The Real Housewives of Orange County
Waiting for the end of this season of The Real Housewives of Orange County was sort of like finishing a course of antibiotics: You don’t really think you need to do it, but you’re doing it just in case. Well, we could have stopped that Z-Pak months ago because we didn’t miss anything by tuning into this finale episode.
The highlight of the entire hour is Linda, the office manager at Coto Insurance, who can’t get her headset to work when she wanders away from her phone. She then tries to get her boss, Victoria Cream Cheese Gunvalson III, to get her $500 headset to work but she can’t. What is wrong with Vicki that she’s forcing everyone to have a headset and wandering around the office like they’re at a Night of a Thousand Judy the Time Life Operators?
Next, Vicki and her partner Ali, a human delivery system for lapel pins, tell her son Michael that he is now on the board of directors of Coto Insurance, a position that carries slightly less responsibility than being the treasurer of a condo board’s home owner’s association. I only bring this up to let the very handsome Ali know that if he is ever in the New York area and really into making out with reality-television-program recappers to let me know, because he is exactly RHONJ recapper Molly Fitzpatrick’s type.
There is a bit of product placement for Priv, which apparently is a phone app that allows one to magically conjure gay fairies into your living room any time you want. Need someone to watch Paris Is Burning with? There’s a Priv for that. Need someone to magically pause your DVR every time that shirtless Christiano Ronaldo commercial comes on? There’s a Priv for that. Need someone to show up with a bottle of poppers and a shady attitude to discuss the new Carly Rae Jepsen album and how fat your ex has gotten in his Instagram pictures? Oh, hunty, is there ever a Priv for that.
Kelly uses her Priv magic to get her mother Bobbi a makeover while she sits in what appears to be the world’s most flimsy director’s chair. I was so excited for these queer angels to use their powers for good, because Bobbi’s hair always looks like she’s wearing a hockey goalie’s helmet backwards. They certainly improve it, but you can’t make a purse out of a sow’s ear. (Or, as we say in the gay world, you can’t remix the Chainsmokers into a Latrice Royale. Okkkkrrrr.)
This is all just a prelude to everyone attending Meghan’s big unveiling for her King Collection line of candles. (Kris Jenner is already very upset about the lack of K’s in that previous sentence.) Yes, after the success of Jim Edmond’s line of candles with K. Hall Designs, his wife now has her own line, too. If I had to guess, Meghan’s candles smell like daffodils, baby powder, and lowered expectations.
The party is held in what appears to be the courtyard of a very fancy hotel and I has extreme déjà vu the whole time we were looking at it. That’s because it is the same place where Tamra and Eddie got married by a Joan Collins impersonator. This party is a sorority girl’s idea of what a rich person’s party looks like. They have a signature cocktail that is the exact same hue as Cool Blue Gatorade and there is an ice luge in the shape of the King Kollection (you’re welcome, Kris) logo.
Later, we see someone taking a drink from the luge, and she had to slurp it up with a straw. I’m sorry, if you’re going to have an ice luge at your party, at least know that you have to take the shot directly out of the block of ice. Just ask Bethenny Frankel, whose Skinny Girl–branded ice luge is probably taking up all the room in her freezer where the Skinny Girl TV dinners used to be before they were discontinued. (I made that up. I have no idea if that product ever existed, but doesn’t it feel like it did?)
We see everyone getting ready for the event. Shannon is helping David pick out an outfit and he says, “I can wear this jacket if I want to look hip.” This blazer is so ugly that it is, essentially, a war crime. It’s like the color between red-wine-stained teeth and a carpet burn. The fabric appears to be some sort of faux-velvet and there are buttons not only too high up the front, but also on the pockets on the side of the jacket. There also appears to be one side of a zipper running up the lapels. David should not have said, “I can wear this if I want to look hip.” He should have said, “I can wear this if you want me to look like a 50-year-old in the advertising industry going to a Barenaked Ladies reunion concert.”
The saddest part is that Doug, Lydia’s husband, wears a suit the same color and Diko, the jingle-jangle of change under your couch cushions, wears a jacket with a similar zipper lapel. Is there only one Men’s Warehouse in all of Orange County and do they only sell things that are too ugly for the taste-free, color-blind tech bros of the Bay Area?
The party is not so much of a party as it is a world tour of apologies. Kelly apologizes to Peggy about making a joke about her dad, who had just passed away. Kelly had forgotten that because she was drunk. In Kelly’s defense, that is basically her excuse every time something bad happens.
Then Diko apologizes to David for saying he was grilling him about Peggy’s health. Then Tamra apologizes to Diko about calling him a “little bitch,” which is really the world’s meanest short joke in disguise. Lydia’s mother, Judy, apologizes for bringing Lydia into the world and Lydia’s hairstylist apologizes to all of us for creating a braid so petrifying that even Pennywise wouldn’t go within four blocks of it. Finally, Peggy goes over to apologize to Shannon, but she can’t really apologize, so Tamra actually has to show her how to do it.
Peggy is so sad. At the end of the episode, when everyone gets their freeze frame and two sentences about what they’re up to now, Peggy just says, “Um, sorry guys. She won’t be back next year.” The whole thing with her and Shannon is absolutely insane, as Shannon points out. Shannon told Tamra that Peggy had told her that David hurt her multiple times and that she was crying. Then Peggy told Tamra that never happened and Tamra threw Shannon in front of that train like she was Kevin Spacey on House of Cards and Shannon was That Other Mara Sister.
Shannon freaks out, of course, because that is all that Shannon ever does. Peggy just looks at her, dismissively, and says, “Are you okay?” Ugh, Peggy is the worst. It’s like she’s too good for this show, she’s too good to raise her voice, she’s too good to care, she’s too good to buy some damn V05 Hot Oil and just smooth all those freaking fly-aways down. Then Shannon ends up looking crazy for losing her cool when she was right all along.
The only good parts of the whole party are both thanks to Kelly Dodd. We got to see a few little splashes of Kelly and Shannon making fun of each other and playing off each other’s really cheesy senses of humor and I loved it. Next year, the cast of this show should just be Kelly, Shannon, and Linda the office manager. I would love that.
On the flip side, I relished watching the deterioration of Kelly’s relationship with her husband, Michael, a rack of 50-percent-off Jerry Garcia ties at Macy’s. Their relationship is clearly over (which we know because they are filing for divorce), but there is something that I love about watching the interactions of two people who are just so clearly over each other. I’d love to see a sitcom about a couple like this, where they just can’t tolerate each other any more so they just talk shit about the other right in front of them. It will be called In Sickness and it will win Emmys. I am casting Jason Bateman and Judy Greer. If any network development executives want this, come at me.
As this candle party is winding down, all of the women and the amorphous lump creature known as Vicki gather around the bar to take a shot and glower into each other’s eyes. These six smoldering lumps of coal in reality TV’s coldest fire raise their shot glasses to the heavens and choke down one last bit of cheer as the cameras pan out and the drone takes over, showing them all from overhead as the bar fades away to a dot, the hotel fades away to a slash next to the beach, the ocean fades away to a vast expanse of darkness that looks roiled with confusion as its surface churns and puckers to look a little bit like fainting feels, as if the end of everything would be a sighing relief.