The Real Housewives of New Jersey Recap: Let’s Get Naked

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Photo: Bravo
The Real Housewives of New Jersey

The Real Housewives of New Jersey

A Retreat to Remember Season 8 Episode 7
Editor's Rating 3 stars

This week on Jerz, we got more info on Margaret’s story with her kids, and it turns out their rejection has a lot to do with her cheating on her husband. I sympathize with the kids, but that’s a hard situation and I see why Siggy and Dolores were so compelled by it.

Sadness aside, LOL at the whole interior-design conversation, especially Margaret’s quest for a va-va-voom statement room. Why doesn’t she just ask for the Real Housewives of New Jersey look? Is that available at Walmart by Dina Manzo or Teresa or somebody? Why not? Jesus, do I have to write the recaps and spearhead these ladies’ branding ventures too? Anyway, if anyone releases a line of gold-sequined throw pillows and wants to toss a couple my way, I wouldn’t complain. By the way, I enjoyed Joe and Melissa’s bedroom décor this week, which makes me think I’m about a seven on the RHONJ tacky scale. (Full disclosure, I was actually born in Fort Lee even though I identify as a native New Yorker.)

Love Dolores “fighting” for her friendship with Teresa. And I am living, hunties, for Teresa’s reasoning why Danielle can’t be a crazy bitch: “But she does yoga.” It’s a cute week for Teresa in general. She stays out of trouble. Rather than picking fights with Melissa, she schleps Melissa’s bag in the rain. This is a good look on Teresa — she’s the scrappy one in the duo where Melissa is the princess.

I really am dying to know what happened with Danielle. We all know Dolores didn’t do anything wrong, so did Danielle misunderstand, or is she lying? She sucks either way. If she misunderstood, then she should be a bit more humble about it. Of course, Dolores jumps on her right away when it comes up instead of saying, “Uhhh, I think you misunderstood.” Maybe there’s some behind-the-scenes orchestrating to make drama. I just don’t see how Danielle ever thought this would be a good look for her. I know she’s watched the show. Why take on Dolores? Dolores is literally the best. She’s the fabulousness of Erika Jayne without the artifice; she’s the down-to-earthness of Eileen Davidson without the boringness; she’s the warm, mom-ness of Caroline Manzo without the crazy mafia-code-of-silence hostility. Don’t believe me? Dolores’s quote of the week (to Siggy, re: Danielle coming on the retreat): “This is your fucking thing, I don’t have to hug anybody.” And I don’t think I’ve ever heard the expression “the elevator doesn’t reach the top floor” before. Who writes Dolores’s material? Let’s start the Golden Globe buzz.

Also, a word on editing. “I never saw him cheating on you.” I don’t know whether Dolores had the idea to give a sound bite like that or did it under pressure, but it was the TV equivalent of clickbait. It certainly got me to watch after the commercial break, only for Dolores to immediately backpedal away from it and/or for Teresa to not act on the dare.

(Speaking of bizarre, non-statement statements, my favorite of this episode and perhaps the whole century is Danielle saying, “I have absolutely nothing malicious planned for her.” OMG, can we dissect this? It’s like something Trump would tweet. She’s not ruling out maliciousness, just riding on the technicality that there’s nothing on the docket yet. Also, the definitiveness of “absolutely” is hilarious next to “malicious,” because she wasn’t really being accused of maliciousness toward Teresa, more toward Dolores. It’s like, “Girl, what are you passively implicating yourself in?”)

Anyhoo, I’m glad Tre and Do made nice.

Siggy is having one of those days of stress eating, poor thing. I don’t get her relationship with Michael at all. He’s all, “I’m not asking,” as he chauvinistically puts his foot down to curb Sig’s business mongering, but she just ignores that and doesn’t seem at all bothered. Is that the secret to marriage? Siggy is, after all, a relationship expert, end quote. Although I gotta give it to her because, as she admits, “I have issues.” And the retreat winds up being a great moment for Siggy, most impressively in her reconciliation with Margaret, which plays as really genuine and kinda sweet … until it seems endangered again in the final frames.

So I’m back on Team Siggy, although with all the strange triangulation on RHONJ this season, I think the enemy of my enemy is my enemy or my friend’s enemies are my friends, or basically everybody hates each other. All I know is that I like them all except Danielle.

To be honest, I could never quit La Flick anyway, because I’m obsessed with her sing-song speaking style of “I LOVE it!” and “I’m not OVER it!” She’s the epitome of the Italian-esque Jew. My black shirt/yellow tie-wearing, The Godfather–obsessed Grandpa Skitch would have loved her. Buonanima/b’shalom.

Quick sidenote: I’m finding Siggy’s husband Michael strangely hot. Yes, I hate myself too.

Can we talk about the retreat venue? I swear to God we’ve seen it before. Is it where Joe and Joe got into the spray-on hair fight? Or where Teresa and Joe got sexy in the tub? Was that the same place? Wait, what am I thinking of? Why isn’t there a coffee-table book of Real Housewives trip locales? Damn, I’m on fire with the merch this week. No wonder @brianjmoylan made me Vice President of Gift Shop Sales at the Real Housewives Institute.

Okay, I guess it’s time to mention Siggy’s retreat business associate, Vikki With Two Ks. I’m in a real crisis of conscience over her. I don’t enjoy her contributions. (What’s with that idiotic “Let’s get naked” catchphrase?) and I was unpleasantly surprised to find her joining the crew for dinner. But on the other hand, I myself have stumbled upon a couple of opportunities to weasel my way into the periphery of Real Housewives filming and I know how hard it is to get camera time without being lame. It hurt my feelings when the Jersey recapper on Bitch Sesh made fun of my efforts while Teresa recorded her audiobook. But that’s show biz. No crying in baseball.

Back to Danielle. Have I already chosen a favorite line of hers this week? One of the best is her beat change (as we say in the theatre, darling) at dinner, “Not to make this all about me, but …” And why are they so freaked about the drug accusation with Danielle? I think Dolores meant to suggest that as a possible alibi, like the Twinkie defense in the Harvey Milk trial where Dan White got away with murder because of a sugar crash. Besides, hasn’t Danielle admitted to drug use before? It’s been a long time since I skimmed Cop Without a Badge. Anyway, I think Dolores meant Prozac or lithium or Adderall or something prescribed. Regardless, it turns ugly on both sides. I did enjoy the refreshingly nuanced way the other girls were able to comment critically without betraying their allegiances to Dolores. A little more of that, we could all get along. But then there’d be no show.

The biggest drama of the week comes, though, when Margret goes after Siggy in the role-play exercise. Oy vey. That freaking birthday-cake thing is taking up way too much time this season. Are they really gonna keep fighting about it? Obviously Margaret was trying to stir up problems. I really believed she wanted peace with Siggy, but there’s no way she thought her impression would go over well. Although at this point, who knows? Bravo teased us with Siggy looking horrified, but just watch: Next week will be all smiles and laughs at Margaret’s comedic skills. Brace yourselves.

The Real Housewives of New Jersey Recap: Let’s Get Naked