On the season premiere, Tamra and Gretchen (wasted, but not naked wasted) give each other the evil eye.

By Karen Valby
Updated March 07, 2011 at 02:31 PM EST

The Real Housewives of Orange County

S6 E1
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Oh Tamra. Tamra, Tamra, Tamra. You can take the back tattoo off the girl but you’ll never rob her of her scene-hogging, occasionally endearing bitchiness. The bleachest of our blondes is determined to make this season all about her—and her bath tub, and her court papers, and her resolve to shove Jeana into a pool—though she’ll get a close race from Gretchen Christine. With her Beautay line off and running, Gretchen wants to expand into hand bags and then world domination. (Take it away Vicki! “I’m buying Gucci, Prada, Louis Vuitton. I’m not buying Gretchen hand bags.”) Bad news, queasy stomachs. Gretchen is still with Slade. And, good grief, she’s with him for the sex.

It’s been a rocky hiatus for our Coto de Caza girls. Tamra is going through an ugly divorce, though with the help of a virile self-made man from Guadalajara. Alexis was forced to downsize both home and help, and must now make do with only one nanny four days a week. Plus, she’s got a biter. Gretchen may or may not have developed a drinking problem. Also, her hand bags are dumb. Vicki spent much of the episode assuring us that she and Don were better than ever after last season’s recommitment to one another, though her sad eyes and Don’s sniping at her while they moved furniture suggested otherwise. And don’t think she’s forgiven Tamra for last season’s cattiness. Look for scenes of bitter accusations and sloppy apologies between these two in coming episodes. And Lynne, who was apparently not picked up for Season 6, must now try to pay off debts without the help of a Bravo paycheck. Good news, there’s a new sexy lesbian friend/trainer Fernanda who looks ready to party/make out.

What is a season premiere without some burning flesh? Tamra paid a visit to the very legit-sounding Dr. Tatoff to rid herself of the candy pink script bearing Simon’s name around her ring finger. This would have been a good move regardless of any divorce proceedings. After the lasers seared her finger with little result, Tamra flipped over like a fish and let the assistant have a go at her back. Throughout the good Doc just stood there in a suit spouting terrifying cheers from the wings. “Last one, we’re just going to blaze through it!” (Hey Doc? I’ve got these ridiculous Chinese symbols leftover from ’96 on the back of my neck. Call me!)

Now in biblical terms, laser removal and divorce are not something people are supposed to do but Alexis is going to let Tamra take that up with G-O-D. They’re still friends (were they ever friends?) though their bond can’t compete with the one Alexis and Gretchen have forged in the off season. These two are so cute. They take limos to get their drink on. Gretchen makes fun of Alexis’ accent and her A-mex card. Alexis teases Gretchen about the fact that she lays around in bed all morning like a little, childless Princess. Whoa, whoa, whoa, hold up a second. Nobody calls Gretchen a princess and gets away with it. Especially when she’s drank a half a bottle of tequila.

NEXT: The Real Evil Bitches of Orange County should’ve switched to water.

Gretchen Christine came to the party–hosted by Tamra and racks and racks of bedazzled workout clothes—looking for a fight. She used that laugh of hers like a fully automatic, popping off cackles like rounds. First she made some lame dig that she needed to wear a tacky evil eye baseball cap to ward off Tamra. (Of course Tamra spun this rather weak insult into a full-frontal attack in an obvious attempt to recast herself as the victim.) Then Gretchen wouldn’t lay off Brad, the shirtless bartender. “Too bad he wasn’t pantless too…” Pause to endure her laughter and knee slaps. Then she turned on Alexis for the princess comment and wouldn’t stop yapping about it for the rest of the evening. Then she called Tamra an evil bitch. Then she got pissed at her assistant, who clearly thinks her boss is ridiculous, for deigning to chat with Tamra about some eBay venture. Then, if there really is a G-O-D, she passed out and let everyone ride home in peace. Speaking of prayers, when Alexis paused to admire Fernanda’s banging body, did anybody else put their hands together and wish for a scandalous subplot this season?

Where was Vicki in all of this? She was at work. She works, you know. She showed up late to the party and told Tamra to get some balls on, whatever that means. Mercifully, she was trying on some tunic while the ladies kerfluffled out on the patio. But her mere presence at the party was a comfort to me. She’s the original. All is right in the Housewives world if her large, wet eyes are rolling somewhere on set. And she spoke for the world—”blalalalalalalalalalalalala!”—when Gretchen started talking about sex with Slade.

On this season of the Real Housewives of Orange County: New Housewife alert, level orange. And this one is packing.

Well friends, what say you? Was Gretchen always this bad of a bad drunk? Was it refreshing to see a Real Housewife put a Real Child in a time-out? Wasn’t it odd seeing the normally good-natured Don snap at Vicki? And who here is strangely devastated that these two end up separating? What was more obnoxious—Tamra’s pink crystal encrusted iPhone case or the ridiculous plumage on Gretchen’s off-the-shoulder red sweater?

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The Real Housewives of Orange County

Bravo turns its cameras on California’s ladies who lunch (and shop, and tan, and get plastic surgery, and bicker…)
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