“Real Housewives”: What happens when their big fat fabulous lifestyles are over?

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Every once in a while, it’s nice to see some *reality* seep into the lives of Bravo’s “Real Housewives.”

Teresa Giudice's big fat fabulous life came to a screeching halt once Bravo cameras stopped rolling./Photo credit In Touch

And for some of these ladies, by *reality* I mean near financial ruin. You know, as in bankruptcy.

In addition to dropping money in the mall, Lynne Curtin decided plastic surgery was in the cards for her AND her teenage daughter./Photo credit Bravo

While I don’t derive any pleasure seeing the lives of these women come crashing down around them, watching them struggle – you know, like everyone else is doing these days – makes them a lot more relatable. And I sure find it fascinating to see how they handle it.

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A “Real Housewives” reunion to remember

Unbelievable! I thought that this season of “The Real Housewives of Orange County” was entertaining. It doesn’t hold a candle to last night’s reunion, which was so full of zingers that I’m relegated to doing a virtual play-by-play, a la “Lost.” Sorry this is so long, but it’s just sooo good:

real9:02 – What?? Jeana let her teenage daughter Kara get a boob job? “She was graduating from high school and that was what she wanted,” she says.

9:04 – Tamra tells host Andy Cohen she was going to bring him her old boob implants. “I’m going to sell them on eBay,” she declares.

9:06 – Lynne rings on the boob implant discussion: “If you had a flat tire on your car, wouldn’t you get a new tire?”

9:08 – The conversation turns serious when Andy asks Gretchen why she’s wearing her  $60,000+ diamond engagement ring since her fiance, Jeff, died in September. “I don’t feel right taking it off yet,” she says. Neither would I if I had a $60,000+ diamond ring. I’m just saying…

9:10 – Boy, this must be trash Lynne hour starring Vicki and Tamra! Lynne finally wakes up and retorts, “It would hurt my feelings – because I know they’re both rocket scientists over there.”

9:12 – Classic moment courtesy of Andy: “To clarify, Lynne, you’re not home smoking on a bong all day?”

9:13 – OMG! How can Gretchen not know who Florence Nightingale is? Or “All About Eve,” for that matter?

9:15 – Classic moment courtesy of Andy, part 2: “This is a no skank zone.”

9:17 – Jeana calls her date, Allen, from the season finale “a little geographically undesirable.” Drat! He was cute.

9:18 – Jeana is delusional about defending her son Shayne’s ridiculously hostile behavior toward her.

9:19 – Thank God! Andy totally calls her on it, asking why she always defends said bad behavior – especially when it’s directed toward her.

9:20 – “I try not to tell the children what to do,” Jeana says. Bingo! That’s your first problem!

9:22 –  Jeana, feeling on the defensive, decides to attack the weakest of the bunch – Lynne – when she says, “I had a Lynne moment.” Snap!

9:23 – Oh, boy. Here comes Lynne’s water works. Wait a sec – all those mean things Vicki and Tamra said about Lynne being dumb don’t upset her, but Jeana’s statement makes her cry?

9:24 – Jeana apologizes – sort of: “She didn’t expect that from me. I never pick on her.”

9:26 – Vicki to Lynne: “You’ve hurt my feelings a lot, too.” Who the heck is she kidding?

9:32 – Now it’s getting juicy: Andy asks pointed questions about Tamra’s *etiquette* party in which she and Vicki vow to get Gretchen “naked wasted.” I’m still not sure what the heck that means.

9:34 – Tamra pleads stupidity and blames booze. “I was the most ashamed and most embarrassed in my entire life,” she swears. Somehow, I don’t believe her. “I guess I’m a mean drunk.” Now that I agree with! So what’s her excuse the rest of the time?

9:37 – Gretchen, who’s been classy thus far, says she accepted Tamra’s apology.

9:40 – Waaahhh?? Gretchen’s got a boyfriend she’s been keeping on the side the whole time?

9:42 – Tamra gives  a long-winded explanation about some guy named Jay (or is it “J” as in Jeff?) calling her and threatening to out Gretchen about their relationship. Gretchen fesses up that she was with this guy at 1 a.m. after a party, but that he’s an ex-boyfriend who’s been harassing her.

9:43 – Tamra asks Gretchen if Jay was at Bass Lake with her. She cops to it, but says he’s a family friend and that nothing was going on. Hmmm, that seems kinda weird. Still, even if Gretchen had a boyfriend and the whole Jeff show was bogus, Tamra doesn’t have to be so darn mean.

9:44 – Snap again! Jeana’s on a roll. She says she saw Jay’s clothes laying on the floor… of Gretchen’s bedroom.

9:45 – “It’s all about moral character,” declares Tamra. Ha! Look who’s talking!

9:46 – Tamra to Gretchen: “You’re such a (expletive deleted) victim, aren’t you?”

9:50 – Lynne while watching video of her daughter Raquel, drinking and being a brat: “It looks like me when I was 17.” Shocking!

9:52 – Vicki says her kids are good, and that she would take their phones and cars away if they behaved like Raquel. You know, I believe her. And seriously, her kids are the best of the bunch. Wow, that’s quite a statement.

9:55 – Lauri’s back. (yawn) Josh is doing well… in jail, she reluctantly admits to a prying Andy. “I recognize my son again,” she says. Well, that’s a start I suppose.

orange19:58 – Dang! That shirt is hilarious!
Update: A real-life Jersey girl (that would be me – metiny1 born, bred and still resides) will blog live on Facebook beginning at 11 p.m. EDT Tuesday, May 12, during the premiere of Bravo’s “Real Housewives of New Jersey.” Come join me and share your thoughts as we meet these five women. Click here or look up my handle,  TV Blogger Ava Gacser, on Facebook. I look forward to seeing you!

“Real Housewives” offers a peek at a bleak future

I shudder to think what kind of future the children of  “The Real Housewives of Orange County” have to look forward to.

Credit Bravo

Credit Bravo

Over the course of the season, I’ve vacillated between disliking control freak/workaholic Vicki intensely because she’s simultaneously insecure and full of herself and actually admiring her – because of all the housewives,  her kids seem to be the least screwed up.

Case in point: Vicki’s son, Michael, is the first in her family to graduate from college. Her 22-year-old daughter, Brianna, is one of the only children of a housewife to have the makings of a respectable career, much less a job. Brianna has been working diligently in a hospital as part of her college training. But Vicki freaks out when Brianna tells her she wants to become an Army nurse and plans to enlist.

I understand her concern as a mother not wanting her child to go into war, but as Brianna points out, Vicki had several opportunities to sit down and explore things with the recruiter, and she flat-out rejected all of those meetings. Brianna points out, rather sadly and rightly so, that she was the only student present without a parent.

Evidently, it’s Vicki’s way or the highway.

By comparison, Lynn’s daughter, Raquel, hasn’t done anything since she graduated from high school over a year ago. She’s got no job, but her parents bought her a BMW for her birthday. Her parents let her drink alcohol in their presence. She has no aspirations in life and isn’t afraid to say so. When Lynn pushes her to get a job, Raquel accuses her of being mean. Her younger sister, Alexa, isn’t much better. Apparently she’s a closet smoker.

Then there’s Tamra, whose son, Ryan, is an utter goofball. The 22-year-old spends his time partying, settling on a career (car repairman, California Highway Patrolman) and then giving up after a few months, or trying to seduce one of the other housewives, Gretchen.

Shane, Jeana’s oldest, is perhaps the worst of the bunch. He’s rude, mean and downright abusive toward his mother. This 20something may be putting his all into his future career – as a minor-league baseball player – but he needs serious therapy to deal with the anger he exhibits toward the woman who birthed him. They say children learn behaviors from watching their parents, and if that’s the case, then Jeana’s ex-husband, Matt, needs to be hung out to dry. And Jeana herself needs to learn how to stand up to her son – regardless of the fact that he’s an adult and twice her size.

If, as Whitney Houston sings, these children are our future, then God help us all.
Update: A real-life Jersey girl (that would be me – metiny1 born, bred and still resides) will blog live on Facebook beginning at 11 p.m. EDT Tuesday, May 12, during the premiere of Bravo’s “Real Housewives of New Jersey.” Come join me and share your thoughts as we meet these five women. Click here or look up my handle,  TV Blogger Ava Gacser, on Facebook. I look forward to seeing you!

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