The Real Housewives of New Jersey
“Black as Ink”
August 28, 2011
Jacqueline’s husband, Chris has decided to start a famiglia product development business, whatever that means, and hire Chris and Albie Manzo to work for him out of their grandparents’ house. Sure! Entrepreneurship! Chris, the younger, seems to have no idea what a “product development business” is either, because he immediately starts talking about how the first thing they should do is publish a travel book about toilets and merde. Or maybe they could make a breathalyzer app for smart phones. Entrepreneurship!
Later, Chris and the Manzo boys meet with a client, some ladies who make something called “black water,” which is water, except it’s black. No, thank you! I do not want to drink this, please! The men explain that they will throw parties to “launch” the black water? And take it to Whole Foods and get it on the shelves or something? I don’t really know. Entrepreneurship!
Meanwhile, it’s Jeff Goldblum Jr.’s birthday, and he has a big party at some Middle Eastern restaurant that everyone but Teresa is invited to. There are hookahs and belly dancers and money being thrown in the air and Folletto wants to smell Melissa’s armpits, &c. Melissa shows Caroline and Jacqueline the scar on her back from the open heart surgery she had when she was 7-years old. Apparently, her mother balked when the surgeon wanted to open up Melissa’s chest, on account of her being a girl, and they went in through her back — she was only the second person in the world to have this particular surgery. Which, interesting! If it’s true! But, really? A mother, whose child has to have open heart surgery, she at that moment is worried about scars and what it might mean for her daughter’s future bikini body? THIS IS WHAT MAMA MELISSA WAS WORRIED ABOUT? Marone.
Some time later, at Jacqueline’s house, Teresa shows off her electric purple fake fur coat that she intends to wear to Lauren’s grand opening for her makeup counter, because nothing says klass like electric purple fake fur. They chat about Jeff Goldblum Jr.’s birthday party and their upcoming trip to Puta Cana and Potato Face’s terribleness, and it’s all very expository and boring.
At the opening, everyone manages to behave themselves, including Teresa and her ridiculous coat. Potato Face doesn’t arrive until it’s very late, because she’s awful. But instead of pointing out that Ashley should have been there hours earlier and maybe had done her job on the t-shirts in a timely fashion instead of giving her cousin a panic attack, everyone praises her stupid t-shirts which she did her very best to prevent getting made.
In a non-story, Melissa performs her song, again, for the producers and songwriters and all 11 of her sisters. The producers tell Melissa that she’s “pitchy” and “horrible,” because she is. Melissa then decides to try to make her padre morto proud by singing it better or something, and I guess she pulls through because her sisters are then dancing around in the studio to the hot mess that is Melissa’s “single.” SHE’S “DOING IT,” MELISSA’S PADRE MORTO! SHE’S DOING IT FOR YOU!
While grocery shopping with Baccala and Mortadella, which mostly involves Teresa bragging about all the natural “ingredientces” they consume, while Mortadella scales piles of tomatoes, climbs into refrigerators and pulls TV dinners onto the floor. Teresa calls Folletto to invite him to her next book signing, which he readily accepts, while Mortadella sits in a pile of hummus containers. For this, Teresa praises Mortadella’s behavior. OF COURSE. Of course she does. Why wouldn’t she? What isn’t there to praise? Che bello!
Folletto, however, he has second thoughts about going to this whole book signing thing. It seems Meatball has been sending Folletto grammatically inventive texts, threatening to break his jaw if he attends the signing. Folletto and Melissa regard this development with heavy sighs, and some hand-wringing, and a great deal of tsking, but overall relatively calm behavior. Does Folletto yell about being pushed close to the edge by Meatball? Yes. Does he attack a table? No. So I’m going to file this one away in the “improved behavior” drawer.
Teresa arrives to her book signing late, naturalmente, to a scattering of people waiting, none of whom are Folletto or Melissa. Teresa signs a few books, fields a proposal from a young man, and eventually the crowds, such as they are, disperse. As Teresa begins packing her things, Kathy and Rich arrive to an empty bookstore. They buy a copy of the book, have her sign it, and Kathy gets teary-eyed over how proud she is of Teresa and how she wants the best for her cousin’s famiglia. Teresa does not express similar feelings.
Eventually, Folletto and Melissa arrive at the bookstore, completely missing the crowd that Teresa clearly wanted them to see. Folletto and Melissa make some excuses about snow and babysitters and così via, and then Folletto buys 10 copies of her book to show his support for Teresa. As she signs a copy for Folletto, Teresa becomes emotional, and Folletto pushes her to read her message to him out loud. “I love you more than anything in this world. I miss my brother,” she reads while getting choked up. After bullying his emotionally fragile sister, Folletto then gives her a half-hearted hug and begins demanding that she do something about the dim pitbull that she’s married to. Folletto tattles on Meatball and his threatening texts, insists Teresa confront Meatball about it, and storms out of the store.
Teresa returns home to a house full of people, and one very drunk Meatball, who has been guzzling wine for the past 5 hours. As Gabagool performs some very ill-advised gymnastics on a mat on the MARBLE FLOOR, Meatball decides that he, too, should do some tumbling. He lands on his teeth. On the marble. His chipped tooth freaks poor Gabagool out so much, she begins hysterically crying and freaking out. GOOD PARENTING, EVERYONE. EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS SCENE = IDEAL PARENTING.
Teresa explains to the assembled crowd that Kathy and Folletto came to the signing, and Meatball does this insane thing with the hook ’em horn fingers? Where he’s trying to ward off the evil eye? The Maloik? Which is not one of their kids’ names BUT TOTALLY SHOULD BE. Meatball begins slurring a litany of complaints against Folletto, accusing him of only coming to the book signing “to look good.” I do not know what he means. Does he think Folletto is trying to impress Teresa? Viewers? Bravo? It’s very unclear. In any event, Teresa begins trying to push the blame onto Melissa, that she’s “poisoning” Folletto’s mind, but this doesn’t gain much traction.
Teresa finally asks Meatball if he threatened Folletto, and Meatball passes his phone to a nearby friend who confirms that yes, Meatball might have suggested in a creatively spelled text that he was going to break Folletto’s jaw, but only after Folletto had texted Meatball that he’s a “stupid ass.” Meatball begins bellowing at Teresa to NOT GO AGAINST HIM. He then attempts to tell some convulted story about how he broke up with Teresa while they were dating because Folletto remained friends with her ex-boyfriend but I’m not really sure how this is relevant to the conversation. Meatball then declares that had he known someone had pulled his mother’s hair at the christening, he would have “blasted everybody there.” Again, I don’t know what this means? Blasted? Does that mean he would have beaten them up? Shot them? I do not know what this drunken meatball is babbling about. Finally, Meatball announces that he and Folletto will never be friends, to the surprise of no one. Teresa makes a sad face about her sad life which is sad.
The Real Housewives of New Jersey airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on Bravo.
The Real Housewives of New Jersey airs Wednesdays on Bravo at 8/9 CST.
This post first appeared on the Hearst site Chron.com.