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Real Housewives

Filtering by Tag: road trip

RHOC Ssn 11/Ep 3 - Lies in the Air, Sand in My Hair

Glenn Rowley

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This week, The Real Housewives of Orange County gather for a beach party thrown by newbie Kelly, where Vicki and Tamra attempt to hash out last season's drama once and for all. Can the OG truly make amends with her one-time soulmate and sister? Plus, Meghan starts IVF and Heather finds the world's fanciest kind of ice. Read on for my full recap of the drama...

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We begin this week's episode in Oklahoma of all places, or as Vicki Gunvalson referred to it in Season 9, "the forgotten state." Her daughter Briana is finally moving back to the OC, so Vicki's flown out to help her road trip back with grandsons Troy and Owen. (Briana's husband Ryan is still employed by the Marine Corps, so he's staying behind temporarily to put the house on the market and move everything.) The reasons for Briana's return to Orange County are twofold: first for better medical care with her team of doctors in California and second because Vicki bought the young family a new house. Always the level-headed voice of wisdom on the show, Briana has struggled with her health for years - battling a cancer scare in Season 7, having lymph nodes and her thyroid removed and now healing from an infection in her leg as the result of a surgical complication. She's on strict doctor's orders not to fly, which means she and Vicki are in for a 23-hour road trip from Oklahoma to Orange County with two toddlers and a car full of luggage. Still recovering from surgery, the long drive is no walk in the park for poor Briana, who spends much of the excruciating trip in pain. Thank goodness the OG of the OC was there to help lighten the mood and play grandma to the boys.

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Back in the OC, Meghan King Edmonds is officially begin her IVF treatments. Since her husband Jimmy is off in Florida for MLB spring training, Meghan's creating a video diary to document her first round of shots for him. (Though I suspect it's really just a clever way to get the footage for viewers rather than for Jimmy.) Apparently, IVF involves a series of shots that have to be injected every day to help the ovaries grow, which doesn't exactly gel well with Meghan's deathly fear of needles. Standing in front of the bathroom mirror with a syringe in hand, it takes the mom-to-be roughly 11 minutes of psyching herself up before she's able to give herself the shot. It's a small, personal victory that brings Meghan to tears, but it's also the first of many to come, so she might as well get used to overcoming this particular phobia. 

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That night, Heather Dubrow, Shannon Beador and Tamra Judge meet newbie Kelly Dodd for dinner at Casa Ranchero. The meal is a chance for the veteran 'Wives to get to know Kelly a bit better, especially considering that the initial impressions she made at Heather's yacht party and Meghan's kitchen demolition have been a mixed bag at best. However, Tamra almost immediately puts the newbie on the spot by forcing her to tell Heather she had lunch with Vicki. Oh boy. This is not the best way to get on the rest of the 'Wives' good side Kelly. Once again, the other ladies air their grievances about the OG, trying to give the rookie some context about why they feel the way they do, but to no avail. Really though, Kelly would be better off staying out of last season's fray, no matter how much she sees herself in Vicki. In other news, Heather also informs the women about the upcoming party to celebrate the launch of her and Terry's book, but Kelly interrupts to invite them all to a beach party at her house. So the beach party comes first, I guess...

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While Vicki is playing supergrandma for Briana - who's been admitted to the hospital - Tamra's training for her fitness competition at CUT Fitness with Mia, her personal trainer/unofficial priest/spiritual mentor. Tamra explains that with so much chaos going on in her life, the fitness competition gives her something she can actually be relatively in control of. She's still concerned about the relationship drama between her son Ryan and his fiancé Sarah, but Mia reminds her to pray and give it all up to God because remember Tammy Sue's still a Christian now. (Side note - am I the only one who just can't help but wonder what Alexis Bellino thinks of it every time Tamra brings up Jesus on the show?)

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Meanwhile, Heather's still busy singlehandedly overseeing the construction of the Dubrow Chateau. The house still isn't finished, but she's finally getting to shop for the fun things, like $7,300 pizza ovens for the backyard and a 54-inch grill that her chef can use - Terry doesn't flip burgers. Most importantly, Heather's making the final decisions on which shapes of ice each refrigerator and ice machine will produce throughout the house and settles on fancy hexagonal ice for the subzero freezer. Who knew there were so many options for ice? I mean, hexagonal ice is apparently jewelry for your glass!

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It's beach party time! All the ladies descend on the beach that basically serves as Kelly's backyard for an evening of food, fun and a little bit of volleyball. As the hostess, Kelly has thought of every single detail and I must say, the party looks gorgeous and relaxing. Heather's sporting a "Brunettes vs. Blondes" t-shirt while Shannon arrives in full beast mode, ready to crush the competition in any game the gang is going to play. But of course, all eyes are on Vicki as she waltzes into the party, the last to arrive. Heather's the first to make conversation with the OG, asking her for an update on Briana's health now that she's been released from the hospital, but Shannon avoids Vicki like the plague - adamant that she has nothing to say to her former buddy.

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As the golden hour approaches, Vicki and Tamra find themselves alone and sit down for a much-needed heart-to-heart. Vicki opens up to her longtime BFF that she's still trying to heal and move on from the "sh--storm" that was last year, but admits that she misses having the other 'Wives in her life. Tamra bluntly counters that she still doesn't believe there was any possible way Vicki couldn't have known Brooks was faking cancer. Yet, Vicki continues to maintain that she was innocent in the cancer scandal and Brooks pulled the wool over her eyes just like he lied to the rest of the world. Tamra points out that she thinks Vicki lied because she wanted everyone to like Brooks and feel bad for him - specifically citing the OG's admission at the Season 10 reunion that she fabricated the story about Terry Dubrow and the IV. However, Vicki still claims she was simply blinded by love and this conversation is turning into a never-ending hamster wheel. Please, can we just get off yet?

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Tamra presses Vicki to just be honest, and questions why - out of all the other 'Wives - she would ever choose Brooks over her best friend. There's way too much blame shifting going on, but eventually an overwhelmed Vicki starts breaking down in tears and admits that Tamra is right. She meekly, tearfully asks whether Tamra can forgive her, and making the decision as a good Christian, Tamra says she can. The episode ends with Tamra encouraging Vicki to continue trying to make amends with her friends no matter how hard it may be. And with that, we're slapped with a "To Be Continued" and will have to wait until next week to find out what happens next...

What did you think of this week's RHOC? Should Tamra forgive Vicki? Is Kelly wrong for getting involved in last season's drama or is she just trying to integrate herself into the group? Do I need hexagonal ice in my fridge now? Let me know in the comments!

RHOD Ssn 1/Ep 4 - Mouth of the South

Glenn Rowley

real-housewives-of-dallas-leeanne-locken

Well, that escalated quickly. Only four episodes into the inaugural season of The Real Housewives of Dallas and a full-out war has erupted between 'Wives, complete with wine-throwing, name-calling and a major walk-out. Read on for my full recap of the drama between LeeAnne and the other Housewives...

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We start this week off with another morning at Brandi Redmond's house. Amid the chaos of pets running around and getting the girls ready for school, Brandi informs her husband Bryan that Stephanie Hollman has invited her and the kids on a road trip to Coweta, Oklahoma to visit Stephanie's family. Ever attentive, Bryan sleepily nods along to his wife's plans, simply grateful that he'll get a day without having the girls drop a bunny on his face to get his attention. Once the kids get out of school, Stephanie and her boys show up at Brandi's house to pack up the van. After watching Brandi chase her nameless dog down the street and wishing for muzzles (for the four kids) and Xanax (for themselves), the two 'Wives are all packed up and ready to drive four hours to Oklahoma. Party time!

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Meanwhile, LeeAnne Locken is busy contributing to the Dallas charity world. In her confessional, the queen bee explains that her days begin and end with charity - whether she's running host committees, attending board meetings or connecting donors with organizations, this is LeeAnne's bread and butter. Today she's meeting with Heidi Dillon, who according to her is the actual queen of the Dallas charity scene. LeeAnne's goal is to convince Heidi to serve as this year's honorary chair for an event benefitting women who are HIV+. If she can get Heidi Dillon on board to get her wealthy friends to write the checks, LeeAnne can do all the rest of the work. Heidi agrees to be the honorary chair and tells LeeAnne to pop the champagne. I mean, who can say no when LeeAnne asks you to help give people a hand up in life?

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The next day, LeeAnne attends the Paws Cause charity event with her BFF Tiffany Hendra and Friend of the Housewives Marie Reyes to benefit the SPCA of Texas. After taking pictures for the press and joking that all three women arrived wearing the same shade of pink, Tiffany pulls LeeAnne away from the dogs and puppies to get the details about how her brunch went with Stephanie and Cary Deuber. LeeAnne describes the meeting as confrontational and laments that she couldn't get through to either of the other women about how their reputations could be marred by associating with Brandi and her potty humor. Marie's worried about how the tension between LeeAnne and the other 'Wives could affect her upcoming cocktail party, but I'm willing to bet she had no idea how crazy it could actually get.

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Stephanie and Brandi arrive in Coweta and the latter is blown away by her BFF's country upbringing. Stephanie's entire family shows up at her parents house for a good old-fashioned family dinner. Stephanie's experience growing up in Coweta was basically a picture off of a small town, All-American post card. Her parents were devout Pentecostals and she grew up going to church twice on Sundays and once on Wednesdays, her mom was a Sunday School teacher and she spent her teenage years trying as hard as she could to be perfect. Coming from a completely different family dynamic from the picturesque Hayes clan, Brandi is a little overwhelmed by all the love and bonding going on at the table. In fact, she admits in her confessional that it even feels a little bit awkward to her. Growing up she and her brother would often eat dinner in front of the TV with minimal conversation, which is basically the complete opposite of Stephanie's close-knit family who is offering a prayer before dinner.

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Back in Dallas, Cary has invited Tiffany to join her for some hot yoga in an effort to build their budding friendship. It turns out that Cary is a serious contortionist when it comes to the yoga studio. Seriously, while Tiffany struggles to keep up, Cary's busy twisting and turning her body into a human pretzel. (For the record, in a yoga situation I'm neither Cary nor Tiffany; I'm definitely more like the little old Asian lady behind them.) After yoga, the two 'Wives hit the juice bar and the conversation turns almost immediately to LeeAnne. Tiffany is constantly having to defend her BFF to the other 'Wives and tries to give Cary some perspective on how LeeAnne works. She tries to explain that LeeAnne puts up walls to protect herself because of how much she's been hurt in the past, but Cary simply finds the queen bee to be annoying and abrasive. Yes, lots of people in Dallas society know who LeeAnne is, but Cary opines that maybe that's just because of how loud she is. LeeAnne may be well-connected to important people in the charity world, but Cary reminds Tiffany that her BFF isn't a tried-and-true Dallas socialite. Either way, Tiffany wants to continue building a friendship with Cary as her own person, not just as LeeAnne Locken's best friend.

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Getting back from Coweta, the topic of family is heavy on Brandi's mind. After last week's revelation from her mom that her estranged grandpa wants to meet her, Brandi decides to finally give him a call. Once her step-grandmother answers the phone and hands it to her grandfather, Brandi emotionally breaks down in tears as she has her first conversation with this man whom she's never met. Over the course of the quick chat, Brandi learns that her grandpa played in the NFL in his younger days with both the LA Rams and the Denver Broncos. Finally, she tells her grandpa that she would like to meet him and invites him to fly out to Texas for a visit. As I said in my live-tweet, I don't think we've ever seen a storyline on the Housewives franchise quite like this one between Brandi and her grandfather...

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The night of Marie's happy hour arrives and all of the 'Wives are ready for a fun girls night out. However, Stephanie and Brandi are also wary of running into LeeAnne for the first time since Mad Hatter's. Yet, Stephanie claims she's in a good place after her visit to Coweta and isn't looking for any drama at the cocktail party. However, just because they don't want drama doesn't mean it isn't lurking close to the surface. As Brandi arrives with Stephanie, Tiffany is quick to pull the redhead aside to let her know she wants to be friendly despite Brandi's tension with LeeAnne, as her BFF eyes the conversation from across the room. From the perspective of a fan and an analyst, I completely understand what Tiffany is doing in this episode. In order for a Housewives show to really work, the cast has to be cohesive and consistently interact with each other. So far this season, the 'Wives have been separated into two distinct camps, with Brandi, Stephanie and Cary on one side and LeeAnne and Tiffany on the other. By making an effort to build a relationship with Cary and reaching out to Brandi, Tiffany is attempting to cross into the opposite camp and make the show work. Will it blow up in her face? We're about to find out much sooner than you think. But for now, bravo Tiffany, thank you for making some moves.

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As the cocktail party continues, LeeAnne and Brandi circle the room, effectively avoiding each other. However, when Brandi and Stephanie meet Marie's friend Taylor Garrett, the A-List: Dallas alum is quick to bash LeeAnne and dish some damning gossip about the queen bee. Naturally, Brandi and Stephanie are quick to eat this story about LeeAnne getting so wasted she pooped her pants up, but to me it's clear that this Taylor kid is a wee bit desperate for camera time and that as hard as we try, the Dallas 'Wives simply can't move away from the disgusting potty humor. Either way, Brandi is sure this singular gay man at the party is destined to be her new BFF (sorry, Stephanie?) After all, nothing will bond people faster on reality TV than a shared mutual enemy. Brandi and Stephanie are quick to relay the gossip to Cary and then question Tiffany about it. Once again defending her bestie to the other women, Tiffany finds her back up against both a literal and proverbial wall. With both Cary and Stephanie behind her, Brandi relentlessly continues to bash LeeAnne to Tiffany, point blank calling her a "bitch" and accusing her of trying to turn Stephanie and Cary against her at brunch. 

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In an effort to play peacemaker, Tiffany goes straight to LeeAnne and brings her by hand over to the other women to mediate the conversation. However, Brandi starts the discussion off on the wrong note by sarcastically apologizing to LeeAnne for not respecting her as an elder and being a proper "Little Miss Manners," and snidely questions whether she should refer to LeeAnne as "Miss LeeAnne Locken." Brandi then proceeds to call LeeAnne out on her brunch with Stephanie and Cary. LeeAnne insists that asking her fellow 'Wives to meet wasn't done out of malicious intent, but Brandi counters that the queen bee is "full of sh**."  The argument then turns to the confrontation between the two during the premiere over Brandi's unflattering imitations of LeeAnne. Brandi claims she was coming from a good place when she attempted to apologize, while in the same breath insisting that she still thinks LeeAnne "needs help." 

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LeeAnne takes this dig in stride, pointing out that Brandi is over a decade younger than she is and doesn't know hardly anything about what she's gone through in life. However, the younger 'Wife is quick to accuse LeeAnne of blasting her life story all over the Dallas tabloids for everyone to know about. Wait. Dallas has its own tabloids? At this point, LeeAnne is visibly upset and invites Tiffany to put a stop to this insanity, but when Tiff insists she's trying to mediate, LeeAnne walks away and - with the rest of the 'Wives looking on in horror - throws her champagne down on the ground. As the glass shatters and wine gets on Cary's dress, Stephanie calls a departing LeeAnne's move "classy," which prompts the queen bee to turn back around and confront the blonde. According to LeeAnne, the thing that's classy is that Stephanie continues to stand up for Brandi, whom she terms a "little piece of sh** trash who can't keep her mouth shut," and she warns that Stephanie's position in the charity world will go "down the toilet" because of her association with the former Cowboys cheerleader. 

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With that, LeeAnne storms out of the party and only as she's angrily muttering about how much she doesn't care about "those three little bitches" do I realize just how fabulous her patterned jumpsuit is. She leaves the rest of the women standing around horrified and not knowing quite how to react. Inexplicably, Stephanie breaks down in tears because of the confrontation and vows that she's done with LeeAnne, claiming she can't be around so much craziness any longer. I'm not quite sure why Stephanie's the one who's crying when her bestie was the one who picked the fight with the first place, but the episode ends with an ominous "To Be Continued..." placard below Stephanie's teary face.

What did you think of this week's episode? Are you on Team LeeAnne or Team Brandi/Stephanie? Next week, the drama continues to spiral out of control...