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Real Housewives

Filtering by Tag: apology

RHOC Ssn 11/Ep 11 - The Moral Minority

Glenn Rowley

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This week on The Real Housewives of Orange County, the ladies' accident in Glamis draws battle lines over who's right, who's wrong and who should have visited Vicki in the hospital. In a surprise about-face, Shannon and Meghan find themselves on the outs after making an unpopular decision. Read on for a full breakdown of this week's injuries, hurt feelings and shifting alliances...

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The episode begins 3.5 hours after last week's freak accident on the sand dunes of Glamis, and Tamra Judge is being released from the local hospital. Thankfully, she didn't sustain any major injuries and got the OK from the doctors to return to the camp with strict orders to rest and recuperate. Meanwhile, Shannon Beador and Meghan King Edmonds are hitting the golf course with their husbands at the Edmonds' vacation home in La Quinta. Inexplicably, Meghan waits until the couples are a few rounds into golf before informing Shannon about the accident the other ladies were in. Naturally, Shannon is shocked to hear that her friends just suffered from a near-death experience and in a case of near-perfect timing, Heather Dubrow calls to fill her in on the drama.

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Fancy Pants tries to relay just how bad the accident was, but when she explains that Vicki Gunvalson is all alone after being airlifted to Palms Springs Regional Hospital, she's met with an awkward silence. Neither Shannon nor Meghan has any interest in rushing to their frenemy's side. Meghan even goes as far as to suggest that Heather and Kelly Dodd go visit Vicki, after all they are the ones who've decided to be the OG's friends again. Heather balks at this suggestion, pointing out that Glamis is almost three hours from Palm Springs, while the blondes in La Quinta are only 45 minutes away. Sensing an argument on the horizon, Heather abruptly hangs up, utterly baffled at her friends' reaction to the fact that Vicki is alone in the hospital.

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Later that evening, a shaken Tamra returns to the campsite at Glamis while the Beadors and the Edmonds sit down for a quiet dinner in La Quinta. Naturally, the dinner conversation circles quickly around to Vicki's injury. Both women question how serious the OG's condition could possibly be and when Meghan whips out some pictures of Vicki being loaded onto a stretcher in a neck brace, Shannon is just about speechless. But not quite. She can't believe she's seeing the pictures on Meghan's phone and claims that if she had just been in a major accident, the last thing she'd be thinking about is getting a good selfie for sympathy.

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Meanwhile, the other ladies are bonding as they FaceTime Vicki back at the sand dunes. High on morphine with no one but a camera crew to watch her, Vicki is slightly loopy but will be released that night once her tests are finished. Thank goodness the OG of the OC will be a-OK. In a shocking turn of events, the accident has also softened Kelly's hard feelings toward Heather. Thanking Fancy Pants for staying so calm and collected in the aftermath of the dune buggy roll, Kelly admits she misjudged Heather and - are you ready for this? - actually apologizes to her! The two brunettes hug it out and agree that they've both given each other a fresh start.

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The next day, the trip to Glamis finally draws to a close. Now that she's up to speed on all the drama following the accident, Tamra decides to give Shannon and Meghan a piece of her mind over the phone. After painting a picture for the two about just how bad the accident was, Tammy Sue is stunned that her fellow 'Wives could be so heartless and refuse to drive 45 minutes to be there for Vicki. Meghan immediately gets defensive with Tamra, shooting back that she doesn't appreciate the accusation she didn't care about Vicki's wellbeing and argues that it didn't make sense for her to visit the OG when they're not actually friends. Tamra rightfully fires back that the younger 'Wife certainly didn't seem to mind going to Vicki's birthday party at the Merv Griffin estate just a few episodes back. With that, Tamra dismisses the entire argument, curtly telling Meghan to "go to hell." Oh snap!

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Back in the OC, a shaken Tamra decides to postpone her fitness competition on account of the bulging discs in her back while Meghan heads to Vicki's house with her proverbial tail between her legs. Bringing the OG an apology gift in the form of a candle from her and Jim's new candle line, Meghan tearfully apologizes for not coming to the hospital and being a good kinda-friend. Vicki and her neck brace graciously accept her frenemy's apology, but can't resist questioning why it would take a near-death experience to finally get some of the compassion she's been craving for the past season-and-a-half. 

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Meanwhile, Shannon meets Tamra and Heather for dinner. Word has reached both ladies that Meghan's been going around town saying Tamra was reckless and at fault for the accident, and neither is too pleased that Shannon seems to be on Team Justice Train. Tamra even comes right out and asks Shannon point blank if she's upset that Vicki has suddenly become the victim again thanks to the accident. Shannon decides the best course of action is to backpedal, explaining that she and Meghan didn't understand just how bad the accident really was, and claims that - had she known - she would've been right at Vicki's side in an instant.

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Finally, the episode concludes with Heather meeting Meghan for a classic summit lunch at Surf & Sand Resort in Laguna Beach (also known as the setting for the infamous black and white party in the very first episode of Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County). Heather confronts Meghan right out of the gate, saying she hears the younger 'Wife is bugged at her for the entire game of telephone following the accident. In defending herself, Meghan certainly doesn't do herself any favors by calling Heather "theatrical" and "patronizing" within just a few sentences. But Fancy Pants isn't letting Meghan off the hook either, and claims the moral high ground compared in the debate over Meghan's comments over not being Vicki's friend and doubting Heather's version of events. Because friend or not, the right thing to do would've been to get in the car, drive 45 minutes and be there with Vicki in the hospital. End of discussion. Thankfully, Meghan eventually apologizes for letting Heather down and the two manage to make up, but boy was it a rough road getting there...

What did you think of this week's RHOC? Who's in the right? Should Meghan and Shannon have visited Vicki in the hospital? Leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below!

RHOC Ssn 11/Ep 4 - Frozen Assets

Glenn Rowley

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This week on The Real Housewives of Orange County, Kelly's beach party continues with an icy face-off between Shannon and Vicki over the future of their once-close friendship. Plus, Meghan takes the next step in her IVF journey and Vicki's daughter Briana deals with a major health scare. Read on for my full recap of all the drama...

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After last week left off with Vicki Gunvalson and Tamra Judge's heart-to-heart on the beach, it's time for Kelly Dodd's party to move inside. (Inside meaning her gorgeous four-story beach house.) Vicki's apology tour is going full speed ahead now so, emboldened by Tamra's super-Christian forgiveness, she immediately pulls Shannon Beador aside to repeat the process. However, if the OG is expecting the same result from Shannon, she's rather sorely mistaken. Shannon explains that she's forgiven her former friend for last season's cancer scandal, but refuses to believe that Vicki had no idea Brooks Ayers was lying for a year and a half. Furthermore, Shannon vehemently defends herself against Vicki's assertion that she made the scam about her - the holistic Housewife did nothing of the sort. In fact, she was the last one standing in Vicki's corner while the evidence against Brooks continued to pile up. The OG even starts getting emotional in her apology, but the tears won't work on Shannon. She doesn't want the friendship back and she's not budging. 

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The women retire to Kelly's gigantic closet to help Meghan King Edmonds give herself her second IVF shot and while they're sure to move the Gucci scarves away from the blood, they can't escape the lingering drama with Vicki. The OG mopes her way into the closet close to tears and, backed up by Kelly's inane cheerleading, whimpers that all she wants is to be friends with the other 'Wives again. Of course, this plea is met with terse silence until Meghan pipes up that she and Vicki were never actually friends to begin with. So...awkward? Vicki maintains that she just doesn't have the energy to be at conflict with the entire group anymore, and leaves the party in tears. Will we ever be able to move on from Season 10?

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The next day, Meghan and her husband Jimmy go to the doctor's to pick up a cryogenic tank filled with the sperm samples he froze seven years ago before his vasectomy. It's both exciting and strange for Meghan - particularly considering that she and Jimmy didn't even know each other when he froze his swimmers. After driving the tank to the fertility clinic, the couple arrives back at home to the mountain of paperwork required for the IVF treatments. Since Jimmy will be away in Florida for work, Meghan's mom is coming into town for her bloodwork appointments and egg retrieval procedure. Ever the absent husband, Jimmy doesn't seem to care much that he's missing so many steps of the process, and his lack of involvement is starting to wear on Meghan's maternal patience.

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Meanwhile, Vicki's daughter Briana is in the midst of a full-blown medical crisis. After battling health issues for years - including a recent post-op infection in her leg, Briana suddenly started having trouble breathing. As Vicki rushes her to the hospital, the situation gets so dire that they end up calling an ambulance on the way. Briana is being loaded onto a stretcher and taken away in the ambulance, and lo and behold, none other than Tamra's son's ex-fiancé happens to be in the parking lot to see the whole crisis unfold. What are the chances of that? Tamra the Christian swears on the Book of Proverbs that Jesus put Sarah in Vicki's path to help during the emergency. Either way, it's a miracle she happened to be at that particular gas station because she's able to watch little Troy and Owen at Vicki's house while the OG rushes to the hospital. (Side note: how crazy is it to think of how many crucial moments Bravo's cameras have been there for in Vicki's life?)

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Later, Kelly heads to Meghan's house for a night of drama-free girl talk and champagne. Naturally, the topic at hand is the tension between Vicki and the other 'Wives from Kelly's beach party, and the newbie is quick to defend the OG. She was specifically bothered by Shannon talking to her about the entire convoluted situation at the beach, which seems inexplicable considering that she's already involved herself in last year's drama. As her friend, Meghan tries to advise Kelly to stay out of the mess and keep her mouth shut, but the rookie asserts that she has the right to voice her opinion if everyone else is going to continue talking about it. Once again, Kelly starts rattling off all the wonderful things she's seen in Vicki and deliberately chooses to ignore Meghan's advice, dismissing it as typical millenial self-absorption. Huh? Does 31-year-old Meghan even qualify as a millenial?

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While Heather Dubrow oversees the construction of the home movie theater in the Dubrow Chateau, Shannon meets Tamra for lunch at Tortilla Republic. Over butter- and sauce-free pieces of grilled chicken (yuck), Tamra fills Shannon in on Briana's health crisis. Shannon immediately questions why Briana came back to Orange County without her husband, and posits that it may be because Vicki bought her a house. (Keep in mind, Briana needed access to better medical care from her team of doctors in the OC...) Both openly wonder if there were strings attached to Vicki buying Briana a house. Hmm...

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It turns out the lymph nodes in Briana's chest were so enlarged that they were compressing her lungs, making it difficult for her to breathe. However, Shannon and Tamra are already moving to the next subject: Shannon's upcoming 70's-themed party. Not wanting anyone to feel left out like she was last year (a la Meghan's charity event last season), Shannon's decided to extend a tentative olive branch to Vicki in the form of a backhanded invite via email. She reads the draft she's come up with aloud, and Tamra is quick to point out that starting the message with "Although I've made it clear I'm not interested in pursuing the friendship we once had..." is a tad bit passive-aggressive. Tamra helps Shannon reword pretty much the entire email and once it's reached an appropriate level of civility, the message is off to Vicki's inbox. Next week's 70's party is going to be nothing short of explosive...

What did you think of this week's RHOC? Has Shannon truly forgiven Vicki? Is Kelly overstepping her bounds by getting involved? Let me know in the comments section below!

RHONY Ssn 8/Ep 15 - All Bets Are Off

Glenn Rowley

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The Real Housewives of New York City gets more real than ever as newbie Jules takes Bethenny and Carole to task for gossiping about her eating disorder, which ignites a new feud just as Bethenny is ready to put her bad blood with Sonja to bed. Plus, after weeks of gushing about how in love she is, Luann finally puts a ring on it! Read on for a full recap of the drama...

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We pick up right where last week left on, which is in the wake of Luann de Lesseps storming out of Dorinda Medley's ill-fated dinner party at Joanne Trattoria. As the Countess makes her angry escape, she runs right into Dorinda Medley and Jules Wainstein coming back from their smoke break. (Quick PSA: don't smoke.) Luann rails that she just can't understand why the other 'Wives can't simply be supportive of her relationship with Tom. If everyone else in her life can be happy she found her new "soulmate," why can't these bitches?? (Her words, not mine.) And with that, Lu is out. The Countess has dropped the mic and officially left the building. 

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Meanwhile, the rest of the women are still sitting around the table debating their frenemy's life. Is she back on her high horse? Can she help herself from pointing out that she's moved into Tom's penthouse? As her costars vent about Luann, frustration starts to build on Jules's face as she starts rushing to the defense of the absent Countess. The newbie points out that it's quite uncool to talk about your friend the second she leaves the table, and this segues into Jules confronting Bethenny Frankel and Carole Radziwill over talking about her behind her back. First, Jules takes Bethenny to task for constantly insinuating that she's stupid. All season long, the rookie hasn't taken kindly to any of Bethenny's jokes at her expense ("I need a verb," anyone?) and she's finally had it. With no bones about it, Jules calls the OG out for her "not nice" behavior, leaving all the 'Wives visibly stunned. No one in the history of RHONY has anyone ever stood up to Bethenny Frankel like this...

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Jules then brings up the fact that she's been very honest and genuine from day one with her new friends about everything in her life - from revealing her eating disorder to talking about her marriage. Therefore, to find out that Bethenny and Carole have been gossiping about her eating disorder was a major betrayal of trust. B counters that she's actively kept a distance from Jules and her eating disorder, considering her estranged mom's own history with the disease, but Jules doesn't let her off the hook one bit. Instead, she gets emotional as she tells Bethenny (and Carole by association) to stop talking about her behind her back, as it discounts all the work and years she's put into her recovery. Furthermore, the other women may be uncomfortable with how skinny she is, but Jules exclaims that she loves her body and hugs her bones every day in gratitude. All of this is the reason why Jules is so open about her eating disorder, to keep her accountable. An eating disorder stays with you for life and every day is a challenge - in fact, Jules admits that she threw up her food just a few days prior. It's a powerful, vulnerable moment for the newbie and I've never loved her more. So many people can be helped, educated and enlightened by Jules choosing to share such a vulnerable story on a platform like the Housewives.

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The next day, Luann meets Ramona for a walk-and-talk to clear the air from their dust-up at the Italian restaurant. With coordinated pops of red and blue against their winter black, the two vets go tit for tat over whether Ramona's really Luann's friend or if she's once again rearing her infamous Singer Stinger. Ramona can't believe Luann would even question her support after everything she's done to broker peace between her fellow OG and Bethenny and Carole. For the millionth time in this episode alone, Luann pulls out the "I'm in love and I'm getting married card," which prompts Ramona to point out that, while she may think she's in love, the relationship is rushing to the altar rather quickly. I mean, Luann and Tom only met a few months ago - after Ramona had dated him and he was still sleeping with Sonja. Icky. Ramona argues that there's no way Lu can really know the man she's supposedly ready to marry in such a short amount of time, but the Countess counters that when she knows, she knows. No matter how they met (did she or didn't she steal Tom away from a date with another woman at The Mark Hotel?) or who they dated in the past, as far as Luann's concerned it's all B.L. For someone who spent the entirety of Season 7 preaching about the girl code, the Countess seems to be eager to forget any code-breaking that may have happened "Before Lu."

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Meanwhile, another gossip session is occurring in the West Village as Dorinda and Bethenny converge at Carole's apartment to rehash the drama with Jules. Bethenny is still speechless over the newbie blowing up at her and isn't quite sure what to think of the entire ordeal. Carole points out that Jules's anger seemed to be directed solely at B, while everything she said about the OG talking about her eating disorder could've been pointed at Radzi as well. Bethenny insists that she's been very delicate around Jules thus far, specifically tip-toeing around the subject of her eating disorder altogether. The OG ventures a guess that the rookie is paranoid because she opened up about her marriage and shared some private information that she's now afraid will become public (i.e. the couple's divorce announcement since filming wrapped). Either way, Dorinda points out that Jules's eating disorder is clearly a touchy subject that everyone - Bethenny and Carole included - should just be a bit more respectful about. However, Bethenny claims that she is officially done with the newbie. It looks like Jules won't be getting any more of the Skinnygirl's time or attention from here on out.

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That evening, Sonja throws a small dinner party at her townhouse on the Upper East Side - inviting only Dorinda, her boyfriend John Mahdessian and the Wainsteins. Never mind that this is the first time Dorinda has let her boyfriend around any of the 'Wives (or Bravo's cameras) in weeks, the big news is that Jules is setting Sonja up on a blind date. As Lady Morgan rolls out the fine china and a borrowed butler from her ex-brother-in-law, it turns out that she already knows the mystery man in question, who's a notorious Italian playboy named Rocco. (By the way, how many Roccos could Sonja possibly know? I mean, c'mon now...) The evening seems to be going well, with Sonja regaling the table with stories of her giant, 200-year-old napkins, but conversation inevitably turns to Jules and Bethenny's showdown at Joanne's. Both Sonja and Dorinda are proud that Jules stood up for herself, but the newbie swears that she'll never again trust Bethenny or Carole with any personal information about her life. 

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It's finally time to go to Mohegan Sun! For the drive to Connecticut, Ramona's organized a party bus filled with enough Skinnygirl alcohol and snacks to hopefully avoid any drama between the ladies. Yet despite Ramona's best intentions, the tension is palpable between Bethenny and Jules as soon as all the women board the bus. However, the most pressing item of business revolves around the one 'Wife who's M.I.A: Luann's officially engaged! Of course, all of the women had to find out in the press, rather than from the Countess's mouth, but they toast to her anyway. Looks like Luann is finally getting everything she wanted - I'm just surprised cameras didn't follow her to Vail to capture the big moment.

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Now that she's fighting with Jules, Bethenny is ready to make up with Sonja after months of silence surrounding their Skinnygirl/Tipsy Girl feud. With some time and distance, Bethenny recognizes that she was perhaps a bit harsh in completely cutting Sonja off, and she finally wants to make at least some sort of amends. The Skinnygirl admits that it's impossible not to love Sonja, and that under all her messy quirks, she's truly a good person. For her part, Sonja is both happy and relieved to finally get an apology from Bethenny, and admits there was wrong on her part as well. The Skinnygirl claims she's seen a positive change in Sonja lately and declares their drama officially over. But does this mean we won't see them argue over this at the reunion??

What did you think of this week's RHONY? Are you Team Jules or Team Bethenny? Can you stand hearing Luann say "B.L." or "soulmate" one more time? Are you happy she's finally engaged? Let me know in the comments!

RHOC Ssn 11/Ep 2 - Making Friends But Not Amends

Glenn Rowley

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This week on The Real Housewives of Orange County, the new girl cozies up to Vicki but makes a strong second impression on the other girls at Meghan's demolition party. Plus, Heather jets off to Turks and Caicos for some much-needed family time with Terry and the kids. Read on for my full recap of this week's drama...

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The episode picks up right where the premiere left off: in the midst of Vicki Gunvalson's conversation with Heather Dubrow at the latter's yacht party. Vicki asks Heather for forgiveness regarding Brooks Ayers's fake cancer scam last season and just wants to be friends again, but Fancy Pants isn't letting her off the hook that easily. Heather rightfully points out that she doesn't care what the OG's ex-boyfriend did, she only cares about Vicki's involvement in the lies. Vicki still stands by her claim that Brooks lied and pulled the wool over her eyes as well, though none of her fellow Housewives believe that story. However, Heather graciously ends the conversation by reiterating that she cares about Vicki and advises her to talk to each of the girls to individually make amends. What the other 'Wives do with Vicki's olive branch is up to them. The OG bursts into tears on the way home, telling former Housewife Jeana Keough that she just doesn't want to talk about it anymore. No more Brooks. No more cancer. No more medical records. Can't everyone just leave the whole mess in the past and let her try to be happy again?

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The next morning, while newbie Kelly Dodd engages in the classic mother/daughter warfare of getting Jolie to school and Heather's packing for the Dubrow family's trip to Turks and Caicos, Tamra Judge is dealing with her own family drama. It turns out that things aren't all sunshine and romance for her son Ryan Vieth and his fiancé Sarah Rodriguez. In fact, the fighting has gotten so bad that Ryan's moved out to an apartment while Sarah continues living in the house Tamra spent $8000 on last season with the four girls. Ryan explains to his mom that most of their fights revolve around petty issues like Facebook and Instagram, but truthfully I'm too busy staring at his incredible beard to focus on all the details. Of course, Tamra's husband Eddie is less than pleased to learn that his wife is starting to get involved in Ryan and Sarah's drama and demands she stay out of it. Any bets that Tamra will do what Eddie said and take a step back from the family drama? Didn't think so...

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Apparently it's February in Orange County, because Shannon Beador and her husband David are celebrating Valentine's Day at The Ritz. Watching the couple during dinner, it's clear that the Beadors' marriage has come so far in the wake of David's affair. However, David's still not quite the perfect husband, as evidenced by Shannon unwrapping her Valentine's Day gift from him. Upon seeing the slightly garish pearl necklace, Shannon's face freezes into a deer-in-headlights smile as she assures David that she loves it. (According to her confessional, David has a long history of picking out gifts that his wife would never buy herself and this seems to be an extreme instance to add to the list.) But hey, at least Shannon continues to wear the necklace she so clearly hates through the rest of dinner. And that, folks, is what true love's about...When the yacht party comes up, Shannon makes it clear that she has nothing to say to Vicki - she has no intention whatsoever of rebuilding any sort of friendship with the OG after last year's cancer scam. According to Shannon, forgiveness means moving on, but it doesn't necessarily mean you have to go back to being BFFs.

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While Vicki hosts a Chamber of Commerce mixer at Coto Insurance back in the OC, Heather's soaking up family time in the Turks and Caicos sunshine. Their trip to the Beaches resort looks like a total dream, and includes a full-service butler named Ainsworth for the length of their stay. This family vacation is particularly important to Heather, who explains in her confessional that Terry says yes to so many things when it comes to work that he barely ever spends time with the kids anymore. Heather laments that her husband is missing the kids growing up, but in his own confessional Terry sheepishly admits that he doesn't actually feel all that bad about working so much. He's more creatively and professionally fulfilled than ever. Plus, someone has to pay for the Dubrow Chateau, right? Ouch. I guarantee that's not what Heather was hoping to hear when she watched this episode back to write her Bravo blog.

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Despite Meghan King Edmonds' warning at the yacht party, Kelly decides to cozy up to Vicki by asking the OG to lunch. Vicki's "whoop it up" radar goes off when it comes to the new girl, and the two women immediately bond over their love of having fun and the fact that they share a height and a shoe size. Vicki also opens up about her love life, lamenting that she's been alone for seven months since she broke up with Brooks. However, Briana and the boys are moving back to Orange County from Oklahoma soon, so she won't be alone for long. I for one find it hilarious that Kelly pretends not to know anything about Vicki's relationship with Brooks, considering that last season's scandal made national headlines all over the internet. Give me a break. My mom even knows what happened with Brooks and she's never seen a single episode of any show in the franchise.

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As an excuse to get together, Meghan invites Shannon, Tamra and Kelly over to help demolish her new kitchen. Shannon arrives as her lesbian alter ego, Deb the Contractor and I couldn't help but laugh out loud. Please, please, please let us see more of Deb this season. Donning hard hats and googles, the ladies take turns putting hammers through the walls and sawing two-by-fours and part of me is shocked that no one cut off a finger. Retiring to the sitting room for some champagne in red Solo cups, Kelly reveals to her new friends that she went to lunch with Vicki the day before. Naturally, this is met with wide-eyed stares and awkward silence from the veteran ladies, who are less than pleased that the newbie is deliberately choosing to befriend the one 'Wife on the outs. Then, Kelly takes it a step further by claiming she thought the other 'Wives were "mean" to Vicki at the yacht party. Whoa, Kelly. Slow your roll. Shannon and Tamra curtly remind the new girl that she wasn't around last year, so she has no context for the group's current dynamic and should really stay out of it. This is not a great second impression for the new girl on the block.

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It gets worse. After telling Shannon she found her to be standoffish at the yacht party, she manages to make Tamra cry by asking about her relationship with ex-husband Simon. This naturally turns the conversation to Tamra's estranged relationship with her oldest daughter, whom she hasn't seen or had any contact with in two years. Tears start to fall as Tamra expresses her fear that she won't be invited to her daughter's high school graduation, and now Kelly's feeling awkward because everyone hates her. Oops. In an attempt to redirect the conversation, Kelly reveals that she and her husband Michael filed for divorce and were separated for two years, but eventually decided to get back together. As if that wasn't bizarre enough, Kelly then drops the bombshell that her husband has  a narcissistic personality disorder, which he discovered after undergoing a 730 psychiatric evaluation. As for whether she loves her husband, Kelly merely responds that he's "a really nice person." Hmm...not sure what you're going for here Kelly, but you're leaving quite an unforgettable impression in just a couple of episodes. What could the new girl possibly do next week?

What did you think of this week's RHOC? Should the 'Wives just forgive Vicki already and move on? Is Kelly setting herself up as a lightning rod or what? Leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below!

RHOC Season 11 Premiere - When the Ship Hits the Fan

Glenn Rowley

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The first ladies of Bravo are back! That's right, The Real Housewives of Orange County has cleared the 10-year mark and is starting Season 11. Veteran 'Wives Vicki Gunvalson, Tamra Judge, Heather Dubrow and Shannon Beador are back, along with Meghan King Edmonds and new girl Kelly Dodd. 

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As the familiar notes of the theme music, start I'm already jumping for joy because we have a new intro! Hooray! After using a recycled version of the Season 9 opening last year, I'm super happy to see that the ladies in new looks for the revamped intro. Immediately my vote for best tagline goes to Shannon for "Karma's a bitch, so I don't have to be one!" Not only does it cheekily reference the holistic Housewife's love of all things Eastern and mystical, but it made me laugh out loud too. Quick thoughts on the others: Tamra's is amusing and seamlessly blends her path to Christianity last season with her upcoming storyline as an aspiring bodybuilder. Heather revealed on her podcast that Bravo came up with her line, but I thought it cleverly poked fun at her Fancy Pants persona...and also happens to be kind of true. Meghan's sticking with another baseball analogy for her second season and the reference to "choosing her team wisely" must have to do with either her alliances with the other 'Wives or the in vitro journey we'll be seeing this year. Newbie Kelly promises to be a barrel of fun, so expectations are sufficiently high. And OG Vicki takes solid aim at her frenemies with "Before you judge me, you better be perfect." As a whole, I have to say that the new bunch of taglines are among the series' strongest and it's a promising way to start of the season. 

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Now onto the episode! We start by catching up with Tamra, who is apparently training for an amateur fitness competition. Following her baptism last season, she's still on the straight and narrow path back to Jesus, but she's determined to get to the pearly gates looking her very best - menopause be damned! As Tamra climbs a rope and I see that her arms are now bigger than mine, it hits me that Tamra as a bodybuilder kind of scares me a little. And also that I need to recommit to the gym regularly. In other news, Meghan and her husband Jimmy have moved into a new home, started a candle business (random?) and Meghan's prepping to start IVF treatments in order to get pregnant. Heather's still overseeing the construction of the palatial Dubrow Chateau while Terry's working more than ever thanks to filming Botched, plus its new spinoff Botched By Nature, on top of his surgical practice. And Shannon and David seem to be doing better than ever, having put his infidelity from Season 9 in the rearview mirror to focus on selling their house and downsizing. 

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And then there's Vicki, who was left friendless following last season's fake cancer debacle involving her shady boyfriend Brooks Ayers. Thankfully, the most controversial couple in the OC has (FINALLY) broken up and Brooks moved out, seemingly for good this time. Which hopefully means that this season won't be dominated by his drama the way that last year got hijacked. (Seriously, if I never hear the words "fake cancer" again, I'll be perfectly happy.) However, despite breaking things off with Brooks and living on her own, Vicki still remains estranged from the rest of the group. One by one, the other 'Wives explain in their confessionals that all they're looking for is some form of accountability from Vicki that she was in on the cancer scam and a sincere apology to start moving on, (minus Shannon who doesn't want anything to do with her), but the OG continues to maintain that she had nothing to do with Brooks's lies. And if she had to do it all over again, she claims that she would still stand by her man.

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Due to Jimmy's new job as a coach for the Arizona Cardinals, Meghan's left to go to her doctor's appointments for IVF without him. Thankfully her mom is able to come to the OC to go to the appointments in her husband's place. With this IVF storyline, Meghan's hoping to break the stigma that remains surrounding both IVF and infertility in general for the millions of women watching, and today she's undergoing a hysteroscopy. However, because of her uniquely c-shaped uterus, the procedure turns out to be incredibly painful for Meghan and she spends the majority of it screaming in tears of pain. This on top of her deathly phobia of needles and it appears this IVF appointment isn't exactly a walk in the park for the 31-year-old mother-to-be.

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In an effort to get all the 'Wives together, Heather's throwing the first party of the season and meets Tamra at a local nursery to run the idea past her while shopping for citrus trees. Having just gone through a secret wake-up call regarding Terry's health, Fancy Pants is putting together a little dinner cruise on a yacht in the spirit of love and friendship. However, when it comes to the guest list, Heather's conflicted about whether or not to invite Vicki. None of the other women have seen the OG for months, but Heather's feeling these days like everyone deserves a second chance - Vicki included. Tamra points out that Shannon will be upset if their former friend shows up at the party, but at the end of the day it's Fancy Pants's party and she can invite who she wants. 

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Next we finally meet newbie Kelly, who goes out to dinner with Meghan at OC eatery The Quiet Woman. Apparently, Meghan has known the newest 'Wife for about a year and can bond with her over IVF since Kelly used in vitro to conceive her daughter, Jolie. (For the record, I asked Kelly on Twitter, and she named her daughter after the french word for "beautiful," not Angelina.) From the get-go, Kelly's personality seems to scream "in your face FUN" with a capital F, as she boasts about being voted homecoming queen in high school and making varsity cheer as a junior. So when Meghan invites her to come along to Heather's yacht party the following weekend to meet the girls, Kelly's all in for a good time.

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While Heather calls Vicki to extend the olive branch invitation, Shannon and Tamra are at the doctor's office getting a new cosmetic treatment called Ultherapy. Rocking a gorgeous gold top in her confessional, Shannon admits that it would've been unthinkable two years ago for her to say that Tamra is one of her better friends but hey, when someone fakes cancer real miracles can happen. Shannon also reiterates that she has no interest in renewing a friendship with her once-close former friend Vicki. She's capable of forgiving for last year's medical records nightmare, but that doesn't mean they'll ever go back to being Aries buddies like they were during Shannon's first season on the show. And forgiving certainly doesn't mean Shannon will be excited to see Vicki at Heather's yacht party either.

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After seeing a glimpse into Kelly's unconventional home life (which involves living in a four-story beach house with her husband, daughter, mother and brother), it's time to hit the marina for Heather's party. Boarding a yacht called the Icon, the Dubrows' guests - including the other 'Wives and their significant others - are treated to a gorgeous spread of food and, of course, champs. When Meghan introduces Kelly to Tamra and Shannon, the rookie makes quite an impression with her "MC Hammered" sense of humor. Tamra's amused when Kelly tries to stuff her boob in the veteran 'Wife's mouth upon meeting. Shannon, not so much. 

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Tension creeps in when Vicki makes her grand entrance with former OG Housewife Jeana Keough in tow, but there's no time to dwell on the negativity because the yacht sets sail and it's time for dinner! Once everyone is seated, Heather stands to make a heartfelt toast, revealing that Terry recently underwent a health scare involving a stress EKG that could've resulted in his needing a heart bypass surgery. Thankfully, the test turned out to be a false positive, but it made the Dubrows really sit back and reevaluate what - and who - was really important in their lives. Everyone is surprised by this news and visibly moved, and I have to confess that seeing Heather tear up in her confessional as she talked about how much Terry means to her made me get a little emotional as well. With the toast having made its intended impact, Vicki gets up from the table and asks Heather to come to the lower deck of the yacht for a private chat. 

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Once the two 'Wives are alone, Vicki starts off by thanking Heather for even inviting her to the party in the first place. Then, she jumps headfirst into the real issue, admitting that she handled everything that went on last year the wrong way and was simply trying to maintain a toxic relationship that was slipping through her fingers. Still insisting she wasn't in on any cancer scam, the OG asks for Heather's forgiveness and hopes to move forward with a fresh start and clean slate. Now, this is exactly what Heather had been talking about earlier in the episode - that everyone deserves a second chance - but before she can reply, the screen cuts to black and the premiere is over! We'll have to wait until next week to see what Heather has to say about Vicki's mea culpa moment. 

What did you think of the RHOC premiere? Can you believe we're watching Season 11? Was your first impression of Kelly good or bad? Is there any way Vicki can get back into the other 'Wives good graces? Leave your thoughts and reactions below in the comments!

RHONY Ssn 8/Ep 10 - Unhappy Holidays

Glenn Rowley

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Have yourself a merry little Christmas? This week on The Real Housewives of New York City, the festive drama continues as Dorinda's explosive sleepover in the Berkshires reaches its conclusion and Sonja rejoins the ladies at Ramona's holiday party. Who's on Santa's naughty list? Did any of the 'Wives make the nice list? Read on to find out....

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This insane sleepover in the Berkshires is now spanning the course of three episodes. Think about that for a second - three episodes is usually the amount of time we get for a major cast trip to somewhere like Turks and Caicos, Morocco or Montana. That's how full of can't-miss drama this night in Blue Stone Manor is. Picking up where last week left off, Bethenny Frankel and her gray onesie walk in on Luann once again dissing her just moments after the Countess sent her an apology via text for their earlier squabble over the creation of Skinnygirl. Now, round two of the argument pits Luann against the double-team of B and Carole Radziwill, who take turns painting a crystal clear picture of the reputation the Countess has developed for acting hypocritically and put on a facade about how proper and very Countess-like she is. According to her fellow 'Wives, in reality Luann has a "cunning, crafty, slithery" side to her and no man is off the table when she sets her sights on him - even if he's married or recently dated one of her friends.

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Luann obviously disagrees with this assessment, insisting that she's the most loyal friend anyone can have and speculating that her fellow 'Wives are "making a list and checking it twice" (nice Christmas reference, Lu) to take her down. Plus, it's not her fault if the guy Ramona Singer was going on dates with ended up liking her better than the Singer Stinger. So there. Carole laments that that type of attitude is exactly what she and Bethenny are talking about, but the Countess refusing to see anything wrong with the way she chooses to live her life. Inevitably, Ramona gets dragged into the conversation as well, siding with Carole and Bethenny that Luann essentially swiped Tom D'Agostino right out from under her. Of course, the most hilarious part of this tense confrontation is that in the next room, Dorinda Medley and Jules Wainstein are blocking out all the drama with a classic game of Twister. Nothing like a good old-fashioned board game to drown out your friends screaming at each other just next door, right girls?

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Thankfully, there's a break in the arguing just long enough for Santa Claus to make a surprise appearance! Santa gives gifts to each of the 'Wives around the dining room table, which turn out to be personalized wine glasses for the women - Bethenny's is inscribed with "Skinnygirl," Luann's is "The Countess" and Dorinda even had "Madame Martini" etched in the one for herself. The best part about the glasses is that they actually fit an entire bottle of wine in them. Does Dorinda know this group or what? (Side note: it's amusing to me that Dorinda's sister was the one playing Santa - for obvious reasons, she seems to have chosen to keep boyfriend John Mahdessian out of the equation for the evening.) 

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Early the next morning, all the 'Wives are suffering from an argument hangover, except for Jules that is. Having stayed largely out of the line fire the night before, Jules declares to Dorinda that the getaway has been the best 24 hours of her life without any kids or a husband to take care of. In fact, the newbie literally forgot to call her kids the night before - that's how much she enjoyed being away. Bethenny and Carole feel much differently about the sleepover and hide in bed while they plot their escape from Dorinda's country estate. Putting their boots and coats on over their pajamas, the pair make a run for the car, but not before Luann notices their not-so-stealthy attempt at a getaway. Recognizing that the other 'Wives will start sensing a pattern following their abrupt exit from Jules's brunch in the Hamptons, Bethenny and Carole somewhat reluctantly go back in the house to say their goodbyes, making the excuse that they were just putting their things in the car. Still, after a quick round of hugs - including one incredibly awkward embrace between Carole and Luann - the two 'Wives hightail it out of there, wondering if they should avoid going to the Berkshires altogether in the future. 

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After getting back to the city, all the 'Wives take a couple of days to recoup from the drama before one final holiday party Ramona's throwing at Black Barn. Dressing up in the most festive outfits they can muster, the women warily converge on the restaurant in an attempt at a happy holiday. Ramona's rocking a white (faux?) fur stole, but the OG isn't so sure how she feels about the red lace jumpsuit Luann is wearing from her Countess Collection and wastes no time in offering her unfiltered opinion on it. Dear Ramona, never change. As Bethenny and Carole arrive with gifts in hand, Luann saunters over to the pair for a (hopefully) calmer chat. Bethenny's already over their earlier fight and expressed remorse for how she spoke to Lu in the Berkshires, but the Countess actually wants to speak more to Carole. Luann apologizes again for all the drama that went on between her and Writer Girl last year when Radzi started dating her former chef Adam Kenworthy. Luann explains that she misses having Carole in her life as a friend and the apology sounds more sincere than her attempt over text, but Radzi just isn't sure. Regardless of how bad Luann says she feels for calling her a pedophile and attacking her character, Carole's choosing to keep her former friend at a comfortable distance. 

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Next, Sonja Morgan arrives fashionably late, which is a cue for Bethenny to make her exit. In the wake all the over the Skinnygirl/Tipsy Girl fiasco, the Skinnygirl told Lady Morgan that she didn't want anything to do with her and she was serious. Apparently, while in the Berkshires both Ramona and Luann repeatedly texted Sonja regarding her issues with Bethenny, with each OG telling her bluntly to make up with the Skinnygirl. However, Sonja rather appropriately reads the room and when Bethenny bolts, she doesn't chase after - opting instead to take a seat at the couch and point out that she and Carole showed up in matching red pantsuits. Almost immediately, Ramona and the Countess question why Sonja didn't address Bethenny, and it puts Lady Morgan quickly on the defensive. Naturally, she's still hurt about being excluded from the Berkshires sleepover by Dorinda, but the latter stands by her decision as the best way to protect Sonja from being attacked. However, from Sonja's perspective she's simply being excluded and we all know that being shut out by the rest of the cast spells impending doom in the Housewives universe. An angry Sonja decides to stand up for herself and after accusing the other girls of constantly picking on her, she storms off to make a dramatic exit from the party. 

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Seeing that Sonja is on the verge of tears, Luann runs after her, but her friend doesn't seem to want a shoulder to cry on. When the Countess opines that maybe the party wasn't the right time to talk to Bethenny, Sonja lashes out that the right place would've been at Dorinda's - had she been invited. Sonja then storms into the stairwell, where she continues to vent (loudly) to Luann about being excluded from the group. As she stomps down the stairs, Sonja reminds the Countess that Carole just barely told her inside the party that Bethenny didn't have any hard feelings toward her. Well, if these aren't hard feelings then what are they? Soft-boiled? With that, Sonja leaves the party in a huff and we'll have to wait until the new year for the drama to heat up again...

What did you think of RHONY this week? Would you trust Luann or do you think she's cunning and crafty? Is it right for Sonja to be excluded from the group? Leave your thoughts and opinion in the comments section below!