The appearance of the housewives is reminiscent of the citizens of The Capitol in The Hunger Games--artificial and highly decorated. Their hair is always professionally styled with such opulence that they look like they are going to a senior prom or wedding every day. Their faces are caked with makeup and have the artificially smooth sheen of cosmetic surgery and serious dermatological work. Their faces are, quite frankly, haunting.
Clothing and jewelry are top-of-the-line expensive, but lack any sense of unique individuality. The housewives appear as walking billboards for major high-end designers, their dress chosen more for social status than anything else. From their appearance, one does not get the impression of human beings with rich inner lives.
The housewives' dwellings are multi-million dollar mansions in gated communities of south Orange County--places like Newport Coast, Coto Ce Caza, and Laguna. The interior of these modern castles are as opulently decorated as the housewives themselves. Much of episode 18 takes place at Vicki's house, as she celebrates the fact that she has re-decorated again. Like the clothing and facial decoration, the houses' interiors lack human individuality. The objects (furniture, artwork, light fixtures, fireplaces, kitchen cabinets, etc.) seem chosen primarily for their brand, cost, and the social status they imply. The fact that the housewives live in gated fortresses of wealth may (at least partially) explain their worldview and social outlook, which is totally insular and shockingly unconcerned with anything happening in the outside world (unless it pertains directly to them).
The drama of the show tends to center around in-fighting between the housewives, as they bicker over things that are, from any reasonable standpoint, petty and insignificant. The main "conflict" of episode 18 begins when Lydia's mother puts her feet on Vicki's couch. Somehow, this action sparks an argument that soon engulfs everyone and threatens to upset the whole dynamic of Vicki's party. This kind of thing seems fairly typical of the show. Watching the housewives argue over trivial matters is apparently part of the mysterious allure of this television program, which is (again) well into its 8th season.
Ultimately the housewives make amends and remain friends. The episode ends with a quote from Lydia: "If we can get through these really tough times, there's nothing that can get in our way."