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In the first episode of Bravo's "The Real Housewives of Orange County," Jeana's son Shane faces the stress of high school graduation and the baseball draft, where he feels pressure to become the third generation Keough to play pro baseball. Shane's sister Kara is feeling the sting of sibling rivalry and things get ugly when she demands a new car Meanwhile, Kimberly discusses her breast implants — a gift for her husband's 40th birthday — and takes her daughter, Bianca, for professional make-up for a junior high dance. She then decides its time to enjoy afternoon cocktails with friends and meets Jo in a chance encounter. Twenty-something Jo struggles with her new life as the fiancée of a wealthy thirty-something man. Jo and her fiancée, Slade, argue over her desire to continue partying. Jo ventures out and meets Kimberly, her first gated housewife friend. Vicki spares no expense to celebrate her daughter Briana's prom and graduation party, but dreads her ex-husband's arrival for the festivities. Lauri deals with the aftermath of her divorce and lower status life outside the gates. Things get even more complicated when her adult daughter comes home for a surprise visit.

Episode Title: Meet the Wives
Airs: 2006-03-21 at 09:00 pm
  • The obsession with appearances and materialism - from cars to houses to Botox to breast implants - makes "Housewives" a case study for everything that is shallow and pathetic about our society. Of course, that's also what makes it so entertaining. [20 Mar 2006]

    Denver Post Full Review
  • Paul Brownfield

    Highly watchable. ... The show, an obvious riff on "Desperate Housewives" and "Laguna Beach: The Real OC," is less glossily executed than those but also, for all this, trashier and more believably grotesque. [21 Mar 2006]

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Troy Patterson

    What makes the show something better than a guilty pleasure is the way that, after introducing its subjects as borderline-reprehensible cartoons, it allows them flickers of self-awareness or shows them trying their damnedest to be terrific parents.

    Slate Full Review
  • Tom Shales

    A persistently diverting journey by producers and camera crews in search of the glib, the flippant and the ostensibly hip of Southern California.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Rob Owen

    Entertaining in the way the problems of the rich often are. [21 Mar 2006]

    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Full Review
  • Charles McGrath

    The show isn't entertaining, exactly — it has none of the wit or style of "Desperate Housewives." But like so much reality TV, it's both educational and grimly fascinating, and leaves you feeling much better about your own life — if for no other reason than that you would never be so stupid as to appear on a show like this.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • David Bianculli

    If you're fascinated enough by their boorish behavior to return for more, you have a stronger stomach for tacky TV, and people, than I do. [21 Mar 2006]

    New York Daily News Full Review