Vicki vs. Gretchen…Ramble

Ever since Gretchen Rossi joined ‘The Real Housewives of Orange County’ she has been in the center of drama. She was hard to like with her Barbie Doll ways and her nasty jabs at the other castmates. She came on with a fiancee twice her age with terminal cancer who showered her with diamonds. It seemed very clear she was a gold digger.

After her man passed away, Gretchen moved on with Slade Smiley who had previously been dating the very likeable Jo, whom Gretchen replaced in the cast. Jo moved to LA to try to be a singer and tried to find love elsewhere in her own dating reality show during which Slade tried to win her back. Slade was quite wealthy when he was with Jo living in a huge house and showering her with gifts. However, the recession hit Slade’s real estate job (but not former cast member Gina) and he lost pretty much all he had.

Gretchen who was in an all out war with Tamara ignited by the ‘who is hotter?’ debate showed us just how ugly they could both behave. Tamara and her best friend Vicki have always thought they were superior to Gretchen despite Tamara’s son being in jail and Vicki’s way of making everything about her (i.e. on last night’s show her daughter who has been ill had to console Vicki).

Vicki and Tamara both attacked Gretchen’s boyfriend Slade on last season’s reunion show calling him a dead beat dad for not paying child support. Despite that, this season’s premiere kicked off with Tamara and Gretchen mysteriously deciding to bury the hatchet. Tamara not-so-subtley was keeping the reconcilation from her bff Vicki. Vicki is not too happy about it but she still continues to show up for group events.

Slade is also not happy about Gretchen being friends with Tamara after everything she accused him of and making him look terrible on national television. He decided for some reason he was going to try stand-up comedy during which he called Vicki “Miss Piggy”- whom Bravo had the genius move of booking on ‘Watch What Happens Live’ alongside Vicki last night. (Seriously genius booking! Love Miss Piggy!!!)

It all came to a head last night for the latest round of war when Tamara hosted an 80’s Bunko Night. Vicki and Gretchen were at separate tables talking about Slade’s stand-up and the room erupted when Tamara added the men to the mix.

Why on earth would Tamara invite Slade to this Bunko night?
Why did Tamara and Gretchen really bury the hatchett? Castmate Alexis said she has heard rumors of what is really behind the reconciliation.

Andy wanted to know who’s side the audience is on Gretchen or Vicki?
1) I’ve always liked Vicki as a strong women who supports her family and works really hard.

2) The nasty behaviour in the tabloids is the most catty and least interesting of all the Housewives Casts, but being the original I can’t deny I have more than a passing interest.

3) I felt bad for Gretchen last year when she was trying to make Tamara own up to her own crappy behaviour but Tamara having the same mudslinging done in the press to her by Gina was supposed to be different– why Tamara? Oh because it’s happening to you.

4) There is an interesting debate here that also happened on the last season the NY cast. Simon apparently got very nasty with some of the ladies in the cast. His wife Alex said they needed to go directly to Simon. The women felt they should never have to be put in that position. In the OC Gretchen is saying the same thing and although she chastised Slade for his stand-up, she still defends his actions to the women. She thinks the women should go directly to Slade but doing this during a group game night was pretty ridiculous. Tamara just stood by in the corner with her head down.

If you have a problem with a friend’s partner, should you be able to clear it up with your friend or have to speak directly to the person you have the issue with?

5) The fight between Gretchen, Slade and Vicki really heated up when Gretchen brought up Vicki’s current boyfriend Brookes has been in jail for not paying child support. Vicki claimed her man was none of Gretchen’s business to which Gretchen retorted Slade was none of Vicki’s. Vicki apparently thinks it’s ok to accuse Slade of bad behaviour according to news on the net but she doesn’t want that applying to her man. Hmmm….

Vicki also told Gretchen she’d never understand (since Gretchen is not a mother) what a man not paying support makes a woman have to endure. Hmm….

Final conclusion: In these kinds of debates no one wins. None of these people are angels, however I’m on Gretchen’s side here. She was attacked by these women while her fiancee was dying of cancer. Vicki, being a mother and a survivor of a dead beat dad is dating someone who has been jailed for the same thing. It’s hypocritical and sad, sad behaviour.

Vicki get a grip it’s not all about you. You have to do a mea culpa here and then just get on with things. If these people are causing you so much stress you should quit the show. No one is making you do this show and after last season I can’t imagine how you are still on the show! Finally your daughter shouldn’t have to console you when she might be told she could have the big ‘C’.

This round goes to Gretchen. Good for you for standing up for yourself although I have no idea why you are into Slade.

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When Reality Kills…Ramble

It’s been strange and sad to watch this year’s seasons of The Real Housewives. Divorce has been rampant on every location: Orange County’s Vicki & Tamara & Gina all went to dust, although Gina’s divorce is still pending. New York saw the end of Countess Luann’s marriage and hints at infidelity by Ramona’s husband Mario. Washington saw the demise of Brit Kat’s marriage. Atlanta showcased NeNe’s hatred of her husband Greg and its still not clear if they have made up or just delayed the inevitable. Forget divorce though, it’s average in comparison to the family feuds, fist fights and bankruptcy on New Jersey.

As I’ve said before when a huge fight broke out on the season premiere of Jersey, when is Bravo going to take some social responsibility for abused people? Or put up a phone number to call? Well, it took the recent suicide of Beverly Hill’s (first couple to crumble under the reality strain), of Russell Armstrong to get there. While Armstrong’s sad decaying marriage and evaporating bank account was enough to get a tag and cut from many of the scenes sending story editors back into edit bays and raw footage for alternate story lines to highlight, it wasn’t enough for Bravo to pull the entire series from airing.

How could it be? They spent money promoting it, caught nasty, painful scenes between Kim and Kyle Richards trying to mend from the scars of Kim calling Kyle out on the season finale last year for being an alcoholic. All of this is just too tempting to Bravo but what does it say about us, the viewing audience? Is this too much for us? Do we delight in seeing spoiled, rich people continue to defy the recession and throw it in our faces that it’s not enough for them to show respect for one another and not throw punches? I go in and out of phases where I turn away from these shows. Russell’s death was given all of five minutes of air time discussion and a tag at the end of the show. It might also be enough to finally cure me of a sick need to tune in for these mind-rotting shows.

Unreal Housewives With Real Issues…Ramble

The Real Housewives of Orange County (RHOC) was started in reaction to ABC’s ‘Desperate Housewives’ to show …well, how spoiled, rich women fill their idle hours. The best part about RHOC was the revolving cast members and their lack of focus on how to monetize being on the show for the first couple of seasons.

Just like any MTV reality coupling (think Nick & Jessica, Travis & Shana, Heidi & Spencer) in a series, this reality show lead couples to divorce, couples to split, privileged teens to be evicted and given a shoulder to lean on by a money-grubbing peroxide blonde ‘with a heart of gold’ when she was first introduced to the series as the companion of an elderly man with tons of cash and terminal cancer.

Elegance is learned...my friend!

As CSI and Law & Order (dunt dunt) spun off into other franchises of the series, so did Bravo opt to spotlight women in other cities including New York, Atlanta and New Jersoi (hey Jersey Shore came AFTER this amazing successful season of ‘Prostitution Whore’ table throwing by Theresa ‘I Consider Myself A Classy Woman) and now expands to Beverly Hills and D.C. Uh oh Andy Cohen……not only the host of ‘Watch What Happens Live’ (WWHL) but the Head of Programming for Bravo. He’s the real Big Deal Y’all, not as my friend exclaimed ‘oh not a wannabe actor’ stooop right there grrrl, I love me some Andy Cohen….but I ramble….back to topic.

Is this too much of a good thing? Last week Jerry Seinfeld was on WWHL and asked to play Housewives Ref but Jerry wasn’t having it. He sort of went down the path that all the Housewive programming is a bunch of crap that will melt your brain and none of these women have any manners and just in case you didn’t hear it Andy, these people are mean and stupid. Um, okay Jer….you knew what you were getting yourself into and uh, don’t you want fans of the Housewives to be watching your show ‘Marriage Ref’ on Bravo’s sister-parent station NBC? Jerry, didn’t you say you were friends with Andy? Andy admitted it was not a fun game afterall and they cut to commercial.

In the words of Andy Cohen “Here’s What”:

a) Several of the Housewives seem to be over-medicating: Lynne (of RHOC), Kim (Atlanta- why does she wear a wig again? She did own up to not having cancer but never gave a reason for wearing a wig), Danielle ‘The Prostitution Whore’ (New Jersey) and of course New York’s sadly very own run-in-traffic-Playboy-bunny Kelly Kiloran ‘I’m a real person’ Bensimon. Kelly’s mental state has taken up the past two episodes of RHNYC. Kelly you are batshit crazy. Why do you continue to expose yourself on TV like this? Stop the madness, if you were a real person you’d find this uncomfortable to watch and seek some help.

b) Drop the OC cast PLEASE!!! The only remaining original cast member is Vicki, the workaholic insurance seller who seemed to be crying every episode due to her insane castmates. I’m not even a huge Vicki fan and I think she needs to quit the show. Here’s what Andy…that means yes, you have room for new Housewife franchises cause everyone is sick of the OC witches. Half of them are not even Housewives anymore and Tamara is just a disgusting high school mean girl…oh wait, you say that makes great TV? Eh, I’m over them.

c) MUSIC! Ladies, I got into the Hotlanta version about half way into the first season at the beckoning of my younger sister who declared herself ‘Captain of Team Nene.’ It was a hoot. These women dropping words like ‘elite’ and ‘class’ when they have neither but they all at least did charity work, unlike the hobags of the OC who were boozing it up and trying to get their friends ‘naked drunk’ but then didn’t want their friends to actually hook up with their out-on-parol sons.

In season two Kim ‘whig out’ Z released the single ‘Tardy For The Party’ and it does rock. It’s the perfect summer song and I’m jealous that Kim achieved one of my goals to be a one hit wonder on the disco floor.

Well, Kim Z it wasn’t too nice that you did not wish Countess Luann (RHNYC) the same success with her single. Here’s what: I love Countess Luann’s single and I bought it. Yep, elegance is learned …MY FRIEND! Money can’t buy you class (Jill Zarin!)

d) Faux fame monsters! On this note Jerry Seinfeld was right there are a number of the Housewives who believe they are legitimately famous and putting products out there. This wouldn’t be so annoying if they weren’t constantly hawking it on the show. Yes, we get that the show has launched them into ample opportunities but do we have to be marketed to every time you open your mouth Jill Zarin? Jill (NY)  and Nene (Hotlanta) both were likeable, loveable and women I would’ve wanted to hang out with on their first seasons. Somehow they started to believe they were the shit and the Head Cheerleader at last so they decided to pick fights with everyone only they went too far…Here’s what: It’s embarrassing.

e) Bethenny Frankel- she’s no saint. When this season of NY started I was like so totally on Jill’s side and couldn’t understand how rude Bethanny had tipped without shame. Well, then I realized neither one of them was acting too great to each other but….last summer I stopped following Bethanny on Twitter after her posts were just mean. She even picked a fight with Rachel Zoe and of course, one of my favorite people who never responded (I heart you) Gwyneth Paltrow calling out GP’s cooking skills which she had not sampled. Hmm BF you totally got pissed when Kelly KBS gave you the same types of comments, in fact you went bananas. So perhaps Bethanny you only went all noble and forgiving with Jill “I don’t want to win, I just want to make up” because you signed a deal for your own series “Bethenny Frankel…getting married?” Um, yeah we can see that rock from space so why that title….but anyway HERE’s WHAT: Sorry BF a special one episode for that would probably be enough when the über talented and fun and sassy Christian Siriano, who is far more entertaining got one episode. I won’t be watching your show BF. Not interested. I let you go and embrace the GOOP of Gwyneth who nourishes my soul instead.

In recap: Woohoo, love you Housewives but I’m going to be selective and cheer for Theresa and Dina of New Jersey who continue to deliver hilarious one liners like ‘tick tock psycho bitch.’

P.S.

I agree with Sarah Jessica Parker that Sonja Morgan adds helium to the NYC cast but what’s with adding Jen Gilbert too? How many freaking housewives do we need in one cast?  Also shining this season is my fellow Brooklynite, Alex McCord who is the voice of sanity.

Kelly Ripa said on WWHL ‘Sweetie, I’d like to hear Cher cover Luann’s song.’ That’s great Kelly but even better….Rupaul. How bout a gay benefit with all 3 of them together? Now that’s fun…my friends!