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'Real Housewives of Orange County': Making ends meet

Gretchen_rossi The original Housewives are back, and much has changed for the busty ladies of Coto de Caza.  Last week's season premiere (still can't believe that this is the fifth season!) showed us that Tamra and Simon are possibly going broke. Jeana ... well, she's closer than they are. Lynne is trying to keep her family afloat with those gaudy cuff contraptions. Gretchen ... well, she spends her days in her garage with her new manfriend, Slade. And Vicki, our favorite Wahoo! gal, is still living the life of luxury.

But when it comes to the drama, not much has changed.

At a staged dinner party, er, showcase of Lynne's cuff line, Tamra and Gretchen took the opportunity to unleash their claws. About what? Bad reputations and a vibrator with a cord? Slightly reminiscent of Alex from the "Real Housewives of New York," right?  Their fighting, though entertaining to watch (especially as Jeana tries to ease the tension by asking folks to pass the macaroni), is getting a bit tired. For it to garner a "to be continued" when, really, there wasn't much to "continue" was pushing it. 

Gretchen dealt with the stress from that night by having a tanning party the next day -- the only logical solution. I don't know what was a more awkward moment: when Lynne's 16-year-old daughter, Alexa, asked if she could drink a beer (even Gretchen found that weird) or when Slade, with only a sock hiding his unmentionable, hammed it up for the cameras as he got coated with tanning solution. Will someone please click the stopwatch and end his 15 minutes of fame? 

But the economic bust continued its guest-starring role in this week's episode.

Tamra told Vicki over lunch that Simon is getting his income solely from selling tequila. They pay $2,000 a month in property taxes alone on their home and are thinking of moving. Meanwhile, with the Orange County real estate market drying up, so has Jeana's lavish lifestyle. She's sold watches, cars and some art -- anything to make ends meet.  And she and daughter Kara, who now waits tables to pay for her apartment, have mostly ditched the high-end department stores for H&M discount shopping sessions. Total damage done in the shopping fete seen in this week's episode? Just under $200. A sizable difference than what we saw from Kim of the "Real Housewives of Atlanta" on her shopping sprees. How things have changed for the ladies. Gretchen even had a garage sale! Vicki, who seems to be the only one not affected greatly by the bad economy, took her mother and daughter to Italy, spending over $500 a night on their hotel room. And, I guess, Lynne isn't doing too shabby, given that she's considering getting herself a face lift and her daughter a nose job (getting into the issues with that requires a whole other blog post).

But there's a new housewife in the mix. Jeana is ditching the clan (as previews for next week's episode suggest) and a new blond, Alexis, will attempt to mingle with the brood. Tamra and Simon had dinner with Alexis and her husband, Jim. A very awkward dinner. The tension between Tamra and her ill-tempered hubby was more apparent than ever before. While Alexis and Jim were lovey-dovey (what is with her making him a plate of food? He has hands.), Tamra and Simon were bickering about nonsense. Is anyone else bothered that Simon seems to think Tamra should "obey" him? He married a woman, not a dog. He and Slade need a serious reality check. 

What are your thoughts on the return of the O.C. ladies? Will it be the same without Jeana? What do you think about Lynne considering letting her teen daughter get a nose job?

-- Yvonne Villarreal

Photo: Gretchen Rossi Credit: Bravo

Comments () | Archives (58)

I think Jeanna is too boring. She should go. She does not have much of a personality. Also, I would like to know if Tamra and Gretchen are really friends. I saw a twitter from Tamra to Gretchen that said "Are you getting my texts?" Whey are they texting if they are enemies? Lynne is a doormat of a mother. She has spoiled her kids rotten and now that are brats, don't want to work, and expect cars and plastic surgery. Since these episodes were months ago I would like to know if Tamra moved and are her and Simon still together. Also, what does Gretchen do for a living?

Lynne Curtin symbolizes everything that is wrong with the economy today. She was evicted not once but at least a few times (easy to look up on the County records). She skips on bills, the last landlord in the Capistrano house said that the last time he saw them was them running away at the local Taco Bell. How is she spending money and having a nose job, facelift unless it's free or paid by Bravo. If it's free, it should be taxed since a face lift costs about 10k and a nose job is about 5-7k (I don't know what premiums they have in Orange county but that's the general going rate). There's nothing nice about not intending to pay your rent (the landlord has to pay taxes and a mortgage) and yet shopping and spending money which you clearly don't have. Kara is a little smarter but her mom should have taught her to save the money but I guess then we wouldn't be watching if they were saving all the time. So it's really not wealth we were seeing being spent all these years but rather 'credit.'

The only reason I watch the REal Housewives from Orange County is because of Jeanna. She is the best of the lot. People criticize her for her tummy, but, how many of us look as good as she does. She is caring for other people, unlike the other housewives. For them it is all about themselves, never others. Don't leave Jeanna. You must be getting paid quite well for being on the show. If the Jon and Kate people were being paid l00K per episode what about you gals??? Anyway, that is my two cents worth.

Vickie needs to start excising--She has packed on a few to many pounds-as well as Jeanna--Tamara is a joke--why has she been acting like they have so much money and now they can't afford their house--its a joke and makes her look like a fool!

Jeanna was the only one I liked and though she allowed her kids to disrespect her was the only one that seemed to have fun. I will love to see someone take Vicki down a notch or two. She is mean, fake, and generally unenjoyable.
Tamara is pretty much a bitchy clone of Vicki, and Simon thinks he's better than her. They all make me happy to be poor and just a regular person (sort of)

I think these ladies are sick. Tamra is just plain white-trash (I actually hate that term, but you know what I mean), uneducated, constantly using bad grammer (I shoulda went, him and me, etc.), and is obviously full of envy for any woman who might exceed her low-class style. Vicki is about as bad, although she doesn't use bad grammer. Her way of dressing shows her fat body, her low-class level, and she's a huge snob and gossip. These two believe they're way above any of the other ladies. Gretchen, poor thing, has a bad background, but she seems to be sweet. Jeana was the only one I ever actually liked on this horror show. She was gracious with everyone, kind, and sympathetic. Vicki has dumped her for no apparent reason, except for aforementioned snobbiness. Tamra is by far the worst of all. Now she has no money, but still believes she's 'holier than thou' because she stays home and takes care of her children. Give me a break! She is nothing and now she has nothing. Vicki needs a course in how to treat human beings like they have as much right to be on the planet as she does. She's disgusting! And the horrible things she and Tamra say about the other housewives is unbelievable. Thankfully, I've never known woman like these two.

I liked Jeanna. She was the only one who seemed "real." I was hoping she would leave on a happy note rather than a struggling note, but I respect her more than the other ones. Which in all fairness isn't that high of a distinction.

Jeana said shooting the series took a lot of time - time she could have spent trying to sell houses. She and the producers couldn't agree on an agreeable payment, so she left.

I love Jeana, and I'm going to miss her on the show.She was the only "real" one!

Jeana was the only normal-ish one on the show. She may have been boring, but that's because she was not psychotic. We all know Tamra will be bummed to have another hotter-than-her chick on the show. A new enemy, perhaps? Gretchen may have levied her looks to get a rich old man, but isn't that what they are all doing, essentially? Vicki is horrible, but she supports herself. The rest of them have to keep up the orange plastic-ness so they can have nice things. Lynne's kids will all end up with plastic surgery. Looks (albeit fake and occasionally scary) are all those people have got.

I've always liked Jenna....she still seemed to have some midwest values. I do feel for her, she put up with a husband who treated her like crap for way too many years. Her kids seem good. Lynne drives me nuts, Gretchen not sure about, Tamara keeps saying how she knows what it's like to be dirt poor, but doesn't seem to be doing anything to keep her away from getting there once again. Vicki has her moments, but at least she works her tail off and doesn't just sit back around complaining about the economy and trivial crap.

I am really sad to see Jeanna go. She was a "real" classy lady. Tamra could benefit from some intense counseling and "a mirror" (and not for her appearance!!)... Gretchen is a riot!!! After Jeana goes I will continue watching simply because Gretchen is on the show... (Bravo... give HER her own show). She is fun loving and doesn't care what anyone thinks about it..(way to go)... Vicki... what can I say? She needs a attitude adjustment!!! If someone offered me a free trip to the place of my choice and I found out Vicki was the special guest... well, I would certainly decline!!! Lynne is all show and no depth... She has her priorities so jumbled that I am surprised she makes it out of her driveway without help... Absolutely no substance.. No wonder she puts so much importance on her body... That is about all she has going for her (and we all know that is temporary).

how did gretchen's 'boyfriend' have tamra's cell #////

I find Vicki to be awful...she has gained quite a bit of weight, she and Tamara are hippocrits and nasty

I love watching all the drama, it is so obvious Tamara is so jealous of Gretchen. Gretchen is younger, smarter, and has so much more potential. Tamara is a tired and older wanna-be, on her second marriage and running out of money, does she wish she were young again and have her years back to be like more like Gretchen? With all the great hairstyles on the show Tamara needs to fix her hair she looks like a wreck half the time. Sorry to see Jeanna go she could of been so much more interesting than she is but she seems to have lost something. Can't wait to see the rest of the season and how it plays out.

Jeana is the only one of them that is decent,,and now that she is leaving, I won't watch anymore. The others are a bunch of fakes, and money-hungry losers.
Vicki is obnoxious,,and needs to take a long hard look at herself, Tamra is just plain disgusting, and Gretchen, shouldn't even be on...who's wife is she?!

I think Jeana is the best on orange county housewifes. Vicky brags about working working to give her family all..But she is the kind you don't want to be on a deserted island with because she is the horder type. Only thinking of herself and money money money. Her and Jeana were like the closes in 1st season. Now when Jeana is at a low like so many in the world with the economy, all of a sudden she is not good enough for her to be in the show. Who in the world does Vicky think she is..but a horse face....Vicky's the type to kick a friend when they are down.. I notice she doesn't like Gretchen but they show her on a adventure with her in swamp land yelling about gators....... What a two face is Vicky there.

I'll hate to see Jeana go. She seems to be a kind person who doesn't like to hurt peoples feelings.Gretchen lies too much, Vicki is too controlling. Her Mother didn't want to go on that trip to Italy,so why did she ask her.Donn probably would have liked to go, but she doesn't really think of his feelings.Even though she's better than she was. Keep your eyes open Vicki, a good man is really hard to find!Lynne is raising spoiled children. She has to get tough with them.If she isn't careful her young daughter can really be trouble. and no means no and NO drinking!!!!Tamra should tighten her belt and realize that this economy means drastic changes.She should try to make peace with Simon.I know when things get bad financially you have a tendency to snipe at each other. I know because i'm going through the crisis of my life.Try to talk to each other and seek counseling if need be.And Tamra, don't be jealous of others.You're pretty and have a nice family.Count your blessings.There's too much nastiness in this show.I'm waiting for the NYC Housewives.They have their problems but they're not so down and dirty!

I was really offended with the shot of Slade in the tanning booth,it like Gretchan was pornographic and made me sick.If she (Gretchan) really did all the things Tamara said,or even half,she is a pig.Tamara like Lynn live in La La land,Vickie is ugly ,but at least she hadn,t relied on her looks to survive,so she will survive,the others,even Jeanna,from the beginning looked and acted like over the hill pole dancers.

I'll miss Jeanna. In fact, I'll probably stop watching. Bravo hit the mark with Vicki. Finding a housewife that everyone loves to hate. Oh yes, Vicki has really added a wide "behind". Vicki needs to know that getting a nursing degree takes 3 years not 7. So her daughter did what she was supposed to do not not prolonging getting a degree in 7 seven years, she must think the viewers are as dumb as she is (Vicki that is) Jeanna was the best. She gave some reality to the show. Godspeed Jeanna!

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