‘The Real Housewives of New Jersey’: And now for a song …

The Real Housewives of New Jersey
September 11, 2011
“Singing in the Pain”

As we begin this episode, Caroline and Jacqueline return from training for an upcoming 5k run to find Teresa waiting for them in the driveway. Teresa, still all bunched up about her husband and brother’s text spat, has come looking for support, I suppose. Caroline, always la voce della ragione, tells us that real men don’t fight via text, and tells Teresa that she needs to call Melissa. The wives are going to have to be the grown-ups here, because the husbands have clearly decided they are going to be the teenage girls.

So, in front of Jacqueline and Caroline, Teresa calls Melissa and does every. single. thing. sbagliato. Teresa attacks Folletto for calling Meatball stupid. Teresa brings the Christening up AGAIN. And, to top it all off, Teresa demands that her brother to be at Mortadella’s birthday party; she doesn’t invite Folletto and Melissa, she summons them. Perfect fence-mending technique, Teresa. Absolutely perfect. Can not think of a single thing you should have done differently.

Sometime later, everyone on the cast, include Big Gay Greg, run in the 5 k for … what’s it for again, Jacqueline? Disability … something? Whatever. There’s a tedious montage of everyone waking up, including an extended subplot about Teresa’s intestinal woes, that makes me want to go crawl back into bed myself. Better is the scene in which the Manzo kids and Big Gay Greg make fun of Teresa’s cookbook Skinny Italian, by imagining titles for her other books: a family advice book? Jealous Italian; the Kama Sutra? F***ing Italian; SAT study book? Stupid Italian. &c.

Eventually everyone arrives at the race, and though there’s a wee bit of tension between the wee Italian brothers-in-law, the Manzo boys make fun of Caroline to relieve it.

Running through New Jersey, running through New Jersey, running through New Jersey.

The Manzo boys and Big Gay Greg cheat and arrive at the finish line first, Caroline, Melissa and Lauren just cold give up, Kathy and Jeff Goldblum, Jr.  honestly cross the finish line, and some 7 hours later, Teresa crosses the finish line, and some 39 hours after that, Meatball finishes the run. But joke’s on you, suckers, because Meatball has filled his truck with sausages and red wine, and you’re going to have to wait for his perfectly spherical culo to get across that finish line if you want any.

And thus we conclude a non-story about the one time when all the Italians sorta kinda but not really at all participated in a 5k. Very important!

So, the Manzo boys and Big Gay Greg have invited the Follettos over to the apartment to hang out, because they kinda love the Follettos. To this end, they’ve slapped up one of those sponsor wallpapers that are always on red carpets? I’m sure there’s a name for them, but I have neither any idea what it might be nor the inclination to find out. It’ll just have to remain one of the universe’s great mysteries, I suppose. ANYWAY, Folletto and Melissa arrive with a copy of Melissa’s HOTTT NEW SINGLE: “On Display,” which they play for the grim-faced Manzo brothers. ON DISPLAY, ON DISPLAY, ON DISPLAY. ON DISPLAY. ON DISPLAY. Albie declares it “really good,” but he doesn’t mean it, not really. They then invite her to perform at their big “black water” launch party for the free publicity because it is so, so good. Now let’s everyone go get our drink on while Folletto yells at Big Gay Greg to fondle his wife and makes everyone extremely uncomfortable. FIST PUMP.

Meanwhile, back in the Manzo family home, Vito brings over his mozzarell for Lauren to pull.

And I was going to make a Ghost joke, but then Lauren up and steals it out from under me, but then she goes and she says something about the difference is Vito isn’t dead and GURRL, PLEASE. Swayze(‘s character) was VERY MUCH ALIVE in the infamous potting wheel scene. IF YOU’RE GONNA STEP TO  SWAYZE, GET YOUR SWAYZE STRAIGHT.



Anyway. Mortadella’s birthday. As Teresa tries to get Mortadella dressed for her big party, Mortadella is Mortadella and she stomps her feet and screams and pulls everything out of her closet and wants everything HER WAY. Which, it’s her birthday, fair enough. Let her wear whatever she wants, right? What do you care if she would rather wear one fluffy pink dress over another? What’s it to you? But Teresa’s argues with the 5-year-old, because they are exactly alike, and exactly as mature, and after Mortadella shoves herself under a desk, Teresa relents because this e ‘il mondo Mortadella and we just live in it.

For Mortadella’s birthday party this year, in light of the Meatballs’ recent financial issues, Teresa has decided to throw a pizza party at their pizza joint. Finally! Someone is showing a sense of frugality! Who’da thunk!?! And everyone is invited, including Kathy and Jeff Goldblum, Jr.! However, the guest Teresa’s most cares about coming, Folletto, he and Melissa are quite late, because they are late to everything, always. And once the Follettos do arrive: TENSION. SO MUCH TENSION. TENSION TENSION TENSION. Fun party!

After the party sings “Happy Birthday” to Mortadella, Gabagool surprises her sister with an original song. Something about remembering Mortadella’s birth, and then she turned one and then she turned two and then she turned three and then she turned four and SPOILER ALERT! now she’s five. And I make fun, but it’s actually very sweet. But then! Gabagool announces that she’s written yet another song, this one for her mother and Tio Folletto. The song is all about how from the moment she gets up in the morning and gets dressed and puts on her makeup (?), she is stressed out thanks to their terrible, terrible immature behavior. IT’S ALL FUN AND GAMES UNTIL THE 10-YEAR OLD STARTS SINGING “9 to 5,” Y’ALL. Gabagool burst into tears and everyone makes worried faces and flaps their hands and tries to assure her that everything is toto bene between her mother and tio.

And as Teresa tries to smoosh Meatball and Folletto together in an awkward and unconvincing embrace, Caroline shakes her heads and tsks and notes that it’s tragic, but maybe it will take the children to teach everyone else to act like adults. Yes, Caroline, I’m sure everyone is going to act like grown-up adults from here on out. Everything is different. Count on it.

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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