Sunday, February 15, 2009

"The Real Housewives of Orange County": Fancy Parties, Lots of Alcohol, and...Boob Envy?

Just because you have money, you don’t necessarily have good taste. The best evidence supporting this statement is BravoTV’s “The Real Housewives of Orange County.” The ridiculous show follows a circle of OC housewives—Jeana, Vicki, Tamra, Gretchen, and Lynne—who married rich, and have the Joan-Rivers-faces, Pam-Anderson-boobs, and Britney-Spears-drama to prove it.

The episode “Why are You Being So Mean to Me?” opens with a lavish party at Tamra’s home where the housewives are dressed up in low-cut gowns and chugging expensive champagne. The party quickly turns into a gossip fest as Gretchen—the young blonde bombshell engaged to a much, much, much older and richer man (Jeff) dying of leukemia who has been divorced five times—flirts with and hangs all over Tamra’s young son Ryan. Locked in the bathroom together, Gretchen drunkenly whispers, “You totally turn me on, but I can’t make out with you because you’re Tamra’s son.” She fails to mention her engagement. Tamra then decides Gretchen is in no state to drive home so she should just stay at her house for the night; what a brilliant idea! Let’s have drunk, horny Gretchen sleep on the couch with her younger love interest just across the hall.

What follows is (drum roll please) more parties. Tamra hosts a pool party where all the women flaunt their highly prized possessions—surgically-enhanced chests—in incredibly tiny bikinis. Tamra believes that Gretchen, who has real breasts, was “looking around in boob envy.” That’s right: boob envy. Enough said.

Vicki, perhaps the most self-centered woman of the bunch, thinks everyone is envious of her at a different party where she receives an award for her business skills. Hollering her signature “woo-hoo,” Vicki tumbles down the patio stairs and shatters her champagne glass. Most guests are hardly sympathetic, including Vicki’s husband Donn who laughs into the camera that his wife “AAATTTEEE IT!”

The rest of the episode focuses on the girls’ trip to Santa Monica where they shop at Fred Segal. Each creates her personal scent and then examines some really pricy ($3,000) sexual “luxury toys” encrusted with diamonds of course—which Jeana mistakes as toothbrush holders. Then at lunch, the “real” drama occurs: how Gretchen can secure her fiancé Jeff’s millions ASAP. Vicki and Jeana emphasize how Gretchen must have the “beneficiary designation.” Teary Gretchen admits that they are right but still needs to decide how to solve her crucial dilemma: bring up the subject with Jeff, or immediately marry him in the hospital bed to avoid the question altogether. Only time will tell what manipulation Gretchen will choose in her quest for millions from a dying man. She sure is classy…

Clearly, good taste is seriously absent on this show, but at least they have the boob envy, “woo-hoo”s, and sexual “luxury toys” to make up for it.

Stephanie Browne

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