‘Real Housewives of New Jersey:’ The rainbow connection

The Real Housewives of New Jersey
“Uncivil Union”
June 3, 2012

HERE IS SOMETHING NICE I WILL SAY ABOUT THE NEW JERSEY HOUSEWIVES (pay attention because this is as rare an event as the Venus transit): Despite being very religious and being very traditional in a lot of their positions on interpersonal relationships, they are largely very accepting and loving of the homosexuals in their lives. Listen, coming from an Italian Catholic family, I understand first-hand that this is not a given — people who are otherwise very caring and forgiving can have a difficult time reconciling their feelings towards friends and family who are gay or lesbians and the religious traditions that shape their lives. In contrast, the Jersey Housewives have on a whole seemed to embraced their gay friends and relatives.

However, there are plenty of suggestions that this has not been an easy journey for the Housewives and their families — or that their journeys are over. It’s clear that not everyone in the Laurita clan, for instance, are as accepting as Caroline, Jaqueline or Chris, and that some on the cast (*cough* Meatball *cough*) still have some A GREAT DEAL of progress to make. Still, all in all, this group’s attitudes towards gays are not what you would expect from a bunch of very religious Catholics and for that, I applaud them.

And this is pretty much what this entire episode is all about: Look how accepting the New Jersey Goombahs are of their gay friends and famiglia! For instance: Rosie. SPOILER ALERT: Rosie is una lesbica. Rosie came out to her sister and the rest of her family a while back, but she and Kathy are under the very sweet and naive illusion that Kathy’s kids are oblivious to her sexual orientation. And because Rosie has become such a prominent part of the show (on account of Kathy’s extraordinary boringness), they both feel it’s time to tell the little Goldblum Jrs. in case they overhear someone saying something about their Aunt Rosie’s affinity for the ladies. It seems Rosie didn’t come out to her family until she was in her 30s because see: Italian Catholic famiglia, and Kathy bemoans the fact that Rosie didn’t feel as though she could come to her earlier. Crying crying crying and scene.

The Goldblum Jrs. and Rosie go to a pizza parlor for Rosie’s big coming out, as you do. Jeff Goldblum, Jr. and Kathy make a big deal of going to the kitchen, leaving Rosie and the kids alone in the most obvious way possible. Because she’s going to want privacy to deliver this news. Which is why they are at a pizza joint. Rosie explains to the kids that shortly before her padre died, he told her he was worried that she would never marry, and she conceded to him that he was probably right. And it broke her heart that he was worried for her that she would be all alone. This finally led her to come out to her famiglia, and to realize that God made her this way. She cries, the kids cry, everyone cries, and then Jeff Goldblum, Jr. Jr. asks if she has gaydar and we are done with the Very Serious Portion of the episode, thank the goodness.

But we’re not done with the Goldblum Jrs. They have rented a shore house, which is SHAMEFUL in the New Jersey Housewife universe, as it demonstrates fiscal responsibility. Kathy feels the need to defend their decision to rent instead of buy,  instead of just shrugging and saying, “Hey, at least we’re not having to auction off our furniture.” Rosie arrives at the house in Jeff Goldblum Jr’s. Ferrari which is confusing for a number of reasons (Jeff Goldbum, Jr. has a Ferrari? Why is Rosie driving it? Where did she get the keys? If he wanted the Ferrari down the shore, don’t you think he would have brought it himself?). And then a bunch of young women in tank tops arrive and begin setting up a bar and food while Jeff Goldblum, Jr. teases Rosie about being attracted to them. Which she is not. Because she is una lesbica, not a child molester.

Melissa and Folletto arrive at the beach house, as do former NBA player Cliff Robinson and his wife Heather who are not cast members of the Real Housewives of Miami (a.k.a. Real Housewives of Former NBA Players), but rather friends with the Goldblum Jrs. somehow, which, sure. Fine. And as it turns out, Rosie is not attracted to 18-year-old waitresses, but she is very much so attracted to 40-something married women with giant fake tette.

And then everyone gets into the hot tub (Folletto changes in the driveway, because of course he does) and Heather and her giant tette get all up in Rosie’s face and Kathy starts babbling about the Law of Attraction and how Rosie needs to put positive energy out into the universe, and I just don’t think that if Rosie puts a picture of Heather on her vision board it will get her anywhere but what’s the harm in trying, I suppose?

Also there is some hilarity based on the fact that Cliff Robinson is so very tall and Folletto is so very not, and Folletto literally has to put a chair on a table to be eye level with him, ha ha ha he’s so short.

In awesome Mortadella news: Gabagool plays on her phone while Mortadella teases her for texting her boyfriend. When Gabagool tries to shoo her pesky younger sister away, Mortadella tattles to Teresa that Gabagool is being “fresh” and that Teresa and Meatball should take Gabagool’s phone away from her. Oh, Mortadella, you just keep getting better and better. Ti amo.

Teresa decides that Gabagool has been in a bad mood recently not because her 5-year-old sister harasses her and tries to set her up, but because of Teresa’s fight with Folletto. To this end, Teresa attempts to sit Gabagool down and assure her daughter that she and Zio Folletto will make things better. Gabagool and I roll our eyes.

rhonj gia eyeroll.gif
Exactly, Gabagool.

Teresa then meets with Kim D. at some sort of pool, so as to drink champagne and have someone parrot back to her that she’s wonderful and not in any way at fault for all the merda in her life.

Simultaneously, for reasons very unclear Folletto has decided to bring Melissa to some abandoned warehouse that he’s going to do … something with. Luxury apartments? Sure. Let’s say luxury apartments. There is a “funny” interlude in which Melissa runs around the building like a D-list actress in a D-list horror movie, a performance for which she jokes she deserves a Grammy … no wait, an Emmy! (SIGH.) Out of nowhere, Folletto decides that this is the best possible time and place to text his sister to suggest that they go to therapy. And he might actually have a point, seeing as the last time he texted Teresa in an attempt to make amends with her, he had neither Melissa nor the cameras to witness it, and Teresa just cold denied it happened. SO TRY TO DENY IT THIS TIME, YOU PATZ.

And Teresa can’t because she received the text while Kim D. was busy stroking her ego and plying her with champagne on-camera, which I am positive the Producers in no way orchestrated. Kim D. might be a sycophant, but she is not stupid, and while Teresa protests that she doesn’t need therapy, duh, Kim D. suggests that while that might be true, maybe Folletto does, and that maybe it would be helpful if Teresa went to therapy with him so that he could figure out what he feels the ridiculous and clearly insane need to tell Melissa every little thing. Well played, Kim D.! Now (hilariously) add that “no one has their merda together more than Teresa,” and we can call this a scene.

As for the Manzos/Lauritas: Caroline’s brother, Jamie, is getting gay married to his gay boyfriend in gay Illinois, and everyone has to wear pastels and hats. YES TO ALL PARTS OF THIS. Caroline explains that she is one of 11 (!) (I knew that already, but still: !!) children, and that with a famiglia so grande, you can’t expect everyone to be at the same place at the same time and this is a big metaphorical way to explain that of her entire ridicolmente gigantesca famiglia, only she, Chris  and her mother will be attending the wedding. Even Dina won’t be going for reasons that are not clarified in the least by a weird little flashback of Dina and Jamie from season one or two (“work reasons” or “Teresa reasons” depending on whom you ask) but whatever.

And you know who else is invited? il Meatballs. Perfetto. Jacqueline goes over to casa de il Meatball to help her pick out what to wear and speculate over whether Caroline is over the whole cookbook scandalo. (No, she is not.) Meatball jokes about wearing nothing but a jacket to the wedding, because ha ha ha, teh gheys. Teresa assures us, PROMISES us that despite the following flashback montage of Meatball hurling gay slurs all over the place, Meatball is not a homophobic, hateful meatball! It is unconvincing. Meatball goes on to joke that he’s going to bust Jamie’s chops for marrying some other guy after telling Meatball that he reminded him of his first boyfriend, and that Meatball’s going to not only object during the wedding, but he is going to give Jamie his last kiss. See how OK they are with the homosexuals? So OK!

Later at Jacqueline’s house, Jac asks Chris how he feels about his gay brother getting gay married. Chris is very honest and admits that it was a little strange when Jamie first came out — he had girlfriends! How could he be gay? They both agree that coming out took courage on Jamie’s part before making jokes about Chris really being in love with Jeff Goldblum, Jr., har har har.

IMPORTANT POTATOEE FACE UPDATE: Still an idiot/potatoee face. But she’s Daddy’s problem now, sucker.

Upon arriving in Illinois, the entire group takes an airport van to Jamie’s country home, which is both ridiculous and charming and filled with dogs and cats and there are swans and flowers and Jac describes the property as being a “fairy” land. OFFENSIVE. On the way, Caroline wonders what Teresa and Meatball are even doing at the wedding and declares Teresa’s attempts to be friendly with her, “stronzate, stronzate, stronzate, stronzate.” Indeed. Caroline adds that while Teresa adds wood to Caroline’s famiglia’s fires, she tries to put the lid on Teresa’s. Fair enough.

Inside the house, Teresa freaks out over the very not-big dogs wandering around, despite being the owner of a pack of direwolves (which still has not been adequately explained). Jamie gives everyone a tour, showing them the “tree of life” in the center of the house BUT I DO NOT SEE BRAD PITT ANYWHERE, so tree of life FAIL. On some other part of the tour, Meatball announces that the gayest thing he ever did was as a kid compare his penis size with another kid, which il Meatballs think is HI-LARIOUS, but everyone else just looks away and tightens their mouths and regrets having invited them.

The wedding party does a brief rehearsal, and we learn that Caroline is going to be giving some sort of speech about Jamie’s journey, which she has not yet written. DO NOT TELL JAMIE. Caroline explains to the camera that when Jamie came out to her, she called Albert in tears, worried about the pain her brother would endure. But now she’s thrilled for her brother, that he can be with someone who truly loves him rather than someone named “Suzy,” and living a false and hellish life as so many have and continue to do. (WORD.)

And then everyone gets back on the airport van to return to their hotel in Chicago that is an hour away which seems like some very bad travel planning. In the van, Meatball pops open a bottle of wine which makes an unfortunate peto noise, and Meatball proceeds to tease Big Gay Greg in an extraordinarily distasteful way about why he, in particular, must have been the one who scoreggiato. Meatball! He loves teh gheys! Caroline tsks that Meatball clearly is not the same man that she met some 4 years ago — that he has obviously developed a drinking problem and is a mess. And has Caroline mentioned that she doesn’t know why il Meatballs are here in the first place? Except to ruin this wedding? WELL CAROLINE IS A TICKING TIME BOMBA. TICK TICK TICK.

Maronne, these people.

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.

Leave a Reply