The Real Housewives of Orange County Reunion Recap: The Cries Have It

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Photo: Nicole Weingart/Bravo
The Real Housewives of Orange County

The Real Housewives of Orange County

Reunion Part 1 Season 12 Episode 20
Editor's Rating 3 stars

Here it is, ladies and homosexuals, the giant raging grumble let forth from the center of the Earth. No, it is not the great earthquake that will finally rend Orange County from this great nation of ours and send it to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch where it belongs. It is my regular complaint that I hate writing about the reunion specials. Praise the lord god Andy Cohen, this one is only two parts, but if you ask me, that is two parts more than this season really deserves. Other than Victoria Denise Gunvalson Jr. being hauled out of an Icelandic hotel covered in a robe, this season gave us absolutely nothing. Not one single scrap that we could even boil down into a decent bone broth.

To make matters worse, nothing ever happens at the reunions and since nothing happened at all this season, there is double nothing to happen at this reunion. It is like a black hole of nothing. It is a nothing folding in on itself, like a tinfoil swan they put your leftovers in at fancy restaurants. It is like a mirror of nothing reflecting another mirror of nothing and that is like an infinite amount of nothings, which is, once again, nothing.

Since we can all agree on something — which is that this reunion can offer us absolutely nothing — let us proceed in the usual manner by going around the room and critiquing each woman’s outfit. (This is really the only part of reunion recapping I enjoy, so bear with me.) Tamra Judge, a real utility player in the Real Housewives Fantasy Football League, shows up dressed like a Real Housewife at a Reunion Special, which is as life should be. She’s wearing a flattering sleeveless jumpsuit that is exactly the same shade as the wine stains on Kelly Dodd’s couch. It is complimented by a high neck, a pair of big and glitzy earrings, and Tamra’s new face. As far as new faces go, this is a really good one. She went to her doctor and said, “I want the Jane Fonda,” which is the gold standard of new faces, and she got it. I can’t believe Tamra is 50, because she looks absolutely amazing.

Next to her is Shannon wearing a slimming black number. It has long sleeves and a short skirt and might be a little informal considering what everyone else is wearing, but it’s fine. It’s totally fine. Shannon also lost 25 pounds eating quinoa bowls and puking up her feelings, and it is sitting well on her frame.

Meghan King Edmonds looks like Daenerys Targaryen if she were working at Ghost nightclub on top of the Palms casino sometime circa The Real World: Las Vegas. It’s both stunning and trashy and I can’t stop looking away and also really craving a piece of Extra sugar-free gum.

On the left couch, we start with Vicki. This is a very confusing cosplay. If Beauty and the Beast were set in Cher’s house and, at the end of the movie, the ottoman in her living room were turned back into a person, that person would be Vicki in this dress. Especially concerning are crisscrossing straps at the bust that just seem to be calling attention to all of the worst parts of both the garment and Vicki’s figure.

Kelly Dodd is wearing the serving wench costume that she bought at the Renaissance Faire. It doesn’t look horrible, but it doesn’t look great either. Next to her, Lydia is wearing the same dress and hairstyle the prom queen at Sherman Oaks High wore this year. Just like Lydia, her date also lost his balls, but it was to a tragic Mario Kart accident, so she’s actually winning slightly in the game of life.

At the end of the couch there wasn’t exactly a person, because it didn’t utter even a single syllable the whole time. Instead it was just a speed bump that seemed to be constructed entirely of hair and covered with a shiny purple oil slick, probably from all the cars bottoming out while traveling over it. Apparently this is where weaves go to die: the giant hair speed bump at the end of Andy’s second couch.

With that complete, what should we really talk about? The big bombs are Kelly’s and Shannon’s divorces, both of which we knew about before tuning in because of both the blogs and the finale last week. Kelly’s split with Michael seems less traumatic because, well, she had attempted it before and just finally succeeded. Also, Michael doesn’t seem so much like a person who you would be in a relationship with, but more like something you would one day flee from and celebrate. He is the escape room of people.

Shannon, on the other hand, is still trying to process her breakup. Shannon feels everything more intensely than any other human on the face of the planet. She is not just a bundle of nerves, she is the original nerve tree from which all human nerves have grown. The most shocking thing to hear is that David is the one who ended their relationship. He left a vacation they took to Hawaii early and then when they got home, he told Shannon they were ending it. Then he went and bought their daughter, Sophie, a brand-new BMW, which is not at all an emotionally manipulative gift. Nope. No way. Not a single way in the world.

Naturally, Shannon is really broken up about it and the best moment is when she is walking backstage with Tamra and says, “Wow, now it’s real,” now that she’s announced it to the world. My heart broke a little bit. My heart also breaks that Shannon and David are still going to Sunday dinners with the girls. That seems like when you and your boyfriend get a dog and you “share custody” after you break up, but then you’re sick of switching off weeks and seeing each other, so one of you just takes the dog full-time and the other one commits a string of high-profile bank robberies out of sadness that you lost the dog. That happens to everyone, right?

Vicki gets really sad when she hears about Shannon’s divorce, but it seems like she isn’t really sad for Shannon. She’s just sad because she didn’t know about it. The only thing Vicki hates more than being left out of the gossip is mussels and you won’t fully understand this until you’ve been to a seafood restaurant with Vicki, but just trust me. It’s really bad.

It’s time to focus a little bit on Lydia, who says that she knows a vasectomy isn’t cutting off a man’s balls, but “it was a joke.” Yeah, so is asking someone to pull your finger, but it’s also so lame it doesn’t even register as a joke, especially when you say it a dozen times throughout the course of the season.

Lydia would also like us to know that she isn’t homophobic and that’s not why she felt uncomfortable at drag bingo. It’s because the Bible didn’t tell her how to feel about it, because if there isn’t a chapter and verse to describe how she should process a situation, she apparently doesn’t know what to do. I’m with Meghan on this one: Just use the Bible’s teachings and apply them to drag bingo. I no longer practice, but I remember learning the Golden Rule in Catholic school and I think it says to treat people the way you want to be treated. These drag queens welcomed Lydia into their space, so she should have been welcoming in return, not a judgmental sourpuss who made them feel like they’re sinners or something because she was uncomfortable.

(Also, I love that Lydia is afraid of psychics because she actually believes in them and their powers, which makes the fact that she didn’t want to be around one even more hilarious than I thought possible.)

Finally, the oddest exchange of the night is thanks to Tamra, who went to her daughter’s graduation but has fallen out with her again. It seems the crux of her problem is that her daughter doesn’t want to be part of the show or Tamra’s social media presence or anything like that. I think that is a very valid request on her daughter’s behalf, but one that Tamra can’t seem to honor. She does have a deft defense, which is that she’s on a reality show and this is something that really affects her emotionally. However, at some point she has to choose between her profession and her daughter — and if she wants to keep her daughter, she’s going to need to totally keep her off the show. She seems to be taking a little bit of the culpability for that now, so let’s hope that Tamra continues to learn and grow and go with God or something like that. I don’t know. I just want to go eat an entire apple pie and pretend like it’s already Thanksgiving. But no, instead we have a whole ’nother week of dealing with these turkeys.

RHOC Reunion Recap: The Cries Have It