‘Real Housewives of New Jersey:’ Bindi, done that

The Real Housewives of New Jersey
“Third Eye Blind”
May 6, 2012

For reasons unclear (because the producers told them they had to), everyone minus the Manzos meet at il Meatballs’ shore house to go on a sunset cruise/passive aggression party, and to dump all of their children on Cousin Rosie, for laffs. Jacqueline and Chris Laurita are the first to arrive (sans bambini to their immense credit), and Meatball promptly pretends to punch Chris Laurita in the braggiole, because he is a sociopath who has no idea how to socially interact like a normal human being. In an interview, Jacqueline notes that it’s maybe kinda sorta a little tiny bit strange that Teresa went to a tabloid to tell the world all about her familigia’s woes, when she’s never discussed the situation with her supposed best friends. Jacqueline then takes Teresa into the bedroom so as to smear some makeup all over Teresa’s faccia, and Teresa immediately starts yammering about how Folletto approached her at the beach recently and assured her that he would always be there for her. OhandbythwayIcalledMelissaunacercatored’oro.

Everyone else arrives: Melissa e Folletto e Kathy e Jeff Goldblum, Jr. e Rosie e Madre di Rosie. And all of the children, including poor Victoria and Joey Goldblum, Jr. who are pressed into babysitting service with Rosie because the only way those two are interesting enough to be on camera is if they are sharing a scene with Mortadella. The adults head off on the boat, which Jeff Goldblum, Jr. jokingly hopes doesn’t belong to il Meatballs lest they get repo’d out on the open seas. Which, that’s actually a pretty funny joke, Jeff Goldblum, Jr. High cinque for that one.

Once on the boat, someone asks Jacqueline about Potatoee Face even though, who cares, right? Out of vista, out of mente. But Jacqueline goes ahead and explains that Potatoee Face is getting her act together doing … something? on a computer? and there’s a life coach? Because that’s what will turn around a Nyquilaholic with entitlement issues: data entry lessons. Jacqueline also starts burbling about Caroline having the menopausa, which I’m certain Caroline would be very very happy to have her sister-in-law share with everyone. Teresa decides that the menopausa is to blame for Caroline being such a puttana towards her, because obviously there are no other reasons that Caroline might be peeved towards Teresa. Not one single reason.

And because there wasn’t quite enough tension on the boat, Meatball begins complaining about the black eye Jeff Goldblum Jr. gave him and how he never had a black eye before, which is very hard to believe. Utterly impossible to believe, in fact. This is impossible. There is no way in this universe which actually has justice and karma (sometimes) that Meatball has been walking around for 40 some odd years without being punched in his beady little eyeballs, always. Teresa jumps into the conversation which, obviously, and begins shrieking at Jeff Goldblum, Jr. that he nearly popped out Meatball’s eyeball. Because: black eye = popped out eyeball.

Finally, all the cousins take a picture together, but no one is smiling because they all hate each other so very molto. Still, they manage to return from the boat trip with as many people that they left with, which is a rarity among Jersey Italians. So good job, everyone.

Meanwhile, at the shore house, Mortadella hangs from a closet bar, Baccala tears apart the couch, Fagioli rides his scooter in traffic, Sfogliatelle was nowhere to be seen and Cousin Rosie drinks all of the alcohol.

At the Manzo House of Mixed Messages, Caroline encourages Lauren on her diet while also burbling about how beautiful Lauren is on the “inside” while bemoaning the pressure that Lauren faces to be skinny while talking about what a “spectacular” personality Lauren has and what a “great boyfriend” Vito is (because women should be judged not on their own qualities but instead according to the men they can get to date them) while also telling her daughter that she’ll be really proud of herself once she loses the weight.

That night (?) at dinner, the Manzo brothers, Boyfriend Vito and Albert join the ladies for some stuffed chicken and fat jokes. Albert notes that Vito and Lauren’s children would be giant monsters that would beat up Christopher and Albie’s kids, which THANKS, DAD. But the brothers counter that the children would be little koala monsters who wouldn’t be able to control their arms and have the asthma (Ceelo Green). Albie then passes around a phone picture of his newest girlfriend who appears to be a Hooters waitress, and then goes on to call his mother and sister “alpha bitches” because they take exception at being called fat mothers of monsters. Way to be supercool, everyone. You especially, Albie. All the awards for you.

So, the “Solstice Party.”

Jacqueline’s psychic (because you are not a “real” housewife without your own personal psychic, duh) Tia, is hosting a Summer Solstice party, because: paganism wearing all white outfits, having belligerent fairies slap bindis on your forehead and listening to ladies play flutes = getting rid of bad energy. Of course. Jacqueline and Melissa meet at Caroline’s house before the party where they all cluck about Teresa’s magazine piece and Melissa brings up the whole, “Teresa called me una cercatore d’oro,” scandalo, again. Caroline tsks that Teresa is trying to destroy Melissa’s family, and Melissa pats herself on the back for giving Teresa “a lot of passes,” in some alternate universe that we can not see from here.

Teresa is accompanied to the Solstice Party by Kim D., and on the way there proudly tells Kim D. about the cercatore d’oro comment. Which, sure. Absolutely. What’s the point of telling your brother that his wife might leave him for someone richer off-camera? That comment’s only value lies in sharing it with everyone you talk to, particularly and especially on-camera. So, ben fatto, Teresa. Good job.

Everyone arrives at the Solstice Party and the grouchy fairies slap bindis on everyone’s foreheads because that’ll help, and then everyone goes and sits at adjacent tables and glares silently in each other’s general direction. Eventually, Cousin Rosie, in her ongoing effort to become the sixth housewife (JUST LET HER REPLACE HER TEDIOSO SISTER ALREADY, ANDY COHEN.), approaches Teresa to discuss the cercatore d’oro comment. Teresa defends herself by claiming that the whole thing was blown out of proportion, and, COMPLETELY SENZO IRONY, that it was a private discussion between herself and her brother and never intended for anyone else to hear. Aside from all the other people she told and the camera crew and the entire viewing audience. WHY WON’T ANYONE RESPECT TERESA’S PRIVACY?!?!!

After Rosie walks away from Teresa’s stubbornness and insania, Teresa attempts to defend herself and her comments to Jacqueline and demands to know if Melissa told Jacqueline and Caroline about what happened. Jacqueline admits that Melissa did tell il Manzos that Teresa called her una cercatore d’oro, before sensibly deciding that, You know what? Maybe she doesn’t want to be in the middle of this oobatz. And so she gets up and marches over to Melissa and suggests that she go talk to her cognata herself.

So Melissa heads over to Teresa’s table where Teresa explains that Meatball was upset with Folletto for not calling Teresa and checking in on her when Meatball “went away.” Melissa counters that the reason Folletto didn’t call was because when Folletto called Teresa to check in on her during the bankruptcy, Teresa denied it was happening. And when Folletto called to talk to Teresa about Meatball going to meatball jail … AND THAT’S IT. TERESA IS LEAVING. SHE IS LEAVING, LEAVING, LEAVING.

Except she totally isn’t. Instead, Teresa sits in her Mercedes and holds court while Psychic Tia, Kim D. and Jacqueline pet her hair and try to convince Teresa to stay at the party for some reason.

Inside the Solstice Party, the other ladies determine that Teresa became enraged by Melissa uttering the word “jail,” because Teresa is an adult woman who is facing her reality head-on with dignity, honesty and clarity. Kathy, because she has no other role in this (or any other) episode, explains that in Jersey, the proper term is “going away,” not “going to meatball jail,” as it is a point of pride and about protecting the honor of one’s family. Which perhaps would have better been served by not being the most dunderheaded criminal that ever tried to forge a driver’s license, but whatever. Pomodoro, pomahdoro.

Outside, Teresa (and Kim D. who is looking for some serious camera tempo) argue to Jac that it was wrong for Folletto to tell his wife that his sister called her una cercatore d’oro, that he should have kept that private between brother and sister. Teresa further explains that she was upset by Folletto and Meatball’s texting wars, in which Folletto accused Meatball of cheating on Teresa, and that Folletto was upset when he learned Teresa saw the texts. Which presumably Meatball showed to his wife, doing the very thing she is upset with her brother for doing. Nope. No ipocrisia here. And Teresa is uninterested in Jacqueline feeling like she’s been “put in the middle” of this situation. Jacqueline put herself there —  and it is certainly not that Teresa is acting like a crazy person and demanding that her best friend defend her insanity at every turn.

But Jacqueline (for now) continues to try to be Teresa’s friend, and she heads back into the party to explain to Melissa that Teresa wants to speak to her, but doesn’t want to talk about “legal” issues (meatball jail), won’t Melissa hear her out? Melissa begrudgingly agrees, thinking that perhaps Teresa wants to maybe apologize for calling her una cercatore d’oro, and heads outside. Caroline Manzo taps into her plastic and be-glittered third eye and declares that this “is going to turn into a battle.”

Outside, Teresa explains to Melissa that she didn’t mean anything by suggesting to Folletto that now that Melissa was starting a music career she was going to turn into a huge puttana! Teresa was just looking out for her fratellino! It’s just that “people” are wondering why Melissa is starting a singing career now, yous know? And that maybe it is just logical that what Melissa is really doing is looking for a new sugar daddy, duh!

Melissa, surprisingly, does not accept this explanation.

To prove the fallacy of Teresa’s logic, Melissa compares her music career to Teresa going out every night to cookbook signings, which obviously means Teresa is cheating on Meatball. But logic is lost on the stupid/sociopathic, and Teresa begins wailing about how Folletto has told her countless times that Meatball was cheating on her (*cough*), but that she didn’t share that with Meatball because Meatball would have come to Folletto’s house and punch him in the braggiole. Melissa assures Teresa that she and Folletto do not worry about Teresa’s marriage, and that Teresa made Folletto cry when he called Melissa una cercatore d’oro. This does not impress Teresa.

Melissa assures Teresa that she and Folletto love one another, and that they are lucky to have one another, and that nothing Teresa can do will break their marriage. Teresa, HILARIOUSLY, then demands that Melissa be the one to “bring the famiglia together,” because somehow this is Melissa’s responsibility. Melissa, flabbergasted by this, points out that Teresa wants to make trouble and not be called on it, and that she wants an apology from Teresa. NOPE, says Teresa. YOU AND YOUR BIG CRYBABY HUSBAND JUST CAN’T HANDLE THE VERITÁ, says Teresa.

Furthermore, all of this is Melissa’s fault: 1. she has wedged herself in between Teresa and Folletto, 2. she twists everything Teresa says, 3. she never tells Folletto about Teresa’s side of an argument, and only presents these things to Folletto from her own perspective, 4. she brings Teresa’s bambinos presents at their preschools. TERESA RESTS HER CASE.

After some inane discussion of whether or not Teresa even gave Joey Jr. a birthday present, Teresa stomps off to her car to leave, and Melissa calls after her, “Run away coward, like you always do when you’re wrong.” Teresa does not leave. Instead she stomps back over to start a “YOU LEAVE.” “NO, YOU LEAVE,” fight, because whoever leaves last wins. This is just a fact. This stupidity goes on for some time, and Teresa attempts to drag Kim D. into the fight but she’s like, OH NO MA’AM.

Eventually, Melissa walks away and heads back inside to tell the others that she wants to go home. However, by the time Melissa and the other ladies exit, Teresa still hasn’t left, and Kim D. encourages her to run them over because what this show needs is una Clara Harris, absolutely. Thank you, Kim D., for your calming influence.

Instead, Teresa calls Rosie over and gives her a message for Folletto, that he’s to blame for this entire mess because he listened to Teresa tell him that his wife was a giant puttana, and then shared that gem with his wife. What a jerk. Rosie suggests that perhaps Folletto shares everything with his wife. GAH, says Teresa, WHY? Because she’s his wife, Rosie reasonably explains. Who gives a merda? replies the always rational Teresa. When Rosie refuses to be Teresa’s courier service, Teresa attempts to relay a message through Melissa, who, shockingly declines. FINE, says Teresa, I’LL CALL HIM MYSELF. Is he at home? Melissa explains that she has no idea where Folletto is, which Teresa finds surprising because she forgets that not everyone is a house-bound meatball whose license has been revoked for shenanigans. No idea where Folletto is, Melissa explains, he’s probably out cheating on her. Teresa attempts and fails at some sort of clever retort involving Meatball cheating, but no one has any idea what she’s trying to say. PULL AWAY, ALREADY, Melissa sighs, YOU’RE SO EMBARRASSING.

Indeed, Melissa. Indeed.

The Real Housewives of New Jersey airs Sunday nights at 9 p.m. on Bravo.

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


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