The Real Housewives of New Jersey
While the women of RHOBH are regularly blasting themselves with lasers and harvesting entire new faces from the poor as routine parts of their on-camera skin-care regimens, our New Jersey divas have just now discovered Korean face masks. With impressively little concern about the potential for property damage and/or arson, Margaret invites all the gals over to her home for brunch and beauty treatments. Even Danielle is there — in a bedazzled denim jacket I feel I would be remiss not to mention, at least in passing — compulsively addressing everyone as “honey” and expounding on her elaborate dietary restrictions. “You know how allergic I am to everything,” she says. “Not to penis,” Dolores observes.
Teresa reciprocates Jackie’s attempt at a cheek-kiss hello as unenthusiastically as is humanly possible, and when Jackie dares to defend Melissa once more, their argument picks up where they left off. “You’ve been here five minutes, if you want to make it to ten, I would shut it if I were you,” Teresa yells. She further illustrates her point, confusingly but not ineffectively, by dropping a flurry of F-bombs (or is the proper collective noun a fuckton of F-bombs?) and banging her fork on the table.
Of course, Teresa’s fight with Jackie is really Teresa’s fight with Melissa poorly disguised in a pair of big sunglasses and a kooky hat. She and Dolores get up from the table and leave without saying good-bye to the group. I hope Teresa drove all the way home with her mask still dried in crispy Crypt Keeper patches all over her face.
Danielle suggests that Melissa and Jackie’s newfound closeness might be evidence of a “little lesbian thing” between them, and as much I would love to watch Jackie meaningfully leave her gloves behind on Melissa’s department-store counter, it is obvious that Melissa is desperate for sisterly affection — and more importantly, for any kind of life preserver against the rising, all-consuming tides of Teresa’s disapproval.
Maybe it’s that Jackie’s had a change of heart, or maybe it’s that she’s decided she would like to make it to ten after all (or at least make it to ten with less screaming). She calls up Dolores, who has Jackie’s last name listed as “Goldschnidier” in her phone (seeing how wildly misspelled Housewives’ iPhone contacts are is never not a delight), asking to meet up and get advice on moving forward in her relationship with Teresa. Also, Jennifer’s brother is engaged to a Turkish woman and this is very exciting, but especially exciting for Jennifer, who set the couple up. I bring this up strictly to confirm that yes, Jennifer is still a part of this television program.
Everyone else is off to Bimini, a beautiful island paradise that Teresa knows isn’t part of the United States! Well, she’s pretty sure.
As Marty waddles along with two armfuls of Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man white garment-bag blobs containing gowns, gowns, and gowns, Danielle berates him for risking wrinkles. The dresses take up most of the seating space on the small boat transporting them all to the resort. When it’s finally agreed that they should be moved to make room, she seethes, “If these blow overboard, my wrath will not be pretty.” Personally, I would try to be less annoying when in circumstances where it would be extremely easy for the people I’m annoying to bury me at sea, without a trace. She is also demanding her bridesmaids participate in a “Bride Squad” bathing suit photo shoot, and is displeased by Margaret’s plan to wear a bra underneath hers for extra support. (Marge’s description of her body in swimwear: “Meat, meat, meat, and more meat.” I would, for one, would be excited to shop the Margaret Josephs x J.C. Penney Meat, Meat, Meat, and More Meat Summer 2019 swim collection.)
All of that said, I am not sure I’d join Margaret et al. in calling Danielle a “bridezilla,” if only because that implies her behavior is not monstrous under normal, non-wedding conditions. On any given Tuesday, she is, on her best behavior, a Mothra.
When Danielle develops a mysterious “hole” in her tongue from eating cantaloupe (no, I assure you there is no additional context for this that you’re missing), Margaret’s Joe is somehow roped into pinching the wound with a washcloth, chosen for this task based on his professional medical expertise as a contractor.
Over dinner, we learn that only two of Marty’s three kids will be in attendance at the wedding, but even the ones that are coming don’t care for Danielle. Well, I’m sure it’s just some normal, temporary friction that everyone will work through soon! Or perhaps not.
“I command respect,” Danielle explains, her eyes glowing red, the group’s complimentary “Bahama” shots bubbling to a spontaneous boil, the table shaking beneath her and — unsteadily at first, and then with unbelievable speed — levitating five inches above the ground. “If you’re not going to respect me, stay out of my space.” Then she adds, charmingly, to her fiancé, “You raised that, not me.”
As if in an explicit attempt to lighten the mood, Teresa and Melissa start shouting (and, in Melissa’s case, giving the air the finger) about Jackie and Dolores, respectively. Joe stands up, waving his arms like the demented conductor of the Garden State Repertory Conversation Orchestra, and takes his wife and his sister aside to make three-way amends once and for all.
I mean, we’ll see. Everybody is sorry; everybody loves everybody. At least, I’m confident that Joe and Teresa love each other, Joe and Melissa love each other, and Melissa loves Teresa. End of list. Group hug!