There are two very small things I want to discuss before we get to the main meat of this episode, which is Shannon and Vicki rearranging their faces like they’re the deck furniture on the Titanic. (Sorry, that was a little mean, even for me.) The first was when Gina shows her mother around her “casita” in Orange County. If you don’t remember, this is the place that she and her husband Matt rent while they’re going through the divorce so she can stay there while Matt spends his weekend with the kids in the house they formerly shared.
This is not a “casita,” this is a garage that someone strung some fairy lights in and called an actual apartment. This is sort of like someone living in an unheated shed behind his mother’s house and calling it a “bungalow.” We are not going to fall for this euphemistic nonsense. This is something that we would see on Tiny House Hunters because this “casita,” like a “tiny house,” is just a trailer with some nicer furniture and better image control.
I hate how every episode of Tiny House Hunters talks about the “tiny house movement.” There is no such thing as a “tiny house movement” just people who are too cheap or too poor to live in an actual house due to continued income disparity in this ravaged capitalistic apocalypse we call a country. This isn’t a movement, it’s a travesty. Gina has joined the “tiny house movement” but not of her own accord. It’s like she’s been kidnapped by a cult and now has Stockholm syndrome. Also, how does this “casita” have enough storage space for all of her awful hats?
The second moment we need to discuss is when Kelly Dodd shows a bunch of 12-year-old girls her number-one dance move. She calls it the “lick it and slap it up,” where she licks her palm and them slaps it across the rear end of what we presume to be another invisible human who has bent over in front of her and is grinding their ass into her gyrating pelvis. This is not something that one should be teaching the Musical.ly set but, know what, I’m glad Kelly did. If you’re going to have to learn these things from someone it might as well be someone like Kelly Dodd, a novelty holiday tablecloth of a person, so that these kids will never think these dance moves are cool or take them seriously. Thank you, KD, for making a dozen preteens just a little bit cooler and more discerning than when you entered the room.
I am really loving Kelly Dodd this season. She’s just fun and breezy and makes me smile, like one of those long-limbed blowing inflatable twerps in front of a used-car dealership out on the interstate. Also, I totally agree with her about Vicki’s plastic surgery: If you’re going under the knife to mess around, might as well get the “whole enchilada” and have herself pulled tighter than Ariana Grande’s ponytail.
I also decided that I have grown to love Victoria Denise Gunvalson Jr. again. There were a few really rough years during and after the Brooks debacle where I — like Shannon and Tamra — couldn’t support a person whose boyfriend knowingly perpetrated a cancer fraud on the American people and who wouldn’t apologize for any part she might have had in the scandal. None of us ever got our apology, but Vicki eventually wore us down, like a camel’s harsh tongue slowly licking a partially exposed land mine. I have kind of forgiven her.
This episode reminded me of what I love about Vicki in the first place, a kind of totally oblivious narcissism coupled with a ridiculous sense of humor that never fails to make me chuckle. Like when she was sitting in her “recovery suite” at a hotel after her facelift and her boyfriend, Steve Lodge, isn’t there to help her. “I need a bell,” she says, pretending like she should be able to chime for assistance any time she wants it. “Steve,” she yells out to no response. “Steve … Steve … [raises her hands as if to express not only exasperation but being abandoned by her god] … Steve.”
Vicki is comedy gold. She’s also a woman so vain that she has to have multiple plastic surgeries but also so craven that she will allow a camera crew to film her when she’s coming off of anesthesia and will say absolutely stupid and ridiculous things. Any one of the 138 million people who watched “David After Dentist” will tell you this is a bad idea, but Vicki does not care. Before she was even on any drugs she was talking about a fire in her hoo-ha from the medicine, so she can’t be at all embarrassed by talking about having no panties on after it.
There were two amazing moments during Vicki’s surgery “journey” (as she will surely call it in her Bravo TV dot-com blog). The first is a montage of Vicki’s interview looks from the past 13 seasons all blended together like the faces at the end of Michael Jackson’s “Black or White” video. It was like reliving my entire middle age in about three seconds and felt like what the villain in an Indiana Jones movie must have felt the minute after taking a drink out of the wrong grail right before he turned into ash and fell to his death.
The second moment was when she covered herself with a scarf to be wheeled into her hotel after her surgery. After her trip to Iceland last season, we know that the only way that Vicki can either enter or exit a hospital is covered by some kind of fabric, whether it’s a scarf, a towel, a bathrobe, or a string of Coto Insurance T-shirts knotted together by her son Michael. What’s crazy is that Vicki will air the surgery and its aftermath on national television, but she doesn’t want people to see her in a wheelchair or a gurney. Maybe this whole covering thing is some sort of superstition from when she was a child and had a whole bunch of brain surgeries, something she didn’t think to tell her doctor about because she was afraid that he wouldn’t give her a tune-up to her head.
Shannon also got her eyes done because, I don’t know, when Tamra broke her foot Shannon had to break her ankle, so I guess she had to break her face because Vicki broke her face too? I can’t get into Shanon’s twisted psychology. Maybe Tamra’s son Spencer can. After all, as the only member of the family who doesn’t wear skateboarding clothes far into middle age, drink grain alcohol, or get a lip tattoos that read “NUGGET” he, obviously, is going to be a very good clinical psychologist.
Shannon is a curious one because she goes to Dr. Moon for natural cures for all of her ailments, but she’s not afraid to go for some good old-fashioned Western medicine to make herself look a few years younger. I hated when she went to the doctor and he put paper in her eyeballs and she looked like Kandi Burress dressed up like Pennywise from It but with paper on her face instead of those red streaks. Then Shannon goes home with two busted eyes and has her 16-year-old daughter take care of her. I’m not going to tell anyone how to parent, but is this being the best role model for her daughters about how to age gracefully?
The one fight this episode was thanks to Gina, who goes to visit her new friend Shannon and tells her that the day she was missing on the Jamaica trip, everyone was talking about her mental health. Of course Shannon calls up Tamra immediately and says that Gina was saying that Tamra was a bad friend and insisting that everyone was talking about how crazy she was.
Gina says that she brought this up to let Shannon know how concerned she is about her and that everyone in the group is concerned as well. I don’t know. It really came across as, “Everyone has been talking shit about you and you should probably know,” which is how Shannon heard it and acted appropriately. I think Gina still has a little bit to learn about who you talk shit about and when, because she keeps just speaking her mind and then is amazed when these women twist her words like a meth head who got his hands on a Rubik’s cube. Maybe she should sit alone in her tiny house for a little bit long and think about exactly what she’s done.