The Real Housewives of Orange County
This is less of an episode and more a loosely connected string of sex talks that no one wants to have. First of all, Lydia and Doug, two Disney animated movie characters that melted a little bit in the rain, decide that the beach in Hawaii is a good place to give the sex talk to their 8-year-old, whose name is Stirling or Brayden or Colt or something else Sean Cody would assign to one of his newest models. This conversation is apparently needed because he said something about “sexy ladies” and Lydia wants him informed about sex.
That push for education is a great one, but there are enough hashtag problematic things about this conversation for several Jezebel posts. First, Lydia refuses to talk to her son about sex because she thinks it’s something boys should learn from their dads. This is an outmoded notion of gender separation that is healthy for no one. It teaches a young boy that “locker room” talk with the boys is the only way to talk about sex and that talking to a member of the opposite gender about such things is icky. Yeah, I bet little Bryson’s future sex partners are going to love that lack of communication.
Next, Doug and Lydia want to teach him about sex in as “Christian” a way as possible. That means the sex talk goes something like this: “God made sex, so it’s great. But it’s private, so don’t talk about it or do it in public. Also, don’t have it until you’re married. Got it, son?” There was no talk of specifics, no description of Ps in Vs, no explanation of how pregnancy works, and no warning about how to prevent getting crabs. All they do is fill this kid up with questions and leave him with so much innate curiosity. You know that that suppression is going to pop up in all sorts of interesting fetishes when he’s finally old enough to put on a full-body latex suit and climb into a sex swing.
Ironically, Vicki’s discussion about sex with her son is awful in all of the opposite ways. Michael clearly not only knows everything about sex, but also has been having it for some time with Danny. Oh, sorry. I wish Michael was having sex with some dude named Danny, but instead he’s getting serious with a girl named Danni who was genetically engineered in an Orange County plastic surgeon’s office to show people just how blandly conventionally attractive they can possibly be.
Anyway, Vicki tells Michael to make sure he’s using birth control so that he doesn’t become a parent when he doesn’t want to. She also reminds him that the pull-out method doesn’t really work, and Michael just hides his face in his hands while his insane mother natters on and he thinks about how one day his embarrassment will be so large and immobile that it will smother him in his sleep. Michael looks like he wants to do a cannonball into a box of Vicki’s broken glass awards and just die by a thousand cuts from the remnants of the shattered trophy given to his mother when she was named Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce’s Pantsuit Wearer of the Year in 2008.
Finally back to Lydia and Doug, who are still vacationing in Hawaii, where we get to see Doug on a standup paddleboard wearing nothing but board shorts and a smile. It looks like the beginning of every Sean Cody video and it is all I have ever needed to be happy. Lydia tells him at dinner that she wants him to “cut his balls off” so that she can’t have any more children. I guess what she really means is a vasectomy, but she goes about asking for it all wrong. Either way, the editors, with their cutaways of a coconut falling to the beach waiting below, are cueing it up perfectly.
I hated both Doug’s reaction to Lydia’s request and the new Housewife Peggy’s reaction to it. Doug is in a long-term, committed relationship with a woman and, considering how they slather Jesus all over their lives like jelly on an English muffin, they probably aren’t getting divorced anytime soon. Why not get the snip? Is Doug’s masculinity so fragile that he can’t handle being “neutered” like a stallion turned into a gelding? That is such bullshit. Lydia really has to be responsible for pumping her body full of hormones every month because her husband’s machismo might get a little dinged from responsible family planning? A vasectomy isn’t castration and for Lydia to frame it as such is a bit foolish, but for anyone to think so is just silly.
Now I guess we need to talk about the actual action of the episode, but it’s really quite hard this season. We are in the fifth episode and we still haven’t gotten the entire cast in the same room. When Peggy calls to invite Shannon to her sports car unveiling (which is honestly the tackiest excuse for a Housewives party in the history of a franchise that includes several Porsche fashion shows) Shannon flat-up says, “If Vicki and Kelly are going to be there, I’m not coming.” Then how can we have a show? She should be contractually obligated to go. We can’t have a program where four of the six women can’t be served by the same cater waiters.
Instead, Tamra and Shannon have a sad little We’re Not Going to Peggy’s Party Party where they sit around and eat olives in Shannon’s living room and talk about how they’re going to deal with Vicki and Kelly the next time they see them. Tamra does tell Shannon that Kelly wants to work on their relationship, which is a good step. Oh, who are we kidding? This is not a good step. This is like learning that Bernie Madoff has started a savings bank and wants to manage your 401K. It might seem like a nice shot at redemption for a minute, until he steals all of your money and then you’re stuck doing bad O.J. commercials like poor Kyra Sedgwick.
Anyway, Kelly calls Tamra for lunch and they both apologize about their fights in the past. Kelly hopes if she can win over Tamra, she can eventually win over Shannon and then be in their good graces. Considering that anytime anyone is even slightly critical of Kelly, she lashes back with an insult so mean it would make Charles Nelson Reilly cringe in his grave, those good graces can never last very long.
While we’re talking about Kelly, what the hell was that trip to the senior center with her mother Bobbi (who, as one person on Twitter pointed out to me, looks like Jerri Blank if she never went back to high school). Kelly is making bad jokes about funeral plots and her mother having boyfriends while Celeste, the representative for the senior center, sits with a smile that is faker than all the Louis Vuittons on Canal Street. Then Kelly starts crying because her mother doesn’t want to join and Celeste just sits their squirming, not wanting to upset what is clearly an emotionally disturbed and volatile person but not knowing how to also express what she feels is a constructive way to communicate with a potentially depressed senior. We are all Celeste, and Celeste is every one of us.
Oh my God, there can be no discussion of horrible things in this episode that does not include the shirt that Meghan King Edmonds is wearing while she looks at soaps in her kitchen. It is like a halter top striped men’s dress shirt, but with baggy sleeves and an improbable number of ties on it. That is covered by some sort of gray bib that looks like a sleeveless T-shirt and has a tube through it, just above the boob line, to contain the bulk of the other shirt. It is the most impossible garment I’ve ever seen a human being wear and I have been to every Lady Gaga tour. It’s like two different shirts got in a fight in Meghan’s dryer and she pulled them out and decided to wear them both at the same time all tangled together.
Now we get to Vicki, who continues to be so horrendous that I don’t know how much longer anyone can stand her on their television screens. There is not enough whoo-hooing or trips to Andales to offset how awful it is that she lied about not knowing her boyfriend was lying about cancer. At the Lamborghini launch party, she tells Meghan that she can’t be the only one apologizing because it doesn’t work. As Meghan points out, that’s not how apologies work.
When you do something wrong, you have to apologize to the wronged person. If that person hasn’t wronged you, she has no reason to apologize back. Vicki is completely deluded about this whole situation and I just want to throw her under the yellow Lamborghini that looks like a pat of butter dropped into a nuclear reactor. Oh, Peggy, she has no idea what she’s getting into. She’s trying to button Meghan’s lips and roll her eyes at Shannon’s histrionics, but this is the gig she signed up for. This is the gig they all signed up for, and it’s time for these women to start doing their jobs.