The Real Housewives of New Jersey
Just like Deneice Williams once sang, let’s hear it for the boys because they really and truly are the very best part of this episode. This season is getting a little stale, or maybe the cast is just a little bit too complacent, because it seems like once again we’re going over old fights, old grievances, and old squabbles that we have litigated countless times already. In case you have forgotten, they were all given the electric chair, except for Evan, who had his life spared but only if he’ll make a nude calendar for charity each year. Maybe we can spare all of the boys for a charity Full Monty calendar. We’ll let Bill Aydin be the photographer because I have a feeling he wouldn’t be too happy showing his Turkish Delight to the entire world.
The other guys, though, I’m surprised they have yet to figure out a way to get their junk on the television. Actually, Joe Gorga has a plan, while he’s golfing at the local country club with Frank, Evan, and Joe B, for them to get naked as a part of losing a bet. Whoever’s ball (hehe, ball) is furthest from the flag has to streak across the driving range and back, probably while Joe aims his balls (hehe, balls) at him. Instead, it becomes a bet about whether Frank can hit it past a certain flag. Frank shanks the shot. (“Shank” is golf lingo for “intentionally hits it badly so he can have an excuse to get his lips on Joe Gorga’s tight tooshie.”) As Frank puckers up, Joe shows off three of the four body parts from Khia’s “My Neck, My Back” getting ready for Frank. Just as Frank gets about six inches off the ground (about as high as Joe’s crack), Joe squishes Frank’s face into his bum and they all laugh and giggle and run around at the golf club and order sliders so big they’re actually full hamburgers.
As everyone is getting ready for a cocktail party at Michelle’s house, both Dolores and Jackie mention to their men that they can’t let Joe pester them about shots because they always get so wasted that they can hardly speak on the way home. Evan says that he lived in a frat house, his liver can take it. And when the Gorgas and the Beningno-Josephs meet up for brunch, Melissa says that Joe is just a frat boy at heart. That is what I love about watching the guys on RHONJ. Yes, the Housewives is a women’s franchise and it should stay that way, but there are so few glimpses into the reality of the very straight, very American male. Here we see them just joking and being friends and having a good time, the kind of locker-room talk that we usually only get to hear when there’s a reality-TV star running for president.
We also get to see the gossipy and real side of these straight guys. Popular culture would tell us that they just want to get together to talk about sports and whatever new supplement Joe Rogan is selling this week. (It will surely kill all but three of your sperm.) But these guys are pushing Joey to talk about his sister’s love life. They’re talking about issues with their own marriages, and how Joe feels about Melissa’s career path. Joe B mentions how worked to death he is by Marge so that she can get the house ready for a photo shoot, but the whole time he has a smile on his face because he loves that damn woman. I’m actually finding them much more interesting than the women these days, and that’s not only because we got the chance to stare at a bare muscled ass for a good minute or two.
As for the women, well, they continue the tea party that we left last episode with a “to be continued” and, just as I assumed, there’s nothing to continue. All that really happens is that everyone once again piles on Dolores for not being married to David and not living in his house. She once again tells them all to stop worrying about her, if she were unhappy she would leave.
The dog pile then turns on Jen’s mother Josephine, who is having trouble with her husband. Jen asks both Dolores’s mom and Jackie’s mom what it’s like not living with their husbands. They both love it, but Josephine says that she is “old school” and would care what other people think about her and her husband not living together after all of these years. In a confessional, Jennifer says one of the wisest things that I had to learn myself: People don’t care. People don’t think about you nearly as much as you think they do. Know why? Because they’re busy thinking about themselves and what you think about them. Actually, I think more people would judge Josephine badly for staying in a loveless marriage that makes her miserable than leaving when she’s older than that cilantro that’s molding over in the back of the fridge from when you made guac on Cinco de Mayo…last year.
The big event of the episode is a cocktail party hosted by Realtor Michelle, a set of eyelash extensions that became human through the magic of multilevel marketing. When everyone shows up looking glam and fantastic (especially Jen, in a red-and-white ensemble) they discover that this is a full-on superspreader event. I don’t like to get too into the COVID of it all because I appreciate that they’re trying to make a show for us to get us through hard times. But there are like 40 people there without masks and they’re inside and I didn’t see one window or door open. If this were some sort of sex party, I would understand, but to risk it like that just so that you can eat some passed gnocchis and take shots out of plastic cups? Oh, no ma’am. Not in this economy.
This isn’t just a “party” like they were having on Atlanta, where it would be cast and significant others. There are all these randos there. All of Michelle’s overdone, taut-faced, Botoxed friends make that place look like a reunion for former Fox News interns. And all of this so that Teresa can meet a guy named Dave when she already has a new boyfriend who she refuses to talk about.
First of all, Dave, the tall, handsome realtor that Michelle wants to set up with Teresa, looks like an outer-borough Carl Radke from Summer House. But the cameras do him no favors by making him look redder than Mars after Jupiter told Saturn about the time Mars pooped in its pants after too many tequila shots with Joe Gorga. In fact, at this party, all of the dudes look ruddy, like they just walked out of a sauna together after Evan tried to “do stuff” with them at the gym. The women all seem to have their skin-tone painted on them, can’t we do a little something for these dudes?
Anyway, it would piss me off mightily if I were the rest of the cast or the producers of this show and Teresa was in a new relationship with a dude and didn’t want anyone to talk about it. The reason she is on this here show is to expose herself and her life for our amusement. We’ve already seen her flip a table, go to jail, and throw away an incredibly generous plate of sprinkle cookies. Why is she suddenly going to get embarrassed about the new dude in her life? This is a woman who literally gave birth and then opened her “push present” on camera, and she’s suddenly concerned about decorum? Please.
Since we can’t talk about Teresa and how she leaves a party early to go get laid, we have to once again talk about Dolores and how David gave her a Porsche SUV for her birthday so he didn’t have to propose. God, this? Again? Dolores is right, believe her when she says she’s happy. She’s fine. Joe, on the other hand, takes it a little bit too far when he calls her a “broken woman” who has been cheated on and can’t trust a man again because of what Frank did to her. There is probably some truth to that, but the problem here doesn’t seem to be Dolores’s as much as David’s. Why can’t Joe talk about how he’s a broken man because he can’t make a damn commitment? Or how about he (and we) just shut up about Dolores’s polyamorous triumvirate and let her, Frank, and David do the Devil’s Triangle in peace?
What I love the most about this whole kerfuffle is Dolores barking, “Frank, I’m ready to go!” when everyone turns on her. Like the dutiful husband he never was, Frank rushes to her side, making sure she gets into her black cloak correctly and into the back of an Uber without incident. Well, without incident other than freaking out at her friends on camera. In a display of a bond that can never be broken, as soon as the Uber door shuts she says to him, “I need to cool down for five minutes. Don’t talk to me.” As they rode off into the drizzle-dappled New Jersey night, Frank did her bidding and his big boulder presence — strong, solid, and unmoving — beside her was just what she needed in that instant. That is what no one at that party, those red-faced realtors and white-wine spritzers in heels, would understand. Dolores has already had the great love of her life — she still does. David, hmph, he’s just someone nice to pass the time with.