The Emmy Awards roll around once a year to celebrate the finest in television. Monday night, I happily tuned in to the first hour of the telecast. I laughed at the jokes in the opening monologue about how the very nature of viewership today has changed through streaming and binge-watching. I actually applauded from my couch when Julia Louis-Dreyfus won for Veep, as I think she's perhaps the best comedy actress anywhere on this spinning planet, though I also have tons of love for Amy Poehler. I once again marveled that Gwen Stefani is one of the most stunning women in the world who rocks the coolest style – and I’d sell members of my family just to try on the silver Versace dress she wore. And then, realizing it was 9:00, I rushed to turn off the event that heralds true artistry to watch Part 1 of the reunion of The Real Housewives of Orange County.
Shockingly, The Real Housewives were not nominated for any Emmys. I know! What must an avid television-watcher like myself do to convince the Academy to include a few new categories on the ballot next year that will all but guarantee that these starved-for-attention women will land on a red carpet for anything other than a restaurant opening in Newport Beach? I mean, can you imagine the amount of cleavage Vicki will haul to the Emmys?
Since they are famous but don't have a shred of talent, here are a few categories that might snag them a nomination – and in the case of Shannon, an all-but-certain trophy:
BEST STAIRCASE-SHRIEKING VERBAL COMEBACK BY A BIPOLAR WOMAN DURING A PRODUCER-MANDATED DINNER PARTY.
BEST CHANCE OF GETTING DIVORCED BEFORE YEAR'S END FROM A MAN WHO PREFERS TO SLEEP IN A SEPARATE BEDROOM FROM HIS HYSTERICAL WIFE.
MOST LIKELY TO HOLD IN VOMIT IN BROOKS' PRESENCE BECAUSE YOUR OWN ENORMOUS LEVEL OF CRAZY HAS MADE YOU BELIEVE THAT THE OTHER DELUSIONAL BLONDE ONE IS HAPPY BECAUSE HER LOVE TANK IS FINALLY FULL.
Now excuse me for a moment while I vomit due to the use of love tank, -- from the fact that the vernacular merely exists to the horror that I just used it in a sentence. And don't think I don't realize that my nausea-filled reaction now means I'm officially out of contention for that last award.
Shannon, the new blonde Housewife, would clean up at the Emmys if my new categories ever come to exist. The woman had quite the inaugural season, complete with marital discord, tarnished and stained friendships, and trying to maintain that she just wanted to deal with her family strife privately – you know, as she spoke into a camera and wore a microphone.
If she's not fully sedated by next August, I think Shannon should host next year's Emmy Awards. The after-party will be at Cut Fitness so Tamara can feel important, but if Tamara has been killed before then by one of the thirty-plus people clamoring to take her out, Vicki can hold the party in the new house she's moving into, one that will no doubt be decorated in more shades of brown than I ever wanted to know existed. Maybe the rent Brooks pays her can be used for a contrast color for the moldings.
I did have a pang of guilt as I switched channels from NBC to Bravo – not that anyone at NBC would care since they own Bravo, but still. It was an a moment so pure in its embrace of the gutter-ridden lowbrow, and I remember how I used to watch complex, esoteric television before I allowed Bravo to ruin me with its convenient marathons and programming as easy to consume as though it were made out of gummy candy.
As soon as I put the reunion on, my guilt faded. Because Bravo producers were gunning to destroy these women faster than they can destroy themselves – and that's fucking faster than the speed of sound or any kind of reason.
Before the first commercial break, I was treated to the following:
Backstage footage of the women, sans makeup, getting ready for the show with the help of a team of stylists who should be tipped handsomely for listening to the self-important jabbering of these lunatics. In that brief segment, so many questions rushed to the forefront of my mind:
I want to know how much gold shimmery eye shadow Lizzie's eyelids can hold without breaking off, and I want the answer to be stated in terms of pounds and framed as a question, Jeopardy-style, because that will just make all of this seem more classy.
I want to know what skin condition Vicki suffers from that makes her look either dewy or like a pock-marked adolescent and why she ever agreed to be in front of high definition cameras in the first place.
I want to know how many hours Tamara, full of what I can only hope is false bravado, screams into a pillow every night to alleviate the stress of being both the nastiest and one of the saddest women on television, a duality hard to achieve when one considers the breadth of reality television participants today.
But there's more!
Once the women were settled on the reunion couches, the cameraman, clearly following very specific orders about framing, included Tamara in the background of every shot so that we could all see her glaring dagger-filled slit eyes at Lizzie for having the gall to reveal she dated Nick Lachey before and after his divorce from Jessica Simpson.
I took a moment to briefly congratulate myself and then come to my senses and lower my head in shame for knowing who Nick Lachey is, but my shame was confounded by the sight of Vicki's cleavage heaving behind a yard of illusion netting in an ill-fitting red lace dress.
Then there was Heather being asked about a Dirty Sanchez, but really, who can even care about a poo-smeared upper lip when I'm so transfixed by her new bangs?
And while I'm on the subject of Heather's new look, can we discuss the appearance of the rest of the women packed into Spanx as they sit straight up on couches, ready to bolt up at a moment's notice to run to find incriminating texts and emails that they've hidden backstage in case they want to scream hypocrisy while waving proof?
Let's start with Shannon's face. It's markedly different that it appeared during the season, right? What's causing this new fullness? Fillers? Did she gain a few pounds after her dentist communed with the other side and let her know that the diamonds in her teeth spoke to him and the nation he believes she saved in a previous life wants her to be better nourished?
Can Lizzie's face actually hold any more makeup before it crashes to the floor and breaks into a thousand pieces? And if that happens, can the other members of Nick Lachey's boy band help reconstruct it, as he's very busy these days?
And Tamara. Oh, Tamara. Resplendent in a pink dress, sitting next to the only woman who won't strangle her because it would mess up her new bangs, Tamara looks hard and mean and like she has turned into a fire-breathing dragon. Now, I know that I'm odd in that I think people often resemble animals, but there's something reptilian in the woman's face, yes? If she starts shedding skin in Part 2 of the reunion, I'm out of there.
(I'm totally lying. I'll watch the moment on repeat and send Andy Cohen a subscription to a sausage of the month club out of sheer gratitude.)
We got to see Vicki offend every person who has ever lived in or traveled through the state of Oklahoma and then explain to the gay host what it means to be a gay man. That was fun. She also mentioned that Caucasians can engage in feng shui just like Asians, and that, my friends, is a lesson you cannot learn from watching the Emmys.
We got to see Tamara, through clenched teeth, explain that her son will soon be a father. We were able to bear witness to Lizzie calmly saying that she wasn't surprised that Tamara has made nasty comments about her breasts since, after all, Tamara is a crass asshole.
And then came the part of the reunion that I like to call Brooks Is a Monster, which has apparently turned into an annual event, where the women were once again asked about the man Vicki sleeps with, a man who was caught on tape telling Vicki's son-in-law to hit Vicki's daughter to keep her in line. Apparently he also called Vicki a whore. But how dare anyone speak ill of this man? He tells Vicki he loves her! He looks into her face and says she's beautiful without blinking! How can anybody doubt his authenticity, his goodness? Shannon sees it – and she only drinks vodka constantly, so nobody could possibly know the truth better than the woman who is not an alcoholic because she says so.
I'm not about to give Tamara any credit, but Brooks is vile and Vicki is walking, breathing desperation and a good friend should be concerned about a man who has made so many grave mistakes, especially those recorded on tape. But the argument is not worth having; that guy's not going anywhere, and it's hard to listen to Tamara when she spews advice on anything that involves relationships. Her current husband couldn't care for a plastic baby and, maybe it's just me, but I'm pretty sure he's up nights trying to figure out an exit strategy like chewing his own arm off to get rid of the bitter woman he married in a televised spin-off who has had conflicts with every person with whom she has ever come into contact.
I’m looking forward to Part 2 of the reunion. The end of this episode left me craving a whole lot more. So, if this message can reach the Bravo Gods, even knowing that the episode has already been taped and edited, here’s what I’m hoping will happen:
Lizzie will get to say at least five full sentences – about anything – but hopefully all of them will be about the fact that Tamara is a monster. Because I love the looks that cross over Tamara’s tightened face every time Lizzie opens her mouth to speak or to breathe, even if she’s just answering a question she’s been posed by someone else. I’m about to make one of Tamara’s expressions my screensaver – or maybe print one image out and put it into a locket so I can carry it with me always.
Tamara will once again deny her wrongdoings by pointing her sharpened fingers at anyone in her vicinity, winning the invisible award for Least Amount of Self-Awareness in an Adult Human Specimen.
Vicki won’t speak and the camera will not ever push in for a close-up, because the end of summer is hard enough on me.
Heather and Shannon can stop rehashing the same bullshit and bring up some good trash on one another that occurred off-camera because I’m beyond sick of watching women fight over who sat where at a dinner that one time.
I hope I don’t see or hear from any of the men on this show, as they have all made me contemplate lesbianism.
I’m hoping for Tamara to stalk off the set at least once.
And, just so we’re clear – as long as I’m putting out what it is I do want to see – I’d kill to never have to see a montage of Brooks ever again or Heather’s husband decked out in a leather jacket, because both sights are simply too much for my delicate vision to take.