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Shannon & Vicki (source: E!)

March 25 is Shannon Beador’s birthday.

There is one cardinal sin in the world of the “Real Housewives” that never can be forgiven: don’t attempt to “produce” the show from the sidelines. That’s Andy Cohen’s job. Phaedra Parks tried it with her attempted smear of Kandi Burress. Lisa Vanderpump tried it twice, first with the Munchausen drama and the with Puppygate. Vicki Gunvalson tried it, too, with her constant lies about Kelly Dodd. Andy Cohen loves it when the housewives talk shit about one another, but he draws the line at actual slander and he’ll shut down a fake story line before it (A) puts him in legal jeopardy, (B) makes it impossible to film the show, or (C) eats up an entire three-part reunion.

That’s why he showed Vicki Gunvalson the door, and that’s why another Aries housewife has become the star of the “Real Housewives of Orange County.” Shannon Beador showed up a time in her life when she actually had a story line to follow. Her personal life was a mess, but at least it wasn’t made up for the cameras. In some ways, Shannon was just a more-tolerable version of Vicki: a textbook Aries native whose bad temper, innate neediness and poor impulse control put her in the spotlight almost every episode.

Shannon also exhibits some of Vicki’s worst neuroses, including hypochondria. With a Virgo moon, and both Mars and Chiron in Pisces, I can understand why Shannon ran to the hospital last season when Kelly bonked her on the head. Despite the inherently aggressive nature of her sun sign, she does enjoy playing the victim, the martyr, or even both at the same time.

Nevertheless, I do like her more than Vicki, but that’s not saying much because I like everyone more than Vicki.

But I digress! I’m supposed to be discussing Shannon. Maybe I’ll make it through an entire season of RHOC this year with Shannon taking over the lead. For all the criticism I dump on most Aries housewives, they do bring the drama. I just hope that it’s not in the form of a slanderous accusation that turns into a plot line that derails an entire season. These shows might not be as “Real” as I would like them to be, but when they get too fake, even I can’t bring myself to watch them. I’m thankful that Andy Cohen realizes that. For a Gemini, he’s not too bad . . .

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