‘The Real Housewives of New Jersey’: Minding their businesses

The Real Housewives of New Jersey
“The Blonde Drops a Bombshell”
September 15, 2013

Buongiorno, bambini! Let’s get started with your weekly Goombahs Go to Jail Update: There is nothing to report this week. Melissa’s book on how to be a sexy wife by forever clomping around in heels and a thick layer of makeup spackled to your face while doing your husband’s laundry or some such was published recently, so she’s been making the talk show rounds, repeatedly being asked about Teresa’s legal problems and saying nothing of consequence. But other than that, since the trial has been moved back to February, it’s been a quiet couple of weeks.

We begin the episode with the first of many shameless Housewife product shills as Teresa brings her madre and madre-in-law to a showroom to see her new line of Skinny Italian products. While there, Teresa mentions that she and Folletto want to have lunch with their madre later — news Mama Meatball rolls her eyes at. But, honestly, Teresa just brings lunch up in this scene as an excuse to get her dried pastas a little air time because that’s all this show really is to her (and, honestly, most — if not all — of the Housewives): a platform from which to hawk her brands, and in exchange, all she has to give the Producers are a few staged screaming fights. Buono deal!


Folletto visits the Lauritas so that Laurita has an excuse to mention on camera that the squid ink water he promotes (or whatever it is he does for it, it’s still unclear to me) will be coming out with three or four new flavors soon, so look for them in your local stores! Also, Squid Ink Water will be sponsoring some sort of basketball fundraising event for autism, where Laurita is forcing Jacqueline to give a speech. On cue, Jac comes in and whines about having to write said speech and how nervous she is at the prospect of speaking in front of “hundreds” of people. This somehow segues into a long complaint by all three about how mean people are on Twitter, boo hoo. Here’s an idea: quit using Twitter! No one is making you go on Twitter! If you don’t go on Twitter, you’ll never have to see the terrible things they are saying about you on Twitter!

Meanwhile, because even the most minor of characters on this show has something to hustle, Kathy meets with some event planner? coordinator? who even knows, to learn that Dylan’s Candy Bar wants to host a product demo with her cannoli kits. BUT, IT IS MOLTO IMPORTANT THAT HER “FAMIGLIA AND FRIENDS,” I.E. “OTHER CAST MEMBERS” ATTEND. Because who are we kidding, people only go to a Kathy Goldblum Jr. event for the small chance that il Meatballs and il Follettos will make an appearance and start throwing punches.

Oh, and Jeff Goldblum Jr. makes some noises about how he’s going to be more supportive of Kathy now that he’s had some spiritual awakening in Arizona after talking to his dead father, Jeff Goldblum Sr.

So, Melissa and Folletto and Teresa and Meatball and the Gorga Madre finally have their fabled lunch. (Gorga Padre, riddled with kidney stones and having had perfectly enough of his terrible children, is unable to attend.) The closest thing we get to any sort of violence or altercation is when Madre admonishes the women to watch their mouths. That, and the fashion in which Meatball eats some sort of sea creature. But in the end, everybody kisses and no one gets punched, so: success!

meatball and shrimp

Also, we learn an Italian expression: “The tongue doesn’t have a bone, but it breaks bones.” Maybe it sounds less gross and sexual in the original Italian.

UNINTENTIONALLY IRONIC MOMENT OF THE EPISODE: Jacqueline reminds us that her troubles with Teresa began when she started reading tabloid reports that both Meatball and Teresa were in legal trouble and that Teresa might be going to jail, too. And at the time Teresa was all NAAAHHHOOOOOOWWWWWW.

teresa rhonj no naaahoooow real housewives of new jersey

But we all know how this one ends — in a 39-count federal indictment.

Anyway. Teresa shows up at Jacqueline’s house to “help” her draft her autism speech. This involves Jacqueline wearing a terrifying horse mask while Teresa rubs her foot, and then Teresa staring gape-mouthed while Jacqueline talks about her experiences with Nicholas. Helpful!

While Teresa fondles Jacqueline’s feet, Rosie has dinner with Meatball? For some reason? And Rosie mentions how much better she feels after their “ebonics” experience? And it takes me an embarrassingly long time to figure out that she’s talking about the horse therapy and not just being deliberately offensive. Rosie asks Meatball if he ever wanted a son, and Meatball begins yammering about surrogacy and putting Teresa’s eggs and his “eggs” into another woman. To his (slight) credit, Meatball has a moment of self-doubt, wondering if he even has eggs, but neither he nor Rosie know, because they aren’t “good at medical stuff.” Mio dio, how do these people manage to get through the day being this stupido? I am asking that in all seriousness: how do these people manage to survive day-to-day without trying to take a shower with a plugged-in hairdryer, or taking naps on railroad tracks?

Il Follettos meet with Johnny Wright, a music manager who Melissa tells us some six thousandthy times represents Justin Timberlake. He also manages Aubrey O’Day, but no one seems to be bragging about that. Melissa explains that she has a “passion” for singing, and Johnny Wright is all, “Yeah, but you old.” Melissa goes on to explain that she wants to do it all: be a singer and a great mom and wife and pursue her dreams, and Johnny Wright is all, “Yeah, the business don’t care about your family or your stupid kids.” But then Johnny Wright agrees to come hear her sing in her basement studio because he loves seeing himself on television.

So the next day, Johnny Wright, some 12-year-old producer named Justin Thorne and some lady they don’t even bother to introduce because who cares arrive at Il Follettos’ house. Melissa leads them down to the basement studio to listen to her mangle Justin’s song, “Never Let Me Go,” and everyone grimaces but doesn’t say how terrible it is. Instead, Johnny Wright encourages her to come to his Orlando compound to get some vocal training, which, seriously though, why bother.

Meanwhile, it’s Kathy’s big Dylan’s Candy Bar cannoli day, which she gets prepares for by screaming at her famiglia a while. Eventually, the Goldblum Jrs. manage to pack up their posters and business cards and cannoli boxes and drive into New York and oh my God I am boring myself just typing this IT IS SO BORING YOU ARE BORING ME SO MUCH, KATHY STOP BEING SO BORING.

The “too boring, didn’t watch” version: no one comes to Kathy’s boring cannoli event, because BORING, but then they do show up, the end. (Except Caroline, who rolls around on her couch with a migraine, which, you know fair enough. But couldn’t the Manzo kids have shown up? Just because your mom has a headache doesn’t mean you have to stay home, right?) Oh, and in a talking head, Teresa praises Kathy for starting her own business before calling the cannoli “edible” and then asking the Producers if she rolled her eyes too much. That’s quite the leaf you’ve turned, Teresa! A++++ leaf turning!

And then we have the Squid Ink Water Basketball Autism fundraiser, which, remarkably, everyone manages to not only attend, but arrive on time for. Everyone is wearing their Squid Ink Water t-shirts, except Teresa who HILARIOUSLY is wearing a Mortadella Hair Care baseball cap and sweatshirt, because even when it’s about raising money to fight autism, it’s about Teresa. Amazing amazing amazing!

To her credit, Teresa did later put on a Squid Ink Water t-shirt and took off her Mortadella sweatshirt. The hat, however, stayed on. (bravotv.com)

On the drive over, Laurita tells Jacqueline that the space holds 900 people, and she freaks out, but she needn’t, as it appears that there are roughly 50, 60 people there, half of whom are related to them. Everyone plays some basketball, and then Jacqueline gives her speech. And of the little we hear of it, the speech is moving and deeply personal and she does a good job and everyone cries, the end.

Finally, FINALLY, we attend dinner with Il Follettos for some reason, and who just happens to be at the bar, but that Penny lady who wears the giant blond doll hair ponytails and tweets all the mean things about Melissa being a big puttana. WHAT ARE THE CHANCES?

So Melissa stomps over to Penny, trailed by Folletto, and demands that Doll Hair TELL HER THE TRUTH about who was behind the cheating rumors, it was Teresa, right? Penny is like, “Yep! 100%! She asked me to confront Folletto about your ex-boyfriend, and then my husband tweeted a bunch of nasty stuff about you, and look, I have all of her phone numbers in my phone, and also my husband hosts a bunch of events for Teresa’s brands at his family’s businesses, and she told me to stop being mean to you so now I’ve stopped.”

Wait, what? Was anyone else as confused by Penny’s explanation as I was?  If I had to attempt to break it down, I think Penny and Teresa know each other through Penny’s husband whose family’s businesses sometimes host events promoting Teresa’s stupido brands. When Teresa realized Penny knew Melissa’s ex-boyfriend, she asked her to be her merda stirrer, which Penny agreed to do because ???? But now that Teresa has hired an image manager who clearly encouraged her to make nice for the camera wants to mend fences with her famiglia, Teresa called Penny off. Is that it? I think that’s it. That, or the Producers performed some editing shenanigans and that’s why Penny’s explanation was so hard to follow, who knows.

But ultimately, in the end, it all comes back around to the Housewives’ stupido brands and their never-ending desperation to promote them at all cost.

Che. Naturalmente.

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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