The Real Housewives of New Jersey
The RHONJ editors have once again proven why they’re worthy of my begrudging respect, by tricking me into believing that Teresa might actually do something exciting, perhaps even felony-adjacent, when she grabbed for Andy’s question cards at the end of last week’s episode. As it turns out, she doesn’t even get them out of his hands. Well, there’s always next season.
“Dit, dit, dit, dit!” Teresa impersonates Jackie. “Yap, yap, yap, yap!” Jackie impersonates Teresa. And with that, their skirmish skids into a ceasefire.
In other news, Jackie belatedly concedes that yes, she should have probably given Jennifer a heads-up about her column before it was published. Giacinto was recently in the hospital, but he’s doing better now. Marge Sr. and her va-juvenated re-gina are thriving.
Finally, Andy asks the question that has occupied most of my waking hours for months: Has Jennifer pooped in all 16 of her bathrooms? She has not! She exclusively defecates in the master. I like to think that I would methodically circuit-shit around my home.
We segue from discussing one of Jennifer’s private bodily functions to another: Did she have sex with Bill before marriage? “There was a lot of dry-humping,” she genteelly admits. Did she have sex with someone else before Bill? “I would like to say that speaking about anything like that is disrespectful toward my husband and I’m not going to answer.” So, that’s a yes, but a very classy yes.
Jennifer is happy to report that Bill is spending more time with the family — if anything, RHONJ has helped their relationship. “But that doesn’t bother you, that you have to get onto a TV show to get respect?” a skeptical Melissa asks. I am far from a fan of Bill’s, but I’m not quite so cynical about this. I think some couples have so much trouble with communication that being forced to talk about your feelings as a literal job requirement — and having said discussion of feelings documented on-camera, for your spouse to later watch — could actually serve as a highly surreal, roundabout form of marriage counseling.
Melissa hasn’t discovered her hypothetical mystery sister just yet, which is fine, given that she has Teresa to bicker with in the meantime. Teresa is annoyed that Melissa is sitting on the opposite couch, despite the fact that the seating arrangements were outside the cast’s control. Teresa is also annoyed that Jackie is looking at Melissa. And Teresa is still annoyed that her brother doesn’t spend more time with their dad, which, as we all know, is Melissa’s fault. Specifically, as Tre implies tonight, it is Melissa’s fault for not fucking her brother into loving his father more: “If you want something from my brother, you know how to get it, right, honey?” I love some good old-fashioned psychosexual family drama.
For her part, Melissa points out that Giacinto also complains to them about Teresa; only she and Joe didn’t see fit to make that a storyline.
It’s about now that Andy summons Joe Gorga into the abyss. We’ve heard most of the sister-in-law on sister-in-law crossfire from here on out before, so I will instead focus on the strange poetry that escapes from the supple lips of Joe Gorga, the hottest man on Bravo. (Negging Mauricio until he falls in love with me is, obviously, my long con here.)
“Family. Family. Can I say something? Family,” muses Joe, whose advice to all parties involved is, “Cut the shit.”
“Are you using that thing in the drawer?” Are you using the rabbit?” he asks of his sister’s vibrator habits.
“I will suck my wife’s toes, I will start from her toes and work my way all the way up,” Joe offers, helpfully, apparently as evidence of the fact that his wife can’t control him. I think?
When Teresa and Melissa both waffle as to whether, per Andy’s inquiry, they would choose each other as friends if they weren’t related by marriage, Joe invites no one in particular to “stick a knife in my fucking eye.”
We wades into choppier waters near the end of the hour, when Andy brings up Teresa’s rumored infidelity — she was seen “canoodling” with a non-Joe man in Miami over New Year’s. Tre denies it. “I was hugging a lot of people,” she responds. “A lot of people were touching me.”
(In more recent tabloid developments, Teresa was spotted holding hands with someone with the unfortunate name of Blake Schreck, a perfect onomatopoeia for an elderly cat hacking up a hairball.)
Teresa says she sees Joe once a month; the girls see him twice a month. (And no, he does not have a secret contraband phone, as I had wondered — he texts with his family via a computer.) At long last, she’s prepared to acknowledge to Andy that she’s “angry” with her husband, if only because her jail sentence cost her precious time with her late mother.
As it stands, Joe Giudice (who isn’t a U.S. citizen) will be deported back to Italy when his prison sentence is complete. Their appeal is pending, but nevertheless: Would Teresa move there with him? She hopes it doesn’t come to that, she says, but no — she’s not about to uproot her kids.
“So what you’re saying is, you will go your separate ways if this ruling doesn’t go your way?” Andy asks.
We’ll have to wait until next week for the answer, but something tells me we won’t be setting our DVRs to record Casalinghe Vere any time soon. (Google Translate told me that’s how you’d say “Real Housewives” in Italian, but when I put that phrase back into the Googs, the results were almost exclusively porn. Abbondanza!)