"They were the blackest eyes. The devil's eyes.
In 1978, when I was just a three-year-old moppet with banana curls springing forth from my head in ways strangers at grocery stores swore were adorable, the movie Halloween was released. My parents did not take me to see that movie; they were, pre-divorce, not insane -- and afterwards, only sometimes. But the above words, said with such actor-y conviction from the only person paid decently on the low-budget film (Donald Pleasence playing Dr. Sam Loomis -- heeeeeeeeyyy, Psycho reference!) were used to describe Michael Myers, the butcher-knife-wielding-psychopath who seriously got off on killing his sister after she engaged in the shortest banging session ever captured offscreen in a horror movie.
The guy in question got off easy -- so to speak. He came and went -- also so to speak. But poor Judith Myers: killed while brushing her hair while topless in a post-coital glow like all of us tend to do. Right, ladies?
(Oh, me? I usually just toss my messed up hair into a bun afterwards. There will never be naked hair brushing for me.)
But back to the eyes, the black, dead ones. They were created to describe a movie killer turned franchised icon. And the other night night, to me anyway, they perfectly described Tamara, franchised woman from the OC.
If anyone had told me a year ago that I'd be writing frequently about an aged series, I would have bet them money that they were referring to either Twin Peaks or Lost. (Oh, how I still miss Lost. The only thing that show was missing was a twirling dwarf in a blood red room -- and a more satisfying series finale. But still, I defy anyone who wasn't following spoilers to identify a greater television moment than the end of one of the seasons when it was revealed they had gotten OFF THE ISLAND!)
"We have to go back!" might just be the line I'd tattoo on myself -- if I liked tattoos on women in general, if my really-coveted Ezekiel 25:17 quote from Pulp Fiction didn't take up way too much room on my body -- or if I thought living in the past was actually a good idea.
Anyway, onward, westward, and, spiritually-destroying-but-in-a-detached-kind-of-way, upward: let's talk Tamara. She scares the bejeezus out of me, and here's my current list of reasons that, while I'm not entirely certain, I am at least contemplating that Tamara could be the current incarnation of the antichrist -- or, in a desperate-to-please-myself-tie-in, the scary monster statue on the Lostisland that had donkey ears, a huge, scary body and, according to astute Losties, might have had the face of a hippopotamus. Oh -- it was also holding an ankh.
I've mentioned before my fear of mythic or hybrid creatures? When I saw that thing, I almost needed to be resuscitated.
When I make these comparisons, by no means am I implying that Tamara is physically unattractive. She's not, not in an empirical kind of way, and also not according to herself. I applaud a woman who has confidence, so good for her. But pretty and well-maintained aside, she is scary -- and she's having yet another shit season.
1. Look, we've all watched reality tv for a long time now. Most of us are incredibly aware that certain incidents are set up by producers. We know they get together with their cast pre-season to discuss what the upcoming stories will be and where the sources of drama might spawn from, much the way Regan spawned pure evil and green shit in The Exorcist. (Heeeeyyy, second 70s horror movie tie-in! I'd toss Rosemary's Baby in next, but that would be a real sacrilege, as that film is far too good for me to compare it to the shitty Bravo programming to which I find myself weirdly drawn. Just know that I am contemplating finding a 12 Step program to help free myself from this downward spiral because it's starting to feel kind of good in a tingly way, kind of like I do after I drink too much sangria.) Anyway, most of us accept this unreality as just part of the reality television experience, like good lighting is expected on procedural dramas. But when the story arc is so obvious that it's insulting, someone should be punished. That in this case for about three episodes the thing that was punished (besides the viewer who doesn't have the capability to fast-forward) was a robot baby named after the dog on The Jetsons just strikes me as idiotic. More idiotic? A woman being dragged through public custody battles in which she's being accused of being an unfit parent failing the test of caring for a baby made out of some sort of heavy plastic -- and then televised the moment of that failure. Sweetheart, you're making your ex-husband's lawyer's job far too easy.
2. Tamara desperately tries to pretend to be a good friend to the still-unravelling Shannon. Her newest way of proving her loyalty was to announce to two women over even more cocktails that Shannon and her husband have been sleeping in separate bedrooms for years. Aw, if I had a BFF necklace, I'd want to give half to Tamara -- and then toss her into the ocean while she wore it, pretending I had no idea the necklace I'd given her was really constructed from the heaviest cement money could buy.
3. Her new last name is "Judge." I just think that's so fucking apropos.
4. Mid-show text I received from my best friend: "Note to Tamara -- crying includes tears." There was indeed a lot of eye-dabbing from the frostiest blonde one, but my friend was right; nothing came out of her eyes -- just like nothing came out of the eyes of Michael Myers. (To be fair, my response to the text was "Maybe Botox stops tear projection?" I don't know if that's scientifically accurate, but I'm trying to give this hellion the tiniest benefit of the doubt, and in doing so, I woke up to an aching back, which I blame on trying to bend to see things this chick's way instead of because I'm getting older and shit is starting to hurt on days I don't do yoga.)
5. I too would be devastated if my son -- a bearded fellow who looks terrifying to me, and I'm a girl who likes dirty-looking boys! -- announced he was marrying a stranger who had three children, lived hours away, and arrived at her first family dinner packing a pistol. But this show has been on forever. His lucky (let's agree to call her "lucky" for now, yes?) fiancé must have seen this show and knew what she was getting into. I actually admire her restraint for not aiming the thing at her future mother-in-law when Tamara burst into dry heaves at the table, bolted at one point to get herself -- and only herself -- a drink, and all that was before she announced that she would actually be consuming a piece a bread on that night like she was heading into the biosphere after just having split the atom.
6. When her eyes are not dead and black due to vodka, champagne, and the life she's chosen, they have been recently lined in a white liner, and it's like watching the movie Mannequin come to life. While I love me some 80s movie nostalgia, let's all just stick with a young John Cusack and lines from The Breakfast Club, and agree to forget that Andrew McCarthy once nailed a plastic Kim Catrall in a movie that was actually given a sequel. Tamara's eyeliner brought that moment back to me. That means I have to hate her. I feel many women will understand.
7. Tamara's four-faced dinner party bitchery ended up making Vicki look sane -- and that's even after Vicki once again used the sentence, "I have to go potty," which normally I'd want her killed for saying, as she's not a pre-verbal toddler. But Vicki sat at the table for most of the night and kept her mouth mostly shut and offered a spinning Shannon some real support, so last night reflected a rather positive view of a lucid Ms. Gunvalson -- and that shit is unforgivable. Vicki is typically maniacally schizoid. I'm in too deep to change teams now, and I wouldn't be on Vicki's even if her team color was pink and the team snack was s'mores, but still; being caught in this kind of internal crisis was rough for me and it only makes sense to me to blame Tamara for it all.
And now that I've written three recent blog posts on Real Housewife shenanigans, I think the appropriate thing to do is to go for a long hike, drink 64 ounces of water, and then toss on a marathon of Hitchcock, Truffaut, Tarantino, and Aronofsky -- because I need to rediscover what real carnage should look like, and it's not storming out of a beachfront mansion in the gorgeous setting sun of Laguna Beach.