Five episodes to watch while completing a child’s word jumble.
Welcome back to The Essential…, where I propose five episodes that embody the perfect madness of one special Housewife. For pure comedy, there’s no one better than Alexis Bellino, the broadest possible parody of a Real Housewife. Take a shot of Helen Lovejoy, add a splash of Jessica Simpson, swirl in a soupçon of Peg Bundy and garnish with a serious head injury, and you have the recipe for an Orange County icon. Here are five saintly deep cuts from our human Swarovski Bible.
S05E11: “Nothing Is As It Seems”
A great introductory primer to the Bellino marriage. The Bellinos go on a private getaway to Palm Springs, and we hear their creation myth: Jim approached Alexis by the pool, allured by her “sexy elegance.” Truly, no one oozes sexy elegance like Alexis Bellino. We also learn Jim and Alexis’s unironic motto: “divorce is not an option.” Sounds good and healthy!
S06E08: “Kiss and Tell”
The best Housewives are captured in a moment of change; RHOC depicted the brief period in Alexis’s life when she experimented with ambition. Hence, her eponymous clothing line, Alexis Couture. Sensitive to accusations of dilettantism, Alexis felt the need to prove she was in charge; in this episode, she flexes by hacking the sleeves off one of her designs while the seamstress who did all the actual work watches in horror. Move over, Cavalli.
S07E01: “Stranger Things Have Happened”
Alexis branches out into the world of journalism. Alexis’s stint as a lifestyle reporter for Fox 5 Local News is comic fucking genius, an endlessly watchable disaster. I’ve said before that Phaedra the Mortician is my favourite solo story, but Alexis the Reporter might come pretty fucking close. Take a peek.
S07E16: “Rumble in the Jungle”
A cast trip to Costa Rica puts our heroine en peligro as she’s forced to take on the entire cast at once to defend her contradictory, pretentious ways. Alexis isn’t built to competently argue against one person, let alone four, so the altercation predictably ends in disaster. Alexis departs the vacation early, and the whole affair becomes that much less godly.
S08E02: “Evil Eyes and Evil Faces”
The Bellinos’ passage to season eight was nothing short of miraculous (further proof God is on their side), and they took the unexpected victory as an excuse to plot some serious image rehab. “Evil Eyes and Evil Faces” is a showcase for the new, warmer, cuddlier Jim and Alexis Bellino. They run a trampoline park! They giggle through ballroom dance lessons! Anything to make you forget the time Jim tried to end Alexis’s career because according to the Bible, women aren’t people.
S07E09: “Bowling for Champs”
Alexis hosts a moral panic news segment about the sexualization of children while wearing an incredibly low-cut top.
S07E12: “Bombs Away”
Alexis hones her journalistic craft. You’ll never see a house fire the same way again.
S07E14: “Happily Never After”
Alexis delivers the following speech, verbatim, to a birthday party full of horrified toddlers:
“I’d just like to give a little special thank you to everyone that came out today. I know this is quite a, um, a lot going on at once, and it had a lot of more formality, but of course when children get involved, it never works out the way. But I just wanna give a special welcome to my daughters, Melania and Mackenna. They’ve never had a formal birthday party as of yet because I figure four is where the memories are made and they can remember. Melania and Mackenna had a very special entrance into the world. They were born at 34 weeks, they were — their mom almost passed away. I had a pulmonary embolism and thank God, Dr. Brook, sweet Dr. Brook is the one that figured it out. E.R. couldn’t have figured out what’s wrong with me. I’m doubled over, I can’t breathe, I’m on like, serious pain medication. I enter the hospital for five days. I have a blood clot, they can’t figure out how to get it — you know, the Coumadin’s not working, I’m on Demerol, I’m on morphine. And that’s what this celebration today is about! So with that said, we need Princess Melania and Mackenna!”
S08E03: “It’s My Party and I’ll Scream if I Want To” / S08E04: “The Party Is DONE!”
Alexis attempts to reintegrate with the group, and we learn why she had to go on Xanax (for it, Lydia).