all hypocrites, Viki is the poster child. ITA Donn should get spousal support. Every financial decision he made in the last 20 years was based on their marriage & what is best for the family. While Viki was busy building her business with 2 school age children Donn was there to greet them in the afternoon. To hear viki speak about distance I am sure Donn had more dinners with the children than she did. That means he cooked & cleaned after them also. I would say it is safe to say he did more than his fair share of laundry too. Their choice as a couple for Donn to be at home more while she worked means she made more money than him. They chose to put donn’s energy into being a more hands on dad & because of viki they had the financial freedom to do that. The two children were certainly better for it, I think they are amazing young adults & they didn’t come out of the box like that, where is the gratitude?? Their retirement funds, second homes etc were all done in anticipation of their retirement. She is just such a little planner & sees money differently than the rest of us uneducated peons. I swear if Donn knew his marriage would implode he would have worked more & saved more in anticipation of being 60, as opposed to being an amazing available father to the children. Donn sacraficed his financial future for their children, trusting that he & his wife had the same goals. Donn’s personal financial security took a back seat to their desire to make sure one parent was present for the kids. He is not as financially secure right now as he would be if they were still married. I would tell Viki to look at it not as spousal support but compensation for not having to hire any child care, ever. Who was there to take the kids to sports, doctor visits, who did the food shopping, it is endless & a role usually held by a woman. Viki had it all & threw it away, time to pay up. Whew, I am still hot about this. As always, the things that hit home the most get the biggest reaction from me. My child adores her Padre & if we ever divorced she would still want him to walk her down the aisle. My daughter would be just as disgusted with me if after so much time I would treat someone so dear to her so poorly. If Donn had boobs this would be a no brainer. I would say shame on her, but we can see she has no shame in her game despite how important Donn is to her children. Sorry I hijacked your blog, I haven’t read anywhere till today that agrees that he is entitled to spousal support. Hope you are having a great day on the farm & thanks for letting me rant. Lisa

    • I’m a stepmom – 34 years – and it was through that experience that I watched and heard what Vicki said. Believe me, I understand. There are teasers for next week about Donn’s infidelities. True or not, Vicki chose to stay with him and her children seemed to have survived, somehow, with Donn as their Dad. BTW, your rants are always OK at the Farm. 🙂

    • Kaereste says:

      Lisa, you’re hubs sounds wonderful. It’s fantastic that your family has bonded.

      I was never a member of Donn was a saint to put up with Vicki club, but I complete agree with you about the divorce settlement. Marriage is a multilevel commitment. It is just as much as business as if you opened a dry cleaner together.

  5. melthehound says:

    I only made it through half the season myself, and the last episode. Kind of like going to a hated one’s funeral to make sure they’re in fact dead. Just for participation sake, I watched the reunion last night and as usual, I cannot argue with what you are saying about it. More often than not, I find myself wanting to punch Andy NoNutz Cohen in the mouth. I’ll watch next week just to put the other nail in the coffin but I remain happy for the most part, with my decision (talked about several weeks ago) to turn off the television and do something else with my time.

    • Andy will do whatever the headmistresses at Bravo and NBCUniversal let him do. They gave him a sandbox to play in and he doesn’t know how to play nice with the other children – especially with the girls.
      You can watch the Reunion on mute and make up your own conversations. They’re really not saying anything all that important, anyway.

      • Donna says:

        LOL I always watch Tv on mute, with closed captions, as I am hearing impaired, thanks to the amazing digital technology I now have 2 aids. I decided to turn the sound on and after a few seconds of listening to their screaching, I’ll keep it on mute, thank you very much.

  6. Really great post. Thanks! I’d completely forgotten about Heather’s issues in restaurants.

    While I agree that none of these women is 100% blame free, I also admit I’m not either. Having said that, I think Alexis has done better on this show and during this reunion than I could ever hope to. I know myself. I would have lost my cool while the women on the left sofa pounded her about everything.

    What I just don’t understand is why they loathe her so much. It cannot be because they think her husband controls her and that they think she’s inauthentic. There has to be something more to it. I just wonder if it is more than just jealousy.

    • Hey Priscilla, Thanks for stopping by. I do have to give Alexis credit for holding her own with the other women. As for their obvious contempt for her, I think jealousy is as reasonable an explanation/excuse as any. It doesn’t seem to take very much to set them off when they’ve chosen their target.

    • klmh says:

      There is an interesting preview for next week’s show on SH I think, and it shows Gretchen pulling some emails out of the sofa to show to Alexis. Alexis, to me, was quite demeaning to whomever she was talking to, and she “commands someone needs to get her emails, or else does she have to get up and physically get them herself?” paraphrased type of thing. That would be offensive to me, if she spoke to me in that tone, but others might disagree… I think that’s the beef she has with some of the ladies.
      I’ll never forget going with some people to a restaurant in Washington D.C., well starred and staffed, and the people we were with talked down to the staff. I wanted to crawl under the table. It was so bad, we confronted the people we were with at the table to stop.
      I though, really don’t think she knows how she comes off.

      • klmh, I watched the clip at Bravo – and thank you for suggesting it, BTW – and it did look as if she was commanding an underling to deliver the emails to her. I don’t know why Alexis gets all “uppity”, for lack of a better word. Maybe she thinks that’s how she’s supposed to act as a woman of (alleged) means, or if she just really has bad manners. Her beginnings seem to be rather humble. Do you think that she’s possibly insecure or confused and just puts on airs to look like something she isn’t? I’d love to hear your take on it.

        • klmh says:

          I agree with you Empress. She wasn’t born with a silver spoon in her mouth, or even a silver-plated one, it seems…
          It would be interesting to talk with some of her friends when she was younger and not influenced by her husband.
          She has mentioned many times that she values things, shiny objects, expensive stuff, and you have to wonder if these things that she has obtained, rented or leased, along with her many plastic surgeries, has now have given her some self worth and sense of entitlement. The first year was a corker for me with all the Jesus stuff, and in my neck of the woods I notice that some who are more than fervent in their religion believe they are better than others.
          I have to say though that her beginning lines on OC have always been, to me, very braggadocio but maybe Im reading it wrong. I don’t think so though. She mentions how anyone would like to be in her position and in the older one she said something like, who wouldn’t want to be me, just look at me.
          Ha, I think I just answered my own questions about where I think she is coming from. Took me long enough!

          • “I think I just answered my own questions about where I think she is coming from.” I think you helped answer a couple of mine, too. Their backgrounds, and the fact that we don’t know anything or anyone about them, leaves all of us at a decided disadvantage.
            Re: “in my neck of the woods I notice that some who are more than fervent in their religion believe they are better than others.” – I had a similar response to FLG below.

          • Kaereste says:

            I’ve run into people who treat waitstaff atrociously and I still can’t figure out why seemly nice normal people act like that. Truly embarrassing. Maybe they relate to them and feel self contempt.

          • Kaereste says:

            I might point out that Alexis strikes me as having a seriously low IQ. She actually needs someone like Jim, but he doesn’t have to be crass.

  7. FLG (Mr. Tigre's Butler) says:

    Another great blog post, Empress!
    IMHO, part of the reason that the cast demonstrates such contempt toward Alexis and giving her nicknames has a lot to do with the powerful/wealthy mega church she attends in addition to rumors regarding Jim’s and her business practices. She isn’t the only cast member who attends that church and it may serve as part of that rumor mill. It has been estimated that based upon revenue, it is the eight largest evangelical church in the US. The minister appeared on the show in one or two episodes.
    I believe that Bravo, through one of its production companies (I read a casting call) is seeking to produce a HW based show of wealthy religious women. I wonder if it will ever see production?
    My family considered it improper to discuss religion outside the home, other than intellectual discussion regarding the basic tenets of major world religions.
    ITA the entire cast lives in silicone glass houses. I wouldn’t want to enter into any business ventures with any of them.

    • FLG (Mr. Tigre's Butler) says:

      Regarding Donn, I think a “stay at home” Dad’s value to the family should be viewed equally to that of a stay at home Mom. I’m so happy you acknowledged that. I think Donn should get a little extra for that hazardous duty..LOL. A couple I have known for years has such an arrangement. The wife earns way above what the husband/father can earn in the workplace. She very luckily fell into a lucrative, long term, niche. He looks after their home and kids, but also controls their investments. He actually has earned far more for their family managing their portfolio than either could separately outside their home. It works well for them. When she fell into her niche, in anticipation, they came up with how their assets would be divided in case of a divorce, before receiving her first big paycheck. 50/50 split. They are still together to this day and their children have now entered university. It was quite an unconventional arrangement at that time.

      • Kaereste says:

        I’m not too impressed with Donn.
        Over the years I’ve heard a ton of rumors about him. All rather unpleasant. He’s the epitome of the Havasu party party party middle aged Spring Break crowd.
        Drink til you drop and …. handsy.

        • FLG (Mr. Tigre's Butler) says:

          Vicki’s been part of the Lake Havasu party scene right along with and without him. It seems disingenuous for her to suddenly oppose his behavior, while over looking her own. I imagine there has been some sort of long term understanding between them regarding the rules of the openness of their marriage. Their kids seem to have sided with Donn somewhat more than Vicki.
          Hey, I had an Aunt and Uncle who divorced after 40+ years of marriage. She said he was a crook and he said she was loony tunes crazy. It was an embarrassingly nasty and well publicized divorce in their community. Ultimately, it turned out, they were both right….

    • The religious aspect of their lives in combination with Jim’s “entrepreneurial” business history could be a reason for the women’s frustration with the way she presents herself. I’ve often found that both of the Bellinos like to use their religion and beliefs as a way to appear somewhat superior among the group – e.g. Alexis going after Vicki in San Francisco then offering a prayer for Brianna’s health nearly gave me whiplash. Their scenes with the pastor and his wife, particularly at breakfast at the Bellino’s home, were kind of funny to me. I don’t know if it was Bravo’s editing or not, but the look on the pastor’s face as Alexis discussed her enhanced attributes was worth the price of admission.

    • Kaereste says:

      FLG love your comments.
      There are a ton of mega churches in OC. Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church is there. Also, the Crystal Cathedral is nearby (possibly defunct now).
      My overall sense is, most people who live in OC moved from other areas of the country, and they are looking for leaadership and connection in their personal lives. The newer style congregations are “fun” and accepting of everyone, even of ones who wear stripperwear to services.
      I don’t know that they advocate *the man wears the pants* in the family attitude. I lived in OC for a time and I never heard anyone say that.

  8. Off Topic (sort of):
    “Rock Center” with Brian Williams will be airing a story about Scientology , including an interview with former member, Marty Rathbun, tonight at 10:00 Eastern Time.

  9. jo says:

    Great article. Did Andy’s bias against Alexis start when she announced her religious feelings regarding gay marriage? The observation that Andy Cohen uses Bravo as his private sandbox is true and imo very wring. As someone who is pro all gay rights, Alexis is entitled to her beliefs. Andy has castrated her and encouraged others to abuse her ever since she revealed her feelings about homosexuality.

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