The Real Housewives of New Jersey
I’d like to make one thing very clear: Jennifer is still the worst. Every time RHONJ forces me to spend more than 30 seconds immersed in her everyday life, I immediately require five hours of sleep and age by one year.
In this week’s vignette, Jennifer’s scalpel-jockey husband is, as usual, off in an OR somewhere, leaving her alone with the kids. I know she has five children — I’m sure they are each sweet and brilliant little individuals whom she loves dearly — but when they’re fully amped up, surrounding her and yelling about Coke and whether they want to play basketball, not to mention repeating, “Mom, Mom, Mom,” approximately 200 times per minute, I could swear there were a dozen of them. Surely, like, 5 percent of her monthly throne budget could be reallocated toward hiring a nanny? Anyway, I will hug my IUD a little closer tonight.
Over the course of this episode, we will watch Jackie order in for not one but two meals, because she’s a modern woman! Contrast! Themes! Our second new addition also trots out her ready-made Sunday meal of a storyline: She’s considering reaching out to her estranged older sister. (No, not because a Catholic medium told her to do so.) But first, we meet more of her “slightly bananas” family, including her mother and father, who is dressed kooky-casual for dinner in a striped fedora and a blue jacket with lime green shoulders. They are still married but live separately, which sounds ideal, to be honest — the reverse of Dolores and Frank’s arrangement.
Speaking of RHONJ’s greatest couple that is not actually a couple, there is trouble in paradise once more. Dolores is very displeased to discover that Frank told Frank Jr. (who’ll be competing in the same bodybuilding show as Teresa, by the way, though presumably in a different category) about his disbarment right away, long before he saw fit to mention it to the mother of his children.
Frank comes over to Dolores’s for dinner. In a silent comedy sequence worthy of Buster Keaton, she pointedly refuses to speak to him even while serving him dinner. When finally confronted, he explains he was trying to “protect” her, that he knew she’d take the news hard. Dolores doesn’t buy it. This isn’t over.
Also very much not over is Teresa’s festering resentment toward Jackie, as well as her double-festering resentment toward Melissa, for not defending her against Jackie and for, I don’t know, still being married to Joe, I guess. But for now, the two sisters-in-law can cheek-kiss and press pause on their impending blowup in the name of a truly noble cause: Danielle Staub’s nuptials.
After Margaret and Teresa patronize a sex shop (where Tre attempts to wrap her brain around the concept of butt plugs) to collect penis straws, a frighteningly large dildo known as “King Cock,” and other necessary bachelorette-party accoutrements, Danielle’s bridesmaids report for a pre-wedding summit at her fancy new house. Did I mention that it’s fancy? Because it is apparently important that we understand it’s fancy. She’s staring intently at champagne flutes when her guests arrive. A whirlwind tour takes us through “the blue room” and “the great room” like this is the White House or a haunted plantation.
The atmosphere is very hostage-situation as Danielle enumerates her demands for her Great Gatsby–themed bachelorette party, which include a dairy- and gluten-free menu and “really nice” gifts. (She has registered at Versace and Hermès, an outlandish rap-lyric-worthy boast that also happens, in this particular case, to be true.) Also, “the environment needs to be the expensive environment,” which sounds like something Trump would tweet on the toilet.
Then Danielle reprimands Margaret, who is single-handedly spearheading all her bridal bullshit, for — now pay attention here — failing to show up for alterations that Danielle never informed her were happening (on her second gown?), because Margaret should have texted her every day to check in and if she had then she would have known! “When do I get to feel like the bride? Instead of feeling like I’m attacked and gnawed at like a dog with a fucking bone,” snarls Danielle, who is earning this paycheck, goddammit.
Margaret, furious, calls Danielle a “fucking bridezilla” and an “asshole,” which is putting it mildly. She gets up to leave, but Danielle follows, enveloping her in a hug and tearfully apologizing. A minute later, they’ve made up, crying and cuddling together on the couch. If Margaret truly believes that this the last time Danielle will burn her, then I have a bridge that’s been engaged 19 — nay, 20 — times to sell you.
Danielle’s Roaring Bachelorette Party is a visual jungle-juice of feathers and pearls and furs and glitter and sequins and pink bedazzled goblets and disco balls and at least one banner that spells out “SAME PENIS FOREVER.” Of course the bride-to-be makes a dramatic entrance, descending from the ceiling on a swing and screaming, “This is the first time it’s really been all about me!”
Melissa observes that Danielle seems significantly less enthusiastic about the actual prospect of marriage with Marty than she does about getting as much attention as possible for herself in the leadup to the wedding. She is definitely not wrong, but I’m prepared to let Danielle have her moment (because I’m afraid of what she’d do to me if I didn’t).