The Real Housewives of New Jersey
“Reunion, Part 1”
September 30, 2012
For this season’s RHONJ reunion, the ladies — all of them this time — join Andy Cohen at the Borgata casino in Atlantic City, where he greets them by listing their recent accomplishments: Teresa has 3 best-selling cookbooks; Melissa is “all over the iTunes charts” (which is a backhanded compliment if I’ve ever heard one); Caroline has a book coming out; Kathy has a new nose and has had some lip work done (which worries Andy Cohen that she maybe needs to tone it down a bit with the plastic surgery lest this happen); and Jacqueline, well, we’re just happy she was able to squeeze into some sequins, straight-iron her hair and make it here today.
Andy Cohen reminds us that last season’s reunion “made history” as it was the first reunion to not feature the entire cast (JACQUELINE.), and the first to tape while they were still filming the season. It also made history as one of Andy Cohen’s worst ideas ever, in that the reunion was simultaneously both boring and incredibly confusing as no one participating could talk about why they were SO VERY ANGRY AT ONE ANOTHER in case they spoiled events in the upcoming season. Terrible. Let’s not do that again, Andy Cohen.
Andy Cohen points out that this is the first time Jacqueline and Teresa have seen one another since the stupidly-named Posche (UGH, JUST TYPING THAT WORD FILLS ME WITH RAGE) fashion show, and Tre is all, “Whatevah, I don’t miss her, I’m in a buono place, who cares.”
We endure a series of flashbacks of last season’s reunion, and Caroline loudly explains that after the stupidly-named Posche (BLARG) fashion show, Jacqueline sobbed all the way home and had a “breakdown,” and simply could not face attending the reunion the next day. (Question: Is it a “reunion” when everyone had just seen each other 14 hours previously? Answer: DUH, NO.)
Teresa makes some noises about how Jacqueline should have attended the reunion to face her and “finish what [she] started,” and accuses Jacqueline of telling Folletto that Teresa was responsible for what happened at the stupidly-named Posche (GRRR) fashion show. Which she did. Jacqueline totally did do that. And she is unable to deny doing that, since she did that very thing on camera, Jacqueline insists that Teresa was responsible for revealing that Melissa was a stripper, and adds that Teresa wanted Jacqueline to help her ambush Melissa with the whole stripper business at the very beginning of the season. Not only that, but Jacqueline has a recording of some friend of Teresa’s admitting as much, but ALAS, it’s illegal for her to share it because of Watergate.
(Note: Not because of Watergate.)
Teresa responds that Jac is lying, and blames Jacqueline for “ruining” a famiglia to which Melissa is like, UH, NO MA’AM. But it’s hard to get a word in edgewise as Jacqueline and Teresa are shrieking over one another, each accusing the other of sabotage. YOUS SET ME UP, NO YOUS SET ME UP, &c. This eventually evolves into a curious and perhaps unwinnable debate about body language between our amateur psychologists: On the one hand, Jacqueline was very calm during the fashion show, ergo: guilty of setting Teresa up. On the other hand, Teresa was very nervous and shaky during the fashion show, ergo: guilty of setting Melissa up. So.
Realizing that this is going nowhere, Andy Cohen asks Teresa if she has seen any of the Housewives since the stupidly-named Posche (ERRG. ~shaking fist~) fashion show, and Teresa explains that Melissa attended Gabagool and Mortadella’s birthday festa, but Teresa found out Melissa was coming via Hollywood.com, and that Melissa only came for the publicity. Melissa counters that she didn’t RSVP to the festa, because she’s famiglia. While she was on a red carpet, somewhere, show cares, Melissa was asked about Teresa. Melissa answered that she was going to see her that weekend at the birthday festa, and that’s how it ended up in Hollywood.com. FURTHERMORE, something about presents in the trunk of a car, I don’t even know, but it sounds like Melissa tried to give il meatballini some car trunk presents and this made Teresa angry. Sure.
Jacqueline, who I’m fairly certain was not at the festa in question, accuses Teresa of grabbing Melissa’s arm and instigating another parking lot fight with her sister-in-law. Teresa, irritated that Jacqueline knew about this incident, lashes back that Jacqueline wrote in her blog that Teresa had never said anything bad about Folletto or Melissa. Which I think is a response to a different fight, but who even knows how that tiny threehead (twoandahalfhead) of Teresa’s works. Jacqueline notes that she did write that, but it was before Melissa and Kathy joined the show, and that Teresa instructed her to not talk to Melissa on camera. The momento that Teresa discovered her famiglia were joining the cast, Teresa went completely oobatz. All of this sounds remarkably plausible.
Teresa insists that she does like Melissa, but this protest lacks conviction. Melissa counters with all of the terrible things that Teresa has said about her: that she was una cercatore d’oro, that she would leave Folletto for a man with more denaro, that she danced at the Bada Bing. And to be fair, these are not exactly things you say about someone you like.
But Andy Cohen, he wants to move on and talk about Potatoee Face. Remember when Potatoee Face was a complete jerk? Remember when Jacqueline and Chris Laurita were like “Get the cazzo out” and made her move to Las Vegas, i.e. the perfect place for a troubled 20-year-old with a drinking problem and a penchant for ill-considered tattoos to get her life together? Remember how Potatoee Face then finally moved to Los Angeles and got a real job and tried to blow up her entire apartment building? Yeah.
Andy Cohen reads a viewer’s question, asking about the Laurita’s bankruptcy issues, and whether or not they were using private planes to fly Potatoee Face all over the maledizione place so she could find herself. Jacqueline explains that it’s Chris Laurita’s business that is having the financial issues, not them personally, and that the creditors aired all of their grievances in a filing, including the business about the planes, but it doesn’t make it true, and ANYWAY, they didn’t go bankrupt going around buying themselves onyx bathroom vanities and toddler Mercedes, UNLIKE SOME PEOPLE.
Caroline whines that she’s hungry for some reason. Aren’t we all, Caroline. Aren’t we all.
Andy Cohen asks Jacqueline if she has a tweeting problem, and Teresa would like to answer that one: SI. SHE DOES. ALWAYS WITH THE TWEETING. Jacqueline admits that she does tweet somewhat impulsively, but at least she doesn’t talk behind people’s backs UNLIKE SOME PEOPLE. Teresa accuses her of being a liar, Melissa of being a liar, everyone is a liar. Melissa demands to know what on earth she’s ever lied about, and Teresa claims that Melissa’s perfetto life is not so perfetto. Furthermore, Melissa tweets pictures of herself with Teresa’s genitori, also known as MELISSA’S IN-LAWS. HOW DARE SHE? Unsurprisingly, this outrages Melissa.
But hey, let’s talk about something that is going to make everyone cry: Jacqueline’s autistic son. Andy Cohen introduces the typical flashback montage (Jacqueline trying to get pregnant, Jacqueline’s 4 miscarriages, Jacqueline finally giving birth to Baby Nicholas) but then it goes into a bunch of clips and photos of Nicholas that we as the audience have never seen, including Nicholas doing some therapy, and an audio clip of him telling Jacqueline that he loves her. This sends Jacqueline and Caroline into complete sobbing hysterics and Caroline begins yelling “HE’LL SAY THAT AGAIN, HE’LL SAY IT AGAIN,” before explaining that Nicholas has regressed and no longer speaks. SO WAY TO GO, MONTAGE EDITORS. WAY TO BE JERKS. YIKES.
But because it has to always be about Teresa, she notes that Nicholas used to be Baby Baccala’s boyfriend, and that they have since broken up. DON’T START, Caroline yells, DON’T YOUS START OR I’LL GO PAZZO ON YOUS IN YOUR CAZZO CHRISTMAS DRESS. In response, Teresa yells at Caroline to SHUT UP, YOUS OLD HAG. And this is it! This is, without question, the perfect illustration of just how orribile all of these people are! We started at Point A: A little boy with a heartbreaking neural development disorder, and somehow ended up at Point B: Two grown women screaming obscenities at one another. Perfect. Perfetto!
ANYWAY. Andy Cohen asks the hard questions: Why did Jacqueline take her story to a magazine? Jacqueline explains that she told her story in People because it was intended to bring awareness to autism and of course she didn’t get paid for it UNLIKE SOME PEOPLE, and anyways it was in People, not some trash like InUS Weekly. (Gross. Sorry. But not really.)
OH HEY, LET’S TALK ABOUT THE END OF JAC AND TRE’S AMICIZIA SOME MORE. Montage montage montage, and Andy Cohen notes that watching those clips, it seems like there might have been some hope for Jacqueline and Teresa when they were in the RV together. This gives Jacqueline the opportunity to explain that on that very same night, she heard Teresa through the RV window saying that she couldn’t stand to look at Jacqueline’s cazzo face and that Jacqueline was jealous of Teresa for being in magazines, and so forth and yadda. Teresa doesn’t deny this exactly, but instead insists that Jacqueline should have confronted her if she had heard Teresa say such terrible things. Which — and I should check with my attorney friends out there as I’m just a layperson — isn’t much in the way of a defense.
Andy Cohen asks, AGAIN, what caused the friendship divorce, and Jacqueline explains AGAIN that Teresa did not want her famiglia on the show, and attempted to enlist Jacqueline in “calling them out” with such insults as the ever popular, “Melissa was (is?) a stripper,” and the more obscure hits, “Kathy didn’t own a designer purse until she was 40” and “Kathy lives in a house merdoso.” Teresa continues to insist that she never said Teresa was a stripper, but Jacqueline swears on her autistic child to the contrary, so we know this is VERY SERIOUS. Caroline adds that Teresa had indeed told her the same thing, while Jacqueline yells that Teresa is a lying liar who lies is going to Inferno. WELL, YOUS THE DEVIL BECAUSE YOUS WEARING RED, counters Teresa. OH YEAH, WELL YOUS JUST GREEN WITH ENVY, responds Jacqueline, because insulting the color of your enemies’ clothes is the height of repartee amongst these ladies.
And no, Andy Cohen, I don’t think these two will be amici again, I’m pretty sure that RV has driven off the cliff, quit asking already.
Hey, a boring montage about Caroline and her kids and Lauren being kinda terribile. Before Lauren comes out to reveal her 35-pound lighter frame, Andy Cohen badgers Caroline being a bully for a bit, or as one particularly clever-mean viewer tweeted, “A bitter ginger with a twist of lemon face.” Sounds delicious! Caroline claims that her grumpiness was NOT because she was going through menopause, but rather simply because she’s a cagna. Which, yeah, Caroline, I’d have just gone with the menopause defense, honestly.
Lauren totters out, and looks very good, and is completely upfront about having lost the weight via LAP-Band™, a decision she made that night when she started acting like a complete pazza, yelling at her fratelli and locking poor Vito out of the RV. BUT DON’T JUDGE HER AND THINK THAT SHE TOOK THE EASY WAY OUT BECAUSE SHE EXERCISES AND DIETS AND WORKS OUT 15 HOURS A DAY, YOUS GUYS.
Some viewer gives Caroline some lip about how she treated Lauren during her weight loss struggles, the gist of it being, WHO ARE YOU TO JUDGE, FATTY, but Caroline shrugs and insists that she was supportive of her daughter. O RLY? Asks Andy Cohen. Were you supportive when you called her a stronza on the RV trip? Caroline’s defense is that she never called Lauren a stronza to her face, so.
Some other viewer decides to make trouble and ask what Teresa thinks of Caroline’s mothering, and at first it seems that Teresa is not going to be a complete stronza herself, saying that the Manzo kids are all great. Good answer! Let’s just leave it at that! BUT, Teresa continues, the Manzo boys never held a job before BLK Water, as fantasizing about stripper car washes doesn’t count as employment. This incenses Caroline, obviously, and she offers to “educate” Teresa. In response, Teresa literally goes for the gut, and makes fun of Caroline’s “rolls:”
Teresa then announces that Caroline had a tummy tuck, which we all knew, but whatever, and Caroline is like, so what who cares, I don’t do Botox or fillers, to which Teresa counters YOUS SHOULD. Melissa becomes frustrated with this and admonishes Teresa for “calling on people’s looks.” SHE STARTED IT WITH MY DRESS, argues Teresa.
Lauren can’t stay out of this, of course, and declares that the way Teresa is speaking to Caroline is why PEOPLE KILL THEMSELVES, which, alright, let’s bring it down a notch, Manzo, there aren’t a lot of 50-year-old reality stars killing themselves because one of their co-stars called them fat. They do themselves in over financial shenanigans and abuse allegations. (TOO SOON? MAYBE. MAYBE SO.)
Teresa turns on Lauren and flatly announces that she had LAP-Band™, before adding that while Lauren looks great, sometimes with the LAP-Band™ the weight comes back. (Which, you know, the Cagna Ppoint goes to Teresa for that one. Well played, signora.)
Lauren lashes back that Teresa wrote in one of the disputed cookbooks that she felt sorry for Lauren for the way Caroline treats her, WHICH, WHATEVER. LAUREN FEELS SORRY FOR IL MEATBALLINI. AFTER ALL, WHEN LAUREN WAS 9 YEARS OLD, SHE DIDN’T ACCUSE HER FATHER OF CHEATING ON HER MOTHER.
Teresa denies that Gabagool did such a thing, but Lauren continues ranting about how the meatballini talk about il Follettos and how disgustoso it all is before demanding that Teresa spell “Napalm.” Barroo? says everyone. SPELL NAPALM, TERESA. WHAT DOES NAPALM EVEN MEAN, TERESA? And finally Lauren gets to her point: that Teresa used the word “Napalm” in a blog recently which indicates that she doesn’t write it herself. SPELL NAPALM, TERESA. OH YOU CAN’T? BECAUSE YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT NAPALM IS? BUT YOUR GHOST BLOGGER DOES?
BOOM. LOOKS LIKE LAUREN JUST BLEW THE LID OFF THE WHOLE GHOST BLOGGING CONSPIRACY. SHE’S A REGULAR BOB WOODWARD.
A viewer asks Jacqueline about her plastic surgery and she’s all, eh, some filler in the lips and cheekbones, whatever. Here’s the thing: I never cease to be astonished and confused by the Real Housewives’ — all of them, New York Beverly Hills, Miami, Cleveland — love/hate relationship with plastic surgery, SERIOUSLY, PICK A SIDE.
Andy Cohen notes that Teresa did apologize to her castmates in an episode of In Touch (except Kathy, but not because she was mad at her, but just because she forgot about Kathy), did she mean it? Teresa insists that she was sincere, but Caroline counters that Teresa called her una fica. Melissa, outraged, calls her disgusting and notes that Teresa called all of them fiche. Melissa, tired of “talking to Teresa’s weave” demands she turn around. And so Teresa does and immediately accuses Melissa of wearing the same glitter eyeshadow Teresa wore to the previous reunion. (Important Forensic Evidence performed by Andy and his cohens on Watch What Happens Live! disproved this assertion.)
Jacqueline notes that this is the kind of merda she was dealing with in her amiciza with Teresa, “OH NO, MELISSA BOUGHT THE SAME PATIO CHAIRS AS TERESA, SHE IS SUCH A COPYING COPIER,” all the while Jacqueline had Real Things to Worry About. Teresa argues that Jacqueline should have talked to her about her son or whatever, and Jacqueline is all, I TRIED. I PUT IT OUT THERE. I WASN’T HIDING BEHIND “SOURCES” AND MAGAZINE STORIES ABOUT MY IMAGINARY DOGS.
That reminds me! chirps Andy Cohen, tell me about your “baby boy,” Teresa. Teresa claims that the “reporters” asked if she wanted a boy, and she was like, “Sure! Why not?” And anyway, why is OK for Jacqueline to put her story out, but Teresa can’t tell hers? Jacqueline is incredulous because SHE WAS BRINGING AWARENESS TO AUTISM AND TERESA IS TALKING ABOUT HER INVISIBLE BABIES. Caroline adds that they honestly don’t care what Teresa tells the tabloids as long as she leaves them out of it, which fair enough! But then Caroline points out that Gabagool had a story in In Touch with Kidz, or whatever, and Teresa is flabbergasted that Caroline is all over her every move. But you know what? Teresa doesn’t give a cazzo.
So, Kathy, tell us about your dessertzzzzzz ….
WHOOPS, SUDDENLY TOOK A NAP. SO. Kathy. Is Jeff Goldblum, Jr. too mean about Teresa? Eh! Maybe! But who cares, everything is a joke to that guy. Teresa takes exception to this, and Kathy makes reference to Teresa claiming that Jeff Goldblum, Jr. was obsessed with her. EW, GROSS, EW, replies Teresa before asserting that ladies prefer Meatball to Jeff Goldblum, Jr. and I don’t know, let’s just call this one a draw, because NO, GRAZIE.
Hey, Kathy, tell us about your new dessert line! wrote one of Andy Cohen’s interns. She’s got a new cannoli kit coming out where people can make their ownzzzzzz ….
Hey, Kathy, did you mean to insult Teresa at the book signing when you claimed they were your mom’s recipes? Kathy insists that she simply went to support her cousin. Teresa, she snaps, and calls Kathy a disgusting piece of merda, which seems a little strong, but you know, and then they start threatening to grab each other’s faces and then threaten to sue each other if the other grabs their faces and Kathy gets a dig in there about Teresa’s bankruptcy which earns her a surprising Cagna Point. Teresa begins yelling WHY’D YOU COME ON THE SHOW? WHY’D YOU COME ON THE SHOW? And Kathy notes that she momentarily forgot that it was “The Teresa Show.”
Kathy argues that she always tried to help Teresa, which she did, we all saw it, come on. And in response, Teresa claims that Kathy and Jeff Goldblum, Jr. almost got divorced, her madre told her so. YOUR MADRE IS A CAZZO LIAR, shoots back Kathy, and with that, Teresa gets up and moves to Caroline and Jacqueline’s couch, which, wait, wut?
And while Kathy is shrieking something or other about Teresa’s madre saying something or other about someone getting LAP-Band™ surgery, BECAUSE WHO HASN’T HAD LAP-BAND™ SURGERY ON THIS CAST, Caroline tries to get Teresa to stop talking over everyone and just listen, because did I mention the part where IT IS NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE TO HEAR WHAT ANYONE IS SAYING BECAUSE OF ALL THE SCREAMING OVER EACH OTHER. Ugh. But as Caroline tries to take the high ground and make everyone calm down and listen to one other, Teresa demands that Kathy call her madre a liar to Teresa’s padre. I TRIED TO, screams Kathy, BUT HE’S A GRANDE COWARD AND LEFT. And that’s when Teresa claims that her padre was more of a padre to Kathy than Kathy’s own padre.
And that sound you heard? Coming from somewhere back stage? The crashing and the roaring and the stomping and the threatening to RIP TERESA’S COZZO HEAD OFF and the interns running around screaming “SHE’S WALKING! SHE’S WALKING!”?
TO BE CONTINUED.
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.