Yes, this was a very good episode of the Real Spanx Harridans of Upper San Diego, but didn’t it still seem like a Canal Street version of the Real Housewives of New York tequila trip from last year? It’s a bunch of women getting wasted at a tequila tasting, going swimming naked, and one of them falling over and injuring herself. This very well could describe the trip that Bethenny took the rest of her crew on and Countess Crackerjacks falling into a bush. But here are Vicki, Tamra, and Shannon doing it, trying to be just as cool. It’s sort of like a mom who decides to wear a Hervé Leger bandage dress to her daughter’s bat mitzvah, not knowing that the dress is already out of style and that she has it on backwards and that is why her boob keeps popping out. Like it’s the same but way too late and not nearly as wonderful.
That said, I love it when Vicki, Tamra, and Shannon are getting along because it’s a really, really fun time no matter how much it’s going to make you cringe. Still, the episode didn’t start with Mexico, it started with the continuation of Vicki and Kelly’s fight from the last episode. Kelly calls up both Tamra and Shannon and tells them that Vicki has been on several double dates with her ex Michael, and that Vicki never told her about them.
Both women immediately are like, “That is wrong.” Tamra says that it is breaking “girl code” (again, the women of RHONY have literally written a song about this first). It’s hard in any divorce and friends are going to go in different directions. For instance, Tamra’s husband Eddie is apparently still running Spartan races with Shannon’s ex David. That’s cool. That’s the two of them hanging out together. But if Tamra were to go out on a double date with David and the new girlfriend, she’d at least tell Shannon it was happening beforehand.
That is what people are angry about, not that Vicki may or may not have set them up, but that she didn’t tell Kelly. The problem is that it seems like Vicki is being loyal to Michael and keeping this a secret from Kelly because Michael asked. If she wants to maintain her friendship with Kelly (or at least their working relationship on the show) she needs to let her loyalties lie with Kelly.
Vicki, of course, does not get this. She thinks the fight is about whether or not she set Michael up with her friend that Michael is now dating. As always, Vicki totally misses the point because she is absolutely loyal to no one but herself and maybe her daughter Brianna. (Who cares about that son of hers though? He can spend the rest of his life in the basement searching “anal MILFs” on PornHub for all Vicki cares.) Vicki will never learn her lesson, and that is why she is a font of constant amusement for reality-television scholars.
Speaking of Housewives’ daughters, I really didn’t like it when Kelly was playing Vicki’s voice-mail message to her daughter, Jolie. It would be one thing if this was a fight about something stupid and she were using her 12-year-old like a best friend. It’s another thing that this is a fight about the girl’s father and the woman that he is now dating. This is totally inappropriate, add to the fact that it is also on-camera and that the 12-year-old is getting her hair done like she’s going to a charity fundraiser or something. The only thing that is not awful about this whole scene is that Jolie has great advice. “She’s a rude person. If she’s not going to tell you the truth, she’s not your real friend.” Out of the mouths of babes (that are forced to grow up too fast on-camera, maybe.)
Shannon sends her daughters back to the OC so that she can hang out with Vicki and Tamra in Puerto Vallarta. You knew it was going to be a weekend of inappropriateness when Shannon went to the airport bar, got three tequila shots, three giant Mexican hats that looked like she bought them from the clearance rack at EPCOT center, and stood there in the middle of the tiny airport waiting for her friends like she was taking part in a viral marketing stunt for Jose Cuervo. Shannon’s dedication to this bit, as people streamed past her while trying to ignore her idiocy, is a testament to how far Shannon has come since the divorce.
Of course when the girls arrive, they think this is the best plan ever and they throw on their hats, take their shots, and give the first of many “whoo-hoos” right there in the airport. It all fell to hell though when the wide brims on their hats bumped together, Shannon dropped the tray with the shot glasses, and they all shattered on the floor. Then Vicki hugged her and the two of them collapsed onto the tiles of the airport right in the middle of a landmine of glass shards.
The only person with the frame of mind to stop them was some Mexican driver waiting for a rich person to get off of the plane and shuttle them to their villa. This dude tried to stop them from impaling themselves on their own sharp rubble and even called someone over to clean up this enormous and inconvenient mess these partying middle-aged women made right in the middle of the airport. This is exactly what these women always are — inconsiderate, inconvenient, and making the untold masses inevitably do their bidding. I bet that driver was thinking, “And Trump says we send the worst of us to their country. We sure do need a wall, but it’s to keep these animals in!”
The crew gets to Andele’s, Vicki Gunvalson’s favorite bar in Puerto Vallarta, at 11:15 p.m. You know when the chyron shows you what time the women start doing something that they’re going to be in big trouble. The funny thing about Andele’s is that it looks like a Mexican-themed bar in a strip mall in Orange County but it is actually in Mexico. It’s about as authentically Mexican as a Cinco de Mayo party on the North Pole. But it is there for rich Americans to misbehave and that is what these women do, getting up on the bar and shaking their profit-losers (that is the opposite of a moneymaker) for the whole crowd. Tamra flashes her tits more than once, but every time she does it, her top seems to go in a different direction.
The next morning the women recount that they each had about 15 drinks on their night out, which, well, that would put most frat boys to bed before sunrise, so they are definitely keeping up with the partying. Back at the hotel, Tamra, who wants to show off more than her boobs, decides she’s going to get naked in the hot tub. When Shannon won’t join her because she’s ashamed of her body, Tamra goes chasing after her, totally nude, and slips on the tiled floor of their living room, crashing like a broken bag of flour falling off the top shelf and landing on the supermarket floor. She makes a wet and squishy crack and somehow this convinces Shannon to get in the hot tub with her.
I give Shannon lots of credit, because she shows up in her Spanx and doesn’t care that she is totally nude in front of the camera. Vicki is sitting inside in her robe and pouting with a false sense of superiority because you know she would be naked in there in a second it if it weren’t for Steve Lodge at home telling her to behave. (Like Shannon and Tamra, I don’t think Vicki is that into Steve, but he’s the sensible choice and he is someone who is there, which is all she needs. But I think that Steve is too normal and boring, just like her ex Don, and in much the same way, it will never fill up her love tank.)
It’s Tamra who we really need to be worried about. She’s treating that Jacuzzi like it’s an Olympic-sized pool. She’s like doing laps and cannonballs and shit into that little hot tub, and that is how she injures her foot. We find out the next morning that the foot is actually broken and that she had to take a cab to the hospital at four in the morning because Vicki and Shannon were passed out. Um, I know we don’t want the producers to intervene on the show, but couldn’t someone with a van take her to the hospital? I mean, one of their star players was injured! Would the New England Pistols let LeBron Curry just lie there on the football pitch and then get up and hobble to the hospital? (I’m bad at sports metaphors.) No. Someone would put him on a stretcher and take them there like a person.
The next day the women decide to go to the beach. Vicki is wearing a hat that says “Adios Beaches” and a bag that says “Beach Por Favor” because she is intent on mangling the Spanish language, much like Tamra was intent on mangling her limbs. The two of them carry Tamra down to the beach with the help of yet another well-intentioned Mexican staff member who looks like he just wants these women to go ahead and injure themselves already since they all seem to have a death wish. Later, at dinner, Tamra is drowsy on pain pills and is propped up at the table with a blanket covering her and a turban on her head. She’s like the Housewives equivalent of Weekend at Bernie’s.
They put her to bed and they have a tequila tasting in their room where Vicki is wearing her pajamas and Shannon is wearing her Speedy Gonzalez hat and the men who have come up to the room to do the tequila tasting feel about as ignored as a Jell-O mold at a vegan’s birthday party. These poor gentlemen, I just want to free them from this purgatory that are their lives in service to these awful women. But they smile and pour the tequila and they talk to these women about their ex-husbands and Vicki makes gross Hannibal Lecter slurps every time she takes a drink of tequila and they want to gouge their ears out with shrimp forks.
Vicki and Shannon toast and think about the past, they look at the stars twinkling over the ocean and think about the long years since they were here last. They think about the future too, the new men in their lives and the possibilities that open now that their children are old enough that they don’t have to do boot-camp classes where they push them around in strollers. But mostly they think about the tequila, the warmth that takes over their bodies and makes their sad neurons fire in strange configurations, which sound like the erratic snores of Tamra, slowly recovering in the next room.