So, Theresa gave birth to a cute and healthy baby girl with ten fingers and ten toes and a tragic surfeit of vowels in her name.
The whole thing happened pretty fast. Theresa felt a “pressure down there” and asked Joe to take her to the hospital. A push and a half later, Audriana had entered the world. Before the nurses could wipe the lardy coating off her tiny body, Theresa was requesting permission to slap something “frou-frou” on her, thereby sealing the child's fate as one day worrying about her makeup and extracting promises of diamonds all throughout labor, just like mommy. And still, through the excruciating pain, Theresa showed a childlike sense of wonder, not to mention a childlike grasp of basic economics, geography, and current events.
She was quite surprised to learn, for instance, that diamonds came from Africa and not from the Bailey, Banks & Biddle at the Short Hills mall.
After witnessing the twin miracles of Audriana’s birth and instant makeover, we felt a pressure down there, too — not in our “chuckie,” but somewhere just northeast of it, in the deepest recesses of our soul. We’re just glad Karl Marx didn’t live to see this. (Em-barr-assing!) Although, who knows, he might have gotten a kick out of Theresa’s hyperliteral interpretation of his whole “fetishism of the products of labor” thing. (Though, in fairness to Theresa, we can see where she got confused.)
Come to think of it, it’s a good thing Betty Friedan is dead, too. In fact, The Real Housewives of New Jersey is a show that’s probably best enjoyed from the grave.
But we have a question: What’s with all the flaunting of shady underworld connections? Is it for real? Or is it just “brand-building,” Jersey style? Has it really come to this? Or do people think that whatever they reveal on TV is, you know, just between us? We tend to think it’s the former, as there’s not a scene in this show (and that includes the birth scene) that doesn’t feel scripted and rehearsed. Still, it would be cool if season two ended with an FBI sting and some big arrests for racketeering and tax evasion. We could totally see Jacqueline throwing up all over a conference table shortly before being taken out to the woods and shot with one of her husband's BAZILLION WEAPONS THAT SHE HAD NO IDEA HE HAD.
Hello. But more on that later.
We’re just saying that tonight’s episode played like a medley of outtakes from the Godfather trilogy and Goodfellas as performed by theater majors who bonded over summer jobs at the Olive Garden. We what we mean is, even the Sopranos took umbrage at the stereotypes. Not these people.
So, anyway, Christopher Manzo ambles into his parents’ banquet hall to learn that a sinecure has been secured for him at the car wash of a close personal acquaintance.
“Christopher wants to go into business for himself,” says Caroline. “He wants car washes. We don’t own a car wash, so we can’t put him in a car wash. But we have friends that dew.”
In walks said friend, looking compromised. After flattering Chris’s dad, he hands over the keys to his car-wash kingdom. Chris can have his run of the place on Wednesday. He promises to boost sales like nobody's bisiness.
"Let’s make sure it’s nothing inappropriate,” says Chris’s dad.
“Is it gonna be the kind of place that I would go and say, ‘Oh, I’m proud of my boy, he’s doing a good job?’” asks Chris’s mom. “Or am I going to be mortified?”
Um, mortified? And the nagging question: Will the Manzos' conversations ever sound like actual, impromptu conversations?
But on to subjects of greater concern: Danielle’s kids get a bit of a reprieve this week, but not before engaging in the most inarticulate dinner conversation ever recorded. It’s a wonder they can understand themselves, let alone communicate with other.
The show is surprisingly drama-free until about halfway through when something bizarre and convoluted happens involving a baby with cancer, her diner-owning family, and their bizarre desire to have Danielle host the benefit at the Brownstone, the party venue establishment of her sworn worst enemy. Which is like — come on now! We’re going to drag a baby with cancer into this now? Seriously?
Yes, we are.
And the baby’s father is turning redder and redder at the indignity of having to hitch his tragedy to this flaming sociopathic wagon because it’s costing him ten to twenty grand a week to keep his baby alive.
So it’s a moment we can all feel proud of, in other words.
Meanwhile, Christopher gets one step closer to his dream of creating a car wash–strip club by hiring strippers to drum up some business at his dad’s “friend’s” car wash.
Jacqueline and Dina visit Theresa in the hospital and exchange love vibes.
Danielle visits her friend Danny, the creepy ex-felon, at his creepy dilapidated McMansion with mounted deer heads on the wall, and shows him the pictures of her 15-year-old daughter all tarted up and model-like.
This does not strike us as an especially smart move.
But Danny and Danielle have “mutual acquaintances,” and she "respects the hell out of him." She says:
“Danny, I believe, knows a lot of people for reasons I would leave it to him to explain.” (Okey-dokey.)
One of those people, Johnny-here, is sitting right next to him. He’s also an ex-felon — a jumpy one with a nervous jaw.
Danielle has gone to Danny in search of protection.
“I mean, what if they came and started treating you like that?” she cries.
Danny and Johnny hop subtly in their seats at the promise of violence.
“You know, I have a theory on that: Everybody should just shut the fuck up, because I don’t play with the other children that well.”
Neither, as we know, does Caroline, who when she hears the news about Danielle presenting the giant check to the tiny baby makes the whole thing about her and decides to banish her from the benefit.
For the infant.
We don’t like to make predictions, but something tells us that The Real Housewives of New Jersey could be the show that takes all this housewife-on-housewife violence to its logical conclusion. The guns have been introduced — Jacqueline even strapped an ammunition belt to her body and felt sexy. No good can come of it. Not even good TV, at this point.