The Real Housewives of New Jersey
“Garden State of Emergency”
June 2, 2013
Bentornati a New Jersey, pulcini! Mi dispiace for being so late with this post, but before I was able to get started, I had to do a bit of research trying to figure out the exact timeline for this pazzo show. Throughout the episode, il Follettos and il Meatballs each say that it has been somewhere between a year and a year and a half since they’ve seen each other, which, che cosa? how can that be? It seems like just yesterday they were all together screaming at each other about being strippers. (Tutti are strippers.) And it was just yesterday, sort of. Here’s how it breaks down:
Last season, season 4, began filming in the summer of 2011, immediately after season 3 ended. The reunion for season 3, however, was filmed the day after the Posche fashion show when season 4 ended, which was sometime in very late September 2011. The reunion for season 4 was filmed around a year after season 4 ended, sometime in September 2012. Which means that the cast has had a year without filming, time they spent apparently nursing resentments towards their famiglia and amici.
So now it’s November 2012, and Hurricane Sandy was the actual hurricane everyone got their mutandine all in a twist about when it was called “Hurricane Irene.” Sandy turned out to be the second most expensive hurricane in U.S. history, taking aim in particular at the Jersey Shore, home to the rental and second homes of 2/3rds of our cast.
To this end, we follow Teresa, Melissa and Kathy as they gawk at the damage along the Shore, learn that Caroline hung out at a Costco in the aftermath of the hurricane for some reason, and Jacqueline had a couple of downed trees, and a lot of stress worrying about her friends’ beach houses. It truly was a tragedy for our heroines.
Kathy and Jeff Goldblum Jr. drive past the house that they rented a couple of times which was severely damaged, and bemoan the lack of cell phone service here in the disaster zone where they own no property and have no business being. STAY STRONG, GOLDBLUM JRS.
Melissa and Folletto examine their house which, from the exterior, seems to have held up pretty well. The interior is another matter. Enough water flooded the house to swirl the furniture around and cover everything in a salty muck. Melissa has a triste.
Il Meatballs’ seconda casa has been similarly destroyed, and in her prima interview, Teresa puts the devastation in perspective: it’s terrible, si, but this was their second casa, plenty of people across New Jersey are actually casaless, so it could be much, much worse. Buono, Teresa! I’m proud of you for putting your sociopathy aside for a change. It is not all about Teresa and this is the corretto way to consider this tragedy, assolutamente. But then, after Meatball shows her the
6 3 foot waterline in the house, assuring her that she would have “drownded” had she been there, he announces that this will be good for business. Sure, a horrific hurricane wiped out much of the East Coast, killed more than 150 people here in the United States alone, including two children who were literally ripped out of their mother’s arms by the surge, and left a swath of the country homeless and without power for months, but Meatball hasn’t been particularly busy of late, so God found a way 1to relieve him of his boredom. Thank you, God! You certainly do work in misterioso ways!
We are reminded that this past year has been tough for il Meatballs (although we wouldn’t know as they haven’t been filming in the past year, per my exhaustive research), but Teresa assures us that if they hadn’t gotten divorced by now, they won’t be getting divorced ever. Which is not, exactly, how divorce works; but whatever helps yous sleep at night, lady.
Meatball asks if Teresa has heard from Folletto since the storm, and she explains that she hasn’t, and they both lament how sad the whole situation is. Meatball would have given Folletto a generator if he needed it! Which, 1. No, I doubt that very molto and 2. Folletto is a contractor, too, I bet he’s got a generator or 5 lying around. But the important thing here is that even thought they also haven’t reached out to il Follettos, they would have been very generous if il Follettos had reached out to them despite the fact that Folletto texted Teresa that she was dead to him, and that he and Melissa never wanted to see Teresa or her kids again.
Folletto, in the meantime, is just as upset with his sister that she hasn’t contacted him since the storm, because these people are stupid and stubborn and stupid. Marone.
Nuovo season, nuovo intros
Over at Il Lauritas, Jacqueline explains that her youngest son, Nicholas, has been diagnosed with autism, and it’s been very difficult for her famiglia because, dude, autism, and there is nothing I can add to this because autism.
Meanwhile, Kathy and Rosie and their madre talk about Rosie’s non-existent love life and Kathy losing her temper at the reunion that one time. Boring conversation is boring. Be glad you have a sassy lesbian sister, Kathy, because there is no way you’d still be on this show otherwise. (The official term for this is Marysolitis.)
At il Meatballs’ primo casa, Teresa has the bambini collect “beautiful glamorous” things that they want to donate to their fellow hurricane victims, because when you’ve lost your house the only things that will make you feel whole again are a pair of bedazzled leopard-print stilletos and a puffy skirt. Maybe some matching hair bows.
Also, this happens:
Oh, Baby Baccala. Well, honey, I hope you enjoyed your screen time, because that’s your allotment for the season. Sorry, The Elusive Sfogliatelle, that was your screen time for the season, too.
Mortadella, having graciously donated an oversized teddy bear that will need its own cot at the shelter, asks Teresa when she’ll ever get to see her cousin Stugats again, before asking her mother if she doesn’t miss her brother, Zio … Zio … wait, what’s his name again? “Jo-jo,” Teresa has to prompt. Yes! That’s right!
Mortadella remembers from her script now! Mortadella was supposed to say that she misses Zio Foletto and Zia Melissa and Stugats and Little Joe and that other one. Whatever his name is chi se ne frega.
At Il Follettos’ primo casa, after a weird exchange between Folletto and Melissa about whether or not he’s going to go out to dinner with his friends which is somehow about the hurricane and the reconstruction project which Melissa is “emotional” about, I just don’t know, Melissa shows her husband a letter Stugats has written to Mortadella:
I am in the second grade. What grade are you in? I do hip-hop and cheerleading. What do you
(All spellings corrected.)
Melissa laments to Folletto at how sad it is that the cousins can’t be together — even though she was the one who announced that the cousins can’t be together out of the reasonable fear that Teresa would tell her children that their mother is a stripper — but then throws caution to the wind and decides to mail the letter to Mortadella. And Stugats happily addresses the letter to her cugina, even though she is confused as to why they are mailing the letter when they live right next to il Meatballs. Oh, Stugats.
Sometime later, Mortadella receives Stugats’ letter (her name misspelled on the envelope, hilariously) and Teresa suggests Mortadella call Stugats and invite her over for a playdate. “We can finally give Stugats her birthday present!” Teresa announces, giving Gabagool the opportunity to inform the audience and Mortadella that Melissa hadn’t invited them to Stugats’ birthday party. “Eh,” Mortadella shrugs, “dirt off my shoulder,” before calling Stugats to make plans to get together, famiglia feud or not famiglia feud.
Meanwhile, Gabagool stomps into the garage to show Meatball the letter from Stugats. Meatball fails to be outraged.
So apparently the Manzos have rented themselves a little pied-à-terre in Hoboken, because where better, right? If you have enough disposable income to afford a second residence, Hoboken is the obvious location. Caroline gives some weird story about how now that the kids are leaving home (“I’m still here!” says Lauren from somewhere upstairs in the Manzo McMansion.), Caroline and Albert have decided to try downsizing, and give apartment living a shot. This makes no sense whatsoever, until il Follettos come to visit and Melissa suggests that Caroline has moved to Hoboken to stalk her adult sons. Ah, yes, of course.
Over some pizza and wine, Melissa tells Caroline about the attempt to schedule a playdate for Stugats and Mortadella, but explains that she’s uncomfortable with dropping her daughter off at il Meatballs’ casa. Caroline, obsessively concerned with Folletto’s feelings on the matter, suggests that Melissa text Teresa, thereby launching the longest and most stupidest text exchange over a playdate, ever.
Melissa to Teresa: I want to have the girls play at my house.
Teresa to Melissa:
Meatball sez u r a toddler lol I would like to take them out somewhere.
Melissa to Teresa: I’d rather take them out somewhere.
Teresa to Melissa:
Meatball sez u r a stankculo cagna lol No, I’ll take them.
Melissa to Teresa: No, I will.
Teresa to Melissa: No, I will.
Finally, Teresa and Meatball shrug and decide that in the end, “We’re all just dust in the air.” Kansas would beg to differ, il Meatballs.
The next morning, Caroline visits with Jacqueline and tells her about the il Folletto/Meatball playdate texting war of 2012, but Jacqueline, she does not have time for this.
Teresa takes Gabagool shopping where Gabagool expresses appropriate disgust at her mother’s fashion choices, tries on an inappropriately tight skirt, and tries to tell her mother that she has a crush on a boy, because what almost-12-year-old wouldn’t want to talk about that with her mother? In front of a national audience? Teresa is stunned with this news, and tells the cameras that she will not have a talk with her daughter about the birds and the bees until Gabagool receives her “monthly bill.” (But that talk won’t take place while they’re making tomato sauce, that’s certain.) Gabagool, as tired of the rest of us of the playdate texting war, texts Melissa back for her mother, and settles the debate: Melissa and Teresa will both attend the playdate with their daughters, because of course they will, that’s what The Producers wanted the entire time, duh.
The next morning (I guess, who knows), Teresa rolls her eyes at the bead store idea that Melissa suggested and gets Mortadella ready for the big date. And at il Folletto’s, Folletto tells Melissa that while she’s beading, he’s going to meet Caroline over coffee. Melissa narrows her eyes at this, because Folletto’s famiglia is none of Caroline’s business.
On the way to the bead store, Mortadella complains about her nose hair, and then fields a call from her father, who asks his daughter if she’s excited to see Zia Horseyface. “DADDY SAID HORSEYFACE!” Mortadella shrieks at her stricken mother, scandalized (and delighted) that her father has clearly gone off Teresa’s script. “HORSEYFACE!”
Everyone finally arrives at the bead store, where they hug and kiss awkwardly, and Teresa presents Stugats with her birthday present, having the class not to do it at Stugats’ school, unlike some people. Melissa is unimpressed with Teresa’s gift: an iPod, and sneers that a better gift would not be calling one’s niece’s mother a stripper. I think Stugats would prefer the iPod.
The girls get to beading, and Melissa, she gets to OCDing. NO, THOSE BEADS ARE TOO BIG AND YOU CAN’T PUT A RED BEAD NEXT TO A PINK BEAD AND YOU HAVE TO DO SEVEN OF THESE AND ONE OF THOSE AND THEN SEVEN OF THESE OR WE HAVE TO UNSTRING THEM ALL, GROUP THE BEADS BY COLOR AND THEN COUNT THEM ALL MAKING SURE THAT THEY ADD UP TO A PRODUCT OF SEVEN.
Melissa and Teresa compare first communion dates for The Elusive Sfogliatelle and Stugats, which begs the question why isn’t The Elusive Sfogliatelle allowed on this playdate if The Elusive Sfogliatelle and Stugats are the same age? WHY DON’T YOU SHOW US THE ELUSIVE SFOGLIATELLE, TERESA/THE PRODUCERS? WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO HIDE? FREE THE ELUSIVE SFOGLIATELLE! FREE THE ELUSIVE SFOGLIATELLE! FREE THE ELUSIVE SFOGLIATELLE!
In any event, The Elusive Sfogliatelle and Stugats are both scheduled to receive their first communion on May 11, creating a party scheduling problem, particularly for the parents of Folletto and Teresa. So Teresa agrees to reschedule because after all, we’re just dust in the air.
And then it’s time to go. After much pleading and whining and begging for pizza by the children, Melissa and Teresa load up their respective daughters into their respective cars and go home while Teresa complains that the whole thing was “fake” and that she wants to be a “real famiglia.” (Read: famiglia -Melissa.)
Finally, Folletto has his coffee meeting with Caroline, where he asks her if she’ll talk to Teresa for him because he and his sister have a weird “boyfriend and girlfriend” thing, and he doesn’t want to get hurt by her again.
WHAT? NO. YIKES. NO. THIS IS NOT GAME OF THRONES, FOLLETTO, QUIT BEING WEIRD, WEIRDO.
Caroline protests that she doesn’t want to get involved in his famiglia fight, but yes, she will totally get involved in his famiglia fight. How about now? She has an opening at now o’clock, does that work for him?
The Real Housewives of New Jersey airs Sunday nights at 7 p.m. on Bravo.
This post originally appeared on the Hearst site Chron.com.