Monday, March 15, 2010

The 'Un'Real Housewives of Orange County



I’m innately aware of the irony in this post before even writing it. Why would a person such as me, who is so completely anti reality television in all forms, write a post about a show as repugnant and gratuitous as “The Real Housewives of Orange County”, let alone watch the show in the first place? Simple – the cast members are my neighbors in South OC (literally one of them lives about 200 yards from my house) so I felt it my civic duty to tune in and investigate how they’re representing the community in which I live. Are you buying this shit? Me neither. What can I say? We all have guilty pleasures in our lives and this show is one of my guiltier ones. And having watched this asinine program for the better part of five years now I’ve begun to think of the cast members more as clinical subjects on display for my amusement than actual people living actual lives (think bitchy rats clawing at one other in a large, shiny cage). I’ve actually run into several of the ladies (I use the term loosely) in person on more than one occasion (shopping at the grocery store, eating out at local restaurants, and attending events at my kid’s elementary school) and each time I can’t help but wonder if they’re as despicable and shallow in real life as the “characters” they play on TV. What follows is my amateurish psycho-analysis of each of the housewives along with some general observations about their family members. Bear in mind I’m no more a doctor than Oprah’s glorified puppet boy “Dr.” Phil, but if you watch the show I think you’ll find that my analyses are largely spot on. This post will no doubt offend each of the housewives and their family members (as it probably should), but you know what? Tough shit - if they didn’t want to be scrutinized by an internet blog hack like me they shouldn’t have volunteered for this train wreck of a social experiment in the first place. It’s not like anybody put a gun to their heads and forced them to try out for the show, and once on the show nobody ever said they had to behave like vacuous, self-centered trolls every time the cameras roll. Now on to the analyses:

Where to begin? Let’s start with my favorite housewife, Gretchen, who’s delightful to look at but dumb as a box of rocks. I can’t help but notice a certain sadness about Gretchen that seems to pervade every decision she makes in her life. First she marries a dude about 30 years her senior, Jeff, who sadly died of cancer last season. Then she allows a series of questionable photos and videos to leak out on the internet which pretty much makes her look like cheap slut. And finally she ends up with that feathered-hair douche bag Slade, who’s banged more OC housewives than should even be legal. In my opinion Gretchen has a deep seeded daddy complex which has resulted in feelings of self loathing and inadequacy. She temporarily found stability and security in her relationship with an older man (Jeff), but now that he’s gone she uses alcohol and inappropriate displays of sexuality to fruitlessly fill the void created by her absentee father. Gretchen feels inferior to those with healthy marriages and normal family lives and constantly seeks to identify fault in the behaviors of others as a defense mechanism for her own perceived short-comings. And how does douche bucket Slade fit into this whole picture? He’s nothing more than a product of Gretchen’s diminutive intellect and insanely poor judgment. Eventually the sex will get boring, the money will run out, and that opportunistic, scum-sucking parasite will be on to the next housewife leaving Gretchen alone and more sad than ever. Poor dumb Gretchen, extraordinary in her simplicity, I can’t help but feel sorry for her.

And then there’s Alexis, who’s as equally devoted to her master errrr husband as she is utterly depthless. Talk about a Stepford Wife. If you were to scrape off the expensive make-up, acrylic nails, botox injections, and spray-on tan I’m honestly uncertain if you’d find actual flesh and blood or a composite metal frame encasing circuit boards and a CPU. “I’m here to pleasure you master, anything else is inconceivable.” It’s actually kinda creepy. No wife should be as blindly subservient and no human being should be as utterly shallow as the cyborg that is Alexis. There’s really not much else to say about a person with so little personality who does so little thinking for themselves. Other than the fact that she’s married to arguably the biggest tool bag in all of Southern California. He might very well be the oiriginal inspiration behind terms like douche waffle and twat pocket.

And let’s not forget about Tamra, who’s brash, buxom, and chockful a botox. I actually think the botox may have seeped into her brain and is now starting to affect her judgment. How else can you explain the lewd and inappropriate behavior she displays on a regular basis at the ripe old age of 42, not to mention the fact she’s the mother of three young children. Really Tamra – regardless of how much plastic surgery you undergo or how many pharmaceutical medications you ingest, time marches on and your boobs continue their southern march towards your knees. You clearly suffer from narcissism and as your looks fade into the sunset (just like your marriage to that insecure dickwad Simon) you’re suffering a major identity crisis. You’re no longer “the hottest housewife in Orange County” so just who the hell are you? While the more appropriate question still remains who the hell cares? Grow up and act your age, Tamra. Your oldest son may be a completely lost cause but there’s still time to un-fuck up the younger ones.

And then there’s loveable Lynn, who’s all that and a big bag of crazy. It’s honestly hard to tell if the constant blank look on her face is a product of her severe stupidity or merely a convenient side effect of a face-lift gone wrong. If ignorance truly is bliss then Lynn must be freaking Disneyland. But even if she wasn’t it would be impossible to tell as she’s lost the ability to show expression. There’s really no syndrome or complex I can use to describe Lynn’s condition. The girl’s just plain dumb. And her daughter’s have clearly picked up on this lack of mental acumen as they’ve essentially conducted a successful audition for “girls gone wild” right under the watchful eye of their moronic matriarch and in front of the show’s entire viewing audience. Well done Lynn. Who says children need parental boundaries anyway?

But I saved the best for last – my least favorite housewife, Vicky, whose equal parts manipulative, revolting, and toxic. I don’t know the exact clinical term for it but where I come from we call a woman like Vicky a “tucker” (there should be no explanation necessary). At the very least she suffers from an extreme case of penis envy. Vicky has a maniacal need to control everything and everyone around her and feels as though having the financial upper-hand on everyone else in her life will give her the control she so desires. This misdirected ambition has caused Vicky to alienate herself from the people that matter most in her life and has consequently created a circle of trust full of shameless ass-kissers and pathetic hanger-ons who want nothing more from Vicky than to exploit her money and influence. Being the ruler of this dysfunctional roost of her own creation has caused gender confusion which manifests itself in her lashing out at those around her. In other words Vicky has taken on the role of man in every aspect of her life and Donn (her husband) should be seriously concerned when she reaches for the strap-on. Get out while there’s still time, man!

So there you have it: a daddy complex, a Stepford Wife, a narcissist, an imbecile, and a “tucker”. Just your typical casting call for any reality television series worth its salt.

That intellectual void you just experienced reading this post is the same feeling I get every time I watch “The Real Housewives of Orange County”. Don’t worry after a while it actually starts to feel good… I’ve seriously got to consider laying off the liquor.

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