Taking a look back at what worked (and what didn’t) on The Real Housewives of Orange County season 14.
As 2019 comes to a close, a slew of Bravo shows are wrapping up their seasons and now that The Real Housewives of Orange County season 14 has finished airing, it’s time to take a look back at the season in its entirety.
Like any other Bravo super-fan, we love our Real Housewives but that doesn’t mean they should go without critique. Seriously, we only want the best for Bravo and our favourite franchise over here.
Here, we take a detailed look at what worked (and what didn’t) on The Real Housewives of Orange County season 14.
What Worked: Breaking The Fourth Wall
Reality TV viewers are incredibly savvy at this point, especially Bravo viewers, and RHOC’s decision to break the fourth wall this season follows a trend to actually show more of the moments we want to see.
This season, we got an inside look at the show when Tamra Judge, Shannon Beador, and new Housewife Braunwyn Windham-Burke forgot they had their mics on and discussed Vicki Gunvalson and that infamous Kelly Dodd train rumour. This was just one of a few moments that made the season worth watching so despite viewers being disappointed in the women, this discussion did drive the story forward.
Moving forward, producers should show us more of what is actually going on behind-the-scenes because with these women, that’s where a lot of the real drama and interest truly is.
A lot of other networks are getting behind this mode of storytelling and Bravo could benefit by dipping their feet in the water just a bit.
We want to see our Real Housewives getting together for group scenes and this happened a lot on RHOC this year. There were quite a few moments where the women had things happen in their lives, only to have to attend a group function that same day. What resulted is viewers getting an inside look at stuff like Shannon’s divorce and Gina’s arrest.
Getting the women together also allowed producers to invite Vicki and that made for some of the season’s standout moments, too. Kelly basically lost it every time she arrived and love her or hate either woman, their moments together were kind of hilarious.
Encouraging the women to get together and film group scenes is exactly what’s needed to drive story forward and this cast managed to do so despite the heavy drama. Take note, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
The OG of the OC
The Real Housewives of Orange County season 14 may have featured a new Housewife, divorces, and arrests, just to mention a few moments, but once again the OG of the OC made the biggest impact.
RHOC seemed to focus on Vicki this year despite demoting her to Friend of the Housewives. However, the demotion might have worked for Vicki like it did for Luann de Lesseps a few years ago on her show.
Not only did the show highlight her feud with Kelly all season long, she got to show us her engagement and the finale was even held in honour of her. And while she may not have stayed on the couch for the entire reunion taping, a lot of those episodes focused on Vicki, too.
It’s safe to say that Vicki will be back in some capacity next year and at this point, don’t be shocked if she is a full-time Housewife once again.
What Didn’t Work: Sorry, Braunwyn.
Now that the reunion has aired and the season is over, Bravo and the production company will be looking at making changes to the show for season 15. According to reports, Vicki will be back and Braunwyn, Emily Simpson, and Gina Kirschenheiter are all at risk of being fired.
While Emily and Gina have been around for two seasons, Braunwyn could be the first one-and-done Housewife since Lydia re-joined the show a few years ago and we were forced to watch Peggy.
Braunwyn hasn’t exactly impressed viewers and has seemed to have a problem with Vicki since the get-go but she has seen a tick up in support since the reunion aired where Vicki absolutely lost it on her.
At this point, however, her chances of returning aren’t looking good but it’s highly doubtful that will have much of an impact on fans moving forward.
New Drama, Please
Viewers have been forced to watch Vicki and Kelly face off for years and it’s time for everyone to move on for the show to highlight some new drama for once. While both of them are great Housewives and valuable to the show, they need to take a backseat and viewers need to be introduced to something new.
For things to remain truly interesting and must-see, it would be great for production to cast a Housewife (or two) with a scandalous family or past, or for some sort of new drama to crop up amongst the current women. The story needs to move forward to be able to build on its current audience and gain new viewers at the same time.
As longtime fans of The Real Housewives of Orange County, this season included a lot of things that were positive and a lot of things that weren’t. With a few minor tweaks and a real focus on genuine story and conflict, this franchise can maintain its place in Housewives history.