Heather Dubrow in a black one-shoulder top, laughing

Heather Dubrow Alone Can’t Save ‘RHOC’

By Jonathan Chandler | January 17, 2022
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Last month, The Real Housewives of Orange County finally came back after a bit of hiatus with a “reboot” of the show. With Shannon Beador, Gina Kirschenheiter,  and Emily Simpson joined by Heather Dubrow and two newbies, Dr. Jen Armstrong and Noella Bergener, I was excited to see the beloved original Housewives franchise back with a new vibe. I originally loved the fact the show had a new “classy” element to it, and that we were finally getting to see new stories, new people and Heather Dubrow’s massive mausoleum of a home. However, the excitement, the flashiness, and the cast quickly bored me, and I started finding the show a bit monotonous—and I’m not alone in thinking this way. It made me think, if we don’t fix what’s happening on the show at the moment, we might not get another season of RHOC. Here’s what I think the show needs to address in order to avoid that. 

Heather Is Iconic, But She Isn’t The Main Girl

I love Heather Dubrow. I find her fabulous, hilarious, and she’s obviously rich as hell. However, what made Heather so good on her original run on the show was her role as the voice of reason and, at times, the villain of the show. She’s snarky—she plays it up for the cameras and can be a bit of a smart-ass. That’s why she’s an amazing Housewife. However, I feel like Bravo kind of f*cked up by pushing her to be the matriarch/center of the show. Sure, she could give us a Bethenny Frankel tease and be the alpha of the group, but the reason why that worked for RHONY was because each of the women on RHONY had their moments of standing up to Bethenny. I feel like most of the girls on RHOC, except for Noella, have a tendency to kiss Heather’s ass. It makes the show boring, and eventually could make Heather think she’s above this group. We for sure don’t want that. 

The Direction Of The Show

I’m happy that we have a reboot, and everyone (including me) wanted the show to go in a different direction—especially after such a dark season—but I feel like this season’s direction isn’t what RHOC needed. Yes, we love wealth, and yes, we love opulence, but not every franchise needs that for it to be good. Each Housewives franchise is amazing because they all have their own special qualities: RHONY has a comedic vibe to it while RHOBH is more focused on opulence and wealth. What made RHOC special was the dynamic between the women and the show’s casual vibe. I don’t know if pushing the show in the direction of RHOBH is the right idea. It comes across as a bit jarring, especially to longtime viewers. In addition to the direction of the show, the cast feels a bit disjointed. For instance, the reason the Real Housewives of Miami reboot is working so well is because there’s a good balance of newbies and OGs in different capacities. RHOC needs to bring back some OGs to balance out the cast and stir the pot a bit. Those vets would be Vicki and Tamra. 

Vicki and Tamra

Vicki and Tamra were the foundation for RHOC. While I was happy to see them go at first, I deeply regret that decision. They knew how to stir the pot in such an organic way that it made the show incredibly worth watching. From Bass Lake-Gate to Vicki being a complete hater to Meghan King, those girls understood the assignment. I think bringing them back in a friend role in the same way RHOM has done with Marysol and Adriana would balance out the cast, and we all know that Vicki and Tamra would keep everyone on the cast accountable. Plus, with their recent fallouts with Shannon, it only would make sense to bring them back. 

I absolutely love RHOC, and I’m not saying this season is bad. But, it is definitely missing something that could bring it from being a 6/10 to a 10/10. We need the show to change its direction a bit, bring back Vicki and Tamra, and not push Heather so much to be the centre of the show. I know for a fact that if these changes were made, RHOC could be back in its prime. 

Image: Nicole Weingart / Bravo

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