The Real Housewives of New Jersey
I know I say this every year, but there is nothing I want more than an invite to Missy G’s Summer Soirée. I’m sorry, but Joe and Melissa look like they know how to have fun at the shore, and all I really want is a weekend with the AC at 63, the pool at 82, and the fridge stocked with lemon Spindrift and chocolate Entenmann’s doughnuts. Is that too much to ask? It’s not?! Well, then can I get Joe in a Speedo bringing me lemon Spindrift and Entenmann’s? Great. I’ll be over in five.
The episode starts with everyone getting ready for Missy G’s luau-themed party at her house, which you know just means dudes in the Hawaiian shirts they were going to wear anyway and women in something flattering that they’ll say is vaguely Hawaiian but isn’t really at all. Oh, and of course more “You got lei-d” jokes than you can shake a mozz-a-rell at. Danielle and Rachel decide to go shopping for outfits for the party. I really want these two to be the Emily and Gina of RHONJ. I want them to bond, be besties, and instead of joining one of the existing sides they create a side all their own.
Sadly, I do not think this is going to happen. Rachel seems firmly in the Gorga camp, and Danielle, while still undecided, seems to be swayed by the Giudice/Ruelas camp. Just what we need, more sides, more trench warfare, more people for Teresa and Jen to convince that Marge and Jackie are the real evil people on this here television program.
Next up is Jennifer and Teresa shopping at Jewelry Expo, a strip-mall diamond emporium where the O in “Expo” on the sign is the same diamond ring on the Luxury Tax square of a Monopoly board. I was like, “This is where Teresa is getting her wedding ring, right? They really must have paid her a lot of money to shop there.” Turns out, she’s just buying bracelets for her bridesmaids, and also it is owned by Bill Aydin’s cousin, and suddenly everything makes a lot more sense and Teresa totally left that store with a diamond.
The two of them start talking about Margaret and why Melissa, Joe, and everyone else is nice to her. Jen decides it’s because Marge has dirt on Melissa and Joe, and that’s why they’re nice. First of all, this is probably setting us up for the cheating rumors that we’re probably going to hear via Marge’s mysterious ex-friend Laura. Second, this is not why they hang out with Marge and not with you. They hang out with Marge because she’s nice and fun and doesn’t yell at them all the time and hold grudges. The reason they like Marge and not you two isn’t because of gossip, it’s because you suck.
Finally, we get down the shore and Jen is no longer renting. She bought a “townhouse” right by the boardwalk, and I swear to God it is so close that Snooki is going to roll in for picklebacks after her shift at the Shore Store. Jen kept all the furniture from the previous owners and, well, I’m glad that the Toms River Jennifer Convertibles had a sale for the previous owners, because this furniture has now converted into being Jennifer’s. Staying with Jen are Teresa and Luis, along with Danielle and Nate, the hottest guy on Bravo who I have literally nothing to say about.
Rachel Fuda also has a shore house, and she is stuck with Dolores, who didn’t want to stay with Frank and Brittany because Paulie was supposed to join her but didn’t at the last moment. Maybe she was just afraid of Frank’s weird-ass shore house that is taller than it is wide. Maybe she is afraid it could just blow over at any minute like an aluminum-sided Jenga. Rachel is also putting up Jen Fessler and her husband, Jeff. Wait, if we call her Jenf, does that mean we need to call him Jefff?
In Missy G’s main cabin we have her, her simian husband who is shooting Nerf darts at the guests like he’s 11, and his best friends, Evan Goldschneider and Joe Benigno, who brought their completely inconsequential wives who have nothing to do with the plot or story of this show. Teresa is a little upset that she didn’t get invited to stay at Missy G’s Shore Shack and says she’s never spent the night there. She also says that Gia asked to use the house and “Melissa said no.” Okay, I’m going to need more details here. Did Gia ask on, like, a Thursday and wanted to go that weekend, and Melissa said, “Oh, my sister is there this weekend already. How about another weekend this summer? Like the 19th?” Or did Gia ask well in advance and have a nice plan, and Melissa was like, “I don’t know that a group of 21-year-olds should be in my shore house unsupervised in case anything happens”? Or did Gia ask, and Melissa just went, “Ew. No,” because she hates Gia, because that’s how Teresa made it sound.
At Melissa’s, Marge tells her that at the softball game, Marge Sr. went up to Teresa and said that her invitation to the wedding was beautiful. Marge sells it as Teresa then inviting Marge Sr. on the spot, but when we saw the clip, it was more like Teresa said, “I told her she should bring you.” It was like Teresa didn’t want to waste an invite; she wanted Marge Sr. there as a plus-one.
Between this and Melissa’s mom, Donna, attending the party, of course the whole question of whether she should have been invited comes up again. Teresa says that there is some history that we need to know about. When Melissa’s original nose and goateed Joe first joined the show, apparently Donna and her daughters posted some shit about Teresa on Twitter. That’s why Teresa didn’t invite them, because she’s hanging onto a decade-old grudge. But, you know what, if someone talked shit about me 900 years ago even once, even if it was the smallest slight, they’re not going to be at my wedding either. I’m sorry, I give this point to Teresa. Don’t ever make me say that again.
But just you wait, because I’m about to defend her again. At the party, Luis tells Teresa that he apologized to Donna, and we see him say, “I’m sorry about the wedding.” All right, this is throwing Teresa right under whatever sort of transportation they use at the Jersey shore. I don’t know, like a dune buggy with a salami tied on the back. Luis apologizing means they realize that Donna may be upset and acknowledges that Luis thinks that Teresa’s decision is wrong. That is not being part of the team. That is Luis trying to look like the big, upstanding man by inviting Donna when Teresa made it clear why she wasn’t welcome. If that was my husband, he’d get a big, fat yelling-at when we got home.
The party does seem like a good time. I mean, there’s a meat tower. I have never been to a party with a whole tower of meat, though I did once go to a party for tops called Meat Tower, but it was more of a one-off kinda thing. The people who seem to be enjoying it the most are Bill and Jen, who get so wasted they end up writhing around on the ground trying to do the limbo.
Know what’s not fun, though? Parenting at the Aydin house. Bill wants the kids to get straight A’s and Jennifer doesn’t want them to do anything that is going to bother their pretty little heads. Bill tells Jen if her kids get average grades they’re going to have average lives. First of all, Bill is probably right. Second of all, and I know this is going to sound harsh, but most parents need to accept the fact that their kids are average. Most of us are. That’s why it’s the average. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Every doctor needs a patient, every architect needs a contractor, every disheveled drug addict needs someone half her size running around telling her she’s pretty while never moving out of the house. It works out for everyone. (To be clear, I’m not making fun of Jen’s kids, who do seem genuinely lovely and well raised.)
There are only two little skirmishes at the party. The first is Marge confronting Teresa about Teresa telling Rachel that she’s a better friend than an enemy. Teresa totally said this and even when she tries to sell it as, “If I pissed off Margaret, then watch out,” Margaret is pissed. Their makeup must be really cheap because it’s running all over their faces like Erika Jayne about to do a crying scene. The only part of this interaction that was weird to me is that Teresa’s takeaway is not, “Oh, maybe I shouldn’t talk shit about Marge,” it’s “Rachel is trying to start shit between me and Marge.” Well, if Teresa didn’t deliver the shit, there would be no shit to start. Is that how shitting works? I have no idea. I’m always missing the bowl anyway.
The other weird tension is between Danielle and the rest of the women. Led by Jackie, who is fighting to get off the friend bench and back into the opening credits holding a picture of Bruce Springsteen (that’s what they hold, right?), everyone is talking about why she doesn’t talk to her brother. Between Jackie and Teresa, we know a thing or two about sibling rivalry on this show, and I don’t think there is anything wrong with speculating what is up with Danielle and the brother. I guess they’ve all asked and she’s answered, but, I’m sorry, there is more to this and inquiring minds want to know. And, hey, it wouldn’t be a party at Missy G’s if someone didn’t storm out at the end of the night. At least this time it wasn’t someone in her immediate family.