Get lost, fake cancer. Step aside, Lyme disease. Move over, Munchausen. The hot new illness sweeping the nation is Influenza B. The B stands for beauty. Or, if you’re an Orange County purist, beauté.
Who am I sick of this week?
7. Lydia: Somewhere along the way, someone told her it was quirky or charming to repeatedly talk about her husband’s balls being cut off. It was bad advice. My money is on Judy.
(Also, no shit Shannon didn’t invite you to dinner; you hate each other. Don’t be precious. Uninvite her from your testicle party and move on with your life.)
6. Tamra: I would never consciously advocate for the return of Gretchen Rossi but I need someone for Tamra to gleefully brutalize because right now she’s coasting.
5. Peggy: I’m truly mixed on Peggy, though never passionate. Her solo footage is garbage, like I don’t know how many times I can see “Peggy’s daughter is going to college” + “Peggy mangles common idiom” ad nauseam. We’re reaching Reiko levels of repetition here. I’m also not that fond of her as an agent of conflict because she’s not charismatic enough to make her feuds interesting. On the other hand, there’s something compelling about how evasive Peggy is about everything in her life: her marriage, her money, her family, her mastectomy. I do not and will never blame anyone for interrogating her on the latter. In literally any other context in the universe, it would be unthinkably gauche, but this is The Real Housewives of Orange County. Your cancer diagnosis needs a signed doctor’s note. We’ve had issues in the past.
4. Kelly: Season 12 Kelly has been a truly confounding enterprise for me. I find myself both skeptical of her sudden face turn and thinking it makes all the sense in the world. I don’t think she’s, like, the world’s most deeply unpleasant human being, just an idiot with rage issues who in her resting state is capable of being fairly docile and agreeable. I’m surprised at how eager the other women have been to take New Kelly on her own terms but I think it’s sort of a halfway compromise — Tamra and especially Shannon will never forgive Vicki, but they’ll throw a bone to her flying monkey. Either way, I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop. I don’t think Kelly is capable of keeping this level of good faith up forever, so she’ll either get fired at the end of the season or go nuts again in short order.
3. Meghan: Did someone say CANCER?
2. Vicki: It’s never quantity but quality on Real Housewives, and Vicki’s phlegmy, melodramatic phone cameo as a sudden victim of the elusive and deadly Influenza B was a sterling piece of character work. Wishing her all the best for a speedy recovery. #killallinfluenzab
1. Shannon: There is a serious gap in the market for an exercise video for everywoman, featuring Shannon Beador verbally abusing her exercise bike. Forget Donkey Booty and Stallion Booty; it’s time for Beador Booty.
Next week on The Real Housewives of Orange County: Lydia and Doug go shopping for Doug’s plastic cone.