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'The Real Housewives of Orange County' recap: Mean girls night

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Last night’s teasers for the new New York season were cruel ones. It’s time to ditch the west coast’s sherbet-colored ruching and spackled lips and head east.  When Slade starts giving parenting advice (“hopefully you get it,” he sneered condescendingly to a fuzzy-eyed Lynne) you know the season has run aground.

Lynne’s face came this close to changing expression when she announced her irritation at Gretchen’s meddling in her daughter’s affairs. Gretchen was hellbent on the fact that the young, spoiled girl was heading down a road toward drugs and depression. Gretchen, who refused to give up her Alexa chew toy, revealed that when she was a teenager she herself had bulimia because her parents never listened to her. So she can spot the signs of troubled youth! Lynne insisted that her daughter was fine, and that they talk all the time, and please, they’re like the best of friends, and they even wear the same jean size, and they work out together, so how could there possibly be a problem? Alexa is an actress! It’s her period! Hormones, you know! Lynne is a dippy shell of a grown woman — “did anyone else walk through the screen door?” — but even she can go on the offensive. In her low battery monotone she wondered if Gretchen (she of tequila infamy) and Slade (Slade!) ought to consider themselves parenting experts. Meow! That ding dong has some ring in her.

Meanwhile, Alexis needed a break. It can be exhausting telling two nannies what to do all day, y’all. So she went with her girlfriend and got a massage. (So many massages on this franchise! Surely the producers would have realized by now that a spa date does not good TV make.) Alexis felt like she was bonding well with the Housewives, particularly Tamra. They both have the same values, they both wear bejeweled cross necklaces, and their marriages are rock solid. (Uh oh, Alexis!) She actually was looking forward to Vicki’s little girls’ slumber party. She could sneak a glass of wine and not worry about Jim smiting her from across the room. “When your husband’s there you have to be so on, so perfect all the time,” she said. If the image of Jim grounding her for sneaking a shot of tequila wasn’t desperate enough, we later learned that the man has not once, in the course of three young children, ever changed a diaper. The man has never changed a diaper. Not one diaper. Three kids. Not even a pee diaper.

At the slumber party — at which no one slept over since Vicki basically kicked everybody out—the ladies played nice with each other. Nothing bonds a bunch of bitches like turning their hostility outwards. Somehow everyone decided that Jeana deserved her comeuppance so they all donned frightening masks and toilet papered the house of the former Housewife. Vicki hired a clairvoyant named Dougall, who couldn’t conceal his derision for the five women before him, and he bragged that he’d been reading peoples’ colors since he could stand up in his crib. He shushed the ladies and dubbed them various shades of emerald green or blue or orange. He doesn’t like Slade for Gretchen. (He too remembers season 1).  He thinks Alexa is too much of a perfectionist and should dedicate one night a month to a dinner where everyone throws bread rolls at Jim’s head. He thinks Lynne needs to practice putting bigger words together. Vicki needs to know that despite her touching vows renewal, she needs to work on being kinder to Donn. (Oh Vicki, I love ya dear but you shooed poor Donn out of the house with your crazy eyes again.) And Tamra, who looked like she was going to cuddle in her little Dougall-bug’s lap after he called her both smart and pretty, needs to own her power. Also, her troubled son will not die a young death, but rather find salvation in the real estate market. Happy ending!

Speaking of Ryan, suddenly his hairline looked less odd and he was acting a lot less weaselly. Dare I say the boy was halfway bearable. He got a job. He managed an apology for Simon. He pitied the family’s pink-tailed dog who had recently suffered through a visit to the “shalon.” And when Tamra invited him to stay over for dinner he looked around and sensibly declared  “Uh, I’m going to go hang out with… some people.”  This struck me as a perfect getaway line should any of ever be stuck in the same room with an O.C. Housewife. (Except for Vicki, who I want to get me some insurance. And possibly Tamra.)

Next week: Alexa goes missing. Lynne tells herself that her daughter is merely on a Kotex run. Alexis fluffs Jim’s manhood by pretending another woman was hitting on him.

What did you all think? Since when does Ryan not act like a douche? Can you forgive the TP episode? Not one diaper?