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The Real Housewives of Orange County Is Back, and Sadly, So Is Kelly Dodd

Image via Bravo
Image via Bravo

Of the many question I’d like to ask God, one of the top ones would be: Judging by how often and the manner in which they speak to you, The Real Housewives of Orange County seem to believe that you pay them a disproportionate amount of attention. Why is that? Because if you are paying them said amount of attention, this needs to be a much longer conversation.


Indeed, the blonde, bronzed, party top aficionados are back for their 35,015th season and if this is what God has been doing with her time, I suppose that actually does help to explain things.


One important detail you’ll notice is, despite some swirling rumors, Gretchen Rossi and her deadbeat dad of a fiancé Slade Smiley have not returned to the program. Gretchen does, however, manage to wrangle her way into at least one appearance this season, where she repeats the tired and deeply uninteresting rumors created exclusively by Vicki Gunvalson that Tamra’s husband Eddie Judge might be gay.

Lydia McLaughlin, who you probably don’t remember because she wasn’t that interesting, is back for real. Her reappearance is explained by a renewed friendship with Tamra:

Her feud with the OG of the OC has pushed her even closer to God as she reconnects with her old friend Lydia over bible study.

Look, Lydia was extremely fine during Season 8. She was a solid enough Greek chorus and remained mostly sane, but I’m not sure what interesting purpose she’s going to serve here. Practically, she is the link to the show’s newest housewife, Peggy Sulahian. Peggy is apparently the 100th housewife to join Bravo and now you have that information.

All I’ve gleaned about Peggy is that she’s very rich, which makes sense, as they’d need a replacement for the obscene wealth of Heather Dubrow. Her storyline this season will revolve around her decision to undergo a double mastectomy which, alright. I hope that goes well.


Vicki is still dating some man who thus far has not revealed himself to be a professional conman. Meghan King Edmonds is back with her new baby and has agreed to let her husband be a dick to her on national television for another 20-something episodes. We’ll watch as Shannon Beador still hates Vicki and deals with what she calls stress-induced weight gain. While I do feel for Shannon, can’t this woman get just one storyline that isn’t depressing as hell?

Now, the real question at hand, the thought that continues to haunt me, is: WHY THE FUCK IS KELLY DODD HERE?


Considering I’m not a moron, I know why she’s back in a literal sense. This show needs good ratings and Kelly is willing to debase herself for the sake of entertaining television. But just on a mental health level: Whyyy is Kelly Dodd back?

Kelly and her constantly smudged red lipstick were exhausting to watch last season. She repeatedly stepped over the dangerous Real Housewives line between fun crazy and scary crazy. On top of that, her husband is creepy and she doesn’t even have some sort of fun side project in her life like Heather building an ignorantly large home or Tamra trying to convince us she won a bodybuilding competition or Vicki nagging her children into submission.


All we ever get is Kelly acting like a maniac, and unless she grew some self-awareness over the last year, this is going to be rough.

I suppose Bravo has done the math and knows that the amount of people who will grit their teeth through Kelly’s antics outnumber those who are unable to suppress the physical urge to turn off their televisions at the mere mention of her name. Here we are. This is life now.


The 12th season of the Real Housewives of Orange County premieres on July 10th at 9 pm ET/PT.

Senior Writer, Jezebel

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WHYYYY Lydia?! I just hope we get more of her kooky pothead mom. Also, she and her H run some magazine. Didn’t they reject doing a feature on one of the housewives during her o.g. season?

Ugh at Kelly and Meghan. Kelly’s husband makes me miss Jim(bo) Bellino. And Meghan is so, so fucking boring. But speaking of gay rumors, I would 10/10 watch if they did a ‘very special’ episode on the ones about Mr. Edmonds. The Eddie ones are tired AF. (Speaking of Eddie, no more awkward ‘guy’s nights’ with him and Terry.)

New chick looks meh. Vicki and Tamra have the longest-running frenemy relationship I’ve ever seen.