‘The Real Housewives of New Jersey’: Of mothers and daughters

The Real Housewives of New Jersey
“Child’s Play No More”
August 14, 2011

Teresa herds her genitori e suoceri and terribly-behaved figlie into the dining room to take a bunch of “family pictures” for her new cookbook. There is much moaning and teeth-gnashing and garment-rending and Mortadella spends the entire time screaming and sobbing and Gabagool, who has been remarkably good all season, is suddenly unable to manage even a fake smile for the cover picture and everyone has had enough, including, but certainly not limited to, the sharp-tongued photographer who clearly wants to strangle them all.

Melissa, meanwhile, whines to her sisters about what una brutta Teresa is, with her mocking of Melissa’s “singing career” and her lack of interest in Melissa’s ridiculous basement recording studio. Melissa questions Teresa’s interest in cooking, and whether or not she’s just writing these cookbooks to make a living, as if there’s something wrong with that. And then her sisters tell a convoluted story about how some nameless cousins recently went to a psychic who tried to deliver a message from an anonymous aunt. The cousins decided that the psychic meant “Anthony,” as in Melissa’s dead father she’s always going on about. Anthony wants Melissa to stay true to herself and stay grounded, and assures his daughter via her sisters via her cousins via a psychic that she will be successful. And I know he’s dead and everything, but there must have been an easier way for Anthony to get this rather generic message to Melissa.

Later, K-Mack, Melissa’s “music” “producer” shows up with a couple of other guys to help her record her track “On Display” in her basement studio. There is much moaning and teeth-gnashing and garment-rending and Melissa spends the entire time wailing and squinting and eventually K-Mack and his buddies tell her she “nailed it” because everyone has had enough, including, but certainly not limited to, the exhausted producer who clearly wants to strangle her.

Kathy and Jeff Goldblum, Jr. are in Victoria’s room talking about how their daughter is going to a spring formal, and whether or not Kathy should have “the talk” with Victoria. Jeff Goldblum, Jr. gets totally freaked out at the idea of even discussing sex with his daughter and essentially forbids Kathy from doing so because Victoria, at 16, is still a “little girl.” Ugh. It is never explained why they are having this conversation in Victoria’s room, which I can’t imagine Victoria could be very happy about.

Kathy takes Victoria dress shopping, and is clearly appalled by the “sexier” dresses her daughter is trying on. Personally, I’d be more upset by the lack of taste. Blue lace and sequins on a mermaid dress? Marrone. Kathy worries about the kind of attention Victoria will attract wearing this monstrosity, warning Victoria that boys often have ulterior motives and might try to pressure her into a physical relationship. Victoria is all, “MA. COME ON.” Nothing is actually resolved.

Caroline has her own conversation with her daughter in her closet while pulling out all of her fat clothes for donation. Lauren reveals she has insecurities about her weight, which makes Caroline cry and promise to do whatever it takes to help her daughter. This translates to Caroline, Lauren, Jacqueline, Christopher, Albie and Greg taking a kickboxing class together. There is much moaning and teeth-gnashing and garment-rending and Caroline spends the entire time complaining that she’s too old for this and threatening to throw up. And after Lauren loudly announces that she can see up Greg’s shorts, everyone has had enough, including, but certainly not limited to, the muscly trainer who clearly wants to strangle them all.

AlbieChristopher, because he is a responsible human being, has taken a bartending job at a Hoboken bar, where Jacqueline, Chris, Potato Face, Lauren, ChristopherAlbie and Greg arrive to heckle him. While ChristopherAlbie, Greg and Lauren tease Ashley about being lazy and lacking ambition and only wanting to go party always, Jac and Chris sneak outside and greet some giant shaved bear and his blond bride. The shaved bear, it would seem, is Poppa Potato Face, and it should be noted that Ashley absolutely inherited that head from him. It seems Poppa Potato Face and his bride have come from Texas to join Jac and Chris so as to confront Potato Face about her lack of ambition and general all-around terribleness.

Sometime later, Jacqueline cooks dinner while nearby, Ashley plays with an iPad. When Jac asks Ashley if she plans to go out that night, Ashley tells her that no, in fact, she was planning on staying in. Super! Then she can help Chris babysit tonight. ON SECOND THOUGHT, Potato Face has other, potatoy plans. That don’t involve her stupid baby brothers. Gah. Jacqueline then changes topics, and asks for the 50,000th time what, exactly, is Ashley’s plan? Ashley meows something about moving to California, which is the first Jacqueline has heard of this absurd idea, and she asks how Potato Face expects to afford to do such a thing? Dunno, she’ll get a job or something, AND LISTEN, SHE’S A DIFFERENT PERSON THAN JACQUELINE, WITH DIFFERENT EXPERIENCES. WHY CAN’T HER MOM SEE THAT? Gah. She just needs to have a fresh start and not have her parents who are paying her entire way try to tell her what to do all the time and get away from ALL THIS TOXICITY ALREADY.

INTERVENTION TIME. Jacqueline and Chris meet Shaved Bear and Mrs. Shaved Bear for brunch, and then they all proceed to wait forever for Ashley because of course. Shaved Bear reveals that he recently received a text from Potato Face reading “I’m going to California, are you going to pay for it or not?” which I suspect actually read “im goin to Cali, u goin to pay 4 it or wut?” but either way, it is a very charming text. All of the parents agree that they have had perfectly enough of Potato Face’s shenanigans and paying for her adventures in failure.

That settled, Ashley finally arrives and squeezes into the center of the booth where Jacqueline immediately lights into her: what are your plans, Potato Face? What do you see for yourself in the future? Ashley, somewhat prepared for this ambush, announces that she wants to go to makeup school, but Lauren advised her to go to beauty school first, so she’s going to do that, in California. (Wait, is makeup school like a graduate program? First you go to beauty school and after graduation you get your masters in hair or makeup or pedicures? Is this how it works?) Everyone would very much like to know what her plan for financing is, and she explains that while she has enough money for rent, she can’t afford beauty school or the masters in makeup, so… The parents sigh heavily. Chris explains that he wants to invest in her talents, and Jacqueline adds that they all believe in her, Lauren believes in her enough to hire her to work on her grand opening! And Potato Face rolls her eyes in her giant potato head and whines that Lauren is making her do a design she doesn’t want to do. ANYWAY, SHE IS SO DONE WITH THIS. Everything she says is just SHOT DOWN, WHY BOTHER.

Shaved Bear notes that Ashley is horrible to her parents, that it pains him that she gave them nothing for Christmas. Chris jumps in that he is tired of trying to help her, only to have her not give una merda, and Jacqueline adds that Potato Face has no respect for her. AND THEN SHE DOES IT. Potato Face is all, “I don’t appreciate you lecturing me on how to act when I’m 20 and I do’t have a kid.” Everyone freezes, except for the almost imperceptible head shaking, and if you are very still, you can actually feel the air leave the room. Jac, understandably, snaps, and explains to her very very stupid daughter that she busted her culo to raise her, and that she was FAR MORE RESPONSIBLE at 20 than Potato Face is. Potato Face announces that she didn’t sign up for babysitting, and the other parents slide the knives out of Jacqueline’s reach. Jacqueline yells at her daughter that she should JUST HELP. THEY ARE HELPING HER, SHE SHOULD HELP THEM EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE. SO DISRESPECTFUL. POTATO FACE DOESN’T APPRECIATE UNA COSA MALEDETTAMENTE. POTATO FACE CAN LEAVE. SHE CAN GET OUT OF JACQUELINE’S HOUSE, BECAUSE SHE DOES NOT NEED SOMEONE WHO TREATS HER LIKE MERDA LIVING IN HER HOUSE. And with that, Jacqueline storms off.

Potato Face whines to the remaining parents that she looks like la cagna again, and then proceeds to whine to the confessional cameras that Jac is always so mad at her and throws her “sacrifice” in her Potato Face, but look, Jacqueline’s the one who chose to keep Potato Face instead of put her up for adoption, so she has to take what Potato Face dishes out. WHAT? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOUR POTATO BRAIN? UGH. YOU ARE THE WORST. I THOUGHT TERESA WAS THE WORST, BUT, NOPE, IT’S YOU. OFFICIALLY, YOU ARE LA PEGGIORE.

A threat that this will be continued is made, even though everyone has had enough, including, but certainly not limited to, your trusty blogger who absolutely wants to strangle them all.

 

Edited because I mixed up Christopher and Albie, somehow.

The Real Housewives of New Jersey airs Wednesdays on Bravo at 8/9 CST.

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

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