The Real Housewives of Orange County is not only a ground-breaking reality series because it is the first of the popular Housewives franchises on Bravo, but also because it established the format which almost every drama-based ensemble reality series would follow from thereafter. People interact socially, talk behind each other’s backs, alliances are formed, confrontations occur at get togethers — all with separately shot voiceovers throughout. Oh, and then of course there is the whole catfight “Reunion Special” phenomenon!
Anyway, before I got into the new official bios and photos for The Real Housewives of Orange County Season 8, I wanted to tip my hat to the ladies (especially Vicki) as well as the show creators at Bravo for changing the landscape of reality television forever!
I will confess though, I am pretty much maxed out on “Blah Blah Wives” shows. Not even counting the “Real” variety on Bravo, how many have there been over the last four years? I swear there are at least 20 scheduled for 2013 – and that’s no joke! Preacher Wives, Starter Wives, Mob Wives, Sister Wives, Basketball Wives… The list is frustratingly endless. Hell, I even like some of the shows I listed, they just gotta come up with something other than …Wives for goodness sake! (Lordy I wish Bravo had somehow trademarked that back in the day.)
Perhaps the …Wives genre just needs a ridiculous title game ender — something like Husband Wives. At that point it would have to end, right? Oh, and the same goes for “Blah Blah Wars” by the way! Maybe the ridiculous game ender could be Wives Wars! But I digress…
In addition to the action-packed Real Housewives of Orange County Season 8 trailer, Bravo has also released the official cast photos and bios! This time around the ladies posed in front of a blue background with orange paper lanterns reminiscent of the fruit in the show’s title. And of course there are the clip art photos that I love soooooo much! (They make doing graphics for stories — like the one at the top of this post — so easy and so much fun! I think they should take these to the next level and just start offering virtual paper dolls of all the ladies!)
OK, OK, OK. Here are the bios and photos, starting with RHOC newbie Lydia McLaughlin! (Click the link for more background info on Lydia)
• Travels to Italy every summer to visit relatives
• Almost gave birth during the opening of her art gallery
HOMETOWN St. John’s, Canada
PROFESSION Owner of Lydia M Jewelry and SKYLAB Modern Art, Managing Editor of ‘Beverly Hills Lifestyle Magazine’
Lydia McLaughlin joins The Real Housewives of Orange County in Season 8. Lydia is the granddaughter of Canadian media mogul Geoff Stirling, founder of NTV, the first 24-hour television station in Canada. Lydia and her husband Doug live in Dana Point with their two sons, 4-year-old Stirling and 2-year-old Maverick. This young, kooky mother always puts her family and faith first, but in her spare time, she and her husband channel her grandfather’s entrepreneurial spirit by running a magazine highlighting the glamorous life in Southern California.
HOMETOWN Hannibal, Missouri
PROFESSION Housewife, TV Personality, Designer
Having joined the cast during Season 5, Alexis Bellino is a stay-at-home Christian mom who unabashedly lives life on her own terms. Originally from the small town of Hannibal, Missouri, Alexis recently purchased a new home with her husband, Jim. Alexis and Jim have three young children — 7-year-old James and 5-year-old twins, Melania and Mackenna. While Alexis is still trying to successfully run her dress line business, she has quit her news correspondent job to focus her attention on her family and marriage, as well as to support her husband’s burgeoning trampoline park empire.
PROFESSION Houeswife, Business Woman
Tamra Barney, a Southern California native from Glendora, CA, joined The Real Housewives of Orange County in Season 3. She has four children — 26-year-old Ryan, and three children with her ex-husband. Since getting engaged to Eddie last year, Tamra and her children have moved in and taken over Eddie’s bachelor pad, but not without some tension. While Tamra hopes to get married sooner than later, Eddie has other ideas, which leads Tamra to wonder if he wants to marry her at all. Also, Tamra’s dream of opening a gym gets closer to becoming a reality, although not without input and money from Eddie, which undermines Tamra’s desire to do this on her own.
• Has performed with the Pussycat Dolls
• Attended Baylor University
PROFESSION Housewife, Handbag Designer, Songstress
Gretchen Rossi joined the cast of The Real Housewives of Orange County in Season 4. The budding entrepreneur grew up in La Crescenta, California, and attended Baylor University in Dallas, Texas, where she studied Psychology. After struggling with their relationship last year, Gretchen and her long-time boyfriend, Slade, are stronger than ever. With her signature Gretchen Christine line taking off, Slade has started to veer into a new profession, hosting a local radio show. Simultaneously, he and Gretchen are focused on the well-being of his son, while also contemplating the future of starting their own family together.
• Starred in such shows as ‘That’s Life’ and ‘Jenny’
• Named Miss Congeniality at the 1989 Miss New York State Page
PROFESSION Housewife, Actress
Heather Dubrow, a former actress and now stay-at-home mother of four, joined The Real Housewives of Orange County in Season 7. Married to prominent Newport Beach plastic surgeon, Terry, they have four children — 9-year-old twins Nicholas and Maximillia, 6-year-old Katarina, and 2-year-old, Collette. After toying with the idea of returning to her acting roots and rediscovering her creative side, Heather is ready to make a return to the small screen, landing guest roles on current hit sitcoms. As much as Heather loves being a mother, she struggles to find the balance between work and family, especially when Terry falls short in his duties as dad.
• Original and longest running Housewife
• Co-founder of Wines by Wives
PROFESSION Housewife, Insurance Maven
The “OG of the OC,” Vicki Gunvalson is the original housewife and has appeared on The Real Housewives of Orange County since Season 1. Born and raised in the Chicago area, Vicki currently lives in the gated community of Coto de Caza with daughter Briana and son-in-law Ryan, and their new baby boy, Troy. Currently in the final stages of her divorce from Donn, Vicki is completely revamping her life, starting with a complete makeover of her house and a little “tweaking” to her face thanks to plastic surgery. She’s also “taking a break” from her relationship with Brooks, primarily due to the scrutiny and disapproval she receives from her family and friends.
So who are you looking forward to catching up on the most this season? I gotta say I really want to see how the Vicki and Brooks break up went down!