RHOC Ep. 18 Recap: The Real Vikings of Orange County

You know it’s going to be a tiresome episode when the first shot is of a bedraggled Peggy walking down the hall. Anything that has to do with Peggy is at best boring and at worst infuriating. Or being that this is a reality show, maybe it’s the other way around.

After hiding in her room all day, Peggy has decided to come to Lydia’s room to talk. She is upset over last night, because while Peggy can be rude AF to anyone and everyone, she is hypersensitive to any perceived slight. This time she’s upset because Kelly made an “insensitive” comment about her father. She did not. When Peggy ridiculously said she was going to have her husband call Kelly’s husband to resolve their conflicts, Kelly retorted that she was going to have her dad call Peggy’s dad. Peggy of course thinks Kelly meant it as a cruel reminder that Peggy’s father is dead, but Kelly’s response was a perfectly suitable playground rebuttal to Peggy’s initial juvenile threat. Kelly might as well have said, “I know you are but what am I?” Peggy is utterly unable to grasp contextual situations. Her jokes don’t land, her conversation is awkward and her interpretations are off-base. Is this season almost over so I never have to see or hear about Peggy Sulahian again?

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Lydia has planned a final Viking-themed dinner for their last night in Iceland and instead of joining the other women on the bus to the restaurant, she is stuck at the hotel ministering to Peggy’s misconceptions about the previous night. How tedious. In addition to whining about Kelly, Peggy is upset that she heard Meghan’s baby crying in her room while Meghan was next door partying with the other housewives. First of all, it’s none of Peggy’s business. Second, Meghan brought a nanny with her so she could hang out and party with the other housewives, and third, it’s not a crime to let a baby cry. Peggy whips out what she thinks is some kind of vindicating evidence in the form of a pointless video she took with her phone. It contains the sounds of drunken laughter and not much else.

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Lydia doesn’t understand Peggy’s point of view, but decides she’ll forgo the dinner and stay at the hotel with her. That Lydia–what a saint.

Meanwhile, everyone else arrives at a rustic dining hall where a chorus of woolly sweater-clad men waits to serenade them with traditional Icelandic music. Despite Tamra’s frantic admonitions to not eat the potatoes (God forbid!), the women dig into their lamb shanks and manage to behave with a modicum of decorum. Except for when they all scream “Skol!” at the top of their lungs. The very best thing about this episode so far is when the master of ceremonies–and everyone else–completely ignores Vicki when she asks, at the top of her lungs, whether they’re going to whoop it up. Then, realizing no one is going respond to her tired “catch phrase,” she tries to save face by doing a clownish vaudeville-esque double-take. If we’re going to stoop to vaudeville mugging, let’s go all the way and drag Vicki Gunvalson off the stage once and for all with with a giant hook. It’s beyond time.

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Shannon primly insists that “it’s fine” Tamra and Vicki are getting along when she really wants to blow a gasket. Tamra urges Vicki to apologize to Shannon for what she said about David beating her and Vicki does, but in typical Vicki fashion, the apology means nothing because she is only offering it to appease Tamra. Shannon gets that there is zero sincerity or sentiment behind the apology because Vicki always qualifies and/or minimizes her wrongdoings. Vicki says she’ll “eat some humble pie” and in her mind, that is truly all she is doing. She thinks Shannon’s need for an apology is completely unreasonable since she doesn’t think she’s done anything wrong, but she’ll suck it up and be the martyr because all she wants out of life is peace and tranquility. God, go away Vicki.

Tamra and Vicki rehash their issues AGAIN and I’m so disinterested I can’t type another word about it.

 

Peggy has decided to go to dinner so Lydia, who organized the whole thing, doesn’t have to miss it. She arrives in a floor-length red ball gown that is totally inappropriate for the occasion and immediately starts in on Kelly. It is a crying shame that Kelly has been attending anger management classes, because if anyone deserves a full-on Kelly Dodd assault, it’s Peggy.

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There are few things on this earth more torturous than listening to Peggy Sulahian trying to articulate her position on anything. It’s like she’s an actor who’s been given a script but keeps saying her lines at the wrong time so they don’t jibe with anything that’s going on around her. She pulls out her video of nothing and attacks Meghan over the baby’s crying, which makes Meghan cry. Naturally everyone leaps to Meghan’s defense over the unwarranted indictment of her motherhood and goes after Peggy. Vicki feels sorry for Peggy because the other women are ganging up on her, but Peggy brought it on herself. She is abrasive and rude and it’s high time she got called on it.

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Peggy’s great friend Vicki may feel bad for her, but since Vicki is determined to weasel out of any confrontation by repeating, ad nauseum, that it’s not her fight, she slinks away from the table and cowers in the bus. Vicki is above all this petty bickering, don’t ya know–all she wants is to promote peace and love. And her insurance business.

Back inside, Shannon is comforting a teary Meghan and telling Peggy she’s done talking to her. Stupid, interfering Lydia thinks Shannon is going off the rails again when Shannon is just rightfully fed up with Peggy. Peggy exacerbates the situation by making a dig about David not being “loyal” to Shannon because he lied to her about his and Diko’s cancer conversation–GOD, JUST LET IT GO ALREADY! Shannon is on the verge of going ballistic but Tamra interjects to call Diko is a little bitch, and Kelly stands up and delivers the long-awaited line, “if you’re going to throw BOMBS, I’m going to throw NUKES!” Welcome back, Kelly Dodd! And with that, Peggy is out. Thank God.

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Somewhere within this mess Peggy goes over to Meghan and attempts to apologize to her (I think) and Meghan is kinder than she needs to be. She says she understands that whatever Peggy was trying to convey about the baby was lost in translation, and that Peggy is odd. but she still can’t forget that Peggy brought it up and is hurt by it. Peggy doesn’t deserve Meghan’s understanding after calling her a giraffe while insinuating she’s a neglectful mother. Fuck you, Peggy.

Peggy joins Vicki in the bus, vowing to take her own car back to the hotel and her own “jet” back to Orange County. She is upset that Vicki abandoned her and dismisses Vicki’s yammering about being “a businesswoman, a mother, a grandmother” with a bored, “yeah, we know.” Indeed we do, Peggy, and this is the first and probably last time I’ve been on board with anything you’ve said.

The next morning, a hungover Kelly calls Vicki to report that Peggy has “bounced.” Back in the OC, Meghan and Jim are putting together invitations for the candle launch party, Lydia’s mother is sprinkling mashed potatoes with fairy dust, and Vicki is giving Briana the lowdown on the Iceland trip. Briana calls her mother out on every single one of her machinations, and it’s a joy to behold.

 

Tamra accompanies Shannon to the doctor, who tells Shannon her hormone levels are low. Shannon took herself off progesterone and estrogen, which may account for her weight gain, mood swings and general emotional instability. The doctor advises her she needs to start taking them again, along with topical applications of testosterone “down there,” which will help remedy a low libido. Shannon protests that she doesn’t have a low libido, David just isn’t interested. Tamra jokes that of all the things Shannon will be putting “down there,” her husband won’t be one of them. She says the remedy for that is divorce. Astonishingly Shannon takes these statements with a sense of humor, cracking up alongside Tamra. There’s hope for Shannon yet.

 

Next Vicki and Peggy meet to discuss Vicki’s cowardly behavior at the Viking dinner. Peggy is still upset that Vicki didn’t have her back and Vicki offers one of her typical self-serving, Mad Hatter explanations for why she was right to not get involved. It’s the exact same argument she gave Kelly last year, and it’s just as disingenuous now as it was then.

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Shannon and David share a painful exchange that forces Shannon to finally admit that David is totally checked out of the marriage. She just wants to know where she stands because the limbo they’re living in now is torture for her. Thank God these two finally separated.

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Next week: The season finale! No more Peggy Sulahian after next week and the reunions, because I guarantee that Peggy is a one-and-done. Yahoo!

 

90 Day Fiance Ep. 5 Recap: Just Say NOOOO!

As Nicole and Azan are leaving Casablanca, they make a pit stop so Azan can show Nicole and May its famous mosque. Nicole couldn’t be more disinterested. Two-year-old May is better able to grasp its architectural impact than her mother, whose only concern is that she and Azan will be able to sleep in the same room when they get to his aunt’s house in Agadir. She has heard that unmarried couples can sleep together in private homes in Morocco, and has no compunction about forcing Azan into the awkward position of asking his aunt to openly disrespect her culture. She’s a randy one, that Nicole.

Elizabeth lands in Ireland, and is immediately on edge when Andrei says he has something to tell her. This scene has already been teased ad nauseum, and in true TLC-style, it’s a complete nonevent. The thing Andrei has to tell her is that his interview with US Immigration will take place two days hence. Control issues aside, Andrei is cute as a button and he and Elizabeth seem legitimately in love.

Since Molly works all the time, Luis spends a lot of time with her daughter Kensley. He likes kids, and he and Kensley seem to have a sweet rapport until Luis starts badgering her about how she feels about him becoming her new padre. She tells him in no uncertain terms that she already has a dad and shows her burgeoning diva-ness by telling him exactly how it is: “You’re not my dad. I don’t love you. Sorry.” Ouch.

In Thailand, it’s the day of David and Annie’s traditional engagement ceremony, and guess what? David is nervous because he has to shell out cash he doesn’t have to the entire village. No wonder the villagers have been so welcoming to him. What a sap. Like I called last week, David has borrowed more money from his friend Chris to get through the ceremony.

It’s time for Spanish David’s welcome to America party. Evelyn’s aunt, clearly recognizing the foundation of a solid marriage, thinks they make a great couple because they’re easy on the eyes. David tells everyone that he wants to live somewhere warmer, like Virginia, for a few years. Coming from Spain, he’s not looking forward to months of cold and snow, and he thinks this is the time for him and Evelyn to have adventures and new experiences. He is absolutely right, but Evelyn’s family is horror-struck at the thought because, in Evelyn’s father’s words, such a move would be a “deathblow” to the family band. Are these people for real?

When David reasonably suggests that they could get a replacement for Evelyn for a couple of years, her mother reveals how Evelyn became the insufferable monster she is by saying, “Evelyn IS the band.” Evelyn tries to shut down the conversation by saying it’s making her angry, but David reminds her that he’s not asking her to go to Spain, just to another state. The band’s mouth tightens with displeasure at this affront to her authority.

Fortunately Mikayla (sp?) walks in and Evelyn’s wrath turns from David to her. As Mikayla calmly tries to explain her concerns about their hasty marriage, David and Evelyn gang up on her. Evelyn says that by not trusting her judgment, Mikayla is disrespecting her. David chalks up her attitude to being a lonely spinster, which makes Mikayla cry. This douchebag move makes me think that maybe David and Evelyn are a match made in heaven, after all. Mikayla and Evelyn hug it out, but I think this one-sided friendship is doomed. Evelyn obviously expects Mikayla to toe the line when she lays down the law, and is only tolerating her rebellion in order to ensure her wedding pictures have the proper composition. The best thing that could happen to Mikayla would be to get out of Evelyn’s shadow and find some friends that appreciate her honesty and thoughtfulness.  #TeamMikayla.

In Dublin, Andrei’s casual attitude towards his upcoming visa interview is making Elizabeth nervous. If he is denied, she would have to move to Ireland. The horror! I truly do not get why these people are so dead-set against moving to Europe. The Philippines? Sure. The DR? No-brainer. Thailand? Okay. But Europe? I’m scratching my head.

Wait a minute. Nicole and Azan have just arrived at his aunt’s house–a woman Nicole has never met. Nicole expects Azan to ask a woman she has never met, whose hospitality she is taking advantage of, if they can flout the rules of her culture and have sex in her house?? Nicole has no shame.

Azan’s family is extremely welcoming to this clueless blob, and immediately envelop May with love and affection. Do they have Child Protective Services in Morocco? If so, Azan’s family should call them immediately and get custody of May, who might actually have a chance in life if she gets away from her clod-hopping disaster of a mother.

Azan, visibly squirming but feeling that he has to knuckle under to Nicole’s wishes, asks his aunt–in front of the WHOLE FAMILY–if he and Nicole can have their own room. Why would he agree to making such a brazen request? How does Nicole bulldoze everyone around her into getting her way? Why are her family and Azan so susceptible to her manipulation? It’s maddening.

Thank goodness for Azan’s aunt, who denies the request. Azan breathes a sigh of relief, and Nicole congratulates herself for not complaining or getting angry at the denial. Wow, Nicole has really grown. Azan claims he want to have sex with Nicole, just not in his aunt’s house, surrounded by his family. I don’t think Azan would want to have sex with Nicole on a desert island after ingesting a triple dose of Molly and a fifth of tequila, but that’s just me. Apparently they did have sex during Nicole’s last visit to Morocco, but I have a vision of Azan squeezing his eyes shut and gritting his teeth as he perfunctorily performs the act, praying to Allah for it to be over soon. I just don’t get what Azan’s endgame is.

David and Annie are back in Thailand, having drinks somewhere with a spectacular, panoramic view of the city. How can David afford a place like this? Oh–he can’t. They’re meeting Chris and his wife Nikki there so Chris can pay the tab. Not only is Chris paying the bar tab and footing the bill for David’s entire romantic folly, we learn that David and Annie will be living with him and Nikki when they get to America. That’s because in addition to having no money, David has no apartment, no house, no car and no bank account. I give David credit for being such an unabashed loser, but what exactly is Annie getting out of this relationship?

David, Annie, Chris and Nikki discuss the living arrangements once they all return to America. Even though Chris extended this offer to David without consulting her, good sport Nikki tells Annie she and David are welcome in their home. They will have private quarters in the basement and full kitchen privileges, just like in an SRO in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district. It’s even better than a Tenderloin SRO because they will have their own bathroom. All Chris and Nikki want in return is for Annie to cook them Thai food and maybe give Chris Thai massages by the pool.

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Wait–did I just hear that? Did Chris actually just ask Annie if she’ll give him Thai massages in exchange for her room and board?! Dear God, this has to be the last straw. Annie has accepted 2 baht of gold instead of 11, a lowball dowry and two small water buffalo instead of a proper dowry and a nice, big water buffalo, and endured David’s endless grousing about his inability to afford the expenses associated with their engagement as well as his physical attentions (yuck). She is leaving everything she knows to go to a strange country with a man who has no worldly possessions and no way of supporting her, where she will be unable to work herself. And now, not only is she going to be a guest in the home of virtual strangers, she is expected to earn her keep–and work off David’s debt–by giving massages to this creepy, red-faced lech?? At this point, Annie AND Nikki should run away as fast as they can. I’m actually kind of sick to my stomach right now.

David does not say a word during this exchange and leaves it to Annie to deny the request. What a pussy. David does not have a single redeeming quality, and the only thing I want in life right now is for Annie to get up from the table and never look back. And I thought Mark rousting Nikki out of bed with a train whistle was bad. What a naive lamb I was back in Season 3. Honestly, how bad can Annie’s life in Thailand be if she’s willing to put up with this nonstop humiliation?

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Molly takes Luis to meet her father, who surprise, surprise, is not receptive to their relationship. Molly thinks he just needs more time but Luis understands that he has not been accepted and probably never will be. Poor Luis–first Olivia, then Kensley and now Molly’s father. Thank goodness for Jess, who’s just happy to have some help taking care of the lawn and a buddy to drink beer with all day.

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Elizabeth and Andrei prepare for his visa interview by role-playing. She is the stern interviewer and Andrei is himself. Elizabeth is unhappy with his cavalier attitude and Andrei is frustrated with this exercise because Elizabeth is grilling him. This doesn’t bode well for his interview, but this is TLC, and all the tension and build-up being created around this interview will be for naught when his visa is granted 5 or 6 episodes down the line.

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Azan, Nicole and May are eating out. Nicole reminds Azan not to order any vegetables for May and surprisingly, Azan pretty much lets this slide. That’s because he has more important things on his mind, like where he and Nicole will live once he comes to America. Nicole’s father–and Azan’s sponsor–wants them to live separately before they get married. Azan initially seems concerned because he will have no friends and no job once he gets there and will be sitting around the house, but it turns out that is not the real issue. He wants to live with Nicole to keep tabs on her. He doesn’t trust her because–get this–SHE cheated on HIM! Not only that, but when she got back from Morocco last year, one night she took off her engagement ring before going out with a friend because she wanted to feel “free” for the night.

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In their interview, Azan is shocked when Nicole reveals that friend was a guy. Nicole tries to say he was just a friend and it was no big deal, but Azan’s issue is that she told him she went out with girlfriends that night. Nicole stops the interview and demands to be de-mic’d. She follows Azan outside and pleads with him listen to her. It sounds like they’re both crying and I’m amazed that Azan seems genuinely upset over her betrayal. Can he possibly have real feelings for her?

Josh, who we haven’t seen in a couple of weeks, is going to the airport to pick up Aika, who emerges from the plane looking like an Asian blow-up doll come to life wearing pink hooker pumps, a micro-miniskirt, and full make-up complete with fake colored contacts. Maybe she and Paola shop at the same store. Nothing like a wholesome girl to bring home to mom–or in Josh’s case, a house full of roommates. Here’s yet another one who has been less than honest about his circumstances in the US. Aika wonders why he’s picking her up in a jeep when he promised to buy her a Porsche. At least David has been forthcoming about his penniless loser-dom.

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Poor Luis is bored being stuck out in the sticks with no friends, nothing to do and Molly working all the time. He video calls his family and even though he tries to put a brave face on his circumstances, his loneliness is evident. The Family Luis (tm Pedro) encourages him to hang in there and love Molly’s daughters and family even though they don’t accept him at the moment. Luis agrees to try, even though it’s not as easy as that. Poor Luis.

Evelyn has decreed that it’s time for her and David to send out their wedding invitations, even if they have to stay up all night to do it. She’s not a rigid despot, she just likes things a certain way. What Evelyn means when she says a “certain” way is “her” way, which includes demanding that David address his envelopes in cursive. Really?

David makes the mistake of pointing out that it would be easier to have a website rather then sending physical invitations, which of course it would, since most of his guests are coming from Europe. In a controlled fury, Evelyn responds that a website would NOT be easier, since the invitations have already been printed. Remember, it’s HER wedding and it will be done HER way, with the fluffy pink invitations she’s been dreaming about her WHOLE life.

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David blunders again by broaching the subject of accommodations for his friends and family. Evelyn refuses to ask her friends and family to host them because in Claremont, NH–the only corner of the world that matters–people don’t feel comfortable inviting strangers into their homes. Except for Pastor Tim, who had no problem putting David up for 90 days.

Evelyn scoffs at the idea that she should put any effort into finding David’s wedding guests places to stay because there are cheap hotels in the neighboring towns. Is he aware that if they stay in other towns they will have to rent cars to get where they need to be? She is actually annoyed that they might not come to the wedding just because, after spending thousands of dollars to travel to the US and shelling out an extra $100 to rent a tux–per Evelyn’s edict–they are still expected to find and pay for their own accommodations. Someone needs to tell this little bitch to go jump in a lake, pronto. Evelyn is a monster, created by an insular community of marginalized fanatics and parents who worship the ground she walks on, who have all deluded her into believing her mediocre warbling is some kind of great talent.

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Josh and Aika arrive at his home. She changed clothes somewhere along the way and, incredibly, looks even more whorish than she did when she got off the plane. Aika sizes up Josh’s roommate like a piece of meat, giggling that he is a “big, handsome man.” Red flag. Josh’s skeptical friend Joe shows up and after presenting Aika with a cheesy Welcome-to-America kit, proceeds to grill her about all the men she was talking to online. Welcome to America, indeed.

Back in Morocco, Nicole and Azan are meeting for lunch to discuss Nicole’s wanton and deceptive ways. Since Azan only trusts Nicole “like, 40%” he wonders if marrying her is a good idea. The answer is, it’s not. Nicole assures Azan that she’s told him everything and he can trust her. For some reason he agrees to give her another chance, and that’s it for this week’s episode.

 

 

 

RHOC Ep. 17 Recap: Vicki Finally Gets Her Casserole

Is this episode really going to be all about Vicki’s phony health scare? This pathetic attention whore will stoop to anything.

Peggy is hovering over Vicki, barking instructions at the physician who is trying to ascertain the problem. Apparently the Armenian way is to bulldoze your way through a situation you know nothing about in an effort to make yourself relevant. Shut up, Peggy. When the doctor asks Vicki if she has a heart condition, she whimpers that she’s under “cardiology care” but doesn’t know what for. Let’s get this straight–Vicki is not under “cardiology care;” she visited a cardiologist to undergo a series of tests, then milked the results that she had a heart murmur for sympathy. Making people feel sorry for her is  the ONLY reason she had those tests, and the only reason for the nonsense viewers are currently being subjected to.

Tamra, no slouch in the fame-whoring department, realizes she’s missing a golden opportunity for some camera time and brushes past the medical team to take center stage on Vicki’s bedside. Dr. Peggy thinks there is too much commotion and tells the other housewives to leave the room, which prompts Kelly to snap her fingers in Peggy’s face and tell her to let the medics do their job. Brava Kelly–exactly.

After hotelier Fridrik lays down the law and reports that the medical team will leave if the women don’t stop congregating around Vicki, Lydia leads a group prayer. Why do the producers feel it’s necessary to broadcast every one of Lydia’s lame prayers? And why is Lydia always the one saying the prayers? Did the false messiah who is getting rich off the stooges who attend her megachurch imbue her with some direct line to God? Probably, in order to keep the donations flowing, and of course Lydia believed it because for all her blather about sparkles and rainbows, Lydia is arrogant.

Kelly continues to diagnose Vicki as having an anxiety attack, and has had enough when Peggy shushes her yet again. Nobody puts Kelly Dodd in a corner! Kelly’s diagnosis is probably pretty accurate. She is no stranger to drinking binges and understands–like fellow whoop-it-upper Vicki should–that anxiety is a by-product of alcohol withdrawal.

Tamra reports that Vicki is being taken to the hospital, then snickers when Vicki emerges from the room in a wheelchair with a robe over her head. Even as she calls out the ridiculousness of Vicki’s drama queen antics, Tamra must feel some grudging respect for the OG’s ability to hijack an entire episode. Right now Tamra is wondering who Vicki’s shame-ectomy (tm Stassi) doctor is, because he or she does excellent work.

As Vicki is whisked away by ambulance, the rest of the ladies go to dinner because, as Meghan reminds them, they have to take care of themselves, too. Meghan assuages any guilt Kelly might feel over the guilt-trip Lydia just laid on her for not immediately going to the hospital by admonishing her that she needs to eat. Meghan’s priorities are in the right place. So are Shannon’s, as her first question upon sitting down to the dinner table is what kind of vodka is available. As much as Tamra makes snide comments about Shannon’s drinking, she is making the right choice for her weight loss journey by opting for vodka over wine or beer. Everyone knows vodka has no carbs, which is why it goes so well with Adderall.

Peggy calls Diko for advice on whether to go to the hospital to be with Vicki. Diko tells her to go, because that’s what she told him to tell her a couple of minutes ago when she called him before the cameras were there.

It’s funny how Vicki felt the need to cover her face with a robe when she was leaving her hotel, which is situated exactly in the middle of nowhere, but doesn’t as she being wheeled into a hospital in the middle of somewhere. Maybe, just maybe, a paparazzi or two will be hanging out by the ER.

Back at dinner, Shannon places a special food order, as I’m sure she does every time she goes out to eat. High maintenance, thy name is Shannon. A debate ensues about who is going to visit Vicki and when they should do it. Kelly insists they all take shifts while Meghan flatly declares that she’s not going. The ghost of last year’s dune buggy accident hospital-gate arises at her statement, but before it can be fully resurrected, a sulky and self-righteous Peggy approaches the table. She is going to the hospital RIGHT NOW because that is what she told Diko to tell her to do. Kelly wants to go, too, and is annoyed that Peggy won’t wait until she finishes her dinner. I want Peggy to keep digging at Kelly because I am desperate to see an old-school Kelly Dodd-style takedown of this self-important twit.

kelly done

Upon learning that Vicki will be returning to the hotel once Peggy gets to the hospital, Meghan hilariously orders a casserole for her. Remember how Vicki snuffled her way through one of the reunions, justifying her odious behavior by saying she was just trying to get someone to show their concern over her fabricated predicament by gifting her with a casserole.

Everyone goes to Shannon’s room for cocktails–even recent heart patient Vicki–where she and Tamra have the long-awaited tete-a-tete. Tamra once again tries to impress upon Vicki how hurtful it was for her to spread the rumor about Eddie being gay. Vicki thinks she did nothing wrong, because, after all, Tamra was spreading rumors about Brooks. This is a typical Vicki rationalization. Tamra wasn’t spreading “rumors” about Brooks. She told Vicki and everyone else that she thought he was a bad guy because he WAS a bad guy. She was trying to be a good friend to Vicki by warning her not to be taken in by him. Vicki STILL sees that as some sort of betrayal, even though Tamra turned out to be right, and spread the Eddie rumor in retaliation. Vicki’s position is indefensible, and the only person who sees it is Shannon, who is on the verge of apoplexy during Tamra and Vicki’s conversation, repeatedly sputtering that Vicki is a “fucking liar.” Which she is.

Vicki has the audacity to be upset because she feels Tamra chose Eddie over her. Um, Eddie is Tamra’s HUSBAND. This attitude is symptomatic of Vicki’s pathological need to be the center of the universe. Her delusion is on display when she tells Shannon that she doesn’t have a vindictive bone in her body. Please. Every bone in Vicki’s body is comprised of a mixture of vindictiveness, desperation and tears. Even Briana recognizes that Vicki has no compunction about hitting someone below the belt when she feels wronged by that person, and isn’t above making something up to achieve it. That, my friends, is the definition of vindictive.

[Ugh–Bethenny Frankel is on WWHL. When will Andy learn that no one–but NO ONE–finds her amusing, charming or entertaining?]

The next morning, everyone is hungover. Kelly has had it with Peggy’s constant shushing and lecturing, and wonders why she can’t understand anything Kelly says. Just like Kelly’s daughter Jolie, Peggy is constantly asking her to explain what she means. Thank goodness someone in this cast is picking up on this shtick and calling Peggy out for it.

Lydia explains, via a hand puppet show, that Shannon is the reason for Tamra and Vicki’s continued rift. Lydia needs to STFU as much as Peggy does. Shannon–tightly wired as she may be–is the only one who sees Vicki for what she is and refuses to indulge her. She deserves respect for not caving in to Vicki’s machinations and histrionics. So again, STFU Lydia. Shannon is not being ridiculous–you are.

Peggy pouts in her room and refuses to respond when the women knock on her door. Materialistic Peggy must really be down in the dumps if she’s skipping a shopping trip! Why would they want Peggy to accompany them anyway? She has no sense of humor, doesn’t understand their language, and when she’s not being a wet blanket, is downright rude. Peggy sucks.

NEXT WEEK: The ugly Americans continue to drink and fight their way through Iceland. I feel like this has been the description of the upcoming episode for three weeks in a row.

 

90 Day Fiance Ep. 4 Recap: Annie Get Your Buffalo

I missed last week because of my grueling work schedule, but nothing much happened anyway. Luis and David arrived in America, some major red flags were raised by Andrei’s control issues, and we met a new couple–Josh and human Kewpie Doll Aika.

This week began with a major seismic shift as Nicole actually displayed some wisdom regarding Azan’s treatment of her. She doesn’t want him to treat her badly in front of May because she is concerned that May will grow up thinking it’s okay for a man to treat her just as shabbily and dismissively as Azan treats her mother. She probably read this insightful tidbit on a greeting card or in one of the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” shlock-fests, but I give her credit for giving some thought to her daughter’s long-term emotional health. Only a little, though, because Nicole also wonders if Azan is parent material–something she probably should have ascertained before she encouraged May to call him Daddy.

Luis and Molly’s younger daughter are chattering away in the car on the way home from the airport as Olivia maintains a steady teenage sulk. The younger daughter–Kensley?–asks Luis if he likes their house as they pull into the driveway. Considering that Luis’ house in the Dominican Republic didn’t have running water, I think it’s safe to say it meets his standards.

Elizabeth meets with an immigration attorney before she leaves for Dublin to visit Andrei. They applied for their K-1 Visa seven months ago and she wants to know why they are still waiting to find out if it’s been approved. The holdup could be that Andrei has been arrested at some point and failed to disclose it to on the visa application, or it could be that he overstayed a previous tourist visa by six months. Whatever it is, it’s clear that Andrei has some kind of skeleton in his closet, the revelation of which hopefully TLC won’t drag out for several episodes. After her meeting with the gloom-and-doom attorney, Elizabeth thinks she and Andrei might have to come up with a Plan B.

Evelyn is driving David around her podunk town, and is miffed that David is not excited about settling there permanently. Her fanatic’s smile falters for a moment when he tells her that he prefers living in cities, but quickly returns as she glosses over his feelings, naively convinced that he will adjust and learn to love it. After all, what city could compete with Claremont, with its one breakfast restaurant, Evelyn’s family band and the accommodations offered by “Pastor Tim?”

Evelyn’s cult is throwing David a party to welcome him to America, but Evelyn is concerned that her friend Michaela–the only voice of reason in her life–will be standoffish. After all, she had the nerve to ask Evelyn if David just wants a green card. David scoffs at this notion. “She knows I’m coming from Spain, right?” Bingo, David. He’s not after the American dream, because he was living the Spanish dream in Granada. Evelyn reveals her ignorance by telling him there’s no such thing as a European Dream and David corrects her, saying that there is, and it’s called quality of life. I love David. What is he doing with this fluffy Christian quisling?

I thought David and Evelyn were going to be boring, but as Evelyn’s selfish, childish and arrogant true colors are coming out, I realize I was wrong. David is concerned that Evelyn is demanding that his friends–who are traveling thousands of miles and spending thousands of dollars to be at their wedding–shell out $100 to rent their own tuxes. David rightly thinks it’s rude to require them to do so and that she shouldn’t be so rigid. Like the spoiled child she is, Evelyn is outraged that David’s friends think they can dictate the details of HER wedding. She finds it frustrating that since she is face-to-face with David, she can’t just hang up on him when he displeases her, as has been her modus operandi thus far. Welcome to adulthood, little girl.

Clearly Evelyn, throughout her sheltered life, has been led to believe she can do no wrong and when she doesn’t get her way she becomes an entitled bitch. When David points out that weddings in Spain are more laid back, Evelyn cuts him off by sniping that they’re getting married in America. David reminds her that she’s marrying a foreigner and might want to give a little consideration to his culture. I like how David stands up to Evelyn, and at this point he should probably realize this pouty Bridezilla has some major growing up to do and postpone the wedding. But he won’t. They never do.

Speaking of men who make bad decisions, David and Annie are traveling to Annie’s village to speak with her parents about the dowry. The villagers put on a show to welcome the foreigner and grease him up for the dowry conversation. Annie’s parents request 500,000 baht, but for some reason settle for the 50,000 baht David is offering plus two water buffalo. Have we stepped into the 18th century? David sports the familiar hangdog look that settles on his face every time he finds out how much it’s going to cost him to purchase Annie. First it was 50,000 baht, then it was 11 baht of gold, and now it’s two water buffalo. Where does it end? David is in way over his head. Clearly this is a financial transaction that David doesn’t have the finances for, so why is Annie still hanging in there? And why would her parents sell their daughter to a broke, middle-aged shlump when there can’t be a shortage of American men with low self-esteem who can actually afford an Asian trophy wife?

Nicole and Azan are discussing parenting techniques over dinner. Nicole tells Azan that if he doesn’t like the way she does something, rather than just tell her not to do it, he needs to discuss it with her. She lords her status as May’s mother over him, but Azan feels that if she wants to thrust him into the role of father, she needs to respect his opinion when it comes to raising May. His point is brilliantly illustrated when the waiter sets a plate of french fries on the table and May goes into paroxysms of delight. (French fries in Morocco?) Azan thinks May should eat healthier foods, but Nicole defends what is surely a steady diet of chicken nuggets and fries because frozen food is just fine. Well, sort of. Frozen broccoli is just fine. Frozen fish and chicken are just fine. Frozen pizzas and fish sticks are probably not.

Azan is used to home-cooked meals, as is the Moroccan way, but Nicole insists that she can’t cook for May every night because, unlike Azan’s female family members, she is not a stay-at-home mom. Azan reminds her that his sister works and points out, as he is wont to do, that Nicole is just lazy. This brings him to her promise that she would make some lifestyle changes by going to the gym and eating healthier foods, which is just a roundabout way of saying that she promised she would lose weight and she didn’t. Nicole didn’t lose weight for the same reason she stuffs her daughter full of junk–Nicole is just lazy.

David and Annie are at a water buffalo farm. David is dismayed to find out that it will cost 75,000 baht to buy the big water buffalo her family covets–he was thinking more like 35,000. Once again, he gulps at the mounting costs of this romantic escapade, and settles for two small water buffaloes. Annie is a suspiciously good sport about David’s inability to meet the expectations for her dowry. Is this all a game to fleece a desperate foreigner? Why else would she and her family settle for 1/10th of the desired cash, a couple baht of gold rather than the customary 11, and two small water buffaloes that may not be up to the heavy work on Annie’s parents’ farm? Hmmm.

After all these concessions Annie may not even make it to America, since David used their airfare money to buy the water buffaloes. What happened to David’s generous friend who was introduced in the first episode? Ten to one he’ll be back next week so David can hit him up for more cash.

 

The Absent Mother in Game of Thrones

Here is a link to an article I contributed to Winteriscoming.net. I have identified a theme throughout literature that I call the “Absent Mother.” I am particularly sensitive to it because my mother died when I was eight and her absence shaped my life. The Brienne post is the first in a series, and I’d love to hear what people think and if an absent mother has affected other people’s lives as it has mine.

90 Day Fiance Ep. 2 Recap: A Plane Ride and a Child Bride

Nicole is getting ready to leave for Morocco but hasn’t been able to get in touch with Azan for two days. If you were about to fly to a foreign country with your 2-year-old daughter in tow, wouldn’t you be a little unsettled if the person you were planning to visit ghosted you right before the trip? I would, but you and I are not Nicole, who doesn’t appear to be operating on all cylinders. She’s upset that Azan hasn’t been as “lovey-dovey” over the phone and texts as he was when she saw him in person, and for once, TLC’s obsession with flashbacks serves a purpose. They show a montage of last season’s disastrous trip to Morocco, where, for starters, Azan called her lazy, admitted she wasn’t his perfect woman (no surprise there), and told her she didn’t matter to him. Which begs the question, if Azan has been treating Nicole worse over the phone and in texts than he did in Morocco, what possible reason could she have for still being with him?

Nicole reminds me of a mole person. She appears to have limited intellect, no common sense and zero self-awareness, yet somehow she malevolently blunders her way through life, blindly burrowing through any obstacles she encounters. Her beleaguered mother Robbalee is rightfully concerned about Nicole’s ability to manage herself and her daughter in Morocco, and makes a series of entreaties on the way to the airport, all of which Nicole ignores.

Robbalee also reminds Nicole that Azan expects her to have dropped a few pounds since their last visit, and is apt to be disappointed–again–by her appearance. Like all of her mother’s concerns, Nicole just shrugs it off. The focal point of this trip is May, and to see whether Azan will be a suitable father figure to her. I predict that once she lands in Morocco, Nicole will foist May off on Azan’s family and, just like the last time she was there, demand his undiverted attention. Does Nicole really care if Azan will be a good father? She’s already instructed May to call him “Daddy,” so it doesn’t seem like a little thing like May’s welfare is going to dissuade her from doing whatever she pleases. Robbalee should have petitioned the court for custody of May before Nicole could use her to blackmail the family into sponsoring Azan. This poor child couldn’t be in worse hands, and it’s clear that Robbalee knows it as she tearfully says good-bye to May.

Next we’re introduced to Evelyn, an 18-year-old from a devout Christian family who is engaged to David, a 26-year-old from Spain. The only issue here is whether David will be approved for a K-1 Visa. Evelyn, her brother and parents all possess a strange, otherworldly glow. The family’s only concern about Evelyn getting married at 18 to someone they’ve never met is that she might leave the family band. Evelyn is a fledgling singer-songwriter, which is how she met David–he sent her a message on social media, she responded, and the rest, as they say, is for us to dissect on 90 Day Fiance.

I’m sure she’s very talented, but why does every young female singer adopt the same breathy, yodel-ly vocal style? Just sing the damn song. And while you’re at it, get off my lawn. Anyway, Evelyn’s high school friend appears to be the only person in her life who has reservations about Evelyn’s rushed and youthful marriage. I’m shocked that Evelyn even has a high school friend because I’ve always thought the kids of devout Christians with family bands were exclusively home-schooled. I finally learned something from The Learning Channel other than how to rubberneck the lives of an endless parade of little people.

David ends up passing his interview and is approved for his visa, so it seems that the only wrinkle in the sunset-swathed unearthliness of David and Evelyn’s romance is the threat of her leaving the family band. I’m already bored with David and Evelyn.

Last week we learned that Molly’s daughter Olivia is not thrilled with the prospect of Molly’s intended, Luis, coming to live with them. So this week, Molly meets with her mother for some support. Molly’s mother, like Olivia, is worried that Luis will take her away from them, but the mother is confident that as long as Luis treats Molly well, Olivia will come around and everything will work out. Molly’s father is a different story. He thinks Luis is using Molly to gain entrance to America, and doesn’t like the idea of his daughter marrying someone from a different country–or a different race.

David, the sad and penniless 48-year-old, is taking his fiance Annie to pick out some gold. How appropriate. Apparently it is Thai custom for a groom to present his bride with 11 baht of gold, symbolizing the union of two individuals. 1+1=11 in this case. Unfortunately for Annie, 11 baht of gold cost around $6,800, and, as we know from last week, David is broke. He is already planning to offer her family a lowball dowry of 50,000 baht, and now he wants to start her off with 2 baht of gold instead of the customary 11? He asks the jeweler if he can leave a down payment and come back tomorrow with the rest of the cash required for his paltry purchase. Does David never tire of weaseling his way around paying for things? Last week he was getting ready to hit his friend up for another loan, and this week he’s wheeling and dealing with the jeweler–and Annie–to get out of presenting her with the traditional amount of gold.

None of this would matter if it wasn’t so obviously important to Annie. She pouts her way through the humiliating episode at the jewelry store, then unleashes her frustration on the way home, asking why David is 48 years old and has nothing. When he explains to her that he lost everything in his divorce, she tells him she doesn’t care about the past and he needs to figure out a way to take care of her. Ah, true love. At this point Annie should just cut her losses and this farce should go no further. She only has a couple of weeks invested in this relationship, and David is obviously in no position to provide her with the security she’s seeking. David can move on to another, less demanding gold digger, and we can all be spared yet another cringeworthy 90 Day Fiance coupling.

Nicole has landed in Casablanca and she still hasn’t been able to reach Azan. She is concerned that he might not be there to meet her and May, and wait a minute–she’s worried this man won’t be at the airport to pick up her and her 2-year-old daughter? WHAT IS SHE DOING THERE?

It turns out Nicole’s worries are for naught, because Azan is there and he actually seems glad to see Nicole. He doesn’t even squirm that much when May calls him Daddy, and showers the little girl with affection. This makes Nicole jealous. Smh. She still doesn’t get that Morocco’s laws do not permit PDA between adults, and despite this apparent happy reunion, I predict there is disaster ahead for Nicole and Azan. Or at least Nicole–for Azan there is only freedom and the dodging of a massive bullet.

Molly is meeting her father, and because her relationship with him is strained, she is bringing her brother to act as a buffer between them. You know you’re in the presence of some good old rednecks when the first question out of the brother’s mouth is, “you drunk yet?” Molly’s Dad is not yet drunk enough to brush aside his concerns about Luis’ intentions, and reminds Molly that since America’s borders are effectively closed, people will pull any scam to get here. Here’s another person that thinks the only allure his daughter could hold for someone is her ability to get him into the US. No wonder she has Daddy issues.

 

RHOC Ep. 15 Recap: #FireVicki

This week I noticed the “fire Vicki” hashtag all over Twitter and I wholeheartedly subscribe to it. This week’s episode, more than any other, demonstrated how superfluous the odious Vicki Gunvalson has become to the show, and she simply must go.

I could not care less about the status of her heart–physically or otherwise–or how her lifelong histrionics may have adversely affected it. The scene with her cardiologist was yet another tedious example of just how little she brings to RHOC. #FireVicki

Peggy and Diko going through their kids’ baby clothes for the sole purpose of letting us know that their kids wore Dior baby clothes. Just ugh.

Tamra and Shannon are on the phone, talking about the Diko-David dustup. Tamra thinks Shannon has a hard time letting things go, and a truer statement has never come out of Tamra’s mouth. Shannon becomes irritated when Tamra counsels her to stop giving the situation life, saying she’s giving it life because Tamra keeps talking about it. This may be an insight into Tamra’s behind the scenes shit-stirring. WE haven’t seen Tamra talk about it, but because she knows that doing so will inflame fragile Shannon and fuel the conflict between her and Peggy, she probably brings it up nonstop when the cameras aren’t rolling.

Meghan is having a dinner party so the other ladies can benefit from her friend “Mystic Michaela’s” insights. Mystic Michaela reads auras, so she’ll probably have a field day with this crowd. Meghan displays her own insight when she muses that some people are intimidated by psychics because they don’t want to acknowledge the things they’re hiding. So it comes as no surprise that Peggy doesn’t like psychics. Or that Vicki declined Meghan’s invitation because, according to Meghan, she was “very scared” of the psychic.

Lydia arrives as everyone is sitting down to dinner, and is disappointed that Vicki and Kelly aren’t there because she was hoping to invite all the ladies on a trip to Iceland.
The premise for this trip is that Lydia is going there to do a piece for her magazine, which is complete and utter bullshit. Lydia’s magazine is a vanity project for her and her husband, and the idea that she has legitimate business in Iceland is nothing but a transparent plot device. If she did have legitimate business there, she would NEVER invite this group of crude, feuding rubes to accompany her.

They call Vicki and Kelly, and everyone agrees to the trip, because they are contractually obligated to do so. Peggy doesn’t even know where Iceland is. Is she an Armenian nesting doll that has never seen the light of day? How else could she be such an unmitigated ignoramus? She has about as much personality as an inanimate object, so I guess it’s possible.

When Meghan asks Peggy if she’s in for the Iceland trip, Peggy responds by attacking Shannon, apropos of nothing, about David’s questioning of Diko. Talk about someone who can’t let anything go! Peggy is giving Shannon a run for her money. Shannon explains that David asked whether Peggy had cancer because he was concerned after Diko told him his wife just had a double mastectomy. Again, YOU CANNOT BE OFFENDED WHEN PEOPLE ASK IF YOU HAD CANCER AFTER YOU TELL THEM YOU (OR YOUR WIFE) JUST HAD A DOUBLE MASTECTOMY. Fucking DUH. When you engage in attention-seeking behavior, you can’t be mad when your behavior receives attention. And telling someone during a casual cocktail party conversation that your wife had a double mastectomy is attention-seeking behavior. God, I hate these two.

Peggy listens to Shannon defend David, but instead of engaging in discourse that may resolve the situation, dismissively asks, “Are you done?” Then she delivers the scripted line that is sure to make Shannon go off the rails: “Do you trust your husband? Has he ever lied to you about anything before?” Really? This is such an obvious ploy on the producers’ part. Are we to believe that because Mystic Michaela said Peggy was intuitive, Peggy has intuited Shannon’s uncertainty about her marriage? We’re not that stupid, and neither is Shannon.

For not understanding English, Peggy is showing herself to be a master of deflection. She asks Shannon an incendiary question–WAY worse than anything David asked Diko–and when Shannon yells that of course she trusts her husband, Peggy acts like it was an innocuous inquiry that was not intended to set Shannon off. Lydia backs Peggy and launches her own attack on Shannon. Lydia needs to STFU and go back to her pumpkin patch because she is always wrong. She wants Shannon to give Peggy a chance to explain herself, but as Meghan points out, Peggy is woefully inarticulate and her semantic meanderings are going nowhere.

Peggy is awful. She is phony, she has the personality of a concrete stoop, she’s rude, she is unable to express a single substantive thought, and her only purpose on this show is to torture the already-tortured Shannon. I am going to take Tamra’s advice and not give her any more life. #FirePeggy

shannon 15

After Peggy and Lydia leave, Tamra guns for Shannon. Shannon may be volatile, but she has every right to feel victimized and confused by Peggy and Lydia’s treatment of her. Tamra has no storyline so she is fomenting a conflict that has nothing to do with her and throwing her good friend Shannon under the bus while she’s at it. She is yelling at Shannon to stop acting like an asshole and getting riled up over nothing when Meghan interjects with a much-needed reality check. If they wake up her sleeping baby, their ridiculous drama will pale in comparison to Meghan’s wrath. Meghan is such a breath of fresh air. What is she even doing on this show? She has absolutely nothing in common with these toxic harpies. When they finally leave, Meghan and Mystic Michaela share a laugh over how “great” Meghan’s friends are.

The next day, Shannon comes over to Tamra’s house with a mea culpa and a serious ephiphany. She has finally come to grips with what everyone already knows–that her emotional fragility and consequent downward spiral have been caused by her disintegrating marriage. Like too many women, Shannon is so defined by her relationship that she would rather stay in a miserable marriage than face being alone. She acknowledges that now that she and David are once again in a bad place, she isn’t over his affair, and her insecurities are manifesting themselves in self-destructive behavior. Shannon finally realizes that her happiness and self-esteem cannot be entirely dependent on the state of her relationship, and I am SO PROUD of her. Hopefully with this newfound insight, she can turn things around for herself. Good for you, Shannon!

The episode ends with the obligatory packing scenes, featuring too much of the lame and boring Sulahian family. And with that, the ladies are off. America apologizes in advance, Iceland.

Next week: The ugly Americans embarrass themselves (and us) in yet another country with their cat-fighting, callowness, and lack of respect for the local culture.

 

 

 

 

Dining Tips for Douchebags

To the two douchebags who decided to give me a “teaching moment” instead of a tip the other night:

First, spending five minutes listing what you perceive to be my service failures within earshot of several other tables is not a “teaching moment”–it’s a deliberate attempt at humiliation. And using the phrase “teaching moment” immediately brands you as a condescending douche, therefore negating everything else you say.

Second, when you begin our interaction by laughing in my face for asking a question about your drink order, I see what kind of customers you’re going to be, and I’m going to de-prioritize you. Then when you complain about the vintage of the wine–not once but twice–and ask for a discount, then gaslight the manager I sent over to placate you by telling her you had no problem with the wine, you’re going to the bottom of the list.

Third, when you demand special glassware and a litany of additional condiments for your FREE bread on a busy weekend night, you’re going to have to wait a little longer while I scrounge up the components of your request.

Fourth, I’m sorry I didn’t see that you were missing some silverware, but having to reach out your hand to grab a knife off the next table isn’t really that traumatic and doesn’t warrant a dressing-down of your server.

Finally, when I nod my head and apologize for all my lapses in service, and tell you I appreciate your feedback, I’m lying. I’m not even really listening because I’m only thinking about seeing to my other tables–the ones with diners who aren’t rude and unreasonable–and getting you out of the restaurant.

And when your behavior is outrageous enough to compel another customer to get up from their table, wait for me to come around the corner, pull me aside and tell me that they overheard the whole exchange and it was not my fault but yours, you have made a spectacle of yourself.

So you’re right–you didn’t get the best possible service, but here is a “teaching moment” for you. When you act like a douchebag, your service is going to suffer. Restaurants are full of personable customers who are a pleasure to wait on, and they will always get priority over a condescending jerk. Asking for special accommodations or off-the-menu items doesn’t make you a douche. Complaining about your food or the service you receive doesn’t make you a douche. Your attitude does.

Here are some tips you can use to ensure your next dining experience is a better one:

  1. Don’t laugh in your server’s face for attempting to clarify your order
  2. Understand that when you make special requests, fulfilling them may take a little extra time
  3. Don’t complain about your food in an effort to get a discount, then clean your plate
  4. Realize there is an actual human being lurking beneath your server’s servile facade; we are there to accommodate you, but are not required to take your abuse
  5. A nice customer is almost always right; a douchebag is mostly wrong

It’s pretty simple, really. Just follow the old adage “you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar,” and you’ll get your balsamic vinegar a lot faster.

 

 

 

 

 

RHOC Ep. 14 Recap: Another Big Letdown

It’s finally the big showdown between Vicki and Tamra, and not surprisingly, it’s another big letdown. It’s just more of the same–Vicki whimpering for Tamra to stop hurting her and Tamra reminding Vicki that she spread rumors about Eddie being gay. Tamra wonders why Vicki thinks she would marry a gay man, and Vicki posits that maybe Eddie used Tamra to get the empty gym that sits in the middle of a nondescript industrial park in Random Suburb, USA.

Tamra’s incredulity that Vicki would suggest such a thing leads to an epiphany: Vicki does not deserve her friendship. With that, Tamra walks out, leaving Vicki to fiddle with her phone and pretend she has something important to do. Please let that be the end of this non-storyline.

Ugh. Peggy and Diko are meeting for dinner to celebrate their 22nd wedding anniversary and congratulate themselves for doing so well in life. Things were so different 22 years ago! They were young and just starting out in life–look how far they’ve come! They reminisce about their humble beginnings–like their first Valentine’s Day together when Diko bought Peggy a $200,000-plus Bentley. How fucking obnoxious. How tasteless. How nouveau riche. Diko can’t just say he bought Peggy a Bentley (was that Bentley like the one Slade “bought” for Gretchen–you know, the one he leased and that had to be returned to the dealership the next day because they couldn’t afford the payments?), he has to let us know that it cost more than the house they lived in at the time. And then he has to tell us how much that house was worth, in case we didn’t know that Bentleys are really, really, expensive cars. These two are insufferable. Ordering a bottle of Jordan Cabernet during this staged and vulgar scene is the only thing they’ve ever done right in their entire repugnant lives.

Kelly’s dad is in town, and watching her divorced parents argue makes Kelly worry that she and Michael are creating a similarly tense environment for their daughter, Jolie. I wonder if the editors recut the post-Dodd-divorce-announcement episodes to make the most out of this storyline. God knows this show needs one. After the tediousness of Peggy and Diko shoving how rich they’ve always pretended to be down our throats, it’s refreshing to see Kelly unabashedly gush about her middle-class upbringing. She’s proud that her dad came to all her volleyball and cheerleading events, and paid for her Catholic school and Arizona State tuition. Kelly may have her problems, but she is endearing and relatable when she shares memories like this. Take notes, Peggy and Diko: your fixation on dropping names and prices is neither endearing nor relatable. Plus it’s 100% phony. Kelly Dodd doesn’t have a phony bone in her body, which is why she’s back for (and kind of winning) a second season and Peggy will be a one-and-done.

Now that Lydia’s grandfather has died and left her parents Paris Hilton-level riches, she and her mother are conspicuously consuming everything in sight. The only point of this scene is to allow Lydia to brag about how wealthy her family is. Again, not endearing and not relatable.

Everyone is on their way to Peggy and Diko’s Armenian-themed anniversary party. Did you know Peggy is Armenian? She thinks no one can resist her son Koko (they can) so she bribes him to get “Aunt” Vicki–really?–to kiss one of his cheeks while Tamra kisses the other. Her initial offer of $100 is not enough for Koko, so in true Salahian style, he shakes his mother down for $1,000. Peggy is either the last person to know about the final breakdown of Tamra and Vicki’s relationship, or the sole purpose of this scene is for Peggy to demonstrate that she and Diko have so much disposable income they can casually throw a ten-year-old a thousand dollars on a lark. Oh, right. It’s the latter.

Aside from this bit of nonsense, at least we don’t have to endure another party where everyone is speculating about Vicki and Tamra or trying to get them together. We do have to endure more Peggy and Diko, however, and I don’t know which is worse. Yes I do–it’s Peggy and Diko, hands down.

Is Vicki really whining about her friendship troubles and seeking validation from ten-year-old Koko? Yes. Yes, she is and all I can do is shake my head. The woman has no shame, no boundaries, and no self-respect.

Except for the hookahs and belly dancer, this party is pretty much like every other OC party. Of course Diko has to tell everyone that last year he bought two Lamborghinis to commemorate his and Peggy’s anniversary, and this year he’s purchased matching Audemars Piguet (whatever that is) watches. He can’t just say he bought a couple of cars or simply present Peggy with the watch–he has to drop names so everyone will be sure to know how much money he spent. Vulgar, thy name is Diko. He then goes one step further by gifting Peggy with a diamond necklace–and not just any old diamond necklace–a TWENTY-TWO CARAT diamond necklace. For 22 years of marriage, get it? Meghan is annoyed with how ostentatious Peggy and Diko are, but jealous over the necklace. Don’t worry Meghan–it’s just on loan for the evening and will be returned to the jeweler after it has served its only purpose, which is to impress all the party guests.

The party ends with Diko taking Shannon aside to express his discomfort over David’s questioning him about Peggy’s cancer. Again, when you say, “Hi, I’m Diko. My wife just had a double mastectomy” the minute you meet someone, you have no room to be offended when they ask about her health. Shannon of course overreacts, and everyone leaves.

A few other minor things probably happened during this episode, but I’m so bored with this show at this point that I just don’t care. Sorry.