If you were here with me for the last season of Real Housewives of Orange County you know I have a really hard time keeping the blondes straight in my head, and to some degree really caring too much about the show. I do not really keep up with the gossip over the off-season and I don’t have a reliable source for exclusive tea. So it may surprise you that I am very excited for this season after reviewing the first episode. Rather than recap it before y’all have seen it, I’m going to give you the rundown on the castmates and my general reaction to season 8.
The first episode seems to have a common theme. We are used to the ladies standing the friends chart on its ear every few episodes, but what struck me about the first episode and the previews, is the disharmony under everyone’s own roof. Let me run through the list of ladies and tell you who seems to be starting off as friends with whom and more importantly about the problems with their home life, because everyone has some major issues going on.
Before we even get started with the OG, Vicki, we might as well address her new face. Vicki has a new nose (cartilage reconstruction), new cheeks (fat injections) and a new chin (chin implant). She pretty much says she did it so people would stop saying she looks like porky pig. I think she looks fine both ways. What I personally found disturbing is the huge caterpillar-like eyelashes she wears in her talking heads. It’s really all I could focus on.
Vicki is not good at living alone. She’s always been
a helicopter mom close to Brianna so since Brianna is having a baby and Ryan is going to be deployed, Brianna and Ryan and eventually Troy move in with Vicki. This would have worked better if Ryan had actually been deployed during filming. But he wasn’t. In the season previews he calls Vicki a bitch. That would be a HUGE issue for me if I were Brianna. But Brianna is seen threatening to move out if Vicki continues to date Brooks. So basically no one is getting along in that household.
Vicki’s Friend List: Alexis and Heather But, I predict Tamra will be on her chart again by episode 2. When Lydia arrives she will be friends with Vicki Enemy List: Gretchen (maybe)
In her second season, Heather gets the task of hosting the first “party” that is one of those all-in sort of affairs designed for drama. Heather does not invite Alexis. Vicki lets Alexis know about the “clam bake” that she is not invited to. The clam bake is pretty much episode two, but the premiere will have lots of lead up. The interesting things about Heather on the first season is when talking to Terry, she mentions “the girl who ate the bow off her cake”, Sarah Winchester. It seemed odd to bring that up, so it would not surprise me if we see Sarah this season. But what was most problematic, was Heather’s interactions with Terry. I really liked Heather on her first season; however, seeing how she talks to Terry on the first episode reminded me of Adrienne and Paul. They will have marital problems this season, in part because Heather is offered a couple of sitcoms that could disrupt the flow of the household. But I sense that these two are going through a rough patch.
Heather’s Friend List: Vicki, Tamra, Gretchen. Enemy list: Alexis. Big time. Lydia perhaps later.
Tamra has moved in with Eddie Judge with her three youngest children. Tamra is having some conflict with Eddie since they all moved in together. Tamra wants to make the house her own. Eddie has some pretty OCD housekeeping rules. Tamra is starting to think that Eddie is a bit controlling, mostly because she wants to redecorate his former bachelor pad. There is conflict in the relationship and Eddie is going to drag his feet about getting married this season. Tamra also claims that Alexis wants to sue her for calling her Jesus Jugs. What would a season be without threats of lawsuits?
Tamra’s Friend List: Gretchen and Heather. right now. Vicki, Alexis and Lydia later. Enemy List: Unclear for now, but I suspect Gretchen will end up here eventually. Two “friends” planning weddings at the same time never ends well.
Gretchen and Slade are living together. Slade has a job as a DJ this season so Gretchen has had to hire an assistant to help her with marketing. She also seems unable to take care of herself with Slade out of the house. I predict Slade being so focused on his own career will be an issue in their relationship. Also, Gretchen wants to have a baby and it looks like she may need to eat a lot of yams or seek some other fertility method. Her wedding plans will be a major storyline as well.
Gretchen’s Friends List: In episode one she is good with Tamra and Heather. Enemy List: Frankly, I am not sure anyone really has Gretchen’s back this season. I feel like everyone except maybe Heather ends up having a falling out with her. It will start with Tamra reconciling with Vicki…
Allison Edmonds was supposed to replace Alexis but she backed out at the last minute so Alexis is back. I for one am glad. I am in the minority that actually likes Alexis and Jim. Remember when I told you that there were problems in everyone’s homes? Well on Alexis’s talking head, she makes it very clear that there are no problems in her home. Which is of course total bullshit. She will try to cover her marital problems but there is a seething undercurrent. Like for example when she mentions on the first episode that she is no longer working on her fashion line or a the news station because she wants to devote more time to Jim and the kids.
Alexis’s Friend List: In the first episode it is basically just Vicki. However, I expect some editing miracle resulting in nearly everyone befriending her again. Or at least being cordial. Alexis’s Enemy List: For now, everyone except Vicki. But eventually just Heather and Gretchen.
Lydia is not on episode one. Lydia did not have an intro on the press cut. HOWEVER, the intro on the press cut was last years intro and I expect it to be updated by the show. I would have assumed Lydia was just a “friend of the housewives” but on the Bravo site they refer to six housewives and Lydia has a cast bio. She is also in the press pictures. So I expect to see her holding an orange if not by the first episode then shortly thereafter. Lydia knows Alexis and is brought in as a friend of Alexis. Actually, Alexis used to live across the street from Lydia when Alexis was renting. Alexis informs us on episode one that she has purchased a house. I don’t think Lydia is really that tight with Alexis. She will be her ally on the show because they are both
Jesus Freaks very religious. However, Lydia gets into it with Alexis here and there.
Lydia’s Friend List: Alexis, Vicki, Tamra Lydia’s Enemies list: Heather and Gretchen probably.
Lauri is back as a friend of the housewives. She does not appear on episode one. I do not think she is going to make many friends during her limited return. She is being brought back to stir the pot.
The first episode is more setting the stage for the season than anything. I really liked it. It gave me the chance to figure out who is allied with who (at least for now) and I am excited about the season. Currently, I like all the cast members (I am not sure I will like Lydia) so for all the haters…you may not like my recaps unless something changes.
So who is going to watch Monday? The Season 8 Premiere is Monday at 8 pm on Bravo.