The Real Housewives of New Jersey
“Wives and Misdemeanors”
November 7, 2018
Buonasera! So, this season of The Real Housewives of New Jersey started without me — as do most seasons of Real Housewives of Whatever especially when they launch too close to the holiday season. And I almost felt that I was too far behind the season to even bother with it … but then I saw the clips of Teresa and Melissa screaming at one another, and then there was some lady talking about how she has 16 bathrooms in her very fancy house, and I was reminded that Meatball might be shipped off to Italy by Donald Trump — Teresa’s former “boss,” and whaddya gonna do, ignore this pazzo? COME ON.
So bear with me here, I’m going to do my very best to catch up, but I remind you again that it is two weeks before Christmas and like all of y’all I’m FEELING the SFORZO. Not as much as the mother of four who thinks it’s a good idea to enter a bikini fitness competition because she hasn’t had sex in three years, but SFORZO JUST THE SAME.
The season begins with Melissa telling some strange woman about her tumultuous history with her sorella-in-law — complete with a montage of some RHONJ highlights from the past several seasons:
It’s been a ride.
Anyway, Melissa seems concerned that Teresa has been coming at Folletto again, complaining that he’s not doing enough with their padre, and she worries that things could sour between them. Oh, dolcezza. Of course they’re going to sour between you two. Have you met your sorella-in-law?
We then officially begin our story some three months earlier, with a completely overwhelmed Teresa trying to get her four figlie ready for school (and madonn’, Gabagool is 17?? and a senior?? and as I type this is receiving college acceptances?? and even though my son is too, somehow Gabagool doing it makes me feel older??) while dealing with her pouting padre, who is upset because he hasn’t heard from Folletto enough. “When I die, he will cry,” he says because Southern Italians are Olympic medalists in guilt.
Once the girls are at school, it’s “Tre time” which she is choosing to spend training for a “bikini fitness competition.” She’s a bodybuilder now.
I mean … I guess when your husband is away in meatball prison for three years you have to release your sexual frustration somehow, even if that somehow is spending 18 hours in a sweaty gym being screamed at by a woman who has WAY too much testosterone and spray tan reserves. I don’t judge.
LOLOLOLOLOL J/K OF COURSE I JUDGE.
Comunque, the point is, Teresa is going to have to appear in a thong bikini and five-inch heels on a stage in twelve weeks, a fact that she has not shared with Meatball. Not that she cares what Meatball thinks — he doesn’t get a vote.
Well look who has become independent! And all it took was her husband dragging her into crimes for which she had to serve a jail sentence and himself being sent away to a federal prison for several years!
And look, I’m not saying I want or think that Folletto should go to meatball prison — I genuinely like Folletto and think that he’s charming (gross, but charming) — but I am saying that Melissa could stand to learn a few things from her newly independent sorella-in-law in how to not take shit from her marito. Because everything is the same at the Folletto household: Melissa does everything around the house and with the kids while Folletto expects to be waited on hand and foot.
Anyway, Melissa is planning her 39th birthday party for the end of the episode, and she’s planning on inviting both Dolores and Ol’ Square Tits, while hoping that no punches are thrown.
Speaking of Dolores, she begins season nine moping around her empty house, calling her “roommate” and ex-husband Frank to bitch about a literal hole in the wall. Dolores sheepishly adds that Frank was, in fact, disbarred by the state of New Jersey, something she had to learn in the single most public way possible: being asked about it by Andy Cohen at a Real Housewives reunion special. It seems Frank was comingling funds: using a client’s money from a trust he had access to, to pay his gym’s payroll. Which, you might be surprised to learn, is not legal.
So Frank has redirected his energy into flipping houses, a business venture that for reasons I can not possibly fathom, Dolores is joining him in.
Margaret reintroduces herself in the most Margaret way possible: taking a shower on camera with her husband, before taking her mother to her vaginal rejuvenation appointment.
Later, Margaret and Joe have Melissa and Folletto over for dinner, where they discuss Margaret’s new pajama line and Folletto suggests that she make some with slits in the crotch for your Never Nude market, I suppose. Also, Margaret informs us that despite Dolores being Team Siggy, Margaret invited Dolores to her pajama launch party to make simpatica.
They also discuss Danielle’s upcoming wedding plans, and what a bridezilla Square Tits is being about the whole thing which is just very surprising because what Danielle Staub is most famous for is her modesty and reasonableness.
Melissa also mentions that Danielle had come into her store recently to gossip about Frank’s disbarment, and Margaret is like, “that’s funny, because she told me and Teresa about that recently, too.” Even funnier, both instances happened to be caught on camera by RHONJ’s crew. What are the chances? However, Margaret announces, she is not going to let Danielle drag her into this dumb feud: it’s none of her business. I am confident this magnanimous attitude will continue through the rest of the season.
Elsewhere, Teresa and Dolores meet for lunch — or they meet at a restaurant so that Teresa can watch Dolores eat lunch as she is only allowed to eat blades of grass with a glass of two ounces of still water ahead of her “bikini fitness competition.” But Dolores, she gets is: Frank was “Mr. Jersey 1996” and “Mr. Garden State 2005,” because of course that bucket head was a bodybuilder. Obviously he was a body builder.
After talking about how carrots have too many carbs, Teresa explains that the reason she called Dolores here today was to tell her on camera that Danielle is busily telling everyone Frank was disbarred. Never mind that this was mentioned at the reunion and never mind that this is a public and searchable fact, Danielle feels the need to go around telling anyone who will sit still long enough in front of a camera that Dolores’ ex-husband was disbarred for shady shadiness. Dolores is VERY MAD because in the ITALIAN CULTURE we DON’T TALK PERSONAL BUSINESS. But interestingly, Dolores’ anger is focused on Danielle for gossiping about this, not Teresa for mentioning it. Which I only point out because what Teresa is doing here is exactly what Jacqueline did to her and we all know how that ended.
All of this is a long way to go to say everyone expects tensions to be high at Melissa’s birthday party when Dolores and Danielle will be in the same room together. But! Instead! Nothing happens at all, except that Melissa gets completely drunk.
Oh, and we also meet the two new Housewives: Jackie, some blonde acquaintance of Margaret’s and Jennifer, a Turkish chick whose plastic surgeon husband Dolores once worked for back when she was a surgical assistant. Fun fact about Jennifer: her marriage was arranged. Fun fact about Jackie: … ~checks notes~ … there are no fun facts about Jackie.
Anyway, that’s it, there is no big confrontation between Dolores and Danielle, but Melissa does get very very drunk and begins yelling about how anyone who wants to throw her expensive birthday cake is welcome to do so, BECAUSE BAFUNGOOL, SIGGY.
The Real Housewives of New Jersey airs Wednesdays on Bravo at 8/9 CST.