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What I Watched Last Night

The Real Housewives of Orange County has returned for another season loaded with pregnant questions for diehard viewers like me who can't get enough of this show despite its validation of society's sick fascination with the rich. That's because the show serves an alternative validating value: Repeated viewings verify the fact that the rest of us might not be as beautiful and wealthy as the "housewives" featured here, but we get weekly proof that we're much smarter, cooler and better people than these self-absorbed half-wits with horrendous taste.

These women, in fact, have nothing to offer society except to show how not to wear your hair over 40 and that bragging about how much money you have is klassy.

But sometimes it's fun to scratch the surface and get more surface. Let's take a look.


The season opened with Vicki beaming with pride over the fact that she's buying her daughter, Briana, a car. Not just any car, of course, but a Mercedes Benz complete with a big red bow and a $275 monthly payment for the full-time nursing student.

"I just bought it for you and you're going to make the payments!" squeals Vicky in a voice that could crack the Arctic Ice Shelf.

Unlike the rest of the unspoiled planet, Briana is less than thrilled. Chalk it up to Vicki's major control issues; the Mercedes is just another way to force Briana to start paying her own way. Plus, the new models are probably out already.

The other source of mother-daughter is more pedestrian. Briana wants to go to Washington with her boyfriend to see the Dave Matthews Band. Like any good mother, Vicki puts the kibosh on that one. Who would let their kid go to a Dave Matthews show?

Vicki's objection, though, is downright kooky: She doesn't want her daughter going on a trip with a boy. Did I mention that Briana is 20? That's right, the same age as many a college junior in her third year living - and screwing - away from home.


Lauri is about to jump headfirst into Marriage Number Three with uber-Republican George. There's something unsettling about George. I think it's because he never wears a tie and never tucks in his shirt. This was his look when he went to a fund-raiser for his hero, Mitt Romney, in Season Two. But like most of the men featured on this show, he has a crap-load of money and never seems to work. Also, these men have never spied a razor and view the act of shaving as plebian. It's like they're all trying to be so street and hip but they just end up looking like posers who drive really big, ugly cars.

While Lauri and George are planning their nuptials, George's daughter McKenzie is about to graduate from high school. She admits that all OC teens are spoiled but that doesn't stop her from wanting a trip to South Beach as her graduation present. Aim higher, McKenzie. Uganda would be a step up - the people are better fed - and you could actually do some good there, like help sick children.

After initially denying McKenzie her dream, Lauri and George give in and announce that McKenzie can go with her pals and Lauri's oldest, Ashley, as chaperone. I think we all know how this is going to turn out. This is what's known as foreshadowing.


Former Oakland A's pitcher Matt Keough plays a cameo role in Housewives as the man most often disappearing into locked rooms or driving away from home because he's trapped in a marriage to a wife (Jeana) he can't stand.

His kids are a mess, too. Shane plays ball and has mastered the art of being a major douche bag. Colton has serious mommy-issues and is desperately trying to get Jeana’s attention. He's also a schoolyard pugilist who has already busted a few bones along the way.

Colton also seems to lack the empathy gene. He made his sister Kara cry last week when he skipped her high school graduation but can't for the life of him figure out why she's so upset. He wouldn't care if she skipped his graduation, you see. Maybe because he doesn't plan on having one.

Lo and behold, Matt didn't make it to Kara's graduation either because he was with Shane on his baseball quest. "That's Matt's legacy," Jeana explains.

Amazingly, Kara is apparently a dynamite student who will be attending Berkeley in the fall. She knows she's in for a culture shock. This is what's known as foreshadowing.


The two kids who have turned into sympathetic characters are Megan and Lindsey. Their dad, Lou Knickerbocker, died in April and left nothing for his children. He didn't have insurance or a will and everything went to his mail order Thai wife. Now, Megan and Lindsey are on their own and are genuinely worried about their future.

And they should be.

Lou promised them he'd take care of them and that they'd never have to work a day in their lives. Um, oops. Angina's tough.

They're living in an apartment above their mom's garage with Megan's two huge pit bulls. Neither have an education or employable skills. The Thai wife kicked Lindsey out of her father's house and now Megan wishes there was a way she could get her deported.

This is what's known as foreshadowing.


On a happier note, a new housewife, Tamra has been added to the mix. However, she lives in Ladera Ranch, not the infamous Coto de Caza. Quelle Horreur! Tamra's saving grace is she has all the prerequisites that make a good OC wife: The Double-D's, the overly dyed blonde lid, those horrid nails, the bling and the Botox.

But Tamra is special since, according to her, she's the hottest housewife in Orange County. Glad she settled that argument since the viewers were probably getting their knickers in a twist over who to choose.

Tamra is - surprise - a Realtor like some of the other Coto wives. In fact, it seems like the "housewives' work more than the husbands in this show, though Tamra's husband, Simon, is a Mercedes-Benz salesman.

The oldest of Tamra's three kids, Ryan, is a product of her first marriage. Ryan doesn't like rules. And he and Simon clashed so badly that Ryan had to move out. Now Ryan is returning to the house and Simon has already sat him down and handed him a written set of rules that Ryan in no way is going to follow. It's a startling dramatic triangle given that Ryan loves his mother so much he had "Forever Grafeful" tattoed across his chest to show his appreciation for her.


Most disappointing is the absence this season of Jo and Slade.

But, you know, there's always plenty of other idiotic losers to choose from in Coto. In that respect, they are different than you and me. At least that's what I come away believing very week. That and the maddening fact that they have all that money.


Here's what we watched last night, how about you? Submissions welcome.


Posted on November 13, 2007

MUSIC - Chief Keef Changed The Industry.
TV - Vizio's Best Product Is You.
POLITICS - UIC: Soda Taxes Work.
SPORTS - More McCaskey Malpractice.

BOOKS - All About Poop.


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