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'Real Housewives of Orange County': Mother knows best

January 15, 2010 | 10:43 am

Gretchen_rossi If the color-reading psychic dude from this episode had been around when I was younger, I never would have believed him if he said I'd be mildly obsessed with a show about a gaggle of wealthy (and tan) housewives.

On to the show ...

The episode mostly centered on the minor riff between Lynne and Gretchen. Basically, Ms. Gaudy Cuff-maker (aka Mama Bear) was peeved that Gretchen took Alexa shopping and, in the process, tried to have a therapy session. So Lynne and Gretchen took their dogs for a stroll to discuss the issue. And then they talked about it on the phone. And then they talked about it (again) over dinner. And, as always, Slade had to weasel his way into the situation. Why? Because it's what he does. Apparently he's an expert on the complexities of being a teenage girl. Glad Lynne finally said it: "he's a poser." I just wish she and husband Frank wouldn't have sat idly as Slade offered his expert opinion. 

But let's not give him too much thought. 

With the Florida trip over, a less-bitter Vicki decides to host a slumber party in an effort to bond with the ladies. I'm trying to play the game here. I understand this is a show. And I understand that, in order for it to work, these gals have to seem like they somewhat interact. But these forced get-togethers are causing me to suspend my disbelief more than I would watching an admitted scripted docu-series. 

But then I snapped out of it when I saw that Alexis, my favorite pious housewife, brought jello shots. Of course she did. Of course.  But I think I was more surprised that she was actually given permission by her husband to venture out into the world for a long period of time without him ... and then she revealed she wouldn't be sleeping over because, among other things, Jim doesn't know where the bowls are or how to change a diaper. Of. Course. 

When Alexis mentioned earlier in the episode that she basically feels the need to be "perfect all the time" when her husband is around, I saw a glimpse of her frustration with this marriage situation. There are hints of her desire to let loose -- you could hear it when she talked about the fun she had at Tamra's wig party. But her obsession with being perfect is stifling all that. Hopefully she'll listen to that color-reading psychic Doug, er, Dude, er, DOUGALL and have a "slob" dinner night.

But back to the slumber party ... When I heard that the ladies were going to toilet paper ex-housewife Jeana's house, I got even more excited! Finally, someone who'll say what I'm thinking! Nope. All we got was exterior shots of her house. And, really, was there a point to toilet-papering Jeana's house if her gardener is likely the one to have to clean it? Poor Jorge. 

And in this episode, tension between Tamra and Simon, though still present, is a bit muted. It's sad to hear her talk about how divorce can be avoided if they talk things out knowing that, since the season stopped filming, Simon has filed for a divorce (if you tune-in to "Watch What Happens," you got a bit more scoop about the situation from the housewife). But things this week dealt more with Ryan ... at the end of the episode he apologizes to Simon for using his car or something else I care nothing about. And Simon commends Ryan, saying, "the first step to becoming a man is realizing we all make mistakes and owning up to them ..." -- and that's when I switched channels to MTV's "Jersey Shore." Sure, there was only about one minute left, but still. I did it on principle. Between Slade and Simon, my tolerance for ridiculousness is waning.

Wait. That doesn't explain my viewing of "Jersey Shore" then, huh? 

So what did you think of the episode? Was Lynne overreacting to Gretchen's attempt to bond with Alexa? And are you excited about the return of "The Real Housewives of New York City"?

-- Yvonne Villarreal

Photo: Gretchen Rossi. Creit: Bravo