Credit: Michael Rosenthal/Bravo © 2012 NBC Universal, Inc. Photo: The Cast of Real Housewives of Orange County Season 7

If there’s one thing we’ve learned from The Real Housewives of Orange County, it’s that people in glam gowns shouldn’t throw wine. In the Season 7 premiere, Vicki Gunvalson and the rest of the current members of the cast reunited to have a party and get new addition Heather Dubrow up to speed on all the alliances and pseudo-friendships. If you’ve never seen an episode of RHoOC before, it’s beneficial to have Heather — who’s an actress and married to a plastic surgeon — stare wide-eyed at her realtor Tamra Barney, who just so happens to be a Housewife, and ask, “So, who’s in your crew?” During a visit to a $4.9 million pile of dirt, Tamra decides she likes Heather and wants to bring her into the fold — and if she happens to make a sale along the way, so be it.

When the episode opens, Gretchen Rossi is curling her hair and saying “babe” to boyfriend Slade Smiley a lot. He wants to tag along with her to lunch — until he finds out Tamra will be her dining companion. “She smeared my name,” he complains, referring to allegations that he hasn’t paid child support. Gretchen doesn’t want to hear it. She wants to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, and have some lunchtime mojitos, babe.

Vicki is the midst of selling her house, which she still shares with soon-to-be ex-husband Donn. This does not bother her in the least, even though she is dating a new guy, Brooks, and has to compulsively straighten and plump pillows or she’ll never sell the house.

Credit: Michael Rosenthal/Bravo © 2012 NBC Universal, Inc. Photo: Tamra Barney in The Real Housewives of Orange County Season 7

Girls’ lunch! Clink! Let’s drink our motijos and wonder why we ever stopped being friends. (Luckily, there are flashbacks to the reunion to jog viewers’ memories.) Gretchen paraphrases Blessed Union of Souls: She tells Tamra, “I want you to like me for me.” Tamra does like Gretchen: She’s fun, energetic, and driven. In fact, Tamra even has a gift to signify their resurrected friendship. After handing over a custom-made bracelet with a key, Tamra says she wants to lock up their past or open their future. What it signifies to us is how their lips will be sealed — both are afraid of Vicki and Alexis Bellino finding out about that they’ve rekindled their friendship.

Speaking of Alexis, she’s overwhelmed. Now that her clothing line, Alexis Couture, has taken off, she’s free to spend her Fridays doing a style and beauty segment for the local Fox News station. She has her assistant — who looks like an un-punky Avril Lavigne — whip up some orange juice mixed with water for the kids. Gross. It turns out Avril’s a genius. As she drives her boss to San Diego, Alexis realizes she forgot to set husband Jim’s alarm. Apparently they haven’t found an alarm clock with more than one setting. As Alexis is ringing Jim’s cell phone off the hook, her assistant suggests she call the house phone. Brilliant. Too bad Alexis doesn’t know the number. “My kids aren’t going to wake up for school,” laments Alexis. End scene. Boo. Now we’ll never solve the mystery of “Did Alexis’ Kids Get to School on Time?”

Vicki and Tamra meet for a quick lunch, during which they discuss Vicki’s new man. They bond over their exes; Donn might want spousal support and Simon, Tamra’s ex-husband, still hasn’t signed the divorce papers. “Are you having 5-hour sex yet?” asks Tamra. Vicki quickly changes the subject to her house-selling party. We’re noticing a pattern. Vicki’s throwing the party before she’s actually sold her home and dating a man before she’s actually divorced her husband — or gotten him to move out. Way to jump the gun, Vicks!

Credit: Michael Rosenthal/Bravo © 2012 NBC Universal, Inc. Photo: Heather Dubrow in The Real Housewives of Orange County Season 7

It’s time to meet Heather! She’s poised and pretty and walks through undeveloped land in heels like she grew up in a swanky swamp. A surprise fourth child means she needs a new house. “Heather seems like she has it all,” gushes her realtor, Tamra Barney. What. A. Coincidence. We know her! “She’s probably a bitch,” Tamra adds to the camera, right before inviting Heather to coffee. What? Did we miss something here? Before they even have coffee, Tamra calls up Vicki and invites Heather to her party. Whatever helps you sell that plot of land, dearie.

Alexis enters the Fox studios wearing a retina-searing red tank top and pants: professional woman, coming through! She tells the camera that live TV is an art of its own, right before messing up a segment with the famed Dr. Booty — who has his Ph.D from the Assachusetts Institute of Technology, we’re sure. He has studied many behinds in his day and compares them all to five types of fruit. A scantily clad woman with a nurse’s cap adds an air of authority to the proceedings. We learn that Alexis has a pear-shaped derriere, which is bad. You want your bum to look like a banana. It’s a good thing Alexis is “passionate” about working out, because her husband likes little butts (and bananas?). Signing off for this year’s “National Booty Awareness Month,” Alexis Bellino reporting.

Tamra and Heather meet for tea and gossip. Tamra invites her to Vicki’s party, and then proceeds to tell her how frightening her friends are. “Stay a good 10 feet away from Alexis if she has a glass of red wine,” she warns Heather, who can’t wait to meet these laid-back ladies. After she’s reeled in Heather with these delightful anecdotes, Tamra marvels in her confessional that her new client is everything Alexis isn’t… a.k.a., rich.

Credit: Michael Rosenthal/Bravo © 2012 NBC Universal, Inc. Photo: Alexis Bellino in The Real Housewives of Orange County Season 7

Ooh, look! Peggy Tanous is back. The former Housewife claimed she left this season to escape her castmates’ bitchiness, but there’s nothing like a party to bring everyone together. She and Tamra have a discussion about Alexis and Jim — whom Peggy used to date. Apparently “Mr. Jesus” was quite the partier and had a lot of lady friends. “Does he have a gigantic penis?” shrieks Tamra. TMI, Tam. Cut to Alexis and Gretchen, who are, coincidentally, talking about Jim and Peggy. “Is she still upset,” Gretchen wonders. “Obsessed? Is that what you mean?”asks Alexis. Oh, it’s on.  

Another new face, Sarah Winchester, gets less of an introduction, which makes us think she’ll be the Dana Wilkey of RHoOC — blink and you’ll miss her. It’s too bad, because she sounds like fun: the brunette version of Gretchen. “She likes to drink and have a good time,” says Gretchen.

The divisions between the groups continue. Vicki’s off in her home bugging the caterers (“Do you need any help?”), while Tamra, Heather, and Peggy head over in a limo separately from Gretchen, Alexis, and Sarah. Then they all converge on Vicki’s patio and it’s time for an Orange County showdown… in another week.
Tune in next Tuesday when Vicki’s Cajun fest continues and the manicured claws come out.


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