REAL HOUSEWIVES OF OC PHOTOCAP: Whine Tasting

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I never trust entrepreneurial endeavors spawned from The Real Housewives (although, I did enjoy Ramona Pinot Grigio). However, I always enjoy their ridiculousness. Nothing will ever top Sonja’s mystery toaster oven, and few will be as iconic as She By Shereé. However, in a world where Cafface, Gretchen Christine Beauté, and Gigi’s Extensions are a thing (and yes, I realize that’s from Shahs of Sunset), one shouldn’t be surprised that we now have both Wine By Wives AND Vicki’s Vodka. The latter business hails from Vicki Gunvalson of The Real Housewives of Orange County, and call me crazy, but I never realized vodka was her “thing.” I mean, at least Ramona Pinot Grigio stemmed from Ramona’s much documented love of Pinot. Vicki’s Vodka seems to only be a curious biproduct of alliteration. It’s as if Vicki merely scanned a list of consumer goods starting with “V” and chose her favorite option. This leads me to believe that Vicki’s Veal is just around the corner, perhaps to be followed by Vicki’s Violin Repair or maybe Vicki’s Vaginal Rejuvenation.

Nevertheless, most of the cast headed up to Malibu for some wine tasting because, as Tamra explained, Napa and Temecula were so played out. Yes, the last thing we need is more Temecula dominance of the wine scene, am I right? Listen, I’ve been to wine tastings in Temecula. It’s certainly scenic. But the wine is shit. I mean, imagine a bunch of wineries run by Jim Bellino. That’s what Temecula wine country is. I swear to God, one of the wineries I went to was so overrun by gargoyles and griffins that I immediately turned around and left (opting for the “classier” European “village” just up the hill. Yes, a lot of air quotes, but this is Temecula we’re talking about. If you don’t use air quotes, then you have a problem).

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REAL HOUSEWIVES OF OC PHOTOCAP: Faith In A Higher Power

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Not much happened on the latest episode of Real Housewives of Orange County. We met Lydia’s kooky mom, who might actually be the first mother on these shows to be more age-appropriate as a cast-member than her actual daughter. A former hippie turned fairy dust enthusiast, Lydia’s mom was definitely something of a character, and interestingly enough, she actual shed some light on Lydia’s personality. It turns out this woman spent the majority of her life stoned, and because of that, Lydia sought structure in religion. Dare I say it was a nearly fascinating revelation? Maybe that’s going too far. Nevertheless, I find Lydia’s brand of devoutness to be far more informed than Alexis’s, which doesn’t seem to stem from curiosity but rather what Jim has ordered her to believe.

In other news, Heather continues to rebrand herself as the most humorless cast member on the show. After having landed a role on Hot in Cleveland, she went out to dinner with her fam and then proceeded to pick a fight with her husband, which she then promptly blamed on him. I’m not sure that Heather has as much of a stick up her ass as a giant, corinthian column from the Parthenon. She’s making me hate her, and I always liked her. Stop it! (Meanwhile, I’m loving Lydia).

On to the photocap!

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REAL HOUSEWIVES OF OC PHOTOCAP: Costa Rica Suave

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I suppose the Real Housewives of Orange County will be wrapping up in the next few weeks because we’re already at the group trip that almost always signals the home stretch of every season. This year, the ladies headed down to Costa Rica for a five-day excursion — or rather, a two day jaunt in Alexis’s case. The poor girl probably thought Costa Rica was a spa in Laguna Hills, which perhaps explains why she volunteered to travel down there for a scant two days. Of course, there’s also the distinct possibility she merely confused Costa Rica with Costa Mesa (also in Orange County), but at the end of the day, one truth remains: she still thinks she’s in Mexico.

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REAL HOUSEWIVES OF OC PHOTOCAP: Did You Hear? Gretchen Lost Her Voice

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Bravo is a cruel, cruel network. After relentlessly teasing us with Gretchen’s impending Pussycat Dolls performance — something we actually don’t care about AT ALL — it seemed like it was finally time for the flaxen thrush to belt out “Fever” for us on last night’s Real Housewives of Orange County. But no. In classic Bravo fashion, they led us to the edge and then ended the episode. Normally, this would be considered a cliffhanger, but considering that no one has any personal investment in Gretchen’s singing career, let alone her debut in a Las Vegas lounge, I can say authoritatively that I will not be on pins and needles for the next six days wondering just what will happen. And quite frankly, if that soaring, hideous note from the previews is any indications, it doesn’t appear as though Gretchen will be filling the void left by Whitney Houston.

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REAL HOUSEWIVES OF OC PHOTOCAP: Bowled Over

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Business as usual on The Real Housewives of Orange County. We had an obligatory surgical procedure as Tamra had the last of her boobies removed from her chest, and guess who came to visit her? None other than Gretchen (of Gretchen Christine Beauté), who hadn’t been so available for her alleged bestie Alexis. Yes, Alexis was still bitter that Gretchen hadn’t visited her when she’d had her nose job; so I can only imagine her Alexis Couture panties were all in a bunch when she saw Gretch popping up by Tamra’s bedside. Of course, since none of these women can get through an afternoon without grousing, Tamra then bitched that Vicki hadn’t come to see her. My goodness, with the amount of surgery these women get, I’d have a hard time making my visiting rounds too. Besides, Vicki WORKS. Didn’t you hear?

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REAL HOUSEWIVES OF OC PHOTOCAP: Vicki Screams, Gretchen Cries, and Alexis Gets A New Nose

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Is there anything better than an epic party disaster on The Real Housewives? Probably not. Last night’s Real Housewives of Orange County delivered just that — thirty minutes of ridiculous screaming, crying, and angry accusations. It all began last week when Tamra invited Slade to Bunco night with the girls. Clearly this would lead to disaster in the wake of his nasty comedy routine, and sure enough, the fallout last night was loud and teary. Awesome.

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REAL HOUSEWIVES OF OC PHOTOCAP: Catalina Cat Fight

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At the end of last week’s episode of The Real Housewives of Orange County, we were left to wonder if Peggy and Alexis would begin choking each other’s throat at the mere sight of each other. The answer, in short, was no. This week, the two came face to distorted face at Vicki’s cajun party, and the two treated each other in a civil manner, with a few passive-aggressive barbs thrown in for good measure. To some this may have been viewed as a let down, but I was perfectly happy with the detente because I think I had no reasonable expectation that it would have been anything more than it was. Surely, had there been a major incident, we would have seen it in promos for months… YEARS perhaps. Nope, the only hostility that emerged from this dinner came from all the women versus the crawfish that were shoved in their faces. These stupid ladies turned their surgically enhanced noses up at the mere sight of the fish, as if it were somehow more horrific than digging into a clam or a mussel. Ah, but isn’t that the pleasure of watching Orange County? Dumb bitches saying dumb things in dumb situations. That’s a good time.

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REAL HOUSEWIVES OF OC PHOTOCAP: Alexis Introduces Us To High Fashion (As In, You Have To Be High To Call It Fashion)

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I was in the midst of a cyber-attack last week, and so I never got around to writing about Peggy’s epic dinner party disaster on The Real Housewives of Orange County, but that’s okay because this week, we got to enjoy the repercussions. As you may remember, Alexis spent a majority of the dinner party locked in the bathroom, pining for her husband Jim, who had opted not to attend because he hates the catty women (probably because a) they are empowered, b) outspoken, and c) on to his shifty business). Left on her own for the first time, Alexis was a total mess, which made her more pathetic than usual — and that’s saying something. This week she revealed that the reason behind her hysteria was that she hated having to lie about her husband’s whereabouts and then she started to miss him, and with all these emotions bouncing around that cute, little head of hers, it was just too much to handle. Hence, the tears.

Alexis told this much to Peggy, but the Heidi Montag lookalike wasn’t having any of it. She noted that it was still rude of Jim not to come, and even though Alexis bristled at this notion, Peggy was totally correct. After all, even if Jim didn’t like Alexis’s friends, he still should have supported his wife and honored the invitation. That, however, would suggest that Jim is anything but self-interested, self-absorbed, and selfish.

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HOUSEWIFE HOEDOWN Ep. 18: Talking About Alexis Bellino, Dinner Parties, and the Glory of RHoNYC

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Video streaming by Ustream

In case you missed it, we taped another episode of Housewife Hoedown today. Joining me in the studio was Matt Whitfield, features editor at Yahoo! The two of us discussed the latest episode of Real Housewives of Orange County and New York City, with special attention paid to Alexis Bellino and her dinner party meltdown.

We received two calls, including one from my friend Neil, who shared his experiences with Ramona Pinot Grigio. Not only did he weigh in on the wine, but he told a most interesting story about its sales on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

Check it all out in the video above, and remember you can watch live every week at 12:30 PDT at talkmedianetworks.com/live

REAL HOUSEWIVES OF OC PHOTOCAP: Putting the Eh in España

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I don’t know what’s happened to our trusty Real Housewives of Orange County, but these bitches have been boring. There’s nothing terribly exciting to report from the cozy confines of Coto de Caza, and that must be what’s hurting the show. Vicki and Tamra have mildly interesting problems — one’s relationship is crumbling while the other’s is flourishing — but the rest of the gals have nothing even remotely fascinating to bring to the table. Alexis just wafts around like a dandelion seed — correction: a dandelion seed with boobs. She’s only entertaining when she’s in the context of Jim, but only because they’re so awful together. I suppose there is a mildly amusing aspect to watching her one-up Peggy, but it’s hard to make a full show out of that.

Peggy meanwhile seems to spend every episode fretting over a different medical malady. First it was postpartum depression. Then it was her daughter’s cut. Now it’s her boobs. She could certainly use a new hobby (said in a friendly, supportive, non-Bethenny-to-Jill way).

And then we have Gretchen, who we have enjoyed in seasons past, but this year seems a bit tiresome. The producers have her running off on dumb activities that all address her commitment issues with Slade — issues that the audience largely doesn’t care about. Is it so bad to ask for more content, Bravo? Last year we had Lynn struggling to keep her daughters in check (as well as the rent); we had Tamra battling it out with Simon and in turn Vicki, who in turn was clashing with Alexis. It was silly but real. This time around no one is doing anything, everyone is getting along, and vignettes of their lives just seem dull. Why, Orange County? You’re supposed to be the Varsity housewives. Must we lump you in with Miami and DC now?

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