‘The Real Housewives of New Jersey’: Did it all for the cookie

The Real Housewives of New Jersey
June 6, 2011

Nothing says Thanksgiving like an Italian on a mechanical bull. (Bravo)

Before we get started: good news, Real Housewives of New Jersey fans! You can quit mailing those horse heads to Andy Cohen already: there will be a season four. Also, our ladies of Franklin Lakes will be moving to Sundays next week, so heads up, paisans.

Bust out your pilgrim bonnets and muskets: it’s Thanksgiving in New Jersey, which means Melissa and Folletto are loading up their shopping cart with hams and Italian sausages (both hot and sweet) (and it should be known that in my Italian family we make our own sausages, thank you very much) and mortadella and bread but NO PINEAPPLE! What are you, stugatz?

Teresa and Meatball, meanwhile, are driving all over Northern New Jersey looking for a tacchino farm, and they get lost for a little while but then, twist ending!, they find it. RIVETING TELEVISION RIGHT HERE. At the tacchino farm, Teresa and Meatball meet a young tacchina, but decide that she’s terrified and they feel guilty killing the creature, so they buy a previously slaughtered one that they don’t have to look into the eyes. And I don’t blame them. Not in the least.

Kathy’s Thanksgiving job is to make deserts. She makes deserts. It is very boring.

Caroline, Albert and Lauren head up to Monroe, NY to pay a visit to The Best of Little Italy deli and Lauren’s maybe-soon in-laws, the Vito family. Vito, Sr., who bears a remarkable resemblance to Paul Sorvino, is from Sicily and has very little to say. Mrs. Vito Sr. is slightly more chatty, but nothing much actually happens aside from Lauren donning an apron and playing with a meat slicer, and Caroline and Albert making some unintentionally condescending remarks about being wealthy.

And I am once again reminded that Bobby Hankinson SHOULD BE BLOGGING THIS, and not just because I’m late. Again. It seems The Best of Little Italy is his old neighborhood deli, where he’d buy his proscuit and his mortadell and he’d take surreptitious pictures with his phone:

It’s not weird at all to have a signed picture of a potential in-law in your deli. (Bobby Hankinson)


Ashley pays her step-cousins a visit at their new Hoboken apartment, where she floats the “My Parents Should Pay for Me to Have a Schamancy Apartment in Manhattan Because I Am Incapable of Operating an Alarm Clock” theory. Albie and Christopher are underwhelmed. Albie comes back with, Hey! Here’s an idea, Potato Face! Instead of stomping your foot and insisting that your mother spend at the very least some $2000 a month on an apartment so that you can get yourself to your non-paying job somewhere close to on time, why don’t you try not being so awful to your parents and pretend that you want to actually do something with your life? TRUTH.

And that’s why Ashley went home, cleaned her room, washed up the kitchen and walked the dog, all without being asked.

It’s “Thanksgiving Day,” and Teresa’s kitchen is pazzo, what with Baby Baccala throwing things out of drawers and Sfogliatelle poking the turkey cake and Mortadella yelling at Gabagool that she’s not setting the table correctly and Meatball is not helping out and mamma mia, how’s Teresa gonna do all this?

At Melissa’s house, the Marco sisters put on their best leopard print blouses and putter around the kitchen while the men do Tequila shots, just like the pilgrims did. Kathy and Rich arrive with piles of pastry, including tiramisu and cannoli and mini-apple pies and the whole thing is starting to feel like Thanksgiving with an Italian accent.

And that’s when Folletto reveals the mechanical bull in the driveway. Sure. This is a thing that normal people do for the holidays. Rent mechanical bulls. I mean, in our family, we save the mechanical bull rental for Easter, but every family celebrates the holidays a little differently. Tradition.

BUT THE MECHANICAL BULL IN THE DRIVEWAY ISN’T THE WEIRDEST PART. The weirdest part would be that when Rich rides the mechanical bull, he does so in a gimp mask. That he just happened to have in his pocket. So many questions.


And then Folletto and Melissa ride the bull together simulating sex in front of not only their small children but the small children of their guests and the small children in the neighborhood, because they are classy that way. Thanksgiving!

The Carolines (bearing pignoli cookies) and the Jaquelines and Kim D. arrive at Teresa’s house, where the hostess is wearing the bottom half of an emu and is filled with emotion for her friends who have stood by her during a difficult year.

At dinner (following a slap fight between Sfogliatelle and Mortadella, because no Thanksgiving is complete without one physical altercation), Gabagool reveals to Caroline that Vito might have proposed to Lauren, and Lauren turned him down. It’s unclear whether this is a joke or not? But that’s not what’s important. What’s important is that it leads to the entire table agreeing that it is VITALLY IMPORTANT that a potential groom ask the potential bride’s father for his daughter’s hand in marriage. And between this and the scenes of Melissa and the rest of her family doting over their menfolk while they get drunk on shots, my inner feminist begins shrieking words that are not appropriate in this medium before stomping off, burning her inner bra and refusing to shave her inner armpits for a month. THESE WOMEN.

Teresa reveals to Caroline that she wrote a letter to Folletto, but has yet to hear from him, and Team Teresa seem to be in agreement that Folletto should show some deference to his older sister, and be the one to respond already.

And then Teresa reveals Where It All Began: Back when Teresa and Meatball redid their house, they threw a housewarming party (which I believe was featured in the first season? right?) and Melissa sent a card reading “God bless you guys and your redone home.”


In response, Teresa explains that she kept her dignity and instead of confronting Melissa directly (NOT CLASSY), she instead waited for Melissa to come to her home with some “sprinkle cookies” which she threw in the garbage after explaining to Melissa that she prefers pignoli cookies (CLASSY). Because there were clearly only two ways to handle this situation: 1. Get into a hair pulling fight, preferably at a child’s party of some sort or 2. Do something mean-spirited and ugly and completely unrelated to the original slight. There are no other options.

Caroline sighs heavily and tells Teresa it’s time for her to take the high road and cut it out and then Caroline takes a long soothing sip from her wine glass. Queste donne.

Back at the Gorga house, Folletto tells the assembled that his sister has, indeed, written him a letter apologizing. But he’s not convinced that she even knows what it is for which she needs to apologize. The entire table sighs heavily and some drunk guy named Joey (of course) slurs that his brother (also named Joey, no doubt) died and that Folletto needs to make up with only sister. And Folletto agrees to call Teresa and hear her out, get enough already. Happy “Thanksgivin'” everybuddy! Cin Cin!

The Real Housewives of New Jersey will begin airing Sundays at 9 p.m. on Bravo. AND PROGRAMMING NOTE: I will not be blogging it this coming week, so just save your grumpy comments. Maybe, if you’re super nice, I can talk Bobby into making a guest appearance, but I am not making any promises, people. Thanks in advance for your understanding, i miei cuccioli.

This post first appeared on the Hearst site Chron.com.


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