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'Real Housewives of Orange County': reality check

February 12, 2010 |  7:43 am


When we left off last week, a sleepy-eyed Raquel was greeted at the door of her family's home by a stranger and an eviction notice. This week, viewers got to see Raquel multi-task as she angrily phoned her mother while simultaneously flipping off the camera (demonstrating that even a slightly blurred shot still makes for good TV). Now it was the parents that had some explaining to do. It seems Frank failed to inform Lynne about the hefty security deposit (a whopping $10,000 -- wowzers!) on the Laguna Hills rental. Imagine how many cuffs Lynne would have to hawk to pay that off! There aren't enough wrists in Orange County.

An understandably upset Lynne (though, since the surgery, it's getting more difficult to decipher her emotions based on facial expressions), confronts Frank about the matter at a nearby park. Yes, he kept her in the dark. And yes, that probably wasn't the best decision. But Frank's diagnosis explains the predicament: They've been living beyond their means. The champagne taste on a beer budget will eventually leave your wallet hung over. Wonder if there's an adult-ologist to whip them into shape, 'cause that padded envelope certainly didn't serve as a wake-up call as we saw later in the episode.

From financial problems to health problems ... we see things in "Housewives" land get a little too real. In Thursday's episode, we learn that Briana, Vicki's 22-year-old daughter, has developed a cluster of nodules -- "the size of grapes" -- in her neck. The growths could be cancerous. Despite the sarcastic tone of this post, there's nothing funny about that. Sending good thoughts Briana's way.

Back to the ladies ...

Another so-called gals trip is planned, this time a shopping fete in San Francisco. Vicki's going -- despite the drama from the housewarming party. Gretchen's going. Tamra's going. Even Ms. I-can't-be-away-from-my-husband Alexis was on board. Sure, she made sure to check to see if it was OK. Anyone else think she looked like an employee taking her boss' orders in his home office? (Also, a side note: what is up with the fuchsia getup she's rockin' in the one-on-one interviews? I've tried to ignore it for weeks. But when my mom pointed out its hideousness, I knew it had to be bad. It's like a couture muumuu with oddly placed slits.) Jim (gasp!) encourages her to "go have fun." She sure didn't need a lot of convincing because she scurried out of there in her skimpy shorts like someone just told her the gym was open. I'm waiting for the revolution to happen.

Anyway ... Lynne also made the trip, despite her home issues. I get it. The flight was paid for. Hotel, booked. But was buying that leather getup really necessary? When you've just been given an eviction notice, you should be charging your energy (from all the places you won't be going), not your credit card. If the shopping addiction just had to be fed, put on a pair of oversized sunglasses and make your way to Ross or the Dollar Tree. No one has to know.

During the gals' outing (No, really. I'm not being sarcastic. The guys didn't crash this time), my tolerance for Alexis was again tested. I don't doubt that she's a sweet person. Really. But there's only so much I can take without yelling at my TV. Her conversation with Jim in the office: I cringed, but there was no angry twitch. When she brought up the "snoring" incident with Gretchen over drinks, the eyes started rolling (Get over it. Vicki fake-snored. Sure, it was rude. But it's no different from my actual snoring, from hearing the story). The sight of the fuchsia blouse/muumuu/hospital gown: Fists were clenched. But all the phone chitchat at the dinner table drove me over the edge. It didn't help that her cellphone looked like it had been dipped in jewels. Forget the spitting out of the food. All those baby-voiced coos of "honey" and "baby" got my own gag reflex going. The jury is still out on whether her tender encouragement -- "Baby, go take a bath like a good boy" -- was meant for James Jr. or James Sr. Thoughts?

But for some reason, Vicki's phone affair at the table the next day didn't bother me. Maybe because her phone wasn't encrusted with gemstones?

So, Show Trackers, what did you think of this week's episode? What are your thoughts on Frank keeping Lynne out of the loop on their finances? Anyone else shout, "Hey! that's Bethenny's ("Real Housewives of New York") drink?" when Alexis ordered a Skinnygirl Margarita? Though the ingredients seem to be different. And am I the only one who thinks Alexis' fuchsia blouse looks like the kind of Project Runway design that Heidi Klum would have said "auf Wiedersehen" to?

--Yvonne Villarreal Photo: Lynne Curtin, Alexis Bellino, Tamra Barney. Credit: Bravo