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Real Housewives

Filtering by Tag: meghan vs. shannon

RHOC Ssn 10/Ep 20 - Reunion Part 1

Glenn Rowley

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It's reunion time in the OC! After a season of seemingly nothing but rumors and drama surrounding Brooks and his fake cancer, the 'Wives sat down with Andy Cohen on a soundstage set somewhere in California to rehash the most controversial season yet in Orange County. Thankfully, and somewhat surprisingly, we were spared any mention of Brooks, PET scans or the dreaded "c" word during Part 1, which focused instead on much of what happened towards the beginning of the season. As I did with RHONY, I'll split up the three-part reunion by package and topic of conversation. First, let's break down the seating on the couches and the Housewives' reunion looks...

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On the Couches

Seating is a little tricky when there are only five women in the main cast, as there are significantly fewer arrangement options than say, the eight 'Wives in NYC. In fact, as the season raced on part of me wondered if the reunion would simply be 4 on 1, with Vicki on one side of Andy and the rest of the women on the other. Ultimately, the seating chart Bravo decided on - with Vicki and Heather on the left couch and Shannon, Tamra and Megan on the right - was one of the only arrangements that could've worked. The only other option would've been for Tamra and Heather to trade places, but Tammy Sue had much too significant a season to be relegated to the end of a couch.

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Vicki and Shannon are the natural, right picks for the hot seats next to Andy considering that they ended the season at each other's throats with their friendship having self-destructed in a kamikaze of betrayal and hurt feelings. So yes, the seating makes sense. However, my biggest disappointment is that it's honestly not all that different from where the ladies sat last season. Vicki and Tamra have basically traded places, Lizzie's been traded out for Meghan and Shannon and Heather are in the exact same spots they occupied at the reunion for Season 9. It would've been downright revolutionary had production merely switched the couches, with two women on the right and three on the left. I guess the more things change in the OC, the more they stay the same. 

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Ranking the Housewives' Looks

When it comes to reunion looks, the first ladies of the OC are significantly different from the rest of the Housewives in other cities. They generally tend to stick to short cocktail dresses in solid colors, forgoing the floor-length gowns and over-the-top ensembles found in other cities across the franchise. This reunion was no exception. My favorite look this year goes to Heather for her edgy, black Tom Ford number. Her makeup is also ON. POINT. this year – I couldn't stop noticing every time there was a close-up of her face. As for the others, I liked Vicki's pearls, but she might be trying a teensy bit too hard with the angelic white after a season of being demonized. I'm glad Tamra finally moved away from the pink she's worn for the last two reunions, but the tiny stomach cutout makes no sense to me. The color of Shannon's deep purple Yves Saint Laurent dress is simply gorgeous, but runs the risk of looking slightly madame with its conservative cut paired with her jewelry. And Meghan was almost my runner up for favorite look for her red dress mixed with the new brunette locks, but the dress is a basic wrap-dress – too basic to really stand out. Far and away, Heather blows the rest of the ladies out of the water.

Stepmom Wars & Sweeping Judgements

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After a couple of questions about Tamra's granddaughter and Vicki's double nip-slip on Instagram, things kick off with a package about the tension early in the season between Vicki and Meghan. Being a new stepmom may be tough, but being the new girl around the OG of the OC is even harder. Vicki stands by her opinions from Tahiti about what a stepmom's boundaries should be and the difference between biological and stepchildren, but Meghan's defensively points out that since Vicki doesn't have stepchildren, she can't know the difference. Newsflash Meghan, by that logic, you can't understand the difference either since you don't have biological children. Five seconds later, Vicki's backtracking to say she doesn't understand how it all works since she doesn't have adopted or stepchildren, but Meghan's not letting it slide, calling her opinions disrespectful. 

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Tamra and Heather both get dragged into the conversation, with Tamra backing Vicki's opinions as a mom and Fancy Pants being asked whether her friendship with Jimmy's ex-wife Allison is a conflict of interest in her relationship with Meghan. However, she insists the former MLB star and his second wife didn't break up because of the newbie 'Wife, so it wasn't an issue. When the OG and the 30-year-old (31 now!) start arguing over whether Vicki was a hypocrite for gifting Briana a car after she told Meghan to take away Hayley's, Heather puts a stop to the conversation by telling Vicki she can't issue such "sweeping judgements" about how other people should live, parent and behave. Isn't that the entire job of a Housewife though?

Remembering Vicki's Mom

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Next conversation turns to the biggest tragedy of the season - the sudden death of Vicki's mom. Andy asks if Vicki regrets the cameras being there when she found out, but she says she was in so much shock that she didn't even realize the cameras were filming. There was quite a bit of debate on social media about whether the cameras should've gone down and given Vicki privacy, but I feel like the situation was actually treated very compassionately and didn't feel exploitative. For her part, Vicki claims Bravo handled everything very graciously and were nothing but supportive of her in her time of need. At the end of the day, it was Vicki's decision to include the unexpected tragedy in the season's footage because it's what was happening in her reality. She then shares a hilarious story about when her mom was arrested in a TJ Maxx for keying a motorcycle that was riding her butt into the parking lot. Joanne Steinmetz, you will be missed.

Judgey Eyes and CharityGate

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After a funny montage about the Housewives' very specific ordering habits at restaurants, the ladies relive Shannon and Meghan's feud that drove the early part of the season. From being disinvited to the JDRF gala to having "judgey eyes," Shannon couldn't do anything right when it came to Meghan. Andy asks if Shannon thinks she overreacted in Napa with the whole private cell phone drama, but she insists that she stormed away because she knew what Meghan was trying to do. At the time, she had just come from the couples retreat and had a ton of stress on her marriage - the last thing Shannon needed was to get pulled into a brawl with the new girl she barely knows. However, Andy points out that by the end of the season, things started looking up for the pair and Shannon explains that they were tentatively trying to move their relationship forward. Meghan says the turning point was when Shannon went out of her way to make a few calls to get LeAnn, Jimmy's cancer-stricken first wife, into her doctors. At the time, Shannon had no reason to do anything kind for Meghan or her family, but she did it out of the goodness of her heart. Now Meghan loves Shannon! No really, just ask her.

Tamra's Secret Battle

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Part 1 ends with the focus squarely on Tamra, who spent much of this season getting her groove back after a terrible Season 9. After a year of staying silent, Tamra finally opens up on the couch about the nasty custody battle she was going through at the time and how her oldest daughter Sidney cut off contact with her after moving in with Tamra's ex-husband Simon. The process was any parent's worst nightmare, but Tamra chose not to disclose it on the show in order to protect her kids. Knowing everything she was really going through at the time certainly helps put her bad behavior in better perspective. 

xoxo, Jesus Barbie

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The topic turns to Tamra's recent religious conversion and all the changes she's been making in her life. Andy asks what Tamra thinks her former nemesis and outspoken Christian Alexis Bellino would think of her being baptized and Tamra says she hopes Alexis would be supportive. Surprise, surprise, Andy got an email from Alexis the night before the reunion, which she asked to be read to Tamra. In the email, Alexis goes for the jugular, calling Tamra out for not being a good Christian and making a "mockery" of Jesus. According to Alexis, someone's faith shouldn't be put on display for entertainment, signing the note "Jesus Barbie." The ladies are all understandably shocked by this judgmental outburst and Tamra defends herself by saying that Alexis is the kind of Christian that gives Christianity a bad name. If Alexis was such a good Christian, she probably shouldn't be judging Tamra so harshly. And with that, we're left with a cliffhanger until next week's Part 2!

RHOC Ssn 10/Ep 10 - Girl Code

Glenn Rowley

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It must be the year of the girl code across the Housewives franchise because this is the second time in the last month that the unwritten rules of female friendship have been the focus of drama. First, Luann took the term and ran with it on RHONY and now we have it as the title of this week's episode in the OC. Being a man, it feels like I'm getting a crash course on Girl Code 101. 

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The morning after the dream team's whoop it up night does not look pretty. Vacation Shannon's on her nebulizer again while Vicki and Tamra are hiding from the world in Vicki's bungalow. Tamra feels like "nine miles of dog sh**" and says in her interview that out of all the times she and Vicki have partied on vacation over the years, the night before was the most drunk they'd ever been. Ever the responsible mom of the group, Heather tries to rouse the hungover pals from bed, reminding them they can't drink the way they did at 18 (she probably meant 21?). However, Vicki's incapacitated for the day and throwing up, so Fancy Pants and Tammy Sue leave her behind to meet Lizzie and Meghan for some underwater helmet diving. Out on the boat, Tamra starts getting her second wind as their dive instructor explains how the helmets work. The ladies aren't so sure about the instructor's assurance that the giant helmets won't fill up with water, but the science must be correct because Heather's the first one on the ocean floor and she doesn't immediately start drowning. If I were on vacation, this activity would be at the bottom of my to-do list - as Tamra pointed out, being weighed down to the ocean floor by a giant helmet is exactly how the mafia kills people - but I must say it looked pretty neat from the safety of my couch. While the brunettes were playing with the stingrays, Tamra managed to inform Meghan that Heather's friendship with both her and Jimmy's ex-wife Allison was brought up by the blondes the night before during drinks. Meghan is quick to shut the conversation down, saying that Heather's dual friendships are none of the ladies' business, but I smell trouble brewing.

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Instead of helmet diving, Vicki and Shannon opted to lounge on the beach in matching white ensembles while hydrating on light beer and Perrier. With the trip winding to a close, Shannon says she misses David and is ready to be home. As Vicki is the only one in the group whom Shannon has confided in about the affair, the OG checks in on how things are between the Beadors. She explains that in this day and age the statistics are high that one person in a marriage can be unfaithful, while Shannon credits Vicki's support for helping her get through the difficult year. Vicki asks how long she thinks the affair went on - a couple of weeks? Months, even? Shannon tearfully confides that it started just a few days before she met the ladies (a.k.a. started filming for the show) and lasted over eight months. If you do the math, the affair encompassed the entire production period for Season 9 and was still going on when the reunion was filmed. Then comes an even bigger shock: this woman actively befriended Shannon while the affair was going on, feigning concern for Shannon while using the information she'd been confided to monitor how much Shannon knew. I don't have any words for this beyond Shannon's own: sick and demented. So far, the mistress' identity has been kept secret from the public, and she had better hope it stays that way or she'll have legions of angry fans after her.

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Shannon, however, is determined to see the rocky road as a blessing in disguise, claiming that one day she'll say it was the best thing that ever happened to her marriage because it brought them to where they are today. Vicki wisely points out that relationships take effort, but it's how you get through the hard times that will make or break your life. Shannon admits that she hasn't told Tamra, Heather or Lizzie about the affair and Vicki promises she hasn't told a single person and won't in the future. Shannon explains in her confessional that she learned her lesson last year about confiding in some of the other women (i.e. Tamra) and she appreciates Vicki's friendship and loyalty. And with that, the two decide to go for a swim, which ends up being more like Vicki dragging her friend into the ocean.

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That night, the ladies stay in for their last dinner in Mo'orea and Vicki claims it's going to be a "really composed" night. Let's be real - when has there ever been a composed dinner on the Housewives? The night kicks off with the OG toasting to the great trip and a show by Tahitian fire dancers, but takes a turn when Meghan asks Vicki and Shannon if they missed the other girls during their day on the beach and Tamra asks whether they talked about the rest of the women. The answer is no and no. However, Meghan immediately follows that up by asking a question she already knows the answer to: whether they talked about her the night before. Her reasoning in her interview is that if the two can talk behind her back, they should say it to her face. Vicki claims she doesn't remember much about the alcohol-fueled night before, which may be true, but Tamra reminds her of the discussion about Meghan as a stepmom. Vicki goes for the kill as the entire issue gets worked over again, and by now the dead horse has been beaten. But that can't possibly be all, Meghan insists, because we talked about that already. Oh right, there was the girl code issue of Heather being friends with both Meghan and Jimmy's ex-wife Allison, which Tamra is quick to bring up.

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Tamra insists in her interview that after last year's debacle in Bali, it's important to her that all the cards get put on the table - if a conversation happens behind someone's back, it should also be said to her face. Valid, but also a surefire way for trouble to get started. Apparently, she'd already told Fancy Pants in private about the girl code conversation and made it sound like Shannon was being extremely negative about her. Having seen last week's episode, I would say it was slightly negative, but certainly not extremely. As the details of just how negative Shannon actually was get debated, Tamra starts backtracking and tries to smooth things over by minimizing what she said (which seems like the opposite of what she was trying to accomplish in the first place). However, Heather isn't letting her off the hook with an insistent "yes you did" when Tamra denies repeating some of her comments. By now, Shannon's angry at Tamra for tattling, Heather's frustrated and Tamra enlists Vicki to run to the bathroom. Once in the bathroom, Tammy Sue immediately starts blasting Heather for going after her, but Vicki thought they were actually going potty. In separate interviews Heather reiterates that Tamra was the one who wanted to get everything out in the open, while Tamra accuses Fancy Pants of breaking their girl code by making a big deal out of nothing. Sure she's being talked about, Heather goes to the bathroom to confront her friend.

Left back at the table with Lizzie and Shannon, Meghan asks the two why they think the others went to the bathroom - remember she's new - and Shannon explains that there are some pot-stirrers in this group of women. Lizzie backs her up by saying that when people aren't honest about what really happens, it can cause issues within the group. Meghan presses for more info and Shannon eventually concedes that Tamra's pot-stirring, which came to a head in Bali last year, affected her friendships with both Lizzie and herself. The newbie however claims she hasn't seen Tamra stirring any pots, which is probably because she wasn't on the show last year when Tamra was the undisputed villain of the cast. Meanwhile in the bathroom, Tamra attacks Heather for coming at her so hard and insists it felt like her friend was tossing her to the wolves. Heather rightly counters that if Tamra says something to her in private, she needs to be able to back it up in public and that she doesn't want any fingers pointed at her because she didn't even bring the issue up in the first place. Exiting the restroom, Heather is 100 percent done with the arguing, and points out in her confessional that this is why you go straight to the source rather than rely on secondhand information.

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As the ladies drive their golf carts back to the bungalows, Meghan continues to fuel the night's fighting by telling Tamra that Shannon called her a pot-stirrer. This never-ending game of telephone is just too much at this point. Once they arrive at their rooms, Tamra immediately confronts Shannon about the comment, which then sparks another round of bad blood between Shannon and Meghan. The former gets worked up, claiming that every woman in this group is capable of stirring things up and the latter points out that she has to include herself in that accusation. Shannon angrily claims that she's merely defending herself and that she has enough going on in her life, to which Meghan cuts her off and tells her to "storm" like she always does. "Excuse me?" Shannon incredulously asks, and goes off on the newbie because she will not tolerate being judged by someone like Meghan, who has accused her of having judgy eyes, being uncharitable and this, that and the other thing. She then proves Meghan's point by doing what? Storming out of the room in anger. In her interview, Meghan says that whenever Shannon doesn't want to take accountability for her actions (like calling Tamra a pot-stirrer), she storms out. Over the course of two seasons, it really is the woman's go-to move. Surprisingly though, Vicki, Tamra and Heather all follow her out to try to calm the situation. Left inside with Meghan, Lizzie tries to tell the newbie in a roundabout way to just shut up and stop causing problems. Outside, Shannon claims that if she's not getting along with a thirty-year-old, her life isn't going to be over. What a great way to end their time in Mo'orea!

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The next day, the ladies pack their things, including Tamra's copy of The Bible for Dummies, and head back to the island of Tahiti. That night, the women finally have a nice sunset dinner on a private beach. Vicki starts the meal off by saying that the trip has been a great girls' getaway, despite a few hiccups. Surprisingly, Meghan and her giant bedazzled headscarf take the opportunity to apologize to Shannon for their fight the night before, admitting to having bad timing and being immature. However, in her interview, she claims she can have enough humility to apologize because she's the bigger person, so the issue clearly isn't settled. The subject of Brooks gets brought up, with Vicki saying she just wants him to have a clean bill of health for his birthday. Tamra happily admits that this trip has done wonders for her friendship with Vicki, and that she feels the two have reached a place they haven't been since before Brooks came into the picture. The OG takes a moment to thank all the ladies for supporting her relationship with Brooks, saying that as you get older, not having a partner to go through life with makes things lonely. She ends the night by saying that all the women (well maybe not Meghan) at the table really "get" her. Vicki Gunvalson may be complicated at times, but her heart is always pure and she wants the best for all the ladies. We finally get a true bonding moment we've been waiting all vacation long for, and with that the trip to Tahiti is over! Who's ready to get back to the OC next week? 

RHOC Ssn 10/Ep 8 - Judgy Eyes & Tahitian Skies

Glenn Rowley

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Things finally started to heat up this week as the 'Wives jetted off on a trip to Tahiti. I hate to admit it, but prior to this episode, this season had been lagging for me a bit. Plenty has been going on in the 'Wives individual lives - the passing of Vicki's mom, Tamra becoming a grandma, Shannon and David attempting to repair their marriage and Heather building her family's dream home - but being roughly one third of the way through the season, it felt like the ladies were barely interacting with each other. With all the big life moments, there wasn't any narrative thread or dramatic tension pulling the separate storylines together. However, it appears that the problem is being fixed by a classic Housewives move: forcing the women onto an island together. But first, we had another classic tradition from Bravo's toolbox: game night.

Meghan wasted no time putting together the game night she invited the ladies to last week. After the passing of Vicki's mom, the newbie thinks that what the group really needs is an excuse to have some fun and laugh. Setting up for the party, she manages to put stepdaughter Hayley to work too. After last week's misadventures in step-parenting, Meghan's trying to set more ground rules for the 17-year-old, but Hayley's not having it and responds to Meghan's attempt at providing structure with a petulant "let's wait till dad gets home." Isn't that supposed to work the other way around? While setting up, Meghan calls Heather, who's managed to liquor Terry up for a midday shopping date. (Apparently in the Dubrow house, spending $400 on a shirt is a decent price point.) Meghan explains that when she first decided to host the couples night she thought Jimmy would be there, but he's out of town which leaves the hostess couple-less. Never fear, because Terry can't make the game night either (on account of an early-morning surgery), so Heather can team up as her partner. 

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Game night is upon us and most of the ladies arrive with their men in tow - minus Vicki who apparently had to work late. Naturally, I couldn't be happier to see Christian Rovsek on my TV screen. Upon arrival, Shannon is nice to Meghan's face, but passive-aggressively celebrates finally receiving an invitation to a Meghan Edmonds party in her confessional. Almost immediately, the whispered gossip starts as Shannon wonders to Lizzie about why Meghan decided to host a couples night sans Jimmy. Lizzie agrees that if she was hosting a party and Christian wasn't there, she would have a girls night instead, but Shannon decides not to pry into the situation and sticks to silent judgement. Eventually, Vicki and Brooks arrive - with a vow not to stay long - and the games begin. 

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You would think after last season's "Shag, Marry, Kill" debacle at Heather's Valentine's party, this group would have learned their lesson about game nights, but here we are again. First up is the newlywed game, which works out better for some couples than others. At first, the questions about sending the men to a body repair shop (David wants new knees, Brooks needs hair plugs, obviously Christian is perfect and apparently Eddie is too) and fill-in-the-blank answers are lighthearted and funny. However, the fun hits a snag when the moderators ask whether the husbands are more or less romantic than the week after they started dating their wives. When the Beadors reveal their answers, Shannon says more romantic, but David says less, which doesn't go over well with the Housewife who's trying to get over her husband's affair. The couple start bickering and Shannon tearfully accuses David of making her look foolish in front of their friends. There's still an entire table of desserts to be eaten, but Vicki announces that she's tired of the games and ready to leave. The OG was most definitely on one tonight and don't worry, game night was only the beginning. Heather wisely calls out Vicki's behavior in her interview, pointing out that Meghan went out of her way to put together a fun evening for the group and you don't just say "sorry, bored, skipping out" in the middle of the games. It's rude.

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Once Vicki and Brooks leave, Meghan fills the other ladies in over dessert on her plans to get Botox for the first time. In her confessional, Shannon asks for a magnifying glass to find a single wrinkle on the 30-year-old's face, but lets her facial expression do all the talking in person. Meghan insists the Botox is preventative and calls Shannon out on having "judgy eyes." Shannon counters in her interview that "it's called having an expression, Meghan" but I absolutely agree with the newbie on this one. Even if she's not saying anything, Shannon wears her judgements on her sleeve and you always know exactly what she's thinking. There's no denying that Meghan has managed to get on Shannon's bad side over the course of the last eight episodes and the judgy eyes are a problem. Shannon takes the comment as her cue to exit, claiming that David has an early morning, and the party quickly comes to an end with Heather and Meghan the last revelers remaining. 

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The following day the Beadors meet with Tina Konkin, their marriage counselor from the couples retreat, for a therapy session. Shannon concedes that David is sharing more with her, but when reminders of the affair come up, tensions escalate like they did at the game night. According to the counselor, the Beadors are not yet in a place in their relationship where they should be discussing the affair without a mediator, and she tells Shannon that the memories aren't safe to talk about with David at this point. For his part, David admits that he sees talking about it as a surefire way to spark an argument, and doesn't see the point of the counseling then. In her interview, Shannon says that she understands why David doesn't want to work through the issue, but that he doesn't understand what it's like to have a spouse who's cheated on you. He may be dealing with a lot of shame, but they need to both put in the necessary effort to heal their marriage. The marriage counselor advises that it often takes years to fully overcome the effects of an affair, and that while the Beadors are doing a lot of things right, they need to recommit to being honest with each other.  

Next we get a packing montage of the 'Wives all prepping for Tahiti. Tamra's leaving Eddie in charge of the kids for the first time, Meghan's FaceTiming Jimmy and Hayley from their cabin at Lake Havasu, Shannon's packing her storehouse of holistic remedies and Heather is individually wrapping her shoes and folding her clothing in white tissue paper. Next time I pack for a trip, Fancy Pants needs to do it for me. In a bit of a non sequitur, Shannon also manages to bring up Meghan King Edmonds' litany of offenses against her. Uh oh, Shannon's referencing her full name. It looks like "Meghan King Edmonds" is this year's "Heather Dubrow." Watch out miss 30-year-old, you're officially on Shannon Beador's blacklist. Eventually everyone arrives at LAX: Shannon's already tan, Lizzie's rocking an all-white look and Heather's pulling a Madonna in a bra and "holey" shirt according to Vicki. As the women tote their bags through to the Air Tahiti Nui terminal, Meghan talks Lizzie's ear off about how she hasn't seen her husband in two weeks. (This is about the third time we've heard this story in the first half hour of this episode alone.) In her confessional, Lizzie says that type of long-distance love wouldn't fly with her, but different strokes for different folks...The women board the plane - thankfully Tahiti is 17 hours closer than Bali was last year - and they're officially en route. Of course Vicki is reading "Women, Wealth and Retirement" while the others nap and binge on Downton Abbey. Never change, Vicki Gunvalson, never change.

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Woo-hoo, the Housewives are in Tahiti! Vicki explains that before she passed, her mom was constantly telling her to slow down and smell the roses and she's finally taking her advice - with Tahitian roses. (Side note, Vick, those "little banjos" being played are called ukeleles.) Shannon on the other hand is coughing up black and green, and decides to call it a night while the rest of the women hit the hotel bar. Tamra admits that last year's trip to Bali was a definite low point for her, but she's at a good place with all the ladies now and just wants to have fun on this trip. Lizzie orders water, tipping the group off that she thinks she may be pregnant!

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Meghan also brings her marriage into the conversation yet again. Vicki thinks the Edmonds' relationship is confusing and admits in her interview that she would probably ship Meghan off to California too if she was married to her. The OG also seizes the moment to question the newbie on why her stepdaughter is living with her instead of her biological mom. Meghan explains that LeAnn can't take care of a teenager full-time as she's battling colon cancer and is very ill. (LeAnn sadly lost her battle with cancer this week and passed away.) Tamra says in her interview that Meghan needs to find her boundaries as a stepparent, but the whole thing is a very personal situation and I'm not sure why any of the women feel the need to pass judgement on Meghan stepping up to the plate and helping take care of her family. Somehow, the JDRF charity event also gets brought up, and Lizzie calls Meghan out on her cold treatment of Shannon, saying she doesn't understand the dynamic between the two women. Lizzie asks if Meghan ever apologized, to which Meghan defensively responds that she's not sorry and Lizzie doesn't have to get it. In her confessional, the new 'Wife explains that just because everyone else disagrees with her, it doesn't mean that she'll change her opinion. If we've learned one thing about Meghan so far this season, it's that she refuses to back down. 

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The next morning, Vicki stops by Shannon's room to fill her in on what she missed the previous night before the group heads out to do some shopping before catching their ferry to Mo'orea. First stop: the Musée de la Perle. When Heather tries on a pearl and cognac diamond statement necklace, Tamra asks her whether she'd have to ask Terry for permission to make such an extravagant purchase. (Keep in mind that the Dubrows recently went $130,000 over their cabinetry budget so this one necklace is small change in comparison.) Fancy Pants admits that there's a "threshold" of about $10,000 that she can spend without discussing it as a couple. Shannon then throws the question back at Tamra, who also admits she would obviously discuss large purchases with Eddie.

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Somehow, this conversation opens up a huge can of worms about the 'Wives spending their husbands' hard-earned money, with Vicki leading the charge for the working women. The OG claims that if you don't have a paying job, it's not your money to spend. This blanket statement is passive-aggressively directed at the likes of Shannon and Meghan, whom are both stay-at-home wives. Meghan counters that the money is shared because they're married, and Shannon points out that she's worked for 15 years to run the Beador household but Vicki's having none of it. Having always been a strong, independent woman, she believes wives should be allowed to spend the money only if they're actively contributing to the family coffers. As the women move into the pearl museum, Vicki stands her ground to Heather, and tells the woman who just wrote a $250,000 check a few weeks back that spending your husband's money without asking is how wives get themselves into trouble. 

Meghan quietly asks Tamra why Vicki is so heated about the topic, and Tamra clarifies that her BFF is probably referring to the types of disrespectful gold diggers who spend tons of money without asking. However, she also points out in her confessional that Vicki's always been used to supporting a man, not the other way around, and if Brooks had money you'd bet she'd be sitting at home surrounded by designer bags and bonbons. So is Vicki implying that Meghan's a gold digger? The newbie says that if that's the case, maybe the OG is simply jealous of her living situation and she doesn't really care. 

I need to pause for a second because having grown up with a stay-at-home mom, this is an issue I have plenty of opinions about. I love Vicki but this is a situation where her argument is completely out of line. Stay-at-home moms (or stepmoms) are just as valid and have just as much value as women who work for a living. Passing judgement on the 'Wives who choose a different home situation than she does, which in reality is every single member of the cast past and present, simply makes her look bad. I can't even begin to explain impact it made in my life growing up to have my mom at home. Vicki's judgement is rude and unacceptable, particularly to all the fans of the show who are stay-at-home mothers.

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While waiting for the ferry to Mo'orea, the women grab some more cocktails. Cheers to the fun bus! Heather tries unsuccessfully to steer the conversation towards embarrassing moments, but Vicki's not finished. She starts questioning Meghan about why she quit her job selling medical software when she started dating Jimmy. After all, you can fall in love and continue to work, can't you? Vicki keeps the rapid-fire questions coming, asking why the newlywed constantly stays behind in Orange County when Jimmy goes back to St. Louis. What's Meghan going to do when Jimmy moves on to wife number four? Meghan tries to explain yet again that she sacrifices so that Hayley can stay in school in the OC, but points out in her interview that Vicki's trying to indict her on the witness stand rather than get to know her. In a separate confessional, Heather - in a fabulous new black look - says that historically everyone says that Vicki has trouble with the new girls. While that wasn't her specific experience with the OG, she can see the validity of the point in the way she's picking on Meghan. In her final interview of the night, Vicki snidely says that it's very obvious Jim Edmonds has money, so what does Meghan do to contribute if she doesn't work? The answer is she goes to her husband for cash. In Vicki Gunvalson's world, that's apparently the worst sin a wife can commit.

RHOC Ssn 10/Ep 5 - Game Changer

Glenn Rowley

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This episode was so difficult to watch. I felt so much for Vicki this week. In one of those all-too-crazy moments of lives coinciding, I'm writing this recap roughly 1o hours away from where I live, as I'm with family for my grandpa's funeral, who passed away last night. Watching Vicki's heartbreak was a poignant reminder that in the midst of the fighting, feuds and entertaining moments that we call reality TV, real life is still happening. Just like it is for all the fans and viewers. That fact has perhaps never been more apparent than in the passing of Vicki's mom. However, before we get to that life-changing phone call, let's start at the top.

Meghan and Jimmy are moving AGAIN. We're only five episodes into the season and this is officially a nightmare. They've been packing for pretty much every single episode. They're also kind of bickering, with Jimmy taking a couple of shots at the female gender for creating so much clutter in their house. Meghan tries to do a little damage control in her confessional by claiming that no one's giving out compliments during a move, it puts everyone on edge. That may be true but there's no getting around it: Jimmy Edmonds is getting a bad edit. Every time he's been on screen this season, he's appeared dismissive, condescending or downright rude to his new wife. This time, even his sweet mom is there to help and it's not doing his attitude any favors. Kind of reminds me of the Jim (Bellino) who came before him on this show. (Speaking of, maybe Jim Bellino is the reason everyone seems so insistent on calling the newest Househusband 'Jimmy'? Just a thought.) The bad marriage edit continues as Meghan explains in her interview that the stress of constantly moving is adding tension to their marriage.

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Apparently, the Edmonds also happen to be moving into a rental in the Beadors' neighborhood, which is the perfect cue for Shannon to give Meghan a call. What could this possibly be about? Judging by their previous interactions regarding phone calls, I'm bracing myself for another disaster. However, after starting with a slightly passive-aggressive "I heard you had a good party the other night..." Shannon's actually calling to invite her new frenemy to a bunco party at her house. Definitely not what I was expecting, and from the look on her face, it came out of left field for Meghan too. Rather than just accepting the invitation, Meghan can't help but point out her surprise at Shannon calling her, considering their recent history over the charity phone call from hell. Shannon explains point blank that this is her attempt at extending an olive branch and moving forward, but Meghan can't seem to let it go. She's officially beating a dead horse - the charity event is over and there's no way this feud has enough potential in it to last the entire season. Shannon starts getting defensive because Shannon Beador is a person of her word. After assuring Meghan that the newbie would be safe in her home - literally - Meghan pops back that she looks forward to Shannon proving it to her. The look of indignation on Shannon's face here is priceless. Proving herself to a 30 year old? Preposterous! After reiterating the invitation, she hangs up and stomps off, muttering under her breath about the unbelievable balls on this new girl. I think Defensive Shannon might be my new favorite Shannon. 

Across town, Vicki and Tamra are having a day of relaxation at Spa Gregorie's. Wearing fluffy robes and sipping complimentary alcohol, the two discuss Tamra's impending grandma-hood. While Tamra's assuaging the viewers' fears that she could ever possibly wear granny panties, Vicki predicts in her interview that becoming a grandmother will inevitably change Tamra's perspective on life. According to the OG, Tammy Sue is due for a little softening of the heart. Talk of grandmotherly changes done with, the two get naked for Hydraquench body treatments and sauna masks. Tamra points out that, although the two have had their share of ups and downs in the past few years, they can always have fun together, and it's nice to see them putting effort into rekindling the BFF-ship. We're also treated to a shot of Vicki's bare butt. This is really a bizarre situation.

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Meanwhile, Heather's taking her four kids to the Bellagio Spa and Salon to get their haircuts. She explains in her confessional that she used to take them to a bonafide kids haircut place, but eventually you need a real haircut. Does this mean she'll be sharing her in-house salon with the kids? This entire sequence serves to explain that the Dubrow kids are feeling the strain of their dad not being around as much because of his work schedule. On top of his regular surgery practice, Terry is in the midst of filming the second season of Botched with fellow Househusband Paul Nassif for E! As a result, he's gone from home even more than usual, and Heather's feeling frustrated at having to be everything to everyone while Terry's busy filming. 

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Riled up from the end of their previous phone call, Shannon decides to call Meghan back. Maybe they should just stick to email at this point? Pony Express? Shannon explains that she's having a hard time swallowing Meghan's "prove it" comment, and reiterates that she's extending an olive branch and she doesn't need to prove anything. Shannon makes a point in her confessional to clarify that she's "clearly the bigger person here," and that in the interest of moving forward, the bunco party invitation will remain open. Again, she stomps off in a huff because this girl is just such a "f***ing thorn in [her] side." By this point, I'm pretty much dying of laughter. I've never been the biggest Shannon Beador fan in the world, but I could watch her get riled up over little things every day and be completely set for entertainment. For the past two weeks, I've been firmly Team Meghan, but I have to say, I'm starting to see Shannon's side in the situation. Seeing Shannon Beador's perspective is something I never expected to do, but it's happening. 

In Coto de Caza, Vicki and Brooks are at home meeting with their health coach Lenka. I must say, it still feels weird not to clarify it as her home since he's now moved in and taken his place as man of the house. Apparently Lenka believes that you can rid your body of any chemicals and toxins in it, like cancer, through plant-based food. Vicki wisely explains in her confessional that she's not an oncologist or doctor so she doesn't know how to cure cancer. If she did, there'd already be a cure. For some reason, I believe this. Anyway, Lenka's philosophy is to starve the cancer cells in Brooks' body. She also recommends "forest showers" and organic coffee enemas. This is the second time coffee enemas have been brought up and I'm praying that Brooks Ayers and a coffee enema does not get shown on my screen. Please no. Vicki also points out that she learned so much about holistic medicine last year from Shannon, and if it works for her, why wouldn't it work for Brooks? I'm all for using holistic medicine to supplement oncology, but if Brooks has Stage 3 non-Hodgkins lymphoma, why aren't they trying more aggressive treatments? 

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The next day, Shannon's finally prepping for her bunco party. Since there will be fewer than 20 people in attendance - 12 to be exact - Shannon's cooking for her guests. After all, anyone can pick up a phone and call a caterer, but not everyone can slave in a kitchen for hours before a party. At this point, David walks in with a smile on his face and launches into a story about how he just ran into a girl Shannon saw at the beach the other day. How funny is that? Immediately, Shannon looks panic-stricken and utterly terrified. Is he trying to tell her something in code? Did he see his former mistress? As it turns out, he really did just run into an old friend of Shannon's, but her reaction is both warranted and painful to watch. She explains in her interview that David's promised that if and when he ever runs into his former mistress again, he'll just keep walking and never speak to her. As part of repairing their relationship, Shannon's choosing to trust him. Talking to her friend Kristina, Shannon claims she brings up the affair enough, so she wants to be careful not to bombard him with constant pleas for reassurance. It's a razor-thin line to walk when there are clearly so many valid trust issues that need to be worked through. The one thing Shannon does promise is that if David ever makes contact with the woman he cheated with again, Shannon will be out the door and never coming back. In order for the Beadors' relationship to succeed, there has to be absolutely no secrets between them. Well, it's certainly more difficult to keep secrets when you're putting your marital issues out there on national TV for the world to see. This storyline is uncomfortable to watch, but I hope it's helping some couple out there who are watching the show and working through their own infidelity issues. I also hope that couple has a qualified marriage counselor.

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Before the bunco party, Meghan and Jimmy are unpacking in their new four-month rental. At this point, I'm confident that watching other people move is as much fun as actually moving yourself. Meghan claims that neither wears the pants in their relationship and that, while he controls a bit more of the finances, she even put her name on their last house. Feminism! The Edmonds now have four months to find a house under $10 million with a three car garage and a view of the ocean. Tick tock. Also pre-bunco, Heather's going to Terry's practice to film a segment for Botched. Thanks to the E! hit, the good doctor has become a veritable star on his own, like the reverse of a pre-divorce Kelsey and Camille Grammer. Each week on the show, there's a small human interest story, and in this particular episode, the human interest story will be about removing some sort of growth from Heather's hand. The Dubrows' date nights have officially devolved into Heather receiving minor surgery. However, out of all the OC husbands, Terry is clearly the best, even if his new filming schedule is interfering with family time seven months of the year.

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Well, the time of the bunco party has finally arrived, and Shannon's putting the finishing touches on everything with the help of her non-Housewife friends. I always find it rather interesting when a 'Wife involves so many of her other pals in filming an event. Let's face it, there's no way this bunco party would make the final cut for the season if it was just Shannon and her friends. Naturally, Meghan is the first to arrive, sporting an ultra-trendy black and white (faux?) fur vest. The tension between the two is thick in the air with no one there to serve as a buffer, but Meghan says in her interview that she recognizes Shannon trying to reach out. Maybe they can move on after all? Shannon sets aside the wine she was supposed to donate at Meghan's charity event for the newbie to take when she leaves, which Meghan sees as a passive-aggressive reminder that Shannon's still being the bigger person. One-upping the wine donation, Meghan tells Shannon she brought her a gift and has Shannon read the accompanying note on camera, which is kind of a weird thing to do. Annoyed, Shannon claims in her interview that this thirty year old is simply trying to make herself look good, rather than genuinely bringing the gift as a peace offering. Thankfully, Heather and Tamra both arrive before it can get any more awkward, with Heather sporting a blinged out cast on her hand. Former Housewife Jeana Keough is there too, and Vicki's finally the last to arrive. Vicki hasn't played bunco since Tamra's disastrous 80's party in Season 7 and thinks it's a silly game. Instead of rolling a bunch of dice, why can't they just sit and talk? Before the competition starts, we learn that Tamra is back in the real estate game and Meghan spends almost 50% of her time alone while Jimmy's in St. Louis. Red flag? Vicki thinks so.

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Being a good hostess to "bunco virgin" Meghan, Shannon explains the rules of the game. In her confessional, Meghan exclaims that she has no idea how to play bunco, but it's what old people play for fun in Mississippi. The OC ladies really love their bunco, and after 10 seasons I still don't understand anything about it other than that you roll a bunch of dice. Feel free to educate me in the comments. Over the course of the competition, Meghan, Shannon and Vicki all talk about how competitive they are and how much they hate losing. Ladies, it's kind of hard to justify being competitive in a game that is 100% luck and requires no skill. But, as Vicki states, she doesn't lose in life, she wins. his is where it gets hard.

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Vicki retreats from the game to use Shannon's landline phone, having been alerted that something was wrong. She calls Briana to find out that her mom had unexpectedly passed away. In an instant, Vicki's entire world has crumbled around her. Immediately, she collapses to the floor and starts sobbing in confusion. Apparently, her brother Billy found their mom at home on her bed. The death seems surreal, as Vicki had just spoken with her mom that morning and she'd been in perfect health. Shannon comes to check on the situation and finds her friend crying hysterically. Soon, the rest of the group is alerted to the noise and rally around Vicki in tears. Heather calls Brooks to come pick Vicki up and then tearfully calls her husband to inform him of what's happened. As Heather puts it so perfectly in her interview, this group of women isn't perfect. They have differing opinions and fight sometimes, but when push comes to shove, they're all friends and need to be there to support each other in times like this.

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Eventually, Brooks arrives to bring an inconsolable Vicki home. Still reeling from the sudden loss, Vicki tearfully explains that she wasn't ready to stop learning from her mom and she doesn't know how she's going to function without her. I don't know how anyone could've gotten through watching this without breaking down in tears. I certainly didn't. In her interview, Vicki tearfully reflects on what she'll miss most about her mom - her spunk and love for life. Flashbacks play to some of her mom's funniest moments on the show, from calling Vicki's blonde hair yellow to justifying her road rage. The love between mother and daughter is evident in the clips and it's painfully clear how much Vicki adored her mom. As she says in her confessional, her mom was a whoop-it-up lady at the age of 83, and that's where Vicki gets it from. The episode ends with a touching title card "In memory of Joanne Steinmetz."

As I said, this episode was painfully emotional to watch. I can't imagine having to experience such a sudden, life-altering trauma on top of having that moment captured on camera. However, the flip side of that is that fans and viewers have the opportunity to reach out and support the OG we've loved watching so much for the past 10 years in the wake of her loss. So, in that spirit, share your thoughts and send Vicki some love in the comments below...

RHOC Ssn 10/Ep 4 - Charity Case

Glenn Rowley

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The trip to Napa isn't over just yet. This week we starts back in the midst of the fight between Meghan and Shannon on the ladies' last night in wine country. To briefly recap, Meghan was offended by Shannon treating her dismissively when the newbie called to ask a few questions about the upcoming charity event she was throwing. For some reason, Shannon thought it was a telemarketer calling rather than, you know, her co-star and decided to jump on the 'offended' bandwagon because someone gave Meghan her private cell phone number. No one gets Shannon Beador's private cell phone number, people. That thing must be like the Batphone. Rather than apologize and move on, Shannon decides to storm off up the stairs at the Bello estate. Caught up? OK, good.

So, Shannon feels justified in stomping away from the conversation because she feels that her new co-star is insinuating that she's being uncharitable. "Who do you think you are, miss thirty-year-old?" Shannon demands in her confessional. The nerve of this young princess. Heather comes over to a shocked Meghan to find out what's happening, and points out in her interview that Shannon flying up the stairs flinging accusations left and right is very reminiscent of the drama that happened last year at Lizzie's beach party. Tamra, who's also getting caught up on the fight, thinks Shannon's behavior is "really weird" and there must be more to the story. Ever the vigilant hostess, Heather goes to check on Shannon, who's now crying in a room upstairs. The entire situation looks confusing to the other 'Wives. As Heather points out in her confessional, even if the phone call situation is irritating to you, why does it need to devolve into a huge blow-up? As viewers, we know that Shannon has a lot of stressful things going on in her personal life, (besides Vicki, the other ladies don't know about David's affair), but it certainly is a concerning pattern of behavior when you can't make it through a conversation without flying off the handle.

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After pulling herself together and calming down a smidge, Shannon returns to the party, promptly gathering Tamra, Lizzie and Katie on the couch to tell her side of the story. Conveniently, Meghan chooses the moment to return to the room as well, kneeling beside Shannon to try to fix the problem. "Is it OK that I'm right here?" Meghan asks Shannon, probably wary of getting her head bitten off again, and tries to apologize for the conversation escalating. Rather than accepting the apology, Shannon starts round two by getting defensive and saying she felt completely ambushed by Meghan's "attack." She gives 1000% when it comes to charity and bends over backwards for her friends, you see, but Meghan wisely points out that Shannon didn't even bother responding to her text message, so that wasn't the impression she got. Shannon brings the issue back to her PRIVATE CELL NUMBER to which Meghan epically retorts "congratu-fu**ing-lations!" Easily the funniest moment of the night. You're not the Queen of England Shannon. It sounds like reality TV stardom may have gone to a certain Housewife's head after last season...By this point in the conversation, Shannon won't even look Meghan in the face, and yet accuses the newbie of being childish and immature. Pot meet kettle. Eventually, Shannon offers a disdainful apology. "I'm so sorry that I didn't open up to you, Meghan, and I didn't call you back," she says. "I'll be there for you next time." Meghan, however, calls B.S. on the fake apology, because it - correctly - doesn't feel very genuine. With that clearly not settled, it's time to go home leave Napa and go home.

Back in the OC, Vicki's back from her trip to Florida, and apparently left Brooks home alone for the week (he does live there now, after all). While she was accepting her insurance award and taking her grandkids to Disney World with Brianna and Troy, Brooks was undergoing chemotherapy. As she points out in her interview, Vicki feels guilty having to leave Brooks but life goes on when someone gets sick, and she can't just sit by his side the whole time. She also references her mom trying to talk to Brianna about Brooks, which is sad foreshadowing knowing what's coming. Brooks claims that the treatment went just fine and calls it an issue of "mind over matter." That's an awfully good attitude to have, but did you really just have chemo? The conversation moves from chemotherapy to alternative treatments like vitamin C therapy and coffee enemas. Do these things actually work? 

Meanwhile, Meghan is putting the finishing touches on her charity event for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation with the JDFR event planners. Jimmy's coming home with a new Louis Vuitton purse for her and she's taking full advantage of her assistant Melissa, who she calls "a friend that I pay." The event is the organization's annual wine procurement party, where guests donate and bid on fancy bottles of wine all while drinking other bottles of wine. Being brand new to the area, the party will also serve as a sort of coming out party for Meghan to the OC social circle. Her goals for the party are for the guests to 1. have a ton of fun, 2. raise a ton of money and 3. leave the party saying "and isn't she a sweetheart, by the way?" No pressure. 

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Heather's still in charge of overseeing the construction of the over-the-top Dubrow mansion. Fancy Pants points out that this new home isn't exactly the bill of goods Terry sold in her Season 8 about downsizing and being together more, but it's Terry's dream house and she's happy to help execute it for him. Talk about marriage goals. First she's working out the lighting in her closet, which naturally will be chandeliers only. Chandeliers give off Heather's kind of light, she explains. Chandelier light equals fancy light, which couldn't be more fitting for our Fancy Pants. Last week, we learned that the Dubrows went over $160,000 on their cabinet budget, and this week's revelation is that the line item for the house's stone budget is a half a million dollars. Oh, and the building materials for the master bathroom are an additional 100 grand. I can't believe these numbers. Heather ends up having to write a check right then and there for $250,000. No, this definitely isn't "wife math."

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Next up, Vicki, Tamra and Shannon meet for dinner at the Canyon Fireside Grill. At first, the conversation is all about big life things like how becoming a grandma will change Tamra and Shannon researching treatments for Brooks by finding the right combination of Western medicine and holistic, natural options. However, the dinner eventually turns to Shannon rehashing her burgeoning feud with Meghan over the charity event, with Shannon justifying her behavior because she was "irritated" by the whole thing. In her interview, the holistic housewife snidely points out that the party SHE threw last year for the same charity had three times as many people as Meghan's will. So there. She also refers to the newbie by her full name in her confessional, which is a sure sign that you've made Shannon's sh** list (just ask "Heather Dubrow").

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Shannon brings up that, even though the party is the following evening, she still has yet to receive an official invitation - despite having her dress, makeup and donations ready to go. "Did you guys get invites?" she wonders to Vicki and Tamra. Both women quietly point out that yes, Meghan called each of them earlier that day with the formal invitations. This puts Tamra in the enviable position to explain to Shannon that she's not invited to the party. For some reason, Shannon seems shocked by this turn of events. How could her behavior in Napa possibly have been bad enough to warrant a non-invitation? She's insulted, claiming Meghan's true colors are being shown, and Vicki quickly takes her side by saying she won't go to the party either. There's quite a bit of talk about Meghan's age - "this is what thirty-year-olds do," Shannon remarks. The ageist remarks towards Meghan are really uncalled for. Just because she's younger than you, ladies, doesn't mean she's lesser than you.

The day of the party, Heather stops by Meghan's to offer some advice about the situation with Shannon. Simply put, Heather feels the new 'Wife may be making a mistake by leaving Shannon out - she's been involved with JDRF in the past and it would be awkward if she wasn't there. As a friend, Heather counsels, not inviting Shannon may turn things into DEFCON 4. (I actually looked up the DEFCON system, and DEFCON 4 means 'above normal readiness' with increased intelligence watch and strengthened security measures. So, there you go, it's not just a bad '80s movie). Meghan explains that she doesn't have time to think about the fight with Shannon, since she has the party to get ready for in a matter of hours, which wouldn't be the place to settle this conversation. In Meghan's mind, Shannon excluded herself by her behavior in Napa, and as a hostess, she's really protecting Shannon from her own unpredictability. Honestly, no one could reasonably argue that Shannon is in total control of her emotions. Seeing it's a losing battle, Heather gives in to Meghan's decision - clearly the newbie can stand her ground.

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Meanwhile, Tamra's getting ready for the party at Vicki's house and the OG has dug in her heels about not going. Vicki doesn't want to get involved, but she's put her stake in the sand and decided to take Shannon out to dinner instead. To smooth over the situation, Vicki calls Meghan to explain why she won't be showing up to the party. The OG claims she didn't want to offend Meghan or cause a problem, but she just can't deal with the thought of Shannon feeling left out. Meghan explains that she does need to talk to Shannon about the situation at some point, but reiterates that Shannon honestly brought the dis-invitation upon herself. After hanging up, Meghan wonders aloud why Shannon would go to the trouble of getting a dress, hair and makeup for the party when she hadn't received an invitation. You're either invited to the party or you're not. There's really no room for any grey area here. Meanwhile, Vicki finally notices that Tamra's boobs have magically grown a cup size, but it takes her a minute to figure out that her BFF got implants and it didn't just happen naturally. Classic Vicki.

After all this build-up, the charity event finally arrives. At this point, my roommate who's more of an ESPN guy walked in and his eyes about fell out of his head when he saw Meghan in her dress. According to him, "they've finally cast a hot Housewife." So, congratulations Meghan, for bringing a new demographic of viewer to the show. Meghan deems the decor "classy as f***" and the party starts filling up. When Tamra shows up as sees the crowded house, she jokes that Shannon should've just come to the party - the house was so full, Meghan probably wouldn't have even noticed! Meghan's happy that Tamra came, and says she didn't know whether Tamra would pull a Vicki and take Shannon's side. Meghan also explains that she knows she needs to work things out with Shannon, but she doesn't want to come across as a mean girl. Tamra offers the newbie some advice from "one former mean girl to another": don't be mean. It never works out in your favor. Sounds like last year's mean girl may have finally learned her lesson. Heather, Lizzie and Katie arrive at the party too, but Lizzie's wondering where Vicki and Shannon are.

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The answer to that mystery is out to dinner with each other! Vicki's wearing a fur vest and Shannon's ordering her second Grey Goose soda with a splash of cranberry juice in a tall glass of the episode. At least we now have her drink order memorized. Shannon assures Vicki that she's fine, but continues to harp on the drama with Meghan. Didn't she at least deserve a phone call? She insists she doesn't have a clue what mistake she made to deserve being treated this way, for Meghan to go "out of her way" to be malicious. Does she have selective memory or does she really not see her behavior in Napa as problematic? Meanwhile, Meghan's giving a speech at her event, explaining why the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation's cause is so personal to her - having a friend in St. Louis whose son has the disease. Shannon claims she has enough other stuff going on in her life (like her husband's affair) and doesn't care about the party, but now she's tearing up. 

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Heather and Tamra are also discussing the drama while at the event, and agree that while Meghan not inviting Shannon was a DEFCON 4 move, Vicki's escalating it further by not coming. Why put yourself in the middle? Meghan interrupts to once again explain her position, which the other women seem to understand. At dinner, Shannon claims that when she was 30, she didn't have the "ego" of thinking she was right all the time. That must have only developed in her 50s...Vicki piles on, saying that Meghan was handed the "cash cow" by marrying Jim and that the newbie comes off as "entitled." I love Vicki, but that's a quite a harsh and judgemental thing to say, especially since she's spent considerably less time with Meghan than the other ladies have. And again, all the judgemental comments about Meghan's age are condescending at best and downright rude at worst. She's 30. Get over it. With Meghan being only a few years older than me, the ageism from some of the veterans is going to get old real quick.

Lizzie calls from the party to check on Shannon, and quickly realizes the fun bus is in Laguna Beach looking hot and doing shots. She wants to join the real party! The other ladies - minus Heather - decide to meet up with Shannon and Vicki, and explain to Meghan why they're leaving her event. As Meghan points out in her confessional, she made the decision to not invite Shannon and she can deal with the consequences of that choice. See? That's called being an adult. So, Lizzie and Tamra crash the girls night out with Christian in tow. I didn't see my favorite OC husband at the charity event, but he looks ready to party at the bar. Dear producers, more Christian Rovsek please. The new arrivals are starving, seeing that people in the OC apparently don't know how to feed their guests at charity events. Two spoonfuls of taco meat isn't going to cut it. As Meghan and Jimmy recap the success of their first OC event as a couple, Shannon remarks at how grateful she is for the support of her friends, who always have her back and make her feel better. The episode ends with a toast from Tamra about not being left out and we'll have to wait until next week to see the continued fallout from this new feud. For now, though, it's nice to end on a happy note all around. Woo-hoo!

RHOC Ssn 10/Ep 3 - Whine Country

Glenn Rowley

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If the premiere was the catch-up and last week was the RHOC warm-up, it feels like we're finally getting to the start of Season 10 this week. After two weeks of the women living their separate lives and dancing around each other at Vicki's fiesta, it's time to get into the swing of things. And what a great way to do that by sending the ladies to Napa Valley! But first, we start things off with Heather, Tamra and Meghan out to dinner in Orange County. Heather wisely points out that it's important to celebrate the special moments in life, so she's bringing all the 'Wives (minus Vicki, who's out of town for the "Oscars of the insurance industry") to Napa for the launch 0f her new sparkling wine, Collette. It's a good time for Meghan to get away, since she and Jimmy just sold their house. Wait. I'm confused. Didn't they just finish moving back into their house? Are the Edmonds going to spend the season trying to see how many homes they can reside in over the course of filming? As Meghan puts it, she's already #OverIt. (I really like Meghan so far, but I hope she doesn't make these hashtags a regular thing in her interviews. It's the second time she's done it and I, too, am already #OverIt.) Tamra claims she was shocked at how nice and sweet Lizzie was at Vicki's party last week, to which Heather rightly counters that Lizzie IS nice and sweet. With the mystery of Lizzie's temperament settled, a bigger question from the fiesta remains: was Shannon being standoffish?

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As the conversation turns to Shannon, Meghan points out that, while she may be new to the group, she's already had a couple of different run-ins with the OC's favorite holistic housewife. The first was while she did shots with Vicki and Shannon's husband David at the Dubrows' hoedown last year, which caused a moment of tension between the Beadors. (Little did we know at the time that David was smack in the middle of having an affair.) The second incident turns out to be what will certainly go down as THE phone call of the season. Apparently, prior to Vicki's party, Meghan had called Shannon to get some advice on a charity event the new Housewife is throwing. It's the first social event Meghan has thrown in Orange County and, since Shannon threw a fundraiser for the same charity last year, the new Mrs. Jimmy Edmonds called to ask for some advice about event details. When the flashback of the call played, Shannon was noticeably short on the phone and was confused as to who Meghan was and why exactly she was calling. Once they hung up, Jimmy pointed out that Meghan had accidentally referred to herself by her maiden name King, not Edmonds, which perhaps prompted Shannon's confusion. Meghan claims in her confessional that she didn't bring up the mix-up with Shannon at last week's party because she didn't feel it was appropriate to do so in Vicki's home, where she was meeting all these people for the first time. However, now she wants to bring up the "pink elephant in the room." (Is that a reference to Dumbo?) As Tamra puts it, good luck Meghan.

Meanwhile, Vicki is packing for her insurance awards trip to Florida with Shannon keeping her company. Vicki's taking over the man's world in which she works, and has been named in the top five percent of producers in the insurance and financial services industry. Like she says, who doesn't love awards and being acknowledged for your hard work? I love that even after a decade on reality TV, Vicki has kept her original career a priority, being the boss and taking names the insurance way. Woo-hoo! The upcoming Napa trip gets brought up, since Shannon is bummed Vicki's not coming. She says she's going to wine country with her "good friends Heather Dubrow and Tamra Judge" and passive-aggression is palpable as it drips from her lips. Shannon may be willing to go on this trip with a fake smile on her face since she's forgiven her frenemies for last year's drama, but she certainly hasn't forgotten it. Obviously not the best attitude to start the trip with, if you ask me.

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Heather's chartered a private jet to fly the girls to Napa, while their significant others have to rough it on the California freeways. Sorry boys. Mystery friend Katie Hamilton makes another appearance, and I'm so happy to see Lizzie with her carry-on in hand. (Fair warning: I will not get over Lizzie's demotion to Friend of the Housewives for the remainder of the season.) Once the ladies have boarded the plane, Heather plays flight attendant while Meghan passes out the painted wine glasses she made as personalized gifts for the trip. During the flight, Tamra starts talking about religion with Katie, who brought up her church at Vicki's party. Apparently Tamra's started going to church, though she's keeping that information close to the vest. And while people (including viewers) may try to say that she's only going l because she's done so many bad things and wants to look good, last season's mean girl says she's been saved and "if you don't like it, you can suck it!" Definitely sounds like she's found Jesus.

Once they've touched down in Napa, Heather sends all the other 'Wives to the hotel via party bus while she goes to the event space for a last-minute walkthrough. Heather's very detailed in the event planning, and wants to flood the venue with bottles of Collette. As fans certainly know, Fancy Pants loves her bubbles and she's been working to produce this sparkling wine for the past couple of years with Bello Family Vineyards. She explains in her confessional that the drink isn't allowed to be called 'champagne' because it's not from the Champagne region of France, so it's officially referred to as a Methode Champenoise because of the production technique used to put the sparkle in the wine. You'll never know the things you can learn by watching Bravo.

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I have to say, the shots of Napa Valley in this episode are stunningly gorgeous. After checking into the Silverado Resort - which looks a whole lot like the White House - the 'Wives are ready to party. The husbands have arrived and everyone has put on their fancy pants for Fancy Pants. Heather's ready to get the show on the road ("I don't know about you, but I hear a cork popping!"), but where are Shannon and David? If you guessed 'fighting on the back of a golf cart,' then you're correct. And also possibly psychic. Bickering over David's arrival to the resort, the couple zoom right past the waiting party of nine and take another lap. The entire argument is spliced together with difficult shots of the the golf cart's rolling wheels, since the Beadors didn't have a camera crew with them during the drive. Apparently, David had a sushi lunch complete with plenty of sake shots before heading to Napa, which Shannon is freaking out over, because it reminds of his sudden urge to drink last year (a.k.a. when he started the affair). David tries to calm his wife down, claiming he didn't do anything wrong. However, Shannon counters that she can't control her mind's negative thoughts. When they bicker, it reminds Shannon of the hurt and betrayal she felt over the affair, but this extra lap on the golf cart has now made the entire group late for Heather's event. Apologizing and blaming their tardiness on "wardrobe and lash issues", the Beadors finally make it back to the bus and away we go...En route, Shannon gifts Tamra with some of the hangover pills she brought as a type of holistic olive branch between the two.

We finally arrive at the launch party and all the ladies raise a glass and give a big cheers to Collette! When the Methode Champenoise term gets thrown around again, Tamra jokes in her interview that Heather just keeps getting fancier and fancier - can't they just call it bubbly wine? Still on her yeast-free diet, Shannon goes off in search of yeast-free alcohol. She's still sensitive from the argument with David and needs a vodka, STAT. The entire party looks incredible, including the Collette bottle-shaped cake, which is made out of styrofoam instead of, you know, actual cake. That's one way to keep the Sarah Winchesters of the world from breaking a piece off before it's served, Heather. To kick off the party, Fancy Pants gets to saber open a bottle of Collette, leaving her feeling very powerful. Check that off her bucketlist, thank you very much. Meanwhile, Tamra's busy inspecting her new boobs, which Terry - a world-renowned plastic surgeon - doesn't even notice when talking to her. Lizzie does though, and points out that Tamra must have had boob envy after last year's "Kentucky Friend Titties" comments.

Tamra then pulls Heather aside to tell her friend how proud she is of her. They both agree that it's weird not having Vicki there to celebrate, and remedy the situation by calling the OG right then and there. Somehow, Heather also brings up that she's gone a bit over budget on her new house, which Terry doesn't know yet. So, she decides that the party is a good time to break the news and hits her husband with a classic good news/bad news moment. The good news: she didn't chop her finger off with the saber when she opened the Collette bottle; the bad news: their cabinets are $130,000 over budget. What?? Are these cabinets lined with gold? Terry wanted any budgetary overages to go to the house's personal movie theater, but doesn't seem overly upset about this tiny sum of money being spent on cabinetry. Still, it's nice to know that even people as ridiculously wealthy as Terry and Heather Dubrow operate under some kind of budget. Right?

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On the other side of the party, Shannon and Meghan are bonding and having fun together, which Meghan takes as a cue to bring up the hoedown situation from last year. Shannon says that the issue wasn't anything personal, simply that David was A. at a bar, B. with a female and C. didn't introduce her. The air now clear, the two decide they're good with each other. To finish up the launch party, Heather makes a thoughtful toast about her love of champs and friends, complete with funny interjections from Terry about what a terror the champs' namesake is. Later on the step-and-repeat Heather again expresses how happy she is that so many of her friends took the time out of their lives and schedules to come all the way to Napa to support her. This new sparkling wine is a perfect extension of Heather's brand, and something we haven't specifically seen in the Housewives universe yet (sorry Fabellini, Vicki's Vodka and Wines by Wives). Heather's certainly used the show as leverage to reignite her acting career - her appearances on Hot in Cleveland, Malibu Country and Hawaii Five-0 were all integrated into her storylines over the past two seasons - but this is the first time she's used her Housewife status to put her name and reputation on any type of product. The development of Collette is a natural fit for Fancy Pants, because if there's one thing viewers associate with her, it's champagne.

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The next day, the women and their husbands take a tour of Raymond Vineyards with Jean-Charles the fabulous tour guide. As Lizzie points out in her confessional, this winery is a cross between Willy Wonka's factory and somewhere in the red light district. I wouldn't have been surprised to see Oompa-Loompa hookers crushing grapes with their tiny feet while dressed up in naughty lingerie. Fifty shades of Cabernet is right! As the group samples product from the winery's barrels, Tamra insists on drinking it directly from the source. After contaminating the entire barrel through double dipping, the tour guide lets Meghan follow suit by sampling from the cylinder. Tamra then declares Meghan her fifteen-inch-taller "mini-me", a thought that scares Heather to her inner soul. 

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On their last night in Napa, the Dubrows take the group to a party at the Bello family's luxurious estate. At such an extravagant party, Shannon, Lizzie, Meghan and Tamra decide to congregate in front of the indoor fireplace, on account of the cold weather. After another toast by Heather, Meghan decides to pull Shannon aside to finally discuss the charity phone call gone wrong. The newbie explains that she hates to leave an issue, no matter how small, unfixed and doesn't want to just brush this under the rug if she wants to be friends with Shannon. Right out of the gate, Meghan starts with explaining that she felt a little offended by the way Shannon talked to her over the phone. Shannon counters, claiming that she too was offended because Meghan didn't use her married last name when she introduced herself. Therefore, Shannon didn't know who could possibly be calling from a Missouri number and thought Meghan was a telemarketer. Why Shannon would claim to be offended by that is beyond me, but OK. The whole time she was trying to process "who is this girl and how would she know my cell number?" all while her kids were in the car. Her KIDS, you guys. Meghan tries to explain that she was just trying to get Shannon's help for her charity event and was directly referred to her by the nonprofit. After recognizing there had been a miscommunication, Meghan texted Shannon an apology, but Shannon never replied. For some reason, this conversation sets Shannon off, and she storms out with the instantly-quotable line, "I START charities, Meghan!" The newcomer is left in shock at the outburst, and points out in her interview that the entire situation could have been easily resolved with a simple apology from Shannon. Instead, she's found herself starting a problem with Shannon, who accuses the newbie of making her out to be uncharitable. The episode ends with Shannon stomping upstairs and Heather walking int to ask a stunned Meghan, "What in the world just happened?" 

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I have to say, like many of the petty squabbles we see on Housewives, this issue is definitely being blown completely out of proportion. However, petty or not, I'm siding with Meghan on this one. As the new girl in town, she was simply asking for help on a charity that Shannon had worked with in the past. Regardless of who was on the other end of the phone, Shannon didn't need to be rude and short, and not even replying to Meghan's text trying to clarify the situation was the icing on the cake. Granted, Shannon has a lot going on with attempting to repair her marriage, and is clearly sensitive in general, but there's no need to speak to someone they way she did to Meghan on the phone. Furthermore, I don't understand her reaction to Meghan wanting to talk about it. Meghan wasn't on the attack, but Shannon clearly felt the need to get defensive and then storm away from the conversation in a huff. We won't find out how the argument will end until next week, but with the actual charity event coming up, it's a guarantee that this problem between Meghan and Shannon is just getting started.