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'Real Housewives of Orange County' recap: 'Under Construction'

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The Real Housewives of Orange County

TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
run date:
Reality TV

First up on this (rather dull) season premiere of The Real Housewives of Orange County, we check in on Heather Dubrow’s new house as the whole fam walks through. Plastic surgeon hubby Terry must’ve been real busy fixing botched surgeries over on his E! show and this whopper of a manse is proof. It’s so freaking big, the Dubrows have to teach their kids a new word: porte-cochere, which Google informs me is a coach gate or carriage porch, a.k.a. a pointless cover for the driveway that rich people build to show guests just how damn rich they are.  

The tour of the Dubrow’s compound continues, and the family mostly looks like ants walking around, given the camera angles/fact that this house may be made for giants. Heather’s a smidgen over budget, but “yes, I do need that $7,000 sink in the beauty salon,” she laughs in that way affected people do when they are designing their own home beauty salons. But this whole spending money building process is just killing poor Heather, who acknowledges these are indeed rich white girl problems. We pause to gaze out a balcony off Heather’s son’s room, long enough for Terry to label it the “pot smoking balcony.” (Well played, Terry.) Heather’s quick to admonish her beau, before dating herself by calling pot “hooch.”

Vicki Gunvalson and Shannon Beador have a bland dinner wherein we learn they use matching reading glasses for menus! And that Shannon is “trying to follow a yeast-free diet,” so she can’t have salad dressing! And that Brooks has moved in! Wait, that one’s actually kind of news. Go on, Vicki. “He has no assets, so he gets nothing if he moves out. It’s like a pre-nup without a nup,” Vicki says. Shannon’s supportive even though Vicki’s offspring aren’t, and we’re treated to a flashback of Vicki’s daughter Briana hammering home how crappy Vicki is at choosing a suitor.

In a total Housewife move, Vicki turns a negative surrounding her own life around on her dinning companion. “People say Brooks wasn’t great. But people change. They can evolve and grow. You and David are a perfect example of that,” Vicki backwards-compliments while Shannon just gulps and nods, stiffly. “You were on the brink of divorce and could’ve gone either way.” Shannon is still frozen and offers a flat “mmhmm” as a response.

Meanwhile, Eddie Judge takes a photo of wife Tamra’s fake breasts. “One’s higher than the other,” Eddie says, and it’s unclear if he’s kidding or not. It’s implied there’s a valid reason for this nudity—Tamra is about to go under the knife and have her chest augmented again—though we never hear why these particular photos are necessary. On the way to the operation, Tamra says she didn’t tell anyone. “You don’t know how to keep a secret,” says Eddie. Zing! “It’s not in my nature to think before I speak, so it’s a struggle,” Tamra shrugs at us. Don’t change, gurl.

Heather heads to dinner with Meghan Edmonds, the new housewife. Heather explains who she is: “Most people know Jim Edmonds as a hometown hero who played baseball for the Angels. Meghan is his third wife.” That’s pretty much all we need to know about this 30-year-old, who the producers have clearly thrown in the mix to make the older housewives jealous. What’s funny is that no one can say “Jim” without saying “Jim Edmonds.” Even the chyron for Meghan says “Jim Edmonds’ wife.” Dude’s like the opposite of Cher or Madonna; you contractually must use his full name or face a fiery pit of despair (situated behind the porte-cochere in some wing of the Dubrow’s new house).

Meghan wants kids, but Jim Edmonds had a vasectomy, so it would have to be in vitro, which Heather has done and knows all about. In fact, Heather’s got extra frozen embryos, so Meghan could, like, totally have one. The gals giggle about swapping fertilized eggs like they’re trading old Chanel bags. Then Meghan tells us she broke all of her rules for Jim Edmonds: “I promised I’d never marry a guy with kids; he’s got four. I said no more than 11 years older than me; he’s 14; and never a pro athlete. But then Jim Edmonds asked me on a date!”

NEXT: Let’s talk about Brooks[pagebreak]​

Meanwhile, Brooks is whipping up a salad with light ranch dressing, white bread, and cheese. Vicki swoops in to inform him he can have none of those things, since they are “what cancer likes” and Brooks most definitely has cancer, Vicki tells us. They need to get to her vacation condo in Mexico so Vicki and Brooks can “whoop it up.” It’s important to stay active, because if Brooks gets depressed, he will lose his will to live. “Once you lose the will to live, you die,” Vicki says matter-of-factly, though she does not cite which edition of the Physician’s Desk Reference states this.

At Jim Edmonds’ house, Jim Edmonds’ wife, Meghan, is standing beside Jim Edmonds as Jim Edmonds supervises their belongings being moved into their home. Meghan takes a break from not doing much to twerk for her 17-year-old stepdaughter, Hayley, who rightfully calls Meghan “embarrassing.” Life with Jim Edmonds has been rough, we learn. Meghan’s had to bounce between multiple condos, mansions, regular houses, and more types of housing between various cities and deserts across the country. Oh my. Thankfully, she has Jim Edmonds.

Meghan and Jim Edmonds are trying to have a conversation about scheduling. Well, Meghan’s trying. Jim Edmonds is more into sneering at Meghan every time she playfully interrupts his answers. “The best thing about being married to Jim Edmonds is he knows my soul,” says Meghan, without any trace of irony. Cut to Jim Edmonds reprimanding Meghan like she’s a puppy in need of better training.

Cut to Meghan barreling through a laundry list of sappy feelings she believes Jim Edmonds feels for her, ending with, “He completely respects me.” Cut to Meghan asking Jim Edmonds if she can ask Jim Edmonds a question. Not once does he look up from his phone, as he quips, “I’m listening. I can do two things at once…unlike someone else.” Making fun of your third wife must really win you points with your 17-year-old daughter, because Hayley laughs heartily at this.

Meghan’s big question: Can the trio get dinner “as a family!”? “That’s an obscure term,” Hayley snorts. Meghan’s a little overwhelmed that her step-kid is closer to her age than her husband (Jim Edmonds), but that must mean she’s a “cool step mom!” and she does the hashtag sign with her hands to illustrate her point. #Sigh.

Speaking of probably doomed marriages, Shannon and David Beador are still trying to work on their issues. If you watched last season for more than one nanosecond, you are aware that this marriage is not in a good place, so it’s not much of a surprise they’re continuing to do poorly. They’re off to a couples’ therapy retreat this weekend in a generic hotel, which was as boring to watch as it sounds.

There’s a (non) bombshell: David had an affair. “I caught him whispering to someone on the phone,” Shannon says through tears. “I suspected something was wrong, but I was told I was crazy or stupid and it was all upsetting.” On April Fool’s Day, David confirmed the affair after Shannon found hotel receipts. But divorce isn’t an option, she says. David’s take? “There was new life in me when I was having the affair, but the devastation it caused my family wasn’t good,” he says during therapy, pretty much admitting he didn’t regret doing it; only getting caught. Shannon admits she cries most days, though hopefully soon “I can process through this and look at it as a blessing one day soon.”

Tamra throws her son’s fiancee a baby shower, and tells us she and Vicki aren’t on good terms, “but Brooks has cancer, and I’m going to be a grandma. This is when we need to be together.” Tamra also says she’s going to keep her private life private from now on (aside from letting these cameras follow her around). We check in one final time with Shannon and David at therapy to see Shannon telling pictures of her parents how they failed and hurt her. The episode ends with Shannon tearfully admitting she’s neglected her kids at the sake of trying to save her marriage and that fact may hurt her most.

Do you think Brooks has cancer? What do you think about Shannon and David trying to work it out? How many times did I use “Jim Edmonds” in this recap? How do you think Meghan will fit in with the rest of the cast?