‘The Real Housewives of New Jersey’: Time to fire everybody.

The Real Housewives of New Jersey
“Hair-Binger of Doom”
August 18, 2013

Your weekly Goombahs Go to Jail update: According to radaronline.com, Teresa’s lawyers presented the U.S. Attorneys a plea deal in which she wouldn’t serve any time, and they rejected it.

“The prosecutor has said that if she wants to plead it out she has to do jail time,” the source said.

“They believe that the evidence will show that Teresa can’t play dumb. She was in cahoots with Joe and was just as much a part of orchestrating the scam as he was.”

This same source (who sounds like it has to be someone with the prosecution) added: “…the prosecutor is pushing to start to trial in October, with ‘No delays and no bullsh*t.’”

Huffington Post added that Teresa’s lawyer refused to confirm — or deny — the story. So! For those of you who assumed that Teresa was simply being used as leverage against her Meatball husband and that the prosecutors would never send both of them away because THINK OF THE CHILDREN!1!!!!… well, that still might happen. But then again it might not, because the U.S. Attorneys are not playing, this is Serious Business.

As for the episode, we begin with Teresa stopping by il Follettos’ for a visit, bearing cupcakes — SPRINKLE CUPCAKES. PROBABLY FROM SHOP-RITE. The fact Melissa doesn’t just throw the sprinkle cupcakes directly in the trash demonstrates tremendous strength on her part, because I would not be able to resist, truce or no truce. Teresa explains to Melissa that she’s launching a new hair care product line, “Mortadella,” so named because Mortadella Teh Twitterz told her to call it that or something, it’s unclear. Melissa manages to make some nicetime noises at her sorella-in-law about this, before showing Teresa the mockup for her book cover, and Teresa is completely unable to hide her disapproval and disgust. WHY ISN’T HER FRATELLO ON THE COVER? IF THEY GOTS SUCH A GREAT, PERFECT MARRIAGE, WHERE’S FOLLETTO? WHEN TERESA WROTE A BOOK, SHE MADE IT ABOUT THE  WHOLE FAMIGLIA, NOT JUST HER. I MEAN, AFTER SHE WROTE THE ONE BOOK THAT WAS JUST ABOUT HER, OF COURSE.

Melissa glares at her sorella-in-law before moving on to the next order of business: isn’t it funny that the moment news comes out that Melissa’s writing a marriage advice book, her face shows up on In People Weekly with a headline screaming that she’s a cheating puttana. What are the chances? Teresa urges Melissa to just ignore it — it will go away if she just ignores it. What great counsel, Tre! Maybe you should be the one writing the advice book!

So Jacqueline returns home after receiving elective surgery on the other side of the continent and her son Nicholas is thrilled to see her and it is very sweet and a little sad because she was worried that he didn’t even realize she was gone and that is TERRIBLE and it gives me all of the feels. STAY STRONG, LAURITAS. (Also, maybe quit treating your face and body like a blob of Silly Putty, this is getting ridiculous, Jac.)

In the most meaningless scene of the episode — and that is saying something — Kathy and Jeff Goldblum Jr. go grocery shopping. That’s it. They go to the grocery store and Jeff Goldblum Jr. cracks wise with some of the bakery employees and nothing else happens. WHAT EVEN IS THIS WHY ARE WE HERE?

But as if that’s not enough, they later double down on the boring by having Caroline and Kathy boringly walk around Hoboken talking boringly about how Jeff Goldblum Jr. needs to butt out of Kathy’s boring cannoli business that he’s financing. Boring².

Finally, in our third act, Jeff Goldblum Jr. comes home to find Kathy cooking some mascarpone in their kitchen, and he’s like, “Hey, isn’t this what I got yous that test kitchen for?” And Kathy’s all, “I don’t wanna use that test kitchen.” The end.

But we’re not quite done with Jeff Goldblum Jr., not yet. He and Laurita meet Folletto at a cigar bar to eat salads — because that’s what you do at cigar bars: eat salads. They also laugh at Folletto’s cazzo piccolo and come up with plans for Melissa’s impending birthday: they should all  — and by all, they mean all: Caroline, il Meatballs, Rosie, probably Vito, maybe Kim G. — go out to a spa in Arizona and ride horses together. How relaxing! What a stupendo idea! I’m sure Melissa would love to spend her birthday out in the desert with a her (allegedly) felonious in-laws!

Alright. Listen. We’ve got to talk about Caroline, and the Manzos in general. If after filming Dio only knows how many hours of these people — hours and hours and hours — if the only footage you have of them that you would consider airing is them bickering about whether a rug should be on one side of the room or the other, maybe it’s time to let them go. Maybe, especially in light of il Meatballs’ recent troubles,  it is time to fire the whole lot of them, and recast with some other McMansion-dwelling goombahs, because IT’S NOT TELEVISION, IT’S HBORING. (That’s my new sassy drag queen catch phrase, by the way. I’ll be selling t-shirts soon.) (Related: Does HBO even use that tagline anymore? Didn’t they stop using it back in like 1998? Am I a sad, old, irrelevant monster? MAYBE! But is this aside still more interesting that Carpetgate, 2013? YES. A THOUSAND TIMES YES. FIRE THEM ALL. BURN IT ALL DOWN.)

Marginally more interesting: Lauren and Vito go out to dinner, and he’s like, “Yo, when are we gonna get married?” And Lauren is all, “Yo, never.” And then Vito makes a sad face and everyone gets all angry at Lauren but everyone needs to back the fancul up off of her because she is 24 years old and Vito’s not going anywhere, come on. She’ll settle for him eventually, guys.

Folletto takes Melissa to some middle eastern restaurant creatively named “Aladdin” where he announces that they are going to celebrate her birthday out in the desert with his sorella. Fun! So much fun! Melissa is unamused.

But the whole thing is clearly staged and she obviously knew about this plan beforehand, because they are soon joined by the rest of the cast, and Folletto invites everyone to join them on the trip, something I doubt he would do if he had actually just sprung this idea on his wife. “Hey, dolcezza, I’ve got this great idea to spend your birthday with my terrible famiglia whom you hate, and I’m going to publicly invite everyone to come with us tonight so that you can’t shut the whole thing down.” On second thought … maybe Melissa didn’t know.

And then everyone dances with belly dancers, the end.

Il Follettos are out throwing iceballs in each others faces in the driveway, as you do, when Teresa calls Melissa to invite her to the launch party for “Mortadella.” Teresa warns that Melissa’s errant bridesmaid Jan will be there, as well as someone named “Penny,” who apparently is Evil Howie Mandel’s cousin or something? and Teresa thinks it would be a good opportunity for Melissa and Teresa to present a united front against Melissa’s accusers. “Wait, why did you invite these people to your ‘Mortadella’ party?” Melissa has the wherewithal to ask, and Teresa mumbles something about them being salon owners, DON’T WORRY ABOUT THAT PART, focus on the coming to the launch party, pulling some puttana’s weave part. So Melissa agrees to attend, but has a suspicious.

So everyone gets ready for the launch party: Melissa gets her nails did while gossiping to another amica about her errant bridesmaid Jan; Teresa has makeup slathered on her while Kim D rolls her eyes at the news that Melissa is attending the event; and Mortadella straps on a padded bra and slides down the staircase bannister because she is The Very Best. However, SCANDALO! Mortadella is not allowed to attend the launch party for her eponymous hair care line for some reason. OUTRAGEOUS. FIRE EVERYONE, MORTADELLA, AND MOVE TO BEVERLY HILLS AND BECOME A MERMAID.

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And so the “Mortadella” launch party happens, and Melissa arrives and glares at everyone out of the corner of her eye while Errant Bridesmaid Jan and this Penny Person and Kim D shrug that it’s a shame that they had to try to destroy il Follettos’ marriage, but that’s what Melissa gets for being on a reality show. Or something. Actually I’m very unclear on what their purported motivation was. Something about Melissa having skeletons in her closet, which is not the same thing as being a reason to expose said skeletons in her closet, but whatever, jealous puttanas be jealous.

Kim D. is the first to approach Melissa and tries to be all, “Hey, it’s cool, I’m only the conduit for those people who want to call you a cheating stripper, not the person who is calling you a cheating stripper! Nuances!”

Errant Bridesmaid Jan joins the conversation, and Melissa is like, “OH, IT’S THIS PUTTANNA. SO WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM?” Errant Bridesmaid Jan says, “Listen, you did ‘meet’ your ex, and I was with you.” Melissa protests that both Folletto and Teresa were there the night in question, and Errant Bridesmaid Jan is like, “Yep! They were! And that’s why you used me as an alibi.” Melissa is stunned by this, and by the fact that Teresa, whose idea it was to present a united Gorga front, is ‘supporting’ her sorella-in-law by sipping her Fabulini and saying nothing. Grazie for the help, Teresa! Good job backing up Melissa, Teresa! Melissa tells Errant Bridesmaid Jan that she doesn’t understand where this is coming from: she loved Jan! And then Jan accuses Melissa of being a great actress that deserves an Academy Award. Well, let’s not go too far, Jan.

As Errant Bridesmaid Jan stomps off with a “Thank you, Jesus!” Folletto laughs that if they wanted to claim someone was cheating they should have said it was him, because who’s going to believe that Melissa would cheat on him? Oh, male ego, what a glorious, delicate, self-deluding creature art thou.

Next up arrives this Penny person, cousin of Chef Symon, who compliments Teresa on her “hair line,” but I heard it as “hairline” and I laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed.

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Melissa is like, “alright, ‘Penny,’ so who are you and why are you talking about me what is this about because I can not with you people anymore you are exhausting me.” But before this Penny person can answer, Teresa begins yelling over her, “PENNY, PENNY, YOUS DON’T KNOW ME, RIGHT? WE’RE NOT AMICI, RIGHT? SAY WE’RE NOT AMICI, PENNY, SAY IT.” And Penny’s like, “Yeah, I barely know yous, Tre. Now, to get back to you Melissa … people were asking me questions, and so I answered them.” Melissa asks who these people are, but before Penny can answer, Teresa begins yelling over her, “THAT WAS YOUR SALON, RIGHT? THE ONE WHERE MICHAEL PSILAKIS SAID MELISSA WAS A STRIPPER, RIGHT? AND I HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH IT, RIGHT? SAY ‘RIGHT,’ PENNY.” Penny confirms this, all the while giving Melissa a look that suggests just the opposite. Melissa tries to encourage Teresa to go visit with her other guests so that she can talk to Penny alone and learn why this stranger would be going around talking merda about her, but Teresa is NOT HAVING IT. So, eventually Melissa is like, “Listen, stranger lady, stay out of my marriage already,” and Penny is all, “Arrivederci, puttannas,” before disappearing into the hair party leaving Melissa more confused than ever.

The Real Housewives of New Jersey airs Sunday nights at 8 p.m./7 p.m. Central on Bravo.

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

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