‘Real Housewives of New Jersey’: The good advice that you just didn’t take

The Real Housewives of New Jersey
“Temporary Shrinkage”
July 1, 2012

Construction continues at casa del Meatball, and to save on costs, they’ve put the girls to work stuccoing the garage/throwing table shed/grandparents’ apartment, whatever it is. And what it is apparently remains something of a controversy, as Teresa feels the need to put the rumor to rest on camera that it is an apartment for her parents. Where ever did Jacqueline get such an idea? I mean, aside from all the tabloids to whom Teresa sold the story in an attempt to make her brother look like a terrible son! Why would Jacqueline say such a thing?

Speaking of the tabloids, Rosie arrives at Teresa’s to have a Very Serious Conversation about this nonsense. Rosie is tired of reading this merda about her sister, and their famiglia does not need to be going to war over this. BASTANTE! IT NEEDS TO STOP. Teresa nods non-committally before going into an interview to explain that she was the only one who ever really accepted Rosie when she came out, whereas that notorious witch Kathy went out of her way to make her sister feel excluded. And nevermind that Rosie and Kathy tearfully explored this difficult time in Rosie’s life and explained that Rosie had a lot of displaced anger and didn’t feel like she could come to her sister. Whatever, St. Teresa. It’s all about you.

the motherfucking teresa show over here rhonj exasperated.gif


Rosie then heads over to casa del Goldblum Jrs, and reports her conversation to Kathy, Jeff Goldblum, Jr., Folletto and Melissa: Teresa seemed sincere, but who knows with that patz, right? They all agree that Teresa is only making nice with the famiglia because the Manzo/Lauritas are done with her, which puts Melissa and Kathy in an uncomfortable position: if they make an effort to get along with Teresa, what happens to their friendship with Caroline and Jacqueline? WHO KNOWS. (Table throwing.) Finally, Folletto tells the group that he and Teresa are going to therapy together, and everyone is all, Madonn’. Buona fortuna, dude.

Everyone has Sunday dinner with their respective famiglia’s because this will be A Thing later. Jeff Goldblum, Jr, Kathy and the kids have dinner with Kathy’s mother, Maria and Rosie. Maria has made a mess of sausages and meatballs and peppers and pasta and sauce and it all looks so good and makes me mourn my own madre — not that she’s dead, but because she went on a low-carb diet, so same difference when it comes to my homemade pasta consumption. The famiglia discuss their cousins’ discord, Rosie’s love life — or lack thereof, and how Kathy  will take her sister to a gay bar to find a date, which Kathy is maybe a wee bit too excited about. Kathy’s never been to a gay bar! What will it be like?! So many mysteries!

Maria then tells the famiglia The Worst Story Ever: When she was 5-years-old, her Nonno was on his deathbed and announced to her Madre and Padre that Maria should be given to her childless Zia. And so, one day her Madre gave her a bath, put her in a white dress, gave her a doll, and then drove her to her Zia’s house where she left her forever. WELL, NOT FOREVER FOREVER. But close enough! At some later point in her life, her Zia took her to her Madre’s house and was like, “Here’s your Madre!” And Maria was like, “Do what now?” Because she had forgotten that her Madre was her Madre and that her brothers and sisters were her brothers and sisters. And that is the end of The Worst Story Ever: Seriously, What Was Wrong With All of These People, Especially That Nonno, Maronne. All the Goldblum Jrs cry and cry and cry some more, because, really, truly this is some kind of horrible, Raising Arizona-esque, “They have more than they can handle” nightmare that is a tiny bit helpful in that it does shed some light on just how completely pazzo this famiglia is, I MEAN, WHAT?

At the Manzo Sunday dinner, Jacqueline worries that Teresa and Meatball are not going to disinvite themselves from the upcoming Napa trip (no, they probably will not); Albie’s girlfriend, The Cheerleader, is brought up again (Lauren sneers at the mention of her name); there is a Potatoee Face Update: She has tattooed a symbol of some bar she used to hang out at on her hand, and is still moving to California (so many good choices!); and Lauren is still fat (I still do not care).

In a completely contextual vacuum, Jacqueline and her father share some beers in the backyard and discuss her dissolving friendship with Teresa. Jacqueline’s father delivers some Meatball wisdom: So what, who cares? But you know what? He’s not wrong. He is not wrong, Jacqueline! So what? Who does care? Yes, 15 years of friendship, blah blah blah, but honestly.

Kathy, Rosie and Heather McGiantTette walk into a gay bar, which sounds like the beginning of some sort of terrible joke your drunk uncle tells you at Thanksgiving, but is actually what happens. Rosie proceeds to get trashed on tequila shots, hits on some blond whose name she forgets, repeatedly, and despite all of this, go home with said blonde’s (Brianna, the Blonde’s) phone number. Well done, Rosie! I’m sure the camera crew/Heather McGiantTette had nothing to do with it! Also, while Kathy clasps her pearls, Heather McGiantTette announces proudly that she has kissed women before because of course she has, she’s exactly the type of woman (drunken sorority girl) who indulges in a little public bisexual play for male attention, yawn. Wake me if this storyline ends with Heather McGiantTette leaving her NBA player husband for Rosie.

Finally, Teresa and Folletto and the famiglia therapist. Teresa lies to her children, and tells them that she’s going to lunch with Zio Folletto, because her daughters are “too young” to know what therapy is. But not too young to witness a full-on chair-throwing, curse-shouning, drunken brawl between cousins and brothers and sisters and friends and grandmothers at a baby’s christening, sure. Similarly, Folletto tells Melissa via phone (Where’s Melissa? SO MANY MYSTERIES IN THIS EPISODE) that he is going to his appointment with his sister, and Melissa advises him to “stay calm.” 1. I’m sure he hadn’t thought of that before, and 2. never going to happen, duh.

In the therapist’s lobby, the siblings awkwardly greet each other and I am going to just gloss over the fact that Folletto notes that Teresa is wearing red — a very sexy color — which, NO. AND WE ARE NOT GOING TO TALK ABOUT THAT, BECAUSE NO.

latrice no


We meet our poor, put-upon, he-doesn’t-know-what-he-is-getting-into therapist, one Michael Sweeney. Oh, Michael Sweeney, I am sorry.  I am so sorry! I am certain you had no idea what you were walking into when you accepted this appointment, but I am sorry. You did nothing to deserve this, I’m sure. Michael Sweeney explains to the siblings that he is going to talk to them each separately, and then the three of them can have a conversation together, and then everything will be fixed, forever. Great! Sounds easy!

First in: Teresa. Teresa explains to Michael Sweeney that the problem is very semplice: everything is Melissa’s fault. Melissa married Folletto, Melissa had Folletto’s children, Melissa made no effort to spend time with Teresa’s children. Melissa. It’s Melissa’s fault that Teresa and Folletto don’t enjoy Sunday dinners together anymore, it’s Melissa’s fault that Meatball got arrested, it’s Melissa’s fault that Teresa called her a cercatore d’oro to Folletto. Furthermore, it’s like Teresa can’t do anything right around Melissa! Michael Sweeney suggests that this attitude is creating part of the problem: if Teresa walks into a situation with a giant Melissa-shaped chip on her shoulder, she will find herself in a fight. And that maybe the thing to do is to walk away when words turn sharp. Just walk away. Teresa, shockingly, disagrees, and feels it’s important that one stand one’s ground. Michael Sweeney’s chest visibly tightens.

Folletto’s turn reveals that the trouble started when he married Melissa. So hey! At least they agree on something! It’s a start! Folletto had expected Teresa to accept Melissa into their famiglia the same way Folletto accepted Meatball (despite all of his terrible meatballiness). Instead, Teresa became competitive and nasty. All Folletto wants is a little amare e rispettare. Is that so much to ask?

Michael Sweeney brings the siblings into the room together without wearing any sort of protective gear or armed with cattle prods, which makes Michael Sweeney a braver soul than me. He explains that Teresa and Folletto, they are not that far apart! What they need to do is have some Sunday dinners together, and on the way there, say to themselves, “Hey, that dumb thing I say or do that causes a fight between me and my sibling? I’m not going to do that tonight.” Very good advice! However, Folletto isn’t sold — it shouldn’t have to be so hard. Michael Sweeney and I slowly close our eyes and release a small sigh. Listen, dummies, if you can just do this a few times, things will settle down between you and then you won’t have to call the cops the next time someone is christened. This is not that hard!

Teresa helpfully explains that their famiglias will be sharing an RV as they drive to Napa together, and Michael Sweeney and I both become extremely alarmed. NO! NO NO NO! DO NOT DO THE THING YOU JUST SAID YOU ARE GOING TO DO, WHAT ARE YOU, PATZ? YOU ARE GOING TO DRIVE AROUND IN A TINY RV AFTER DRINKING WINE TOGETHER? LET’S THINK ABOUT THIS FOR A MOMENT. NO.

latrice no

But Teresa announces that she and Folletto are going to prove Michael Sweeney wrong with this supergreat idea, which makes poor Michael Sweeney’s chest tighten even further and he announces they have to get out of his office now, because he might be having a cardiac event right now, and there is nothing he can do for them. Nothing! They are beyond helping! It’s not your fault, Michael Sweeney. It’s not your fault.

In the lobby, the siblings agree to not fixate on the past. Great! And since there’s nothing wrong in the present, we’re all good! Teresa declares. Folletto, he hesitates, because ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Bring it up now, Teresa urges him, and he’s like, alright, how about the tabloid story about me kicking our gentori out of their casa? Teresa denies responsibility for putting that story in the press and claims that it must have been Jacqueline, obviously. Obviously!

The two agree that the minute they walk out of the lobby door, the discussion is over. But — and prepare yourself to be shocked — it is not! The two, still miked, begin arguing in the vestibule of the office building about moving their parents into the garage apartment that Teresa previously claimed she was not building for them. “You buy them a house, then!” she yells at her brother, “If I had the money, I’d give it to them.” And that’s when Folletto points out her expensive purse, which, fair enough, there are a lot of crazy mixed messages about il Meatballs’ finances going on, let’s be honest. Somehow they manage to calm down and the siblings assure each other that they love one another. And Teresa slips in there the truth of the matter, the deep dark heart of all of this mess: Folletto is all she has left. Veramente, Teresa. And don’t forget it, you befeathered patz.

Yous guys, I gots some bad news. Imma gonna be “down da shore” next week, and will not be blogging the next episode in any kind of timely fashion. Unless I can make Bobby an offer he can’t refuse and get him to cover it for me (Bobby? Don’t make me put a horse’s head in your bed, capice?), this blog will be late. Mi dispiace. Please don’t sell nasty stories about me to the tabloids while I’m gone.

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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