‘The Real Housewives of New Jersey’: 100% Italiano

The Real Housewives of New Jersey
“Reunion, Part 1”
October 16, 2011

Here’s what you need to know about this New Jersey reunion special, and why it’s so crazy pants (while also being a little boring, maybe?): for the first time ever, they are filming a new season of the show at the same time that a previous season aired. Meaning: these women are not just fighting about what happened in the season we just watched, but they are fighting about stuff that is going on right now that we don’t know about. Layers of oobatz, paisanos. And this is why Jacqueline doesn’t bother putting on an evening gown and marching down to the Count Basie theater; because she is still so angry about something that happened between herself and Teresa the night before that she can not be in the same room with her. Not right now.

So we’re stuck with Kathy and Melissa and Caroline and Teresa and a very on-his-guard Andy Cohen all talking around things that we know nothing about and it’s a little weird. For instance, Caroline? Seems REALLY ARRABIATO at Teresa, to a degree that is unwarranted if its just about the cookbook. Which it is not. But it’s unclear what she’s so arrabiato about, really. Yes, Caroline is irritated that Teresa refers to her as only being 1/16th Italian, and yes, she’s really irritated that Teresa attacked Christopher’s stripper car wash gillion-dollar idea, but there’s clearly something more going on here.

Teresa, after hissing at Caroline that, “sono al cento per cento Italiano,” tries to laugh off the cookbook inclusions as jokes, again. Kathy calmly points out to Teresa that Caroline’s feelings were obviously hurt, and Teresa waves it off. She included a picture of herself and Caroline in the book! What more could Caroline want? Caroline suggests that Teresa remove the picture but leave the nasty references to herself and Christopher, so people will know what kind of person Teresa really is. IN YOUR TINY LITTLE FACE, TERESA.

Andy asks about Caroline’s hostility and if it is really all about the book, and she concedes that it’s not: the fact is, Caroline is irritated that she not only defended Teresa for as long as she did, but that she, Caroline, was rude and horrible to Melissa and Kathy based on lies Teresa told her about them. Teresa dismisses this.

Andy brings up the last time they had a reunion, and how Teresa shoved him around after Danielle brought up her nephew. Teresa accuses Melissa of feeding Danielle information, which Melissa doesn’t exactly deny, explaining that she exchanged messages with ol’ Square Boobs via facebook. And we finally get some explanation as to what that was all about: apparently, when little Fagoli was born, Teresa visited Melissa in the hospital but — SHOCKINGLY! — Meatball did not. TRUE FACT: For Italians, a brother-in-law not coming to the hospital to sit around uncomfortably for half an hour and stare at a newborn is the same thing as refusing to accept the child into the family.

It also would seem that some of the season-long anger between Teresa and Melissa stems from Teresa being outraged (and clearly very jealous) that Kathy and Melissa were going to be joining the cast. To discourage her sister-in-law from joining the cast, Teresa told Melissa that if she were on the show, everyone wold make fun of Melissa’s giant, giant forehead. Teresa disagrees with this account, and claims that she merely told Melissa she shouldn’t be on the show because everyone makes fun of Teresa’s threehead. (Really, twoandahalfhead.) Caroline pipes in that Teresa described Melissa to her as cavallo-like, with a cavallo forehead. Melissa makes a sad face. And there’s no way I could make any part of that exchange more hilarious than it was. MORE FOREHEAD TALK, PLEASE.

CHRISTENING TIME: Andy plays a montage of that fiasco, again, because we will never stop talking about it, ever. Andy notes that at the beginning of the season, Folletto seemed angry at Teresa for having changed as a result of being on the series, and Teresa dismisses this. She didn’t change, she just became busy. It somehow comes out that Teresa didn’t invite Folletto and Melissa to the party at the Brownstone for the second season of the series, and Teresa yells at Melissa that if she were a good wife, Melissa would have called Teresa and asked for an invitation.

Let’s just all take a moment and appreciate the amazing logic at work here.

Kathy calmly points out that suggesting that Melissa is not a good wife because Melissa didn’t invite herself to one of Teresa’s parties is yet another example of Teresa saying hurtful things; Teresa ignores her.

Andy wonders if Gabagool was allowed to watch the Christening episode, and after Teresa stammers for a bit about how Gabagool lived it, implying that she didn’t make her relive it by watching the episode, Caroline loudly announces that yes, Gabagool watched the whole thing with all of them at Chris and Jac’s house. Teresa at first claims that she certainly did not show Gabagool the episode, it must have been Jac, which Caroline swats away. Teresa, backed into a corner resorts to yelling QUIETE! before whining about her brother calling her garbage at the Christening, because, no other defense!

Caroline explains that when the episode first aired, they all watched it together. When the Christening fight scene was about to begin, Folletto took Caroline’s hand, noting that he was mortified about what was about to be shown, and that he was ready to take a beating from the public. Teresa, again, attempts to make it about her and claims that she never asked for an apology from Folletto, but she forgave him nonetheless. Caroline, however, argues that Teresa told her that she didn’t want to forgive her brother. YOU ARE A BUGIARDO! shrieks Teresa. PATETICO!!

Oh, hey! Let’s cut the tension with a montage of a bunch of Italians saying “youse.” They say “youse!” Instead of “you!” Get it?

Andy asks Melissa if 1. she’s part African-American (no) and 2. how her father died (car accident). There is crying.

And what, exactly, does Folletto for a living? Melissa explains that he’s in real estate, taking old warehouses and turning them into condos, flipping houses, that sort of thing. This somehow devolves into a question of whether or not Teresa called Melissa a gold-digger. Which she absolutely did. Teresa insists she’s not saying Melissa’s a gold-digger, but that Melissa basically admitted to being a gold-digger herself to Teresa and Kathy once while they were out to dinner. According to Teresa, Melissa essentially said something along the lines of how she wasn’t going to be stupid like her sisters; that when she saw Folletto’s house she knew she was going to jump on that merda. Melissa, more upset that Teresa is claiming she called her sisters stupid than being called a gold-digger, very calmly argues with Teresa on this point. And then everyone starts calling each other the Diavola, because why not.

Andy then asks them about spray tanning? Sure.

Teresa and Meatball’s bankruptcy issue receives its own montage, and Andy begins asking about Teresa’s comment regarding her “Jewish friends” and how they all insisted they would have left their husbands in her situation. SHOCKER: Jewish folks were insulted. Teresa has NOTHING AGAINST THE JEWS, YOUSE GUYS. JEWS MAKE THE BEST HUSBANDS, YOUSE GUYS. Oh! Well then, controversy over!

Andy then brings up the seeming contradiction between Teresa swearing that they were going to cut back at Christmas and then giving the girls drivable Mercedes and iPods. Teresa glares at Andy from under her tiny, tiny brow. Andy notes that Melissa and Kathy made comments about Teresa smiling through her pain. YEAH, AND THAT’S ANUDDER THING TERESA DOESN’T LIKE. Kathy and Melissa, having meant it as a compliment and a testimony to Teresa’s strength in a difficult situation, have a confused.

A reader asks about the auction and seeing all of Teresa’s furniture plastered all over the internets, and Teresa explains that there were claims they owned Picassos (the very rare budget $50,000 Picassos) so their possessions were inventoried or something. In September, Teresa apparently promised to pay back their debt, to the tune of $11 million dollars. Teresa argues that it’s more like $8 million and a number of their properties have already been sold to pay this off. Andy then notes that she would have been absolved of this through bankruptcy, but instead she agreed to pay it. So, did withdrawing from bankruptcy save Teresa and Meatball from going to jail for bankruptcy fraud? NO, Teresa argues, NO. THERE WAS NEVER THE THREAT OF JAIL. I WILL NOT HEAR YOUR FACTS ABOUT FEDERAL CRIMES AND THEIR PUNISHMENTS, ANDY COHEN. NO. When does it have to be paid off? Teresa doesn’t know, exactly. Andy and I think she needs to look into that.

Teresa explains that Meatball is still flipping homes, a business that he taught to Folletto and Jeff Goldblum, Jr., in fact. This causes OUTRAGE! with Melissa and Kathy who dispute this fairly ridiculous claim. All Teresa knows is that Meatball is a generous meatball, happy to freely give information and advice to those who ask. TRUE FACT: Anything anyone has ever accomplished is thanks to Teresa and Meatball.

Andy then asks Teresa about Meatball fraudulently obtaining drivers licenses, which could fetch him some 18 months to 10 years in jail. OH MEATBALL. When will you learn that you are not a criminal mastermind? How many times do you have to be arrested and sent to meatball jail before you get that you are much too stupid to be a criminal mastermind? Teresa isn’t worried though, because Meatball didn’t do anything wrong. Clearly. Not Meatball. He’s nothing but an upstanding meatball.

Andy asks about the fraud lawsuit and the $260,000 that Meatball was ordered to pay. Teresa explains that he’s paid the money to the ex-partner already. Andy wonders where the money was the whole time, and Teresa offers that there was “legals stuffs” going on. When Andy presses her on it, she tells him to call her lawyer. Caroline makes faces at this — there are some things that are puzzling, some business matters that don’t make sense. And Teresa is all WHO CARES WHAT YOU THINK? Caroline urges her to stay calm, and Teresa retorts that she is “as calm and cool as a whistle.”

A whistle.

Caroline snips at Teresa that she can answer questions that Andy poses to her, and tells Teresa to try shutting up and listening for a change. Caroline notes that she feels like she’s getting dumber by the minute, which, we all are, Caroline. We all are. Caroline and Teresa bicker for a moment and Teresa urges Caroline to take her own advice. I WISH I HAD, responds Caroline. I WISH I’D TAKEN MY OWN ADVICE TWO YEARS AGO AND GOTTEN YOU OUT OF MY LIFE!

Madonn’. One more week of this, goombahs.

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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