The Real Housewives of New Jersey
What up, Jersey girls and gays? It’s your favorite Tre-hugger, kisser, apologist, and audiobook producer. In the immortal words of Jill Zarin, “Hiiiiiiiiii …”
I’m filling in on these recaps (r’caps if you’re nasty) for Molly Fitzpatrick, who has to take a break from being so freaking brilliant and hilarious before someone loses their mind. (By someone, I mean me, and by loses their mind, I mean with jealousy.) Seriously, how great is Molly? Just remember that in the comments when you’re bitching about me. It’s just for two weeks. There are starving children in Africa. Yeah, I went there.
Well, while we’re getting the hard stuff out of the way, let’s talk Teresa.
Is this the best time for her? No. I think we can all agree on that. Is it a little weird how she turned on Dolores and Siggy in a flash? (And how she flipped on Melissa even faster?) Yes. I’m not one to cry that reality TV is fake and all that, but this would be a moment where I’m tempted to try. On the other hand, I’ve been spending a lot of time with some Real Housewives lately and unless they’re all just really, really, really good actresses (like not just Glenn Close good, I’m talking full Meryl), then at least most of what we see on TV is pretty real. I know. I know. I just can’t even.
So I’m gonna return to my reliable old theory about Teresa (Et Theorum Gorga-Giudice) — that she’s a live wire, easily tripped, whose heart only wants to all get along, but who both easily offends and offends easily. The cake thing with Siggy pissed her off, but Siggy could’ve recovered had she apologized the next day. Don’t forget, our Miss Tre is easily satisfied by a half-assed housewife “I’m sorry, but …” With Tre, it’s all about not formalities per se, but stated positions. She would have responded in kind, but Siggy’s schooling of the girls on the way into a party was a bad move with Teresa and one that assured weeks and weeks if not a whole season of “Marone!”
Then, if you’ll consult Section Two of Et Theorum Gorga-Giudice, it clearly stipulates that Teresa would turn on Friend Two (Dolores) if Friend Two stood by the aforementioned antagonist. Of course, Section Three specifies that Melissa can’t ever get away with anything, which obviously includes everything on Addendum 7: Subjects Teresa Doesn’t Want Your Opinion On and Appendix 48, Folio K, Quarto 9: “When are the bad times to mess with Teresa?” which scholars have generally understood to be before, during, and after both her and Joe’s times away at camp.
Still, all of this should have been righted after a couple of kitchen Cabernets and Pilates lattes, save for the wild card of season eight, Danielle Staub. I readily admit I was one of the dozens to welcome the Naked Truth vixen back with open arms. How fun it’s been to watch her semi-grand return in almost true Norma Desmond screen-goddess delusion. Until now.
WTF, Danielle? Hard to say what’s really going on here. I mean, Bravo didn’t give her opening-title placement, which has to sting. I guess a girl gotta do what she gotta do. But why it gotta be this way?
Does anybody actually believe Dolores that Teresa only cares about money? If Dolores has proven anything, it’s that she’s loyal. Well, okay, she’s proven that she’s loyal and gorgeous and a tough cookie and doesn’t take shit from nobody. Maybe she’s a little blind to whatever the hell Siggy is going through, but she’s basically clear-eyed and also has a really good relationship with her hot ex-husband (maybe too good, but hey) and her really hot son, who I’m sure is over 18 by now, but I’m too scared to look it up. And did I say loyal? Yeah, good. Dolores is freaking loyal. Despite the drama with Teresa, you’ll notice that Dolores remains always on message, frequently referring to her friendship with Tre as something permanent and implacable.
So what did Dolores actually say? I don’t know. Maybe she said Teresa doesn’t care about stupid drama and just wants to sell books and send Gia to law school. Maybe she said Teresa doesn’t care about what people say about her, she just wants to sell books and get something pumped into her lips about halfway through the season. Maybe she said Teresa got 99 problems and anything that’s not selling books ain’t one of them. But I promise you, Dolores had only good intentions. And not only good intentions in that Margaret way, where she says something kinda bitchy, but she’s had real heartbreak in her life and isn’t a bad person. I mean, both consciously and unconsciously, Dolores said something intended to be in support of Teresa, which could only be reasonably interpreted as such.
So, Danielle is either wickedly trying to stir up shit or she’s really stupid. Or possibly both.
Should we have known this already? Yeah, probably. But Danielle’s original run on the show was in the midst of all kinds of Manzo drama and Gorga agita. She was needy and kind of stalkery, but her daughters were sweet and nobody really gave her a fair chance and these women were forging a path in reality TV. There was no rule book back then.
But, Danielle, my love, it’s 2017. You should know better. It’s bad enough with the fake-y phone-call checking on Teresa constantly. Is everybody fake and phony and social-climbing except Dolores? Maybe so. But try to seem genuine. Danielle only seems genuine when she’s freaking out on somebody, yelling, “Pay attention!” and giving us the rage she’s been holding down inside all along.
That’s why I feel it necessary to come down hard on Danielle. I don’t even think she’s good television, because her shenanigans are too transparent and she’s so unlikeable without stirring up anything fun. But we shall see.
Speaking of learning from the reality-TV playbook, big ups to Melissa Gorga. Girlfriend has clearly watched the past seasons and learned from her mistakes. She is passing this season with flying freaking colors. Except for that one little hissy fit with Teresa (or was it two?), she seems to have sucked it up, let it go, and moved forward. (To be fair, both she and Teresa eventually conceded to each other on the strictness issue, and they did it in their interviews — tantamount to Catholic Confession for a reality star.) But it’s more than that. Melissa is showing a new depth of understanding in her dealings with the other crazy Gorga in her life, her husband, not to mention three kids who are growing up fast and showing signs of giving Milania a run for her money at the Bravolebrity Kids Who Upstage Their Parents Awards this coming February 29.
I can only say the opposite for Siggy, who is not making a good showing. I understand she may be getting the famous “bitch edit,” but she certainly isn’t giving the producers much to work with in terms of making her likable. You can’t just be nice to Dolores (Siggy’s “best friend,” btw) and expect to come across well. That’s like saying Saddam Hussein was a great dad. You follow? Whatever, I love Dolores.
The best things Siggy has going for her now are menopause and Danielle. Both make us empathize with her, because of her emotional state or because of Danielle’s, which makes everyone else seem human by comparison. But Sig, let’s go, chop chop. Why is it always the life coaches who need the most help themselves? How about a reality show on that topic? Anyone got an idea for a title? Also, if your whole deal is hinged on being hurt that Margaret called you Soggy, maybe don’t keep quoting it and being charmed by it. I understand the value of reclaiming a slur, but when it was only a gray-area insult to begin with, making it a fun joke really weakens your case against it from, oh yeah, last week.
Oh, and you know who else did a good job this week? Margaret. Would it be mean of me to say Margaret is the halfway point between Erika Jayne and Kim Granatell? I mean that mostly in the looks department, but not just. Also, I love Margaret’s mom. I can’t remember any good moments with her, I just know her presence conjures something in my past. (Is it Dolores’s mom or one of those cool pot-smoking moms on RHOC?) And waaaaaaaait a second, what’s with the mother-daughter pigtails? Can it be that Margaret is doing everything ON PURPOSE? Is she intentionally working to make us like having her on the show? What, what, what?
I guess this goes back to my deep love of Teresa. I like my Jersey girls uncalculated. Let that river run. A stopped clock is right twice a day, so make yourself a plate and sit the hell down.