5 Reasons RHOC Season 18 will bring back the golden era of Real Housewives

Tamra Judge on The Real Housewives of Orange County.
Tamra is causing drama. Pic credit: Bravo

As the original show in the iconic Real Housewives franchise, The Real Housewives of Orange County has higher expectations than the subsequent shows.

After a meandering couple of seasons, the series staged a rare return to form last season.

Thankfully, that appears to be a mere stepping stone to an even better year with RHOC Season 18.

Monsters and Critics got the chance to screen the upcoming season premiere, and it confirmed our suspicions that the golden era of Real Housewives could be on its way back.

The premiere packs a lot into one hour, which bodes well for the rest of the season.

For the first time in a long time, the overall franchise is looking up, and it could be thanks to the positive changes that helped bring the show back.

1. Everything has changed

Shannon Beador on RHOC Season 18
Shannon Beador is back. Pic credit: Bravo

The Real Housewives of Orange County Season 17 ended with resolution at the reunion. Still, many things happened off-screen as the cameras were picking back up – it was inevitable there would be a lot of drama.

The most exciting aspect of Season 18 is that it picks up immediately after Shannon Beador’s arrest, shifting the show’s focus.

The premiere picks up with Shannon in a reflective mood as she mulls her relationships with the women.

As Monsters and Critics previously reported, her friendship with Tamra Judge is in tatters, setting the stage for countless verbal smackdowns.

Instead of rushing to Shannon’s support, Tamra isn’t ready to be in the same room as her one-time ally. It’s clear that many things have happened between them, and the season seems poised to unpack all of that tension.

2. The cast is flawless

Tamra Judge on The Real Housewives of Orange County.
Tamra Judge has a score to settle. Pic credit: Bravo

Many other shows in the franchise stall due to casting issues, but Beador, Judge, Heather Dubrow, Gina Kirschenheiter, Jennifer Pedranti, and Emily Simpson are all crucial elements of the show this time.

In the past, some housewives didn’t gel as well with the fans, such as Kirschenheiter and Simpson, but those two clock in off the bat to show why they were brought back.

The premiere does an excellent job of introducing Katie Ginella in a way that ties into another West Coast show.

The official trailer teased her going up against Dubrow, but nothing in the series premiere indicates why their relationship goes south.

Introducing a new cast member in the premiere is a must because it gives them the best possible shot at being immersed in the storylines.

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills made a big blunder by adding Annemarie Wiley mid-season.

3. RHOC is using former stars to drive the drama

Alexis Bellino on The Real Housewives of Orange County.
Alexis Bellino is immersed in the drama. Pic credit: Bravo

Alexis Bellino’s return after so many years away was a controversial decision from producers because of her relationship with Beador’s ex-boyfriend, John Janssen.

It seemed like producers believed bringing Bellino back was the best way to create tension, and truthfully, it does feel that way after the premiere.

Bellino’s connection with many cast members creates an uneasy dynamic for Beador, but it translates into good television.

The biggest shocker here is that Bellino isn’t a full-time cast member because she worked as though she was trying to secure a contract.

A lot has changed for Bellino in the years since she was last on the show, and her return leads to one of the most comical moments of the series by Eddie Judge.

Like Katie, Bellino is immersed in the drama from the start, but with her history, she already has an in with most cast members.

If Bellino continues to deliver as well as she did in the premiere, there’s a good chance she’ll secure a full-time contract for the following season.

Another positive is that the trailer has so many misdirects about the argument between Bellino and Beador, creating a refreshing altercation in the episode that will drive the first few episodes.

With Vicki Gunvalson returning later, this cast promises to work.

4. The dynamic is light and refreshing

Gina Kirschenheiter on The Real Housewives of Orange County.
Gina Kirschenheiter has a storyline. Pic credit: Bravo

With The Real Housewives of New Jersey taking the franchise to toxic lows, RHOC is the ultimate palate cleanser because it’s so light and breezy in comparison.

The conflict isn’t one-sided, and some shifting dynamics could significantly affect the rest of the season.

The most exciting aspect is that everyone is introduced in the first episode, and there’s an excellent rapport between some women that was missing over the last couple of seasons.

The good news is that nothing on the show is too dark, as though the ladies have been told to keep the drama lighter. This isn’t bad because most viewers watch these shows for escapism.

The cast’s use of unsubstantiated rumors to create storylines has contributed to a downturn in the overall Real Housewives brand.

RHOC Season 18 doesn’t need that kind of thing because most of these women have a history with one another, and the storylines are coming together naturally.

5. Spoilers have been kept under wraps

Heather Dubrow on The Real Housewives of Orange County Season 18
Fancypants is back. Pic credit: Bravo

Another big issue in recent years has been spoilers about the season leaking in advance, taking the fun away from watching the show.

As we said earlier about the trailer featuring misdirects, much of what happens in the premiere hasn’t been revealed, meaning there are plenty of shocks that will leave fans wondering what will happen next.

The surprising nature of the storylines elevates RHOC Season 18 above the other shows because nothing feels forced, and it couldn’t come at a better time.

With the long-term viability of the Real Housewives in doubt for numerous reasons, RHOC Season 18 proves that anything is possible when an effort is put into a season.

The first episode alone features a lot of drama, but it never strays away from the fun and light tone, which should be the framework for the other shows to adopt if they want to bounce back.

It plays out very similarly to The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City, but the storylines here are far more realistic and driven by the cast dynamics, which should always be the case.

It will be interesting to see fans’ reactions because there’s plenty to look forward to in the rest of the season. The change of pace should theoretically lead to success.

The Real Housewives of Orange County Season 18 premieres on Thursday, July 11, at 9/8c. Stream Seasons 1-17 on Peacock.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments