Every NFL season ends with 1 winner and 31 disappointed teams and fanbases. All we can do is hope our team rebuilds, retools, and gives us a better performance the next season. The offseason can be as exciting and dramatic as the season with big free agent signings, cutting long-time veterans, resigning others, and drafting for the future. Every move is under a microscope because these personnel decisions affect the outcome of the season.
Although I literally lost a twitter follower one night when I tweeted about The Real Housewives of Orange County, I will continue to draw the proper comparisons of reality tv and sports because we deserve this. I am very aware that the Real Housewives’ franchises don’t compete for a title, but their existences are constantly ranked and analyzed. Just like in football, there are some franchises with a rich history and date back longer than the others, there are some that are newer but have earned their keep, and there are some that have come and gone, for better or worse. I can think of a football team for every type of franchise I just mentioned, but those descriptions were 100% based on Real Housewives franchises. I won’t do a history post, I’ll save that for another day (Bravo historians are so real and great), but what I will do is take this opportunity to examine the personnel decisions of a few of the real housewives’ franchises in different posts, but today we will start with a show that is having a renaissance of sorts.
First, we have the OG Real Housewives franchise, the Real Housewives of Orange County. Yes, RHOC was the first housewives’ franchise on Bravo and from its start in March 2006 (omg I was still in high school), we were instantly captivated by the ladies behind the gates of Coto de Caza. Like any franchise that has been around that long, we’ve experienced ups (great seasons) and downs (when they are down they are DOWN), but here we stand in 2019 and I truly believe this franchise has begun to show a willingness to make the tough decisions to be great again. Are they great yet? Not quite, but demoting the OG of the OC, queen Vicki Gunvalson to a “friend of” that shows up on vacations with In and Out was a start in the right direction (not that we don’t fully appreciate the many good years she has put in to this show (before she dated a cancer faker and we were all totally out). I personally will never forget Vicki getting hit in the face with a football at Lake Havasu, brilliant TV. Bringing in a new housewife (Braunwyn) that feels like she belongs on this franchise was another step in the right direction, AND they have finally come to their senses and decided to lean on the new queen, Kelly Dodd. I think Bravo refused to part with second season-ers Emily and Gina to see if they could cultivate a new core, but Emily still feels very out of place to me (as in she is too pure and good for this show) and Gina’s story is just so dark (unlike her hair) it’s almost hard to watch. This cast is completed by Tamra and Shannon, and is it me, or are they just not funny anymore? (Though they certainly hold a special place in the history of RHOC, Tres Amigas 4 ever). This show has exceeded my expectations this season, aided by Kelly hitting Shannon in the head with a mallet and a fashion show on a dinner cruise that rivaled the famous RHOBH Alison Dubois dinner with stage-mom Kathy auditioning for her place on the franchise LOL! I could do without another “wacky mom” story from Dr. Deb but we don’t get to make these decisions.
As we look back at the deep history of RHOC, many casting decisions (some made my Bravo, some made by the women deciding it was time to go) were franchise-changing. Now we are left with a storied list of ladies that made us laugh and cringe, but some we miss fondly, and others we would be happy never seeing again…
Housewives we miss and would love to see again:
Quinn Fry, yes, I’ll start with the woman of many wigs
Jo De La Rosa, she was recently on Heather McDonald’s Juicy Scoop podcast and it really drudged up some original OC memories
Laurie Waring Peterson, she literally rode off into the sunset in a Mercedes, but I miss her and her brady bunch family
Alexis Bellino, I think the second time around could really work for her, she was a true nightmare in her first stint but now she found a new man and she’s ready to show off how haaappppy she is! Bring it pleaseee!
Gretchen Rossi, I personally was never a big Gretchen fan (“why is that weird, Gretchen?”) but considering who we have now I’d be open to a return for some messy Slade action. Also naked wasted is a commonly used phrased, I don’t know if that belongs more to her or Tamra at this point?
Lynne Curtin, her cuffs are legendary, her kids and marriage are all very up in the air. She is someone I still quote and talk about regularly and for that reason alone I’d revisit this situation.
Meghan King Edmonds, given the recent drama with soon to be ex-husband Jim she would be an ideal candidate to return. On top of that, her stretch of a trip to Ireland was iconic and she is the greatest detective housewife of all time. I stan Meghan if only to hear Watch What Crappens’ (podcast, listen if you don’t, I’m sure you do) impression of her.
Housewives we don’t miss:
Peggy Tannous, she was universally disliked. I never cared much for her either way, I was always confused why she was hated but regardless, I don’t miss her.
Lydia McLaughlin, in all fairness she was the first to give us “wacky mom”
Tammy Knickerbocker, Duff, and her OC Angels.
Heather Dubrow (fancy pants), she was likeable for a while, we all fell for her champs and working actress storyline, but we never got to see her new house and now we can never go behind the curtain again.
Lizzie Rosvek, she was a one season wonder and those are rarely missed.
Jeana Keough, was an OG, I like her on the periphery, i.e when Tamra through wine in her face at a party. Good times.
Kimberly Bryant, also an OG, but always felt too normal and midwestern for this show. I hope she’s staying out of the sun!
My Final Orange County Fantasy Cast:
I’d like to preface this section by saying the best cast probably isn’t the most liked cast. I chose based on each ladies’ body of work as a whole and provided a little insight into each selection.
Laurie Waring Peterson because she is really rich with a fairy tale husband and can incite Vicki to scream literally from the top of a mountain
Gretchen Rossi because even the mention of her name on the current season caused a fight
*Honorable mention: My dear friend and Bravo consultant Paige thinks we could substitute fancy pants Heather Dubrow for Gretchen so I’ll keep her as my first bench housewife!
Kelly Dodd because she isn’t scared to call someone a dork or twerp or #arrest
Vicki Gunvalson because family van, Andale’s, and whooping it up
Tamra (Barney) Judge because as disliked as she is now, she was once baptized in a pool on TV, bass lake, and for being the worst secret keeper
MKE because she’s an O’Toole, she’s single, and she works tirelessly for justice
Shannon Beador because she one time laid in her own fake casket, Archy, and cream cheese salmon
What is your Fantasy Real Housewives of Orange County Cast?