‘The Real Housewives of New Jersey’: Famiglia time

The Real Housewives of New Jersey
“Swimming with Gefilte Fishes”
August 21, 2016

Ugh. Dolores. Does anyone actually care about Dolores? SHOW OF HANDS: Who cares about Dolores?

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THAT’S WHAT I THOUGHT.

This week, we’re supposed to believe — and care — that Dolores’ ex-husband sent a construction crew to her house to start refinishing her cabinets without her knowledge or permission. Later Dolores talks her ex-husband into spending more money on a fuller remodel for the house he does not live in. Oh, and then even later she gets yelled at by her partner in the gym for not going to her job.

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Dolores and Siggy visit Jacqueline who tells them all about her failed dinner with Teresa, claiming that Teresa started it by being passive aggressive about their porch fight — a fight from which they’ve made up three times since. Jacqueline notes that Teresa had the audacity to compare her criminal situation to il Laurita’s corporate bankruptcy, so she called her out on it, which set Teresa off. Siggy, head in her hands, begins to wonder what she has signed up for.

Meanwhile, Melissa and Folletto discuss Jacqueline’s phone call, mostly so that Melissa can explain to someone on camera that she’s arranged a meeting with Jacqueline to yell at her about it.

Over at casa del Meatballs, it’s a big day for Teresa: her ankle monitor is coming off. While you might think this entails some sort of official procedure, maybe involving an officer of the court or at least some sort of documentation, all that actually happens is Meatball takes Teresa into the bathroom and, off-camera, cuts the monitor off with a pair of kitchen scissors.

I have a lot of questions. Why wasn’t this shown to us? We know it’s happening — they tell us it’s happening, so it’s not like Teresa is embarrassed and doesn’t want to talk about it. So why off-camera? Did Tre have to take off her pants to have it removed? Are they not allowed to show the device for some reason? Why so mysterious?

Anyway, the point is now Teresa can come and go as she pleases, her sentence is officially done. Urrá.

Melissa and Jacqueline meet for that lunch so that Melissa yell at Jacqueline for calling Folletto and potentially creating trouble for her relationship with Teresa. Jacqueline argues that she just wanted to go directly to the source, and, anyway, Teresa started it when she said that Folletto told her not to trust Jacqueline. So if Melissa wants to blame anyone, maybe she should look at her sorella-in-law. And besides, when did the two of them get so buddy-buddy? The lunch ends with both women fairly huffy and no salad actually eaten.

Later, il Follettos go to casa del Meatball for dinner. While drinking green tea instead of wine, Teresa explains that she wants to get “one of dem edamames, youse know, the thing where they detox youse and clean youse out.”

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Melissa tells Teresa about her lunch with Jacqueline, and Teresa immediately begins ranting that Jacqueline is eviland plays innocent BUT SHE CAN SAVE HER CAZZO CROCODILE TEARS, MARRONE.

Over at casa del Laurita, we finally meet Potatoee Face’s boyfriend, Pete, who seems like a very nice young man who is very not comfortable being on camera. After dinner, he takes Jacqueline aside privately to tell her he is planning on proposing to her daughter and asks her to come ring shopping with him.

And here’s the thing. The thing is I have a very strong anti-asking-for-the-daughter’s-hand-in-marriage policy. VERY STRONG. I find the whole thing so anti-woman in how it suggests that the bride-to-be is a possession being passed from man to man and I know some people think it’s a sign of respect but I find it a sign of profound disrespect for the woman in question and her choices. Fuck that noise. But that’s not what is happening here. Pete never asks Jacqueline for her permission to marry Potatoee Face, or even for her blessing. Instead, he asks for her to be a part of the proposal, which is kinda weird in it’s own way if you think about it too hard, but I also think it’s very very sweet, and long story short, I approve of this Pete kid. In fact, I think it’s safe to say I like him a whole lot more than Potatoee Face herself.

And sure enough, they go shopping together and This Pete Kid picks out a 3 carat diamond, to which even Jacqueline is like, “Woah, that’s way too much diamond.” That Pete Kid is undeterred. Mazel, That Pete Kid and Potatoee Face! I just hope this isn’t another bankruptcy in the making.

Elsewhere, Siggy decides to host a kiddush twice a month with her family so as to punish her children. Her children spend this precious family time playing with their phones, complaining that the conversation is boring and whinging that their mother is killing their social lives.

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Keeping with the famiglia theme, il Meatballs have a family meeting, where Teresa instructs everyone to write down what they think everyone else can do to make living in this famiglia better. Mortadella can scarcely believe her good luck — this is the moment her entire life has been leading up to. She tells Gabagool to stop calling her fat; she tells Meatball to stop calling her fat, before telling him that he is SO FAT that he looks like he is pregnant with quadruplets; and she tells Teresa to stop playing with her phone all the damn time.

The Elusive Sfogliatelle refuses to read what she wrote, keeping her long non-participation streak alive. And as for Gabagool, she complains about Meatball’s temper and her madre’s overreaction to everything. “OVERREACTING! I’VE BEEN SO MELLOW SINCE I’VE BEEN HOME,” yells Teresa. Good meeting, everyone! I think a lot has been accomplished here.

Later, il Meatballs go to an indoor skydiving place to celebrate Mortadella’s birthday. Other than an emotional moment when Mortadella asks Meatball if he’s going to be away at “camp” for her next birthday, this entire interlude is very, very boring.

Finally, in separate spaces, Melissa proposes to Teresa a girl’s weekend at a spa, while Siggy and Dolores suggests the same to Jacqueline. Both women immediately catch on to what is happening here — that the other women are trying to force them together — but they signed the contract, they know they don’t have any choice but go on this dumb trip. Whaddya gonna do, right?

Oh, and Teresa receives the first copy of her new book. And I come to the depressing realization that Teresa Giudice has written and published 4 more books than I have.

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The Real Housewives of New Jersey airs Sundays on Bravo at 7/8 CST.

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