The Real Housewives of Orange County
We need to get one thing straight. Victoria Denise Gunvalson Jr. does not know how to twerk. I love that she tries to. I love that the other women are obsessed with getting her to do it. I love that she says, “I’m a 52-year-old grandmother, twerking is not good for me,” and I love that she can be convinced and cajoled by her friends — but not a foot masseur on the beach who is trying to rally crowd support — to do it.
But what Vicki does is not twerking. A proper twerk is a flipping of the pelvis which makes only the backside and surrounding areas shake. It is an isolation move where only one small part of the anatomy hinges on a single axis. That is not what Vicki does. Vicki just turns her rump to everyone and then vibrates her entire body. What she does is less of a twerk and more of a fleshen jackhammer. Just like a plane flying over a building making it shake is not an earthquake, the force of Vicki’s entire body making her butt jiggle does not mean it’s a twerk.
We could spend the better part of an afternoon talking about white women twerking, the appropriation of black culture, Miley Cyrus, these women saying “Hey mon,” in Jamaica while wearing fake dreads, and wearing matching Red Stripe hats like they are the universe’s oldest amateur-softball team. But we will not. There are more important topics about this episode that need our attention.
Tantamount to all of those issues is just how damn good Kelly Dodd looks in a bikini. When she walked into the ocean wearing that pink bikini with the black details on the bra I was totally smitten. I didn’t know what I wanted. Did I want to be her? Did I want to sleep with her? Did I just want to look as good as her at our age and know that, for me, there are not enough salads and Cool Sculpt in the world to get me there. I don’t know. But even without her uncannily good body, I want to be Kelly Dodd’s best friend. I absolutely want to hang out with a woman who buys a penis lighter on a resort strip just for “shits and gigs” and then terrorizes her prudish friends with it. If I ever have another bachelorette party, it’s just going to be me, Kelly Dodd, Brandi, and Stefani from RHOD, and Sonja Tremont Morgan of the penis-shaped cocktail straw Morgans. That seems like the most fun group in the entire world.
Emily had a good showing this week, not only falling off of a giant trampoline in the middle of the ocean and managing not to entirely humiliate herself, but also talking about her mother and their strained relationship. It turns out that Emily’s mother was suffering from depression during her childhood and that had a very profound effect on Emily as an adult. That also explains why she’s so obsessed with her mother-in-law and having a relationship with her. This is a nice side to Emily, one that gives her a bit more excitement and depth. If only her mother had abandoned her at a carnival, she might be an all-time great Housewife.
The problem with Gina and Emily, however, is that they have each other. While the rest of the women are making fools of themselves pissing in the ocean, Gina and Emily are having shrimp wraps by themselves and crying about their mothers. Then they go and talk to Tamra about what happened when she confronted Shannon. This is not how Real Housewives do it. They have to insinuate themselves into the argument, not ask about it after it all went down. It seems that Gina and Emily have spent most of the season sitting on the sidelines. While I do enjoy each of them more and more (particularly Gina), if they’re not going to tussle then they should just give up their Randy “Macho Man” Savage costumes and retire from the fighting life.
That brings us, finally and inevitably, to Shannon Beador, an abandoned koi pond filled with dead leaves and ill-advised tops hastily bought at Dress Barn. Shannon literally went missing for an entire day while the rest of the women filmed a Benny Hill sketch called “Walking up a Waterfall” where all they did was fall down and have their boobs pop out of their bathing suits. (This was, of course, the most hilarious part of the entire episode.) Shannon is not getting paid to sit things out. Shannon is getting paid to have half-drunk confrontations with other women, and if she’s not going to do that, she should be shown the door or at least have her pay docked substantially.
While the women called and texted her from their various and sundried phones all afternoon, Shannon ignored them so they could opine about how they’re worried about Shannon’s safety. Oh please. As Shannon says when Vicki finally gets through to her, none of them were really concerned about whether or not she died. How could she die? She’s in an air conditioned villa that is essentially the most basic Sheraton hotel room that grew so large it detached itself from a structure and became its own building. The worst thing that could possibly happen to Shannon in a hotel room is that she ordered too much from the minibar. Hotel rooms are totally safe. Just ask Whitney Houston. (OH, it will always be #TooSoon for that. I’m sorry.)
Before dinner, Vicki goes to talk to Shannon about their big fight the night before where everyone said Shannon only talks about herself and Shannon countered all of those arguments by only screaming about herself. She tells Shannon that after Brooks dumped her she felt abandoned by everyone until she worked hard to try to be friends with everyone again. This is a little bit revisionist history, but her point is real. She was active about searching for forgiveness. Shannon, on the other hand, is cowering in her bathroom taking an unending Silkwood shower and waiting for someone to come and shut the faucet off and tell her that it’s going to be fine. She is not active in establishing her own forgiveness.
Tamra isn’t going to Shannon to try to make it all better for a change. At dinner on the beach, Shannon does apologize to Gina and Emily for not trying to be their friend, but she doesn’t apologize to Tamra. That doesn’t happen until the next day when they all have to go bathe in the healing waters of Doctor’s Bay. The real healing starts before they even hit the sand, because Tamra tells Shannon that her feelings were hurt and won’t apologize to Shannon. Shannon refuses to apologize too, thinking that Tamra was continuing to talk shit about how Shannon is a bad friend and didn’t reach out about Eddie’s surgery. Tamra tells Shannon that Gina remembered that and brought it up and it had nothing to do with Tamra. This is also some revisionist history. If Tamra hadn’t mentioned it that very afternoon while on the beach with Gina and Emily, Gina probably wouldn’t have remembered it at dinner to throw it back in Shannon’s face.
Still, everyone leaves Jamaica happy and forgiven. Once again, the waters of the O.C. are placid and lovely. It should be smooth sailing from now until the reunion, which is making for a tremendously boring boat ride.