The Real Housewives of New Jersey
Early this morning, sometime between my first sip of coffee and walking my dog, I realized I was humming. And then I realized what I was humming: “I Can’t Wait to Grow Up,” by global international worldwide New Jersey recording superstar Milania Giudice. This is how the world ends, not with a bang, but with a Nitt Da Gritt–produced hook sung by a 12-year-old with no particular musical talent to speak of. What can I say? It’s catchy, and my mortal flesh is weak!
Jackie has chartered a party bus to escort the women to a vineyard, where — minus Teresa — they will drink chardonnay in the sunshine. The closest Tre can get to wine is the obligatory bland chicken she’s smuggled in on her increasingly shredded person.
Jennifer has brought souvenirs from Turkey. But Margaret’s present got lost in the mail, she explains, “along with the mail-order bride that never arrived.” Hey, that’s funny! Jackie unwraps a dagger, and not just any kind of dagger, but apparently one that is associated with backstabbing in Turkish culture. “I figured I can give you something tangible, so next time I can see it coming,” Jennifer explains, referring of course to Jackie’s column that may or may not have implied the Aydin children were “spoiled.”
Honestly, this fucking rules. Jennifer is bringing theater this week.
“I don’t want your passive-aggressive gift,” Jackie sniffs (in Jennifer’s defense, I think this qualifies as a straight-up aggressive gift), and tosses it back to her. They throw the knife back and forth until it’s confiscated by Melissa, who would prefer not to have blades flying at or near her face. The drinking hasn’t even begun, to be clear, but the shouting has commenced in earnest.
“I’m not going to apologize for you being paranoid,” Jackie says, providing the perfect tagline to anyone who feels like remaking Gaslight. Jennifer maintains her kids are a “no-touch zone.” At long last, Jackie sort of apologizes, Jennifer sort of cries, and everyone is sort of friends again.
The bus drops them off at a very pretty vineyard somewhere in New York State, where a brave soul attempts to teach them how to properly taste wine. Housewives don’t swirl wine, ma’am. They throw it.
Oaky whites keep on coming; the women keep on putting them away. One woman in particular. We’ve spent most of the season with Sober Jennifer; now it is time to hang out with Drunk Jen. “Sucking my dick,” she begins to … rap, without provocation? Was that a song? I don’t know, but I loved it. The conversation turns to Marge Sr., for whom the one that got away was a married man who never left his wife as he promised. “I see a pattern here,” Jennifer cracks; the pattern, obviously, being that Marge Jr. is herself no stranger to infidelity. Margaret is livid.
“It was a joke,” Jen protests. “Just like the mail-order bride thing was a joke!” Wow! “So you can’t relate to people who have set-up marriages and I can’t relate to people who have affairs with married people,” Jen concludes a few minutes later. Wow! Wow!
As retribution, Margaret brings up how Jennifer said her husband sometimes sleeps in their pool house. They continue to yell over each other for a while longer, until Jen proclaims that her brother’s marriage will probably outlast Margaret’s. “I like when she drinks,” says Teresa. “I like when I drink too,” chirps Drunk Jen. Me three, for the record. Sober Jennifer is reality-TV Salieri. Drunk Jen is Mozart.
After her bodybuilding competition is over and done, Teresa wants the entire group to join her on a booze-soaked trip to Cabo. That includes Danielle. Let’s check in with her and Marty, the happiest couple on the face of this planet. Married life is “unbelievable,” Marty says. Cut to each newlywed in turn, staring unhappily into space and blinking the Morse code for “help me.” Danielle informs Teresa that Margaret repeatedly advised her to trust neither Tre nor Melissa. Mrs. Cafferty née Staub snitching to Teresa? This sure sounds familiar, especially if you’re Dolores!
My queen D invites Jennifer to walk around a park while doing half-assed bicep curls with little hand-weights, as you do. Dolores talks about how David continues to neglect her emotionally, unlike Frank, who, by the way, is getting Dolores’s name tattooed on his body, a very normal thing to do in honor of your ex-wife who has a boyfriend who is not you. All of this is concerning, but on the bright side, I’m looking forward to watching a Dolores-Jennifer friendship blossom.
Who should grace Milania’s listening party with his presence but Fetty Wap himself? He enters the venue for less than one minute, but long enough to hug his super-fan and tell her her music is “lit.” I suspect this is the highest wage the pride of Paterson has ever made per second, including bar mitzvahs.
Milania performs “I Can’t Wait to Grow Up” in front of two adult backup dancers (one of whom, her dance coach, I was almost positive was Rita Ora when I first saw her — honestly, it would not shock me at all if Rita Ora showed up on RHONJ) and a white grand piano, for some reason. She’s no Erika Jayne, but this is far from the worst track that the Bravo industrial complex has ever spit out.
Speaking of: Melissa wants Danielle and Margaret to clear the air before Mexico. According to Margaret’s more plausible version of events, Danielle said she didn’t know who to trust, and so Marge told her not to trust anybody.
In another corner of the room, as Marty and the two Joes watch this fight develop, Danielle’s husband proclaims that Margaret is jealous of his bride, because if they were to walk into a room together, “nobody will look at Margaret.” Uh, okay. Joe B. and Joe G. do a half-hearted speed-through of a two-man I-want-to-fight-him, he’s-not-worth-it routine.
You may be surprised to hear that not everyone agrees with my assessment of Danielle, which is that she is kookoo bananas, and which is correct. Jennifer characterizes Margaret as a “mean girl” and Teresa says Margaret’s been “treating Danielle really harsh.” In the distant future, thousands of light-years away, even aliens picking up stray broadcasts of RHONJ will understand that nothing about Danielle’s behavior is normal.