Vicki Gunvalson ended Season 10 of The Real Housewives of Orange County friendless and alone. At the time, I had little sympathy for her. She sold out her friends for a relationship with a man with a long history of lying, not to mention mistreating her daughter, Briana Culberson. It appears that Gunvalson knew at least something of Brooks Ayers' chicanery; she is even believed to have joined in on the deception.
I have since tempered my view at least somewhat. I don't think Gunvalson was particularly honest last season, but I suspect that she was, as she claimed in a brief moment of vulnerability, taken in by Ayers. Love can make you do some pretty crazy things, such as defending a guy with a terrible track record.
Her behavior last season may have been problematic, but I don't think that Gunvalson deserves to be friendless forever. She has a lot going on in her life, including lingering stress over her daughter's health issues. I can sympathize with Heather Dubrow's desire for an admission and an apology, but I can also see why Gunvalson is ready to move on and forget it all happened. One of the easiest ways to accomplish this, of course, is to befriend the newbie.
Sadly, new Housewife Kelly Dodd is caught in the crossfire. She can sympathize with Vicki Gunvalson, who she believes is in desperate need of a confidant. But her sympathy is quickly causing problems with the other Housewives, who seem to think that it's their job to control Gunvalson's social life.
I can't stand how Housewives on this and the franchise's other shows always view friendship as an either-or proposition. If Dodd befriends Gunvalson, it doesn't mean she holds any ill will toward the others. It simply means that she wants to make a new friend. And honestly, the others don't seem all that friendly these days. If I was the noob on a notoriously cliquey show, I might also embrace friendship wherever I could find it.
If there's a silver lining in all this, it's that Dodd's friendship with Edmonds seems to have survived the craziness of filming a Real Housewives show. Unfortunately, teasers for the new season indicate that a lot of other friendships are about to fracture. Could the fierce clique that's hell-bent on excluding Vicki Gunvalson and Kelly Dodd eventually fracture? I'm betting yes, because no Real Housewives alliance lasts long.
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