The Real Housewives of New Jersey
I can’t. I can’t and I won’t. I can’t and I won’t, once again for the billionth time, explain why Teresa Giudice, television’s stupidest person, is entirely wrong, has created all of her own problems, and doesn’t deserve to be listened to and respected, or even watched for even one second longer. And just when I can’t do it anymore, here she comes again, playing her greatest hits in rapid succession like she’s the ABBA Gold commercial from the ’90s. And here we thought Rachel Fuda saying, “There will be no altercations today at the Fuda brunch,” was a strong enough spell to keep all this at bay. Sadly, the virgin she sacrificed, well, it turned out that she wasn’t a virgin after all.
As everyone is in their separate Jersey Shore houses going over how much everyone drank the night before, we get some background information about what is happening between Joe and Luis and why they hate each other so badly. Sadly, it makes the whole thing even more confusing than when it started.
So apparently, I guess Joe had an idea to make and/or sell pizza ovens. Or maybe it’s frozen pizza. I don’t know, it’s something about ovens and pizza, and he was going to partner with Luis to do it. Luis lays out $250,000 in cash to get the project started. Luis says that he wanted to give Joe five percent of the company for coming up with the idea. Joe wants 50 percent, and Teresa tells him that if he wants that much, he must also put some money up.
When you hear Joe tell it, he gets one of his nephews involved (It must be one of Melissa’s sisters’ kids). Now there are boxes for the pizzas or the pizza ovens and Teresa and her daughters are on them, but it was supposed to be Joe and Teresa. Still, then the pizza was named after Nonno, their dead father. Then the pizza had to have an octopus on it because we know that Nonno used to like to pull an octopus out of a boiling pot in the early morning like it was a bath towel he was trying to sterilize extra hard.
I don’t know. I have lost the whole thread of this business, what it is, how it came together, and, more importantly, how it fell apart. All parties agree that Luis lost his $250,000. But this whole thing is a cautionary tale, really, and it is don’t do business with anyone in New Jersey. Seriously, what is Joe’s job? What is Luis’s? What do any of these people even do? Bill is a doctor. Joe is a plumber. Evan works in finance. Everyone else? Just vague business dealings that are entirely unmoored from reality and could be anything from “waste management” to “lead generation.” The short version of this paragraph is: if the Househusband is described as an “entrepreneur,” he is for sure a crook.
Now that RHONJ is a show about a group of guy friends and their wives who all hate each other like Sean Mendes hates wearing a shirt, we know that all sorts of shit would go down when the guys all forced their wives to talk to each other while they ate slabs of meat as big as the bald patches on John Fuda’s chest after they drunkenly waxed his chest the night before. I hate to report that there were, in fact, altercations at the Fuda brunch, including one with Rachel herself.
Danielle pulls Margaret because Marge is mad that Danielle said that Margaret has an arsenal of information to use against the other women, which Rachel repeated back to Marge. The three of them are fighting about who said what to whom and in what order, but no one mentions that Danielle was only repeating a point made to her by Teresa and Jennifer when they gave the new girls the hard sell on why they should hate Margaret. This whole fight is misguided, and I hate it. Sadly it seems like it is drawing a wedge between the newbies who are being shifted off to the “sides” of the show that we’ve seen for the past 19 bajillion centuries.
Then there is an altercation between Danielle and the rest of the women, but really mostly Jackie. Danielle doesn’t like that the women think there is more going on with her and her brother other than him cutting her out of his life because she blocked him on Instagram. I agree with the other women that there is definitely more to this story. However, I agree with Danielle that when she told the story about what happened, that should have been enough for the ladies. Also, that was the time to ask about it. If a new friend told me they didn’t talk to their brother because she blocked him on Instagram, at the moment, I would ask, “Really? That’s it? There’s nothing more?” And if she says no, then it’s dropped. That’s good enough.
Strangely the person who wants to hear this the least is Jackie, who doesn’t talk to her sister too. I appreciate Jackie’s point that she knows what it takes to get to the place where you don’t talk to a sibling, and it has to be more than that. True. But also, Jackie has never told us more about her and her sister. We’ve never heard the sister’s side of the story. If we’re all supposed to believe Jackie, why can’t we all just believe Danielle? I’m a big Jackie fan and defender, but when she told Danielle, “That’s not the story. Say it. You know what it is,” I wanted to get out some Tide Anti-Smug Detergent and make her roll around in it like she was gearing up for a Lube Wrestling match at the local sports bar. (It’s called “Innings,” and they have karaoke on Thursdays.)
Now there are no amount of words, no sort of writing that can do justice to the insanity that is Joe, Teresa, Melissa, and Luis’s big group fight. If writing about music is like dancing about architecture, then recapping this mess is like trying to make a fart noise with a bone marrow shot and a kazoo. Melissa and Luis are sitting down talking about how Teresa didn’t want to invite her mother to the wedding, and Luis insists on holding her hand when this happens because he’s creepier than standing too close to someone at the urinal next to you.
This happens as Teresa is running around the party saying that if Joe wanted Donna, Melissa’s mom, invited to the wedding, all he had to do was call her and tell her to fix it and she would. But that’s not the point, Teresa. He wants you to know that she should have invited Donna in the first place. Asking isn’t the point, it’s the presentation that matters and Teresa is only presenting herself to the nearest, I don’t know, where do stupid people go? That’s where Teresa is.
When Teresa tries to talk to Melissa about this, Luis castigates her for ruining a good moment between him and Melissa and not respecting their space. This man thinks he’s an ivy league diploma but he’s really a sweat-logged yoga mat that has spent one too many manliness retreats in Tulum.
There are lots of ins and outs of the four of them on that couch, but at one point, Joe is alone with Luis, who says to him, “I live with your four nieces. I wear your father’s pajamas at night to make them feel safe. Did you know that?” Of all the weird-ass shit I have heard in my life (and I went on an Esalen retreat when I was 11), this takes the cake, the tart, the pastry, the mille-feuille, the meringue, and the croquembouche. What is he trying to do here? On the face of it, it is emasculating, like Luis is saying, “My balls are where your father’s balls used to be, and your balls can never be. My balls touch your father’s balls.” That is weird and gross and I don’t like it. There’s also something threatening about saying that he lives with Joe’s four nieces like Joe needs to keep on his good side because he will do something about it. But then also, who wears a dead man’s pajamas, and how is anyone in that household okay with it? Also, this makes me want to run for state Senate from New Jersey so that I can pass a law that no living man shall wear a dead man’s pajamas.
As all four sit down together, Tersea reiterates her point that Joe could have just called her. But then Joe says when everything was going down with Melissa being a bridesmaid, he called Luis and Gia and told them to tell Teresa not to mess with it and let Melissa in the wedding, and that never happened. Okay, fair point for Joe, but why didn’t he call his sister? Why did he get Luis and Gia all up in this business?
Then we’re back to that same old fight, Teresa saying that last year Melissa and Joe should have stuck up for her and Luis more with Margaret. Oh, Jesus. Do I have to explain to her again that Margaret was making her and Luis aware of the video so they could get out in front of it and explain it? Do I have to tell Teresa again that Margaret wasn’t making up lies or spreading slander? She was only calling attention to something that was already on the internet. So Teresa is just wrong about everything. She’s wrong all the way down, as the kids would say.
Before I can explain this, Melissa points out that Teresa didn’t defend her brother when Jennifer Aydin called him a crook. This is the problem with Teresa. She wants Melissa and Joe to stand up for her when she hasn’t even once had Melissa’s back. They could be the last two in the zombie apocalypse, and Teresa would throw herself to the zombies just so she could clomp on Melissa’s flesh. Why would Melissa and Joe have any loyalty to her when she has fucked with them every minute of every day that they’ve been on this show.
But none of it is Teresa’s fault. She says that Melissa can’t be happy because if she was, she would try to get Teresa and Joe back together. At this point, Melissa and Joe have tried everything short of one of Rachel Fuda’s lousy spells, and nothing has gotten them back together. That’s because the only person that can end it, the only person that can make it stop, is Teresa, and she’s too busy on the carousel of all her past grievances that she can never hop off. She’s stuck there, the same wooden horse bobbing up and down, up and down, up and down, not even realizing that everyone is sick of the song playing on this carousel and they’ve all left, leaving her bobbing up and down with her creepy-ass, red-faced husband standing by the ride, making sure he is the one in control of it all.