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. 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.

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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.

 

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 Episode 13 Recap: Dull and Duller

Maybe it’s the grueling 12-hour day I worked on Monday, but I found this week’s episode of RHOC exhausting. It was just more of the same ersatz drama we’ve seen all season long. Did Peggy have cancer or was her double mastectomy a sick ploy for attention? Will Tamra and Vicki make up? Will David finally walk away from his and Shannon’s loveless marriage or will Shannon grow a backbone and demand some respect? We already know that Kelly filed for divorce, so any speculation about the Dodd marriage is moot, and does anyone care about Doug’s vasectomy? Here’s the answer key to the above quiz: no one cares, no one cares, no one cares and no. Why is this show still on the air?

There were only a few noteworthy–and by noteworthy I mean snarkworthy–moments this episode. I can’t even recap the whole thing because I refuse to spend time discussing the done-to-death, season after season issue of whether Vicki and Tamra will make up. They’re both seasoned reality pros and will act in whatever ways they think will give them more screen time. It’s fake, it’s tired and it’s boring.

Diko and Peggy stage a scene about whether he should wear his Louboutin boat shoes to Lydia and Doug’s “Balls Voyage” yacht party. The only point is to let everyone know that Diko has Louboutins. Yes, we get it. Peggy and Diko spend money on flashy items to prove how rich they’re pretending to be. Yawn.

Kelly and Vicki get colonics. When Kelly asks the technicians to measure their respective outputs because she’s sure Vicki is more “full of shit” than she is, I can only imagine how many times these poor workers have heard various iterations of the same joke. Vicki claims she doesn’t “poo” because she thinks it’s gross. Leave it to Vicki to infantilize a normal bodily process to appear–I don’t even know–dainty? childlike? refined? Whatever it is, the attempt fails and she just ends up looking like her regressed, pathetically juvenile, normal self.

She compounds this by whimpering about how she’ll die of a broken heart, mewling over how she just wants to be loved and receive casseroles–instead of skepticism–when she exaggerates her ailments. (She really had Influenza B, people! Look–she has the medical records to prove it!) Vicki keeps trying to revive old catchphrases and refer to contentious storylines from seasons past to stay relevant on a show that has itself become utterly irrelevant. Feeble attempts from a contemptible woman for a woefully inadequate purpose. “Feeble,” “contemptible,” and “inadequate” are all synonyms for “pathetic,” a word that cannot be overused in describing Vicki Gunvalson.

It’s Easter, and everyone is celebrating Jesus’ resurrection. The only people who appear to be enjoying the holiday are Jim and Meghan, who are using baby Aspen’s footprints to make bunny pictures. Vicki is lamenting the state of her and Tamra’s friendship, as usual. Peggy is expressing her disgust that David had the nerve to question Diko about whether or not Peggy had/has cancer. Really Peggy? It cannot be stated enough that Peggy and Diko lead EVERY SINGLE SOCIAL CONVERSATION with Peggy’s double mastectomy. She has absolutely no cause to be outraged–or even surprised–that people would inquire further about the reason behind her decision. Peggy is trying to make this a storyline, but alas, her fake temper tantrums are as boring and transparent as her fake inability to understand simple English.

At the Beador house, Shannon is confiding in her mother about the deplorable state of her marriage. Shannon’s mother gives her some good advice in that Shannon should look within herself for something to make her happy and start pursuing whatever that is. Shannon gives us some valuable–and the first honest–insight into her weight gain. As long as she is fat, she can justify why David is pulling away from her. If she can blame his increasing emotional distance from her on the fact that she’s “let herself go,” she doesn’t have to examine the real reason her marriage is failing, which is that David has no respect for her, overweight or not, and has completely checked out of their relationship. Whatever pressure he’s putting on himself to stay in this miserable union is manifesting itself in cruel digs toward his wife, which are on display throughout most of their scenes together.

Over Easter dinner, David expresses disgust over Shannon’s privileged upbringing, telling her she needs to take the silver spoon out of her mouth in response to an innocuous story Shannon told about her youth. Shannon is flabbergasted, her mother is uncomfortable and the Beador children are squirming in their seats, wishing they were anywhere but in the middle of their parents’ marital strife.

Watching Shannon and David’s marriage unravel (again) is cringeworthy, but at least something on this show is interesting enough to elicit the rubbernecking response that reality tv exists to provoke. It is high time Bravo recognizes this fact and opts to deep-six The Real Housewives of Orange County in favor of a latter-day Scenes from a Marriage, starring Shannon and David BeadorThat, unlike RHOC, would be good tv. Are you listening, Bravo? Because you should be.

Next week: the ladies make bad jokes at a hookah joint (remember–the OC Housewives’ boorish nincompoop-ery is never more on display than when they are confronted with anything more exotic than the local strip mall), Diko interrogates Shannon, and Vicki and Tamra meet. Gee, I can’t wait. *eye roll*

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 Episode 9 Recap: Drag Bingo Blah

 

I didn’t think it was possible to make drag bingo boring, but RHOC has managed to do it. This franchise is officially dead. RHOC has become as unwatchable as its sister shows The Real Housewives of New Jersey, New York, Atlanta, Potomac and Dallas. I’m holding out hope for Beverly Hills, but only because Erika Jayne is still a cast member. I’m sure the upcoming season will be filled with Lisa Vanderpump’s “cheeky” double entendres, which are as tired as tired can be, advertisements for The Agency, and scenes of Kyle’s manufactured mommy angst as yet another of her endless offspring heads off to college. If Erika Jayne is forced into filming the 953rd Real Housewives bikini wax scene, it’s over.

I can already tell this episode of RHOC is going to be annoying from the “previously on” segment at the top of the show. Peggy’s daughter got into college–how many fucking scenes of kids going to college must we endure?? The only redeeming thing about RHONJ and RHOA is that those cast members’ kids NEVER go to college.

Eddie is watching Tamra vacuum and remarks that it’s a rare sight. He jokes, “I’m the Mexican here!” Because in Southern California it is customary for white people to sip champagne and watch as Mexicans clean their homes, tend to their yards and raise their kids, get it? Maybe Tamra is practicing for when Trump sends the people who perform America’s menial tasks for low pay and little respect back to Mexico–or Puerto Rico, which, according to our president, is where the worst Mexicans come from.

While shopping for baby furniture with Kelly, Meghan informs us that Aspen doesn’t have a crib yet because so far she has been “co-sleeping” with Meghan. Now it’s time for Aspen to become an “independent sleeper,” hence the crib-shopping excursion. What quack introduced Meghan to these phrases and concepts? How gullible is this generation? How could anyone utter the words “co-sleeping” and “independent sleeper” with an utter lack of irony? Every person on the planet should be rolling their eyes at this nonsense, and if they’re not, they should immediately abandon any plans to procreate.

Meghan and Kelly marvel at how well Kelly and Shannon got along during their St. Patrick’s Day outing until Kelly tells Meghan she thinks Shannon was filming her later that day. Kelly has a history of thinking Shannon is setting her up because Shannon has a history of setting Kelly up.

Yuck, Peggy. She is packing for New York to take her daughter to look at colleges (is fashion school considered college?). Kill me. Diko is concerned that Peggy’s $60,000 purse–did you get that? Peggy and Diko are so rich they can afford to spend $60,000 on a purse. Diko wants to make sure you know that–will cause her to get “jacked” at the airport. Peggy misses her cue to say, “What means jacked?” but Diko soldiers on with the scene like any seasoned actor would.

Moving on to the next bit of shtick, he tells Peggy not to go crazy with the shopping while she’s in New York. What a hypocrite, she says. He spends millions of dollars and expects her not to shop? She rattles off the prices of the garish cars in their garage as an example of his lavish spending in a transparent attempt to bolster her argument that he is a hypocrite. Really she just wants to let everyone know how much they paid for their cars. Armenians may value education, but apparently they have little regard for taste or subtlety.

Kelly complains to her mother that Meghan called Shannon and gave her a heads up about Kelly’s belief that she was taping her. Shannon immediately called Kelly and denied it. Kelly decided to take her word for it, but now she’s gunning for Meghan. At her mother’s suggestion, she calls Meghan to ask her why she told Shannon about the filming when Kelly told Meghan she wanted to ask Shannon about it face to face. I feel like that sentence needs to be accompanied by a flow chart to be understood. Meghan apologizes and admits she should have stayed out of it. Her mature and reasonable reaction should have forestalled any potential conflicts arising from this juvenile game of telephone, but of course it didn’t, because now Kelly thinks Meghan can’t be trusted. Grow up, Kelly.

Meghan and Vicki meet for lunch. Meghan wants to understand why Vicki feels hurt by Shannon and Tamra. Vicki is tired of always having to apologize to them when has never, not once, ever been at fault for anything. Brooks was involved in a cancer scam, but in Vicki’s twisted and self-serving view, she had nothing to do with it because she didn’t benefit from it. Except she did. As Meghan points out in her talking head, Vicki may not have benefited financially, but she benefited by receiving all the sympathy and attention (but not casseroles) she so desperately craves. EXACTLY!

Next Vicki tries to weasel out of culpability for her vicious gossip mongering. She didn’t tell Kelly Eddie was gay, she simply asked Kelly if she’d heard the rumor that Eddie was gay. See? She was totally innocent. And she didn’t perpetuate a rumor that David beat Shannon—she has texts and pictures that prove it’s true. So she wasn’t lying, she was just selling out her good friend by revealing damning information that friend had trusted her with, in confidence, to the world. Again, totally innocent. And justified—that’s what Shannon and Tamra get for not bringing Vicki a casserole in her hour of need.

Shannon and Tamra are shopping for drag king outfits to wear to the upcoming drag bingo charity event. Shannon thinks she’s a rocker because she cut cotillion class a couple of times to see Bret Michaels in concert. Since Tamra always jokes about being white trash, she is looking for a mullet wig. Those were jokes? Meghan calls to relay her conversation with Vicki. Tamra gives her credit for sitting down with the sea hag, and Shannon thanks Meghan for being a good friend by defending her and Tamra. Remember that for later. Tamra laughs off Vicki’s claim to have proof of Shannon being beaten by David, saying that if she had it, she would have released it a year ago. Then she says Vicki can suck her balls. Because she was just joking about being white trash.

Tamra arrives at Shannon’s house where a glam squad is assembled to help them look like guys. Really? A glam squad to draw whiskers and tie bandanas? They surprise Kelly and Lydia with the drag king theme of the evening—Kelly is fine with it, but Lydia is uncomfortable because she’s…a Christian? Huh? Since the bible doesn’t say anything about drag queens, Lydia decides God probably won’t smite her for stepping outside her comfort zone and playing along. Lydia doesn’t realize it’s safer to incur the wrath of God than the scorn of a roomful of drag queens. She’ll soon find out, however, because, as Lydia herself points out, she looks like the daughter of Liza Minelli and Charlie Chaplin.

Vicki brags about snagging trophy man Steve, and she has a right to, I guess, because how this guy can stand her is one of the deepest mysteries of the universe. For all her desperate protestations about being a catch, even she must be wondering how she pulled this one off. Vicki wants Steve to buy a boat with her and is surprised when he nonchalantly agrees. She worries that drama-free Steve might eventually bore her, and that, ladies and gentlemen, will be the death knell of their relationship. Vicki is her own worst enemy.

On the way to bingo, Shannon and Tamra sit there and say nothing while Kelly and Lydia throw Meghan under the party bus for stirring the Vicki-Shannon-Tamra pot. That’s the same Meghan who, two days ago, deserved credit for sitting down with Vicki and was a good friend for defending Tamra and Shannon to her. Nice. Meghan, along with Tamra’s psychic, Scott, is waiting for them at the bingo event. Tamra tries to obfuscate the fact that Scott is only there to create drama by saying she invited him because he lives around the corner from the bar where the bingo event is being held. Tamra is slipping. Scott immediately predicts that Kelly and Vicki will turn against each other, but Kelly smells a set up. If even Kelly can see through you, you need to up your game.

Ugh, Peggy. She and Diko are out to dinner discussing their daughter’s college plans. Diko doesn’t want her to go and thinks Peggy is pushing her into it. What parent doesn’t want their child to go to college if that child has expressed a desire to do so? Peggy explains his attitude by saying that Armenian fathers are protective of their daughters, as if fathers being protective of their daughters is some kind of cultural anomaly. I am so over these two. I don’t care if their daughter goes to college, I don’t care how they feel about it, and I don’t care about them.

Back to drag queen bingo, which is only marginally less dull than Peggy and Diko. Shannon is getting spanked for calling out a false bingo, and RHOC hits a new low by zooming in on her butt crack. Tamra asks Scott the psychic if Kelly is going to be nice to her, and Kelly says she’ll be nice to Tamra, but not Meghan. Kelly has obviously had a few drinks. Meghan wonders what has warranted Kelly’s attack, and Kelly brings up her phone call to Shannon about the alleged filming. Maybe the drag king garb has rubbed off on Shannon, because she grows a pair and tells Kelly Meghan was just trying to be a good friend by warning her that Kelly was upset about it. Kelly doesn’t understand the concept of being friends with more than one person—she thought Meghan was HER friend and shouldn’t have tattled to Shannon.

Meghan says she was Kelly’s friend until Kelly sent the text saying that Jim was cheating on her. The other ladies are appalled that Kelly would send such a text, especially since Meghan was seven months pregnant at the time. Kelly “defends” herself by saying it was just retaliation for Meghan’s questioning her about having a boyfriend. Is Kelly fourteen? Shannon recognizes Kelly’s tit-for-tat modus operandi, except that it’s more like vicious-tit-for-mildly-insulting-tat.

Kelly is also upset that Meghan told Vicki about the text and refuses to believe it when Shannon tells her that Vicki, not Meghan, is the problem. Kelly thinks Meghan should stay home and take care of her baby, who is sitting there all alone while her mother is out stirring the pot. Wow—Kelly is despicable. Tamra follows Meghan to the bathroom while Shannon scolds Kelly for attacking Meghan as a mother. Incredibly, Kelly protests that she didn’t attack Meghan’s mothering. How could anyone be so pathologically unaware of their own abhorrent behavior?

In the bathroom, Meghan is upset but taking Kelly’s accusation in stride—it’s not like Kelly has an iota of credibility, after all—and takes the high road by saying good-bye to Kelly on her way out. Kelly doesn’t respond, because, like Peggy, she doesn’t know what means “high road,” and because she’s a miserable fishwife who forgot to take her Risperdal.

Next week: Lydia is an idiot, Peggy and Diko are boring, Shannon is needy, and Vicki wears an exceptionally unflattering dress to the birthday she’s thrown—of course—for herself.

RHOC Episode 6 Recap: Sip-and-See Ya Later

I cannot figure out what this guy Steve is doing with Vicki. He seems stable and calm, he’s great with Briana’s kids, he appears to be thoughtful and he grills. Is the obnoxious woman-child she portrays on TV just an act? Is there a mature and dignified woman hiding underneath all the quivering lips and desperation and woo-hoos? I don’t believe it, but how else to explain this relationship?

Everyone is talking about Meghan’s sip-and-see. Meghan calls Vicki to formally invite her and since we know she’s going to come, her pause when she hears that Shannon and Tamra will be there is devoid of any drama it’s intended to create. Bravo needs to learn that the filler scenes of housewives calling other housewives to invite them to various events are unnecessary and boring. This season has way too much filler already.

Peggy and her husband discuss the women’s behavior at the “Lambo” party. Peggy struggles with run-of-the-mill figures of speech to the extent that I think struggling with figures of speech are her shtick. In one short scene she pretends she doesn’t understand the phrases “beating a dead horse,” getting a “lump of coal” from Santa or how someone’s “ears are ringing.” According to the terms of the Eileen Davidson Accord, Peggy is now fair game since we are past the fifth episode in which she appears, but there is nothing much to say about her. So far she’s very boring and seems to be putting on some kind of an act.

Lydia and her husband are throwing a party to launch their pretentious magazine. Lydia is nervous about inviting the other housewives because she doesn’t know if they’ll behave well. She will gauge how they act at the sip-and-see and make her decision based on that.

Tamra and Shannon are shopping for sip-and-see gifts and practicing how they’ll say hello to Vicki. Vicki and Kelly are shopping for sip-and-see gifts at a baby boutique across town and discussing how they’ll handle Shannon and Tamra. And making a spectacle of themselves fake gagging over the smell of some baby’s poopy diaper. This is the level of dialogue Bravo thinks we find entertaining? I hate myself for watching this show.

Tamra was supposed to set up a meeting between Kelly and Shannon so they could clear the air before the sip-and-see, but she hasn’t done it. Shannon wants to get it over with before the sip-and-see so they call Kelly and plan to meet over smoothies that afternoon. I can’t wait for this sip-and-see to be over because I’m tired of typing sip-and-see. I’m also tired of hearing about Kelly’s vaginal rejuvenation. We had to watch it, then we had to listen to her tell Tamra about it, and now she’s describing its aftereffects to Vicki. Enough.

Oh my God! Tamra and Shannon go to the smoothie store and say they’ll “have” this or that instead of “do” this or that. Did they read my last recap? I’m impressed. Kelly joins them and Shannon is worried because it could go well or it could go “Madison Square.” Oh Shannon, you are so NOT a gangster. Shannon reacted to Kelly the way she did at the Quiet Woman because she thought Kelly knew they were going to be there and came specifically to stir up shit. Kelly thought only Lydia and Peggy were going to be there and had no intention of offending Shannon. Really Kelly? You told Shannon she needs hormones and to keep eating because you were trying to be polite? Please. I’m no fan of Heather Dubrow, but she correctly assessed Kelly’s modus operandi last season: act abominably, say you never intended to offend anyone and that you’re not really like that, then act abominably again and repeat.

The smoothie meeting ends well when everyone says they just want to get past the hurt and move on. Then the next day Kelly tells Vicki that Shannon thinks she caused her weight gain and ruined her family. Vicki perpetuates her lie by saying she has photos and text messages that prove David beats Shannon. Way to move on, ladies.

Vicki is bitching because the “milleniums” [sic] have started this sip-and-see thing as a way to get people to bring them gifts. She is wrong, as usual. She is tired of having to spend $100 every time she goes over to someone’s house. How gracious. Vicki should feel lucky to be invited anywhere given how awful she is. Why would a rich and powerful insurance magnate like herself care about spending a lousy hundred bucks on a gift, anyway?

Everyone arrives at the sip-and-see and…nothing happens. With all the buildup this event was given over the last two episodes I expected some serious drama. Instead, Tamra, Shannon and Vicki ignore each other, Meghan opens a bunch of cute baby clothes, and Lydia decides to invite the ladies to her magazine launch party. What a letdown. The only remarkable thing to come out of the sip-and-see is that Vicki somehow thinks Shannon and Tamra owe her an apology. Let me get this straight–Vicki thinks she is owed apologies after she spread rumors that Shannon’s husband beats her and Tamra’s husband is gay? What is wrong with this woman? She is an enigma wrapped in a riddle but apparently not cash, since she begrudges every hostess gift she has to buy.

Shannon makes a beeline for the hors d’oeuvres and vodka once Vicki leaves, and Tamra thinks Shannon is using food and alcohol as a crutch for dealing with stress. Nothing gets past Tamra Judge! Vicki and Kelly make fun of Shannon’s weight on the way home while Tamra, Shannon and Meghan rip on Vicki at the sip-and-see. Meghan wants to sit down with Vicki and find out how Vicki thinks Shannon and Tamra hurt her, but we already know the answer to this. Vicki retaliated against them because they called her out for faking Brooks’ cancer and being a con woman. She wasn’t hurt, she was pissed. She was pissed because she got caught. Meghan knows that Vicki always has to play the victim, so why does she even want to waste her time on her? Vicki will never take responsibility for anything she’s ever done.

Next week: Tamra and Peggy argue, Kelly and Michael argue and Vicki hassles her son about his love life. Again. Yawn.