So last night I was sitting at the living room table, $100 whore frozen pizza (cheap but delicious) on a plate in front of me, Diet Dr Pepper (elixir of the Texan Gods) and watching the season finale of the Real Housewives of New Jersey on Bravo. Now, the Real Housewives franchise has progressed from Orange County, which started off as more about chummy friends but ended up naked wasted and in court, to Atlanta, where the most courageous fake cancer survivor held forth, to New York where bug-eyed Ramona hissed while Kelly proved she was so ‘up here’ as to be affected by altitude sickness, to New Jersey. Ah, New Jersey girls. A chance to disprove the “fuhgeddaboudit” stereotypes and prove that they could be dignified, charming, socially conscious, while also being fabulous and rich. Surely the man-loving Andy Cohen, creator or producer or gadlfy of the series, would turn from peddling unpleasantness and strife to a more uplifting, more refined ambiance.
Is that what you were hoping for?
Oh, dear. Where to begin! This will only make sense if you follow the show. If you don’t you can still look at the pretty-boy pictures.
Okay, what happened to the stuffed toys? I’m hoping they went to a hospital.
I thought Danielle handled telling her children about “the book” pretty well. I felt terribly sorry for them learning about it in that context though, with a film crew around them.
Teresa’s house is so far over the top that it gets nosebleed. I hope somebody finds something soft and sound absorbing somewhere in those stone caverns. It still doesn’t look like a home but a theater set for a bad play entitled “Ostentation and its Discomforts.” Remember how she dropped $120,000 in cash for furnishing for this “French Chateau Look” pile? (French Chateau Look? The ghost of Marie Antoinette looked away in horror.)
How far did she and Dina-saurus Rex have to walk to have their glass of wine? The house seemed so far away (yet so large and boxy and graceless) after their hike. I understand the difference in scale between my suburban bungalow and her gigantobox, but still. And D. Rex really should have shut up about the smell in the wine cellar; Joe has to have someplace to stuff the decomposing bodies of his contract victims, right?
I can’t believe that on national TV D. Rex has to tell the world that her daughter’s growing “tits.” How ladylike. I thought the child might be embarrassed but no, she decided to talk about her bubbies to the camera. Are all women this obsessed with their mammaries? Is it straight mens’ fault?
I thought that the car for Ashley was handled 100% well, and that Jacqueline was never as happy as when her parents came by.
Caroline Camorra Manzo gets an attack dog from disgraced ex-con Bernie Madoff, er, Kerrick. Some company she keeps, but a friendship with an ex-law-man, while not as useful as a judge in your purse, can at least make the rest of the country wonder if all those rumors are true, and whether the bullet-ridden Lincoln whose trunk you father was found stuffed in, four nice little holes as a decorative addition, really matters all that much. Maybe they are ‘legit.’
And now to “the dinner.” Which as has been pointed out was a Bravo requirement. I mean when D. Rex whined “why do we have to have that woman there” the obvious answer was “because your employer wants her there, that’s why.”
And Danielle brings “the book” to “the dinner.” Or is handed it. Either way, after appetizers but before dinner, it comes out and is laid very significantly and dramatically on the table, pointing like a hard-back dagger right at D. Rex. Ah, the histrionics of it all.
(I guess you want your family blow-ups on a lightly-filled stomach, after the hostess and her sisters(-in and -outlaws) make jokes about fellatio in the hearing of your children; of course, cause it’s classier to make d*ck-s*cking references before everyone’s full with three courses of pseudo-Italian cooking. Less vomit but no dry heaves, you see.)
And the fireworks are off! D. Rex scuttles about from pillar to post, perching on Teresa’s chair awkwardly, jumping up and threatening to leave (pushed back by Andy Cohen who’s determined to let the show go on until he can get into Albie or Christopher’s pants), back to her own chair, jumping up and down and trying to get a word in edgewise.
Caroline, manipulatrix supreme, appoints herself traffic cop, while building up to do a great imitation of every gunfighter’s moll in the annals of 1940’s film noir.
Danielle gets angrier and angrier while the men wish they were someplace else, someplace simpler, a comradely drive-
by perhaps, or a fraternal session bribing public officials, anywhere but here in the Harridans’ and Harpies’ Circus. The kids are dragged out, but not all, to protect their innocence from their parents’ bad behaviour. Did anyone notice how Christopher Manzo, the ‘other brother’ made himself useful by entertaining the children and sitting with them. A nice guy, pretty good looking, who is funny, duitiful and good with kids. He’ll be swimming in women (much to Andy’s annoyance – he wants to laugh! play free with this or any Sicilian studkin! and forget that he’s knee-deep in females).
Caroline drops the bombshell that it was her (gasp) who dragged “the book” to the court of public opinion called the Chateau of Hair Art and Semi-private Confessions. Confronted with this lie-by-ommission, Danielle does the obvious thing and continues to attack D. Rex, probably based on the “we’re all thieves, er, as thick as thieves,” line meaning that Caroline’s ego and control mania is so great she’s confessing to everything because it all has to be about her and her giant but real monoboob bouncing around in that shapeless “elephant” gray top (I’m not kidding she calls it that on her bravo blog).
The “ladies” all start shrieking complicated plot twists and turns all at once in their strange twisted accents, D. Rex now running around like a chicken cut her head off, Caroline wagging her finger at 500 megaHertz, and Danielle’s eyebrows trying to raise in disdain (they’re already high enough to keep the mirrors on her bedroom ceiling clean of whatever may get squirted up there). When! Suddenly! Jaqueline grows a backbone and calls her sisters liars because D. Rex’s little tiny forearms did peck out the book on the internet, while Caroline did indeed rush it over to Gossip’s Central Office, Le Chateau des Cheveux and Reputation Killing, forcing it under the nose of unsuspecting patrons.
That causes great consternation with I Manzi, leading to D. Rex insincerely, sneeringly offering to pray for Danielle (such a nice Catholic dinasaurus, although she’ll probably burn Danielle’s house down with Mass candles) and Jaqueline and Caroline laying into one another, between Caroline reeling in shock that Jacqueline actually dared stand up to her. The world really did stand on its head and the fabric of reality really was torn apart. What a story for under the hair dryers on Monday!!!
Teresa, having perfected her technique on swallowing with the oysters, and anxious for the party to be over so she can get back to what she does best (having Joe the Stone Man jump her bones, driving Andy to jealous tears of rage) and wondering why some women want ‘preplay’ (why eat a slider when you can chow down on the whole damned side of beef) jumps into the fray by opining that ‘where there’s smoke, there’s surely a botched felony trial.’ Irritated by Teresa opening a second front in the war, Danielle snaps at her wondering if she ever got her head out of Joe’s lap … er … the raw bar tray long enough to listen to her “explanation” (long on denials, short on details).
Poor Teresa fumbles and fumes and finally works out that just like when she was three or four, somebody was being mean to her and reacts in character, shrieking obscenities and generally acting suddenly insane. Two big changes in personality in one meal – normally you have to go to a psych ward or watch Sybil in reruns to see that kind of dissociation! After a tentative try to test the strength of the specially pre-weakened table, she hurls it about, because, as she said earlier, she doesn’t want to be rude. (Never mentioned violence, did she?)
Joe leaps up to drag his screaming wife into a conveniently placed extra room, where he finds himself strangely turned on (per Teresa’s bravo blog) and excited and quickly gets rid of D. Rex (who’d sensed where the action was switching and scuttled over…or maybe like in Jurassic Park she was attracted by light and movement) and makes hot angry love to her right there on the floor. Andy, watching, twists his hands in an impotent rage. The Phillipino pool boy will not have an easy night, he realizes.
Finally, proving that he doesn’t belong on the show, Jacqueline’s husband the handsome Chris, announces that there exists these concepts called “sanity” and “maturity” and that henceforth he expects everyone to try to live up to them. Sheepishly they file out of the wreckage, D. Rex and Caroline in high insult, hopeful Andy trotting along behind the bouncing buttocks of one or the other of the Manzo boys, the kids scarred for life, mute in horror, or calling their agents back, Joe and Teresa smoothing down their clothes and Danielle looking satisfied, tossing her hair and downing yet one more glass of champagne. It may be as ugly as her sordid past, but it was her victory, dammit, and she wasn’t going to leave without savoring it.
Or without doing the waiter in the bathroom. I mean, he was poor but totally hot. Andy twisted his hands in more impotent rage.