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!

 

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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

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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.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

RHOC Episode 10 Recap: Flight of Flashbacks

This should be an easy recap, since half the episode was taken up by flashbacks.

Vicki is throwing a black-and-white-themed birthday party for herself. Vicki will of course wear red so she can get the attention she so desperately craves. She thinks a roast would be fun, because she doesn’t know what one is. How can a person be on this planet for over 50 years and not know what a roast is? I think Vicki is doing one of the ditzy bits she thinks make her look cute. They don’t. She abandons the idea after Briana tells her she will be crumpled in a corner, rocking back and forth after she hears her friends rake her over the coals. Too bad, because that–unlike everything else about this season–would have been fun to watch.

It’s Kelly Dodd, Peggy and Peggy’s daughters in a clothing store where one of the interchangeable daughters works. Kelly has cleared up some confusion for me by confirming that Peggy actually named her daughters Giovanna and Gianelle. Is her son named Gianni? I don’t know why that bugs me so much, except that it’s just another example of Peggy’s limited imagination and all-around transparency. For someone who talks nonstop about her Armenian heritage, Peggy sure seems to bend over backwards to appear Italian, what with the “Lambos” and the Gi-add-extra-letters-here names of her kids. We have to hear about Kelly’s vaginal rejuvenation AGAIN, and see a flashback of it AGAIN (flashback #1 for the episode), even though it has no place in this conversation. Kelly tries to make it seem like she can’t try on clothes because she is still sore from the procedure, but really she has absolutely nothing else to talk about. Naturally, Peggy plays dumb.

Meghan and Lydia are on a hike, talking about Meghan’s mother’s upcoming visit (insert flashback #2) and Doug’s vasectomy (insert flashback #3) before they get to the real point of the scene, which is to rehash drag queen bingo (insert flashback #4). Lydia was uncomfortable because every time the women get together, it ends up in a fight (insert flashback #5). Meghan is upset that Lydia thinks Kelly’s text about Jim cheating on Meghan was the same thing as Meghan’s text to Kelly asking if she had a boyfriend (insert flashback #6). Lydia is wrong. Meghan went straight to the source to get the real story after she heard a rumor about Kelly having a boyfriend. Kelly, being a reactionary adolescent, decided to “get Meghan back” for having the audacity to ask the question, and deliberately gave her some false information for the sole purpose of hurting Meghan. Lydia can frame it however she wants, but she is misreading the situation, as she is wont to do. Did Lydia miss the part where Kelly sneered that Meghan should be home with her baby instead of out filming scenes for the Real Housewives of Orange County? Maybe that happened while she was in the bathroom. Meghan realizes that this conversation is unsalvageable, and bids Lydia good-bye.

Tamra is in her kitchen making a cheesecake (please–Tamra would go back to being a brunette before she allowed a sliver of cheesecake to pass through her lips) for Eddie’s birthday when Vicki calls to invite her to coffee, prompting yet another series of flashbacks about Vicki talking to people about her and Tamra’s relationship. Gee, I’m on the edge of my seat. Will Tamra accept Vicki’s invitation?! The suspense! Of course she does, then immediately calls Shannon to recount the conversation. Shannon thinks Tamra’s willingness to give Vicki a second (or 37th) chance makes Tamra a kinder soul than Shannon is. No–Tamra just understands that meeting with Vicki means more screen time for herself.

Oh no, we’re going to Peggy and Diko’s house. I just cannot give these two poseurs any life, especially when their stupid banter about–you guessed it–Peggy’s feigned inability to understand a figure of speech is accompanied by whimsical pluckety-pluck music intended to make us chuckle at the charming immigrants. Insert more patently scripted flashbacks of Peggy pretending not to understand American colloquialisms, which were tedious and phony the first time around, and no less tedious and phony now. Peggy–get off my screen and go run a brush through your hair.

Meghan’s mother has arrived and we have to endure a flashback montage of Meghan’s IVF process, since Meghan’s mom stood in for an absent Jim. What is this, the 8th flashback of the episode? 9th? Oh my God–as Meghan is explaining that her hormones are out of whack we have a meta-flashback to her and Lydia’s conversation earlier in the episode. This entire show is being cobbled together with snippets from the Bravo archives, and it’s just getting ridiculous at this point. Meghan looks great in her talking heads, though.

Shannon’s kids are making a poor, sad birthday cake for her to mirror her poor, sad life. David rubs salt in the wound by reminding Shannon that this time last year they were on the way to the Inn at Rancho Santa Fe where David surprised her with a vow renewal ceremony. What, no flashback? They discuss the state of their relationship and David admits he wishes they were in a better place. Since she’s been so stressed about Vicki’s accusations he has pulled away from her, frustrated because he couldn’t convince her to let it go. Shannon pounces on this statement and accuses him of blaming her for driving him away, which he kind of is. These two are a train wreck. Shannon lets loose a litany of complaints about her marriage: David hasn’t held her hand in six months, they never go out to dinner together, he doesn’t sent her loving texts anymore and they don’t spend any time together. David shrugs off her concerns, saying that every relationship has its ups and downs. Or in Shannon and David’s case, its ups when he is groveling to get back in her favor after his affair, and its downs the rest of the time.

The Beadors sit down to dinner and David says grace, asking God to mend his and Shannon’s relationship. Which is creepy because their daughters are sitting at the table. Do these girls need to be privy to every one of their parents’ marital struggles?

It’s the day of Vicki’s birthday party and she and her sister are getting their hair and makeup done. One of the glam squad members mentions they look alike, which is not exactly true. Vicki’s sister is way prettier than Vicki. Vicki crows about how happy she is when her family is around, and we have YET ANOTHER flashback to some occasion when Vicki’s mother was still alive and Vicki was probably hounding her for validation. And then ANOTHER one to illustrate how Vicki’s love of chaos and drama derives from her wacky upbringing.

Ryan and Steve give Briana and Vicki matching guns. How jingoistic of them. Across town, Shannon is hosting a birthday dinner for Eddie (whose friend James looks like Jody from Shameless) at a gimmicky restaurant that is exactly like that one cruise ship restaurant on the Seattle season of Top Chef. Is there any originality left in the collective brains of Bravo producers?  The talk turns to Vicki and Tamra’s impending coffee date, complete with a flashback of the telephone conversation we just saw about thirty minutes ago. Not surprisingly, Shannon is not happy about a possible reconciliation between Vicki and Tamra.

The B-Team is assembled at Vicki’s birthday party, where every one of her guests ignores her grand entrance. Which is probably a good thing, because her dress is woefully unflattering. Not able to abide a single second when she isn’t sucking all the life out of a room, Vicki starts singing “Happy Birthday” to herself to get everyone’s attention. This woman possesses not one iota of shame. Jeana Keough is there, so another flashback is required to back up Vicki’s claim that she and Jeana have been friends for 15 years. God, we KNOW! Stop with the fucking flashbacks!

Lydia is worried that Shannon will be mad at her for blowing off Eddie’s birthday dinner in favor of attending Vicki’s self-aggrandizing shindig. Another flashback of Doug and Lydia discussing Shannon’s invitation. Seriously??!! Peggy assures Lydia that she should be worried, because Peggy has zero insight and no social graces.

Gretchen and Lizzie arrive. Lizzie looks great; Gretchen, as usual, looks like she just stepped out of a Vegas revue. Where does she buy her clothes? Her wardrobe is cartoonish. Speaking of cartoonish, we flash back to the 80’s-themed Bunco party where Vicki and Gretchen screamed at each other over their respective mates’ subpar parenting. But they’re good now, because Gretchen has a very important role to play at this party.

After a series of Vicki’s manic exhortations to “whoop it up,” we get to the point of the party. Vicki tells Lydia of her and Tamra’s plan to meet for coffee, and Lydia waxes enthusiastic about her belief in love, in friendship and in Vicki and Tamra. Lydia is way too invested in this relationship. On the heels of this conversation about her long lost friend Tamra, Vicki sits down with Kelly, Gretchen, Lizzie and Gretchen’s gay friend to dish the dirt about Eddie. Kelly gets the ball rolling by telling everyone that Lizzie–not Vicki–was the first one to tell her the rumor about Eddie being gay (flashback to Vicki and Tamra fighting about the rumor). Gretchen asks the gay guy about it, and he says that he saw Eddie make out with a guy once. He didn’t tell his good girlfriend Tamra about it (even though he served as her best man at her wedding to Eddie–flashback!) because he figured she knew about it and was okay with it.

Vicki makes a spectacle of herself sputtering and overreacting to this revelation, then, in her talking head, insists she doesn’t want to hear confirmation of the rumor. She doesn’t want to hear it, “lalalalalala” – she’s covering her ears–but really she wants to know more. Ha ha, isn’t Vicki’s juvenile gossip mongering funny? Maybe Tamra and Eddie have a super hot, open sex life like Oberyn Martell and Ellaria Sand from Game of Thrones, and are more evolved than the likes of Vicki Gunvalson. Oh wait–a slobbering troglodyte is more evolved than Vicki Gunvalson, so I guess that’s not saying much.

Still to come on RHOC: more embarrassment for Americans as the Housewives screech their way through Iceland, their ignorance and provincialism on blast for the world to see as they insult the local customs every chance they get.

RHOC Ep. 7 Recap: Noblemen Prefer Catty Bottle Blondes

Vicki loves being a grandmother, and Vicki Gunvalson can’t just tell you she enjoys something and leave it at that. She has to go full on in-your-face psycho to convince you she is the MOST involved grandmother in the history of grandmothers, her office has the MOST pictures of grandchildren in the history of offices–whatever she’s doing, she’s always the MOST at it. The most frazzled, the most stressed, the most desperate, the most victimized, the most everything. She is certainly the most obnoxious, the most annoying and the most exhausting, I’ll give her that.

She starts telling Michael and Briana about the sip-and-see (I thought I was done typing that last week! Grr.), as if they care. Briana might care a little, but I guarantee that Michael has already tuned his mother out and is thinking about hamburgers. Why is Vicki even talking about the sip-and-see? Nothing happened there. Has this series devolved so much that even drama free non-events have to be rehashed ad nauseum? Apparently.

Meghan’s nanny is surprised by how civil everyone acted at the sip-and-see. Meghan points out that Shannon was very nervous. Shannon was so nervous that Meghan had to ask her why she was so nervous! I wonder how many brain cells I wasted typing that sentence? Thankfully Meghan calls Jim and we are saved from watching another inane conversation about everything that didn’t happen at the sip-and-see. Jim Edmonds is always entertaining. He is more interested in eating than talking to his wife, he doesn’t want to see the dog, he’s kind of bummed that he’ll be on the West Coast while Meghan is in St. Louis, but not really, and he just wants to hang up the phone so he can leave for the airport. Meghan insists that when he’s not being a complete asshole, Jim is actually a softie. We’ll take your word for it, Meghan, but we don’t want to see it. The most interesting thing about the OC this season is Jim Edmonds’ utter contempt for everything having to do with “the ladies.”

It’s Lydia’s birthday, and her husband is keeping up her family’s tradition of overindulging her on her special day. Her first gift is a $90,000 “mom car,” and her second gift is a $180,000 Aston Martin “fun car” for when she goes out. Imagine how awful it would be for Lydia to be forced to hit the town in a dreary old mom car, so that’s a relief. Her other gifts fall into a category that could be called restrained extravagance, if that wasn’t an oxymoron–but compared to $270,000 in vehicles, a Chanel necklace is rather sedate. Doug makes up for that mundane bauble, however, with a private helicopter ride to a spa on Catalina Island. I have to say, Lydia’s birthday is going pretty well for her.

Ugh, a Peggy scene. With her children, no less. She’s glad her children choose to work, even though they don’t have to. I’ll bet that is the first thing Peggy says to people when they find out her children work–oh, they don’t have to, they choose to. God forbid anyone in the OC should think Peggy doesn’t have enough money to give her children a life of leisure. Peggy worked once, for three weeks. She quit when they asked her to clean the bathroom because she doesn’t “do” bathrooms. What a cliche. Has there ever been a person with new money who doesn’t try to pretend they were to the manor born by saying things like they don’t “do” bathrooms? Peggy–you are not original, you are not a princess, and I guarantee that at some point in your life, you have “done” bathrooms. So please.

Peggy tells her daughters about the sip-and-see (really?) and here we go with her shtick. Peggy thinks that by perpetuating old issues the other women are just “opening the worm up.” That Peggy! Just a quaint little immigrant who can’t wrap her babushka around common idioms! Even though, as her daughters point out, she majored in English. Peggy is a fraud. A trite, boring, fraud.

Doug and Lydia talk about their upcoming Nobleman launch party. Lydia has invited the other women because they got along at the sip-and-see, and she hopes she can orchestrate a rapprochement between Vicki and Tamra. Lydia needs to stay out of it and focus on Doug’s balls while he still has them.

Tamra and Eddie are out for dinner, discussing her estrangement from her daughter–which is why Tamra is estranged from her daughter. Tamra thinks that since she cut off her father because he married her mother’s best friend, maybe her marriage to Eddie is the reason Sidney cut her off. That is not the reason. Sidney cut Tamra off because, despite her daughter’s repeated pleas to stop pimping her out on national television and social media, Tamra kept doing it. It’s really very simple, Tamra. It has nothing to do with your tawdry upbringing or your failed marriages; like every other negative thing in your life, it has to do with your big mouth. And your shameless famewhoring.

Kelly and Michael Dodd bicker over dinner. The sixteen-year age difference is starting to affect their marriage. Kelly is upset that Michael, like her mother, just wants to sit at home while Kelly wants to globetrot and party it up at the Q-Dub. Michael loves that she’s a social butterfly but Kelly remains unsatisfied with their relationship. I can see why–how awful would it be to have a husband who provides you with a fabulous lifestyle, unlimited money to do whatever you want and loves you for who you are? Poor Kelly. She identifies with Shannon, since they both have problematic marriages.

Over to Shannon’s house, where we are treated to scenes from an actual problematic marriage. Shannon describes the low calorie meal she is cooking, but David is skeptical when she says she’s using buttermilk. He might as well just say that she’ll never lose the weight, because it’s obvious that’s what he’s thinking. Shannon makes a desperate bid for David’s approval by telling him “lots of people” say buttermilk is the healthiest dairy product out there, but David is already checked out of the conversation. He just stares at her as he shoves chips into his mouth, silently rebuking her for preparing buttermilk chicken for dinner.

At the tension-filled table, Shannon announces she is about to realize her dream of opening a restaurant. I wonder if it will be in the same strip mall as Heather’s nonexistent restaurant? David is unenthusiastic and reminds her that the business will need to make a profit in order to sustain itself. Shannon is hurt by his dream-killing statement and accuses him of not having faith in her. He avoids meeting her eyes as he mumbles that he has “tons” of faith in her. Not the most convincing endorsement. Shannon stares at David with the pleading expression of a pound puppy as he ignores her and their daughters squirm. Another fun-filled family meal at the Beador house!

Tamra and her mother talk about how they have difficulty communicating. Tamra and her mother TALK about how they have difficulty COMMUNICATING. I’m so over Tamra’s faux-angsty storylines and I couldn’t care less whether or not she and her mother communicate well with each other, so…

…off to Lydia’s magazine party. Kelly arrives, followed by Meghan, Shannon and Tamra. Kelly is wearing a doily. Jim has actually accompanied Meghan to an event! I hope he says something snarky. Vicki walks in and Shannon and Tamra tense up. Does anyone besides Lydia care if these three people ever speak to each other again? We all know they will, because they have to screech and maraud their way through Iceland on the annual cast trip where they shame Americans the world over with their woefully unsophisticated and obnoxious behavior.

Peggy and her husband admire an enlarged photo of themselves, dubbing it “classy and chic,” just like them. Um, okay. Because nothing says classy and chic like a bright yellow Lamborghini with flashy custom wheels. Anyone who refers to themselves as classy and chic is neither classy nor chic. Maybe Peggy’s limited understanding of English caused her to misuse these words.

Meghan and Tamra speculate about Peggy’s reasons for getting a double mastectomy, and I really can’t think of a more tasteless topic of discussion for a cocktail party.

Is this entire party going to be about Lydia talking to Vicki about making up with Tamra, then talking to Tamra about making up with Vicki? If that’s the case, not even the hors d’oeuvres can make it interesting. Apparently they can for Shannon, though, because all she is talking about is the sea bass and how hungry she is. Are the editors intentionally including every piece of footage they have in which Shannon mentions food or hunger? That’s harsh, Tai, but also smart, since the finger foods have been the only interesting guests at any party so far this season.

Lydia has managed to get Vicki to agree to meet Tamra for lunch, and while she’s trying to convince Tamra to do the same, Shannon and Peggy insinuate themselves into the conversation. Tamra explains what she and Lydia are talking about and Peggy is defensive and dismissive at the same time. She is defensive when Tamra says she is hesitant to meet with Vicki and dismissive of her reasons why. Peggy tells Tamra feuding with Vicki is not worth it, and that Tamra is dwelling on her issues with Vicki. Or, as Peggy would say if she were playing the charming-Armenian-with-broken-English role this evening, Tamra is “opening the worm up.” But she’s not playing that role, because although she is Armenian, she’s not very charming and she forgot to pretend that her English is broken.

Tamra is offended and thinks Peggy has some nerve telling her to let it go. She warns Peggy that Vicki will do to her what she’s done to everyone else, then leaves with Shannon. Tamra trashes Peggy to Shannon on the way home, and they are both incredulous that Peggy, a cancer survivor, would defend a woman who lied about cancer. They have a point.

Next week: Shannon is confused when Peggy tells her she tested negative for the BRCA gene but opted for a double mastectomy anyway; Lydia and Tamra run a race; Tamra tells Peggy she has resting bitch face; Kelly, Shannon and Meghan go out for St. Patrick’s Day and talk about–what else?–Vicki. (Shannon is wearing the same sequined shirt she wore last year in Ireland, which is a shame, because it wasn’t flattering then and it’s not flattering now).

RHOC Episode 5 Recap: Yellow Lamborghinis and Green-Eyed Monsters

Shannon and Tamra meet Meghan for lunch and coo over baby Aspen. Shannon is trying to avoid alcohol so she orders some tequila. Meghan’s nanny takes the baby for a walk so the grown-ups can engage in vicious gossip with impunity.

Meghan describes the struggles of being a new mother but Tamra is unimpressed. When she was raising Ryan as a single mother, “there was no nannies.” It’s time for a remedial English lesson. “Nannies” is a plural subject and thus requires a plural verb. “Was” is a singular verb and therefore does not agree with the plural subject “nannies.” The correct way to express this thought is to say, “There were no nannies.”

Shannon kvetches about her weight gain and Meghan astutely observes that the Vicki situation is bad, “but not forty pounds bad.” She, like everyone else in the world except for Shannon, thinks it has more to do with Shannon’s marriage. Meghan informs Tamra and Shannon that she has invited Vicki to Aspen’s sip-and-see, and they reluctantly agree to attend in spite of this unpleasant fact.

Lydia and her family are frolicking through Hawaii. She and her husband have a conversation with their young children where they try to explain sex through the lens of their creepy mega-church brand of Christianity. TMI.

Peggy and her family are sitting down to a home-cooked meal that Peggy has infused with Armenian love. Her daughter has been accepted to fashion school and I smell yet another kid-leaving-for-college-angst scene in the near future. Peggy is having a party to celebrate the delivery of a bright yellow Lamborghini she has designed and calls Shannon to invite her. Bright yellow is an improvement on the half white-half black thing in which she currently drives around. Shannon apologizes for her behavior at the Quiet Woman, but declines the invitation because Vicki and Kelly are attending. Peggy thinks Vicki is her friend and doesn’t want to hear Shannon’s spiel about why she can’t be around Vicki.

Kelly is concerned that her mother is becoming a recluse so she drags her to the senior center. Kelly thinks that playing ping pong and attending pancake breakfasts will bring  meaning back into her mother’s life, so despite her mom’s protests she signs her up for a year of patronizing activities better suited to a Brownie troop.

Vicki takes a break from bragging about her insurance empire to grill her son Michael about his sex life. I love it when Vicki tries to interact with Michael because he just laughs in her face as her lectures go in one ear and out the other. I’m sure Michael loves his mother, but he recognizes that she is a person to be endured and is able to mollify her by mumbling the responses she wants to hear. Michael is the only person I’ve seen who can effectively shut Vicki up. Kudos, Michael!

Kelly is enjoying the awesome view from her deck as she calls Tamra and invites her to have coffee. She doesn’t want to be an outcast like she was last year and realizes that patching things up with Tamra is the key to inclusion this season. Tamra agrees to have coffee and calls Shannon the minute she hangs up with Kelly to report the conversation. Shannon has a flash of reasonableness and acknowledges that Kelly probably reached out to Tamra instead of her because meeting with Tamra will not include plates of food flying through the air. This is most likely correct, but only because Tamra doesn’t eat food.

In Hawaii, Lydia wants Doug to get a vasectomy. She pitches her plan by telling him he needs to “cut his balls off,” which is probably not the best way to sell him on the idea. He’s not excited about going from a stallion to a gelding and doesn’t give her a definitive answer.

Jimmy returns from his travels and cuddles with Aspen. Normally I’m bored to death by scenes with the Housewives’ small children, but I could watch an entire episode of curmudgeonly Jim Edmonds melting in the presence of his baby.

Tamra meets Kelly for coffee. Why do all of these OC people order food and drink by saying they will “do” a latte or they will “do” the calamari. What is with the grammatical tics in this part of the country? Just say, “I’ll have a latte” or “I would like the calamari.” Tamra is confused by Kelly because she thought they made up after Ireland but then Kelly attacked her on social media. Kelly Dodd has a real problem with social media. She responded to a tweet I sent about Vicki and called me rude. Why would Kelly Dodd concern herself with a tweet sent by someone with all of thirty followers?

Kelly’s plan to out-puppet the new puppet master works because she and Tamra make up over coffee. Kelly is glad because she just wants to be friends with everyone. Wait a minute. Did Kelly ask to meet with Tamra because she wants to be friends with everyone or because she wants to out-puppet the new puppet master? One approach is genuine and one is manipulative. Can these opposing motivations coexist? Does Kelly feel she needs to out-puppet the new puppet master in order to achieve her goal of being friends with everyone? Kelly Dodd is not the most sophisticated logician so maybe she doesn’t realize that her two statements contradict one another.

It’s time for Peggy’s Lamborghini party. Peggy is horrified when Lydia tells her that Doug is indeed going to get his balls cut off. Balls are important in Armenian culture. Jim and Meghan arrive, and I wish Meghan had chosen a better outfit. She seems to have great taste in home decor but her wardrobe needs some work. I have faith in her.

Vicki shows up with her boyfriend and wastes no time grousing about how quickly Meghan has lost her baby weight. Jealousy is never a good look and it’s the only look Vicki wears–consequently Vicki never looks good. Peggy unveils her yellow Lamborghini and naturally Vicki snarks on her new friend’s color choice. Meghan thinks this type of car is an instrument its owners use to show off how rich they are. I think it’s a way of telling the world that you are compensating for a small penis. Or are a douchebag.

The talk turns to Meghan’s upcoming sip-and-see and the potential for drama when all the women are contractually obligated to be at the same place at the same time. Tamra and Shannon, who have skipped the Lamborghini party, are also concerned about how they will react when they see their respective nemeses. Shannon agrees to meet with Kelly before the sip-and-see, and she and Tamra promise to keep each other in check at Meghan’s event.

The other women discuss the importance of being cordial to one another at the sip-and-see, and Vicki laughably says she would never behave rudely at a party. Meghan calls her on this patently false statement and we flash back to Vicki telling Jim–at a party–to talk to her in five years when he and Meghan are divorced. I love how Meghan doesn’t let Vicki get away with anything. She thinks Vicki should try to understand where Shannon and Tamra are coming from and apologize. But Vicki the martyr has apologized enough and isn’t going to swallow her pride again. Vicki is maddening because doesn’t get that she only apologizes when it’s necessary to further her own agenda and never takes responsibility for the thing she’s apologizing for.

As Meghan is trying to explain that swallowing one’s pride can be a good thing, Peggy takes her fingers, literally clamps Meghan’s lips together and tells her to zip it. How rude! Maybe Peggy and Vicki are destined to be real friends after all. Meghan is shocked–and should be because she was actually dispensing good advice that Vicki desperately needs to take to heart. Vicki loves it because in her opinion Peggy was right and Meghan needs to shut up.

Next week: the much anticipated sip-and-see. Maybe something will actually happen.

 

RHOC Episode 4 Recap: There’s A New Puppet Master in Town

Shannon arrives at Tamra’s to rehash the Quiet Woman debacle. Tamra asks what happened, as if she doesn’t know. Shannon lost. her. shit. That’s what happened. Over at the beach, Kelly Dodd and Michael gossip about the evening. Michael thinks that Shannon and Kelly could be friends, but Kelly thinks the new puppet master–Tamra–won’t let that happen. She hatches a plot to cultivate Tamra in hopes of repairing her relationship with Shannon.

Lydia is throwing a birthday party for her son Stirling’s 8th birthday. It is a ridiculously over-the-top movie-themed affair. These OC parents need to learn to manage their children’s expectations. Eight is not exactly a significant number, so when Stirling gets this kind of shindig for his eighth birthday, what is he going to expect when he’s 10? 16? 18? I feel sorry for the actor who is reduced to playing emcee at a kid’s birthday party. He is surely lamenting the state of his career as he mugs and clowns for a roomful of children.

Vicki and Kelly arrive and we meta-rehash the Quiet Woman incident. Not only do Lydia, Vicki and Kelly talk about it, but in the midst of their conversation footage is shown of Kelly filling Vicki in about it on the ride over. Enough about the Q-Dub already. Is this season so uneventful that any drama that goes down needs to be milked to this extent? I hope the PTB at Bravo realize this show has jumped the shark and cancel it. It makes me happy to think of Vicki Gunvalson losing her national TV platform and being left with only her minions at the Coto Insurance empire to feed her pathetically needy ego.

New housewife Peggy shows up in her ridiculous two-toned ride. Vicki, never able to conceal her rampant materialism, is mesmerized by the size of her ring. She is probably recalling bitter memories of Donn’s failure to gift her with extravagant baubles. Don’t worry Vicki–it’s probably fake.

The women engage in small talk before the conversation turns to Shannon. Lydia’s mother is dying to sprinkle her with fairy dust. Vicki kisses up to the new girl since she needs to line up some supporters before the season gets into full swing. When Peggy tells her about her recent mastectomy, Vicki says that if she needs anything–anything at all–just call Vicki and she’ll be there day or night. I would find it a bit off-putting if someone I just met came on so strongly, but Peggy is touched.

Vicki picks Kelly up for her vaginal rejuvenation appointment. God, the Housewives need some new material! It was icky and boring when Sonja did it, and it’s icky and boring when Kelly does it. What’s next? Vicki and Kelly scream and writhe through the 957th Real Housewives bikini wax scene?

Speaking of needing new material, Shannon’s daughter is learning how to drive. Shannon obviously went to the Kyle Richards School of Drama because she feigns horror just like Kyle did when she shot this exact same scene with her daughter. Shannon’s performance is a little better because her neuroses are more authentic.

Tamra is nervous about the speech she’s slated to give at the upcoming Erasing Family gala, at which she’ll continue to exploit her teenage daughter for sympathy and ratings. Tamra fake-cries as she recounts their latest meeting to Ryan. Things with Ryan and his on-again-off-again fiance Sarah are difficult. He finds step-parenting challenging but through his experiences has learned to appreciate why Simon was such an asshole to him. Tamra wants Ryan and Sarah to understand that, if they break up for good, they need to maintain a healthy relationship for their daughter’s sake. She doesn’t want him to go through a messy divorce/split like she, her parents and her grandparents went through.

Kelly arrives at Meghan’s with a gift for baby Aspen. I’m so glad Meghan spells Aspen’s name with an “e” instead of a “y” like the Sister Wives. If you try too hard to be unique you just end up looking like you’re trying too hard to be unique. Meghan hasn’t seen Kelly for awhile because she heard Kelly was dating some guy and asked her about it. Kelly didn’t appreciate the question and, when Meghan was seven months pregnant, fired back that “she just thought [Meghan] should know” that Jim is cheating on her. What a good friend.

Meghan wasn’t upset about the substantive information contained in Kelly’s text because she knows it’s not true. She was upset because Kelly sent it to her when she was seven months pregnant. So she cut Kelly out for a few months then let her back in because it’s easier to be friends with Kelly than to fight with her. Meghan is wise beyond her years.

Kelly tells Meghan her version of the Quiet Woman (again?!) story and acknowledges that she told Shannon to “keep eating” just to push her buttons. Meghan says she’s good at that, and before the conversation can go south, the nanny brings Aspen into the room. Nothing derails a potential catfight like a cute little baby.

Vicki arrives at Peggy’s and starts foaming at the mouth when she sees all the fancy cars in Peggy’s garage. She laughingly dubs Peggy a princess and thus confirms that she is kissing up to her out of necessity. Nothing awakens the green-eyed monster in Vicki more than her perception that another woman has more stuff or a more generous husband than Vicki does. Vicki is surely gnashing her teeth, but she’s playing the long game with Peggy and keeps her jealousy under wraps for now.

Peggy likes Vicki because she believed Vicki was sincere when she offered to drop everything if Peggy needed her. Poor, naive Peggy. She’ll learn. Peggy starts to talk about how she doesn’t like to talk about her mother’s death. Then lets us know that her father recently died. Vicki takes the opportunity to make it about herself and her mother’s death, because no matter how bad anyone else has it, she has it worse. There is a flashback of her shameless display at Shannon’s Bunco party when she got the news of her mother’s death. Any semblance of dignity that may lurk deep within Vicki Gunvalson is immediately jettisoned when she identifies an opportunity to be the center of attention.

Tamra’s family gathers at her house to pre-party before the Erasing Family gala, sans her mother. Tamra feels slighted by her mother’s absence but suspects it’s because her father is there with his new wife, aka her mother’s former best friend. Tamra says that when you’re erased from your child’s life it makes you feel like a bad parent. Maybe that’s because your child erased you from her life because you’re a bad parent.

Tamra gives an inspirational speech in which she describes how whenever someone tells her that her daughter will eventually come back into her life, she wants to punch them in the throat. And then she wants to punch them in the throat again. And again. Those Christian values are really on display here.

Next week: The Eileen Davidson Accord expires just in time for Peggy to tell Meghan to zip it.