First Contact: The Real Housewives of Orange County, Season 4

Time to sit back and get Naked Wasted; we’re revisiting the first truly modern Housewives season.

Gretchen

season

Main Storyline: Tending to her terminally ill sugar daddy, with periodic detours to Bass Lake and Tamra’s guest bathroom.

Pros: If only Gretchen could always be drunk; I’d like to make TamRUUUH my ringtone if we’re honest. In Naked Wasted’s tale of an evil mastermind torturing an unwitting fool, Gretchen played the fool beautifully, indulging her own natural tendency toward attention-seeking to make a disastrous idiot of herself in front of the whole world.

Cons: Sadly, she was sober sometimes, and her underlying personality is uhhh not cute. Beyond that, watching an old man wither away and die over the course of twelve hours of television is too morbid and RILL for this viewer.

Jeana

jeana

Main Storyline: Having finally divorced Matt separated from Matt while continuing to pay for his apartment, Jeana starts dating again. (I’ll wait while you go fetch some Pepto.)

Pros: She’ll only be main cast for three more episodes. Threemoreepisodes. Gerard.

Cons: While notionally speaking everyone deserves love, Jeana Keough’s gotta be pretty low on the universe’s priority list. And when she’s not making gagworthy comments about wanting a man, Jeana accesses new depths of unlikability this season, both on her own (when the likes of Vicki and Gretchen can accurately identify you as an enabler of emotional abuse you’ve got problems) and with her family (Shane and Colton have fully morphed into mini-Matts; Kara is at the peak of her smug insufferability as she mocks the homeless population of Berkeley).

Lauri

lauri

Main Storyline: Wastes more of George’s money, then peaces out to avoid any additional scrutiny of her terrible parenting as her son nosedives into a life of crime. Erm, sorry, “to spend more time with her family.”

Pros: Finally gets off my damn screen.

Cons: I guess Lauri’s takeaway from Al-Anon was that she has no control or responsibility for Josh? Whatever. I think she’s a piece of shit but I guess it’s not my place to judge her actions in such a complicated situation so fare thee well Lauri (and see you soon 🙄).

Lynne

lynne

Main Storyline: Lynne wants to be Cool Mom/is generally just a pushover, so we get a series of scenes of her trying and failing to even begin disciplining her children for drinking and smoking and such, to the point of finding cigs in her daughter’s purse and assuming that a friend must have asked her to carry them(?????).

Pros: The moment in the reunion when Jeana makes some passing comment about Lynne being dumb, then responds to a separate Andy question about her family and continues speaking for ninety seconds before Andy interrupts her to point out that Lynne has just now started bawling about it.

Cons: just finished fast-forwarding through watching the adventures of Megan and Other One Knickerbocker; for all their casually grimy charm, Raquel and Alexa swell the already-unwieldy number of OC teens I’ve had to deal with over these last three or four dozen eps and I’m getting exhausted of them all. (Not you, Ryan. And speaking of…)

Tamra

tamra

Main Storyline: I could tell you that it’s about her ever-evolving relationships with her husband and son, and it is, but the secret real Tamra storyline is her at some point laying eyes on Gretchen after a long day and deciding that yes, she is capable of murder.

Pros: As Tracey notes in her Naked Wasted recap, Tamra basically invents Housewives as we know it. Her scheme to get Gretchen trashed and hey we’ll see what happens! oh hi Ryan, is breathtaking even by 2018 standards. I can only imagine how many TWOP-reading cat people fell out watching it unfold for the first time. As if that wasn’t enough, though, she also invents the modern-day reunion assault, unveiling the byzantine plot of Gretchen’s secret boyfriend blackmailing her over her sham relationship with Jeff. Uh, supposedly.

Cons: I mean, I guess “is pure evil” is technically a con…if you’re lame. You know you always secretly rooted for the Big Bads on Buffy.

Vicki

vicki

Main Storyline: The slow deterioration of her marriage to Donn, culminating in *checks Wikipedia* wait they don’t divorce till 2014?!!?!?!

Pros: For as great as Tamra is in her gleeful emotional terrorism, Vicki is the true motivating factor behind it. She watches as her original amigas vanish into thin air and are replaced by Lynnes and Gretchens, and quickly decides to circle the wagons and exclude them as rudely as possible. This creates a feedback loop where Tamra tortures the new girls to get Vicki on-side, and a gleeful Vicki spurs on to do more, more!, until, yeah, multiple blackmail attempts, arguable slander, and so forth.

Cons: Insurance conventions seem legitimately panic-inducing; run, Michael, run.

Next time: Alexis Christ comes down to Earth to save us all.

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