The Real Housewives of New Jersey
December 5, 2018
Back in the safe confines of New Jersey, Teresa brings Jennifer to an aerobic trampoline class where Jennifer WANTS to DIE because SO HARD and also EXERCISE. The problem here is that she went to the class inspired by Teresa’s abdomen that you can sharpen knives on. Of course, Teresa does nothing but eat shreds of unseasoned chicken, lift weights while scary be-muscled women scream at her that she’s not good enough, and burn with resentment towards her sorella-in-law, which is really not a healthy way to live for anyone, especially someone who enjoys eating cake or doing tequila shots, like Jennifer here.
After the exercise class, Jennifer and Tre have a chat about Oklahoma where they talk about how Jennifer offended Margaret and how Teresa is worried that Melissa has told Folletto about everything that happened. Jennifer is very much Team Teresa and agrees with her retrograde views that women should have to all the emotional heavy-lifting in relationships. She also shares with Teresa a very sexist expression about how “the man is head but the woman is the neck and can turn the head any way she wants.”
OR ALTERNATIVELY, THE WOMAN HAS HER OWN DAMN HEAD AND CAN MAKE DECISIONS FOR HERSELF AND THE MAN CAN BE EMOTIONALLY MATURE ENOUGH THAT HE DOESN’T HAVE TO BE MANIPULATED INTO DOING THE RIGHT THING.
Someone who agrees with me, Jackie, has a brief scene with her husband in which she recaps Teresa and Melissa’s fight and then basically informs him that she’s going to pick a fight with Teresa when she sees her at Jennifer’s house at the end of the episode. Spoiler alert: she totally does.
Over at Melissa’s house, she’s invited her sorellas over to drop her HUGE NEWS on them: they have an imaginary sorella out there somewhere, a very legit psychic told her so.
And then they tell her they support her trying to find this figment of her imagination as long as it’s ok with their madre.
As for Margaret and her puffy madre, Marge Sr. is fine, and explains that while Margaret was away, Danielle stopped by with smoothies. And, in fact, Danielle stops by moments later with more smoothies for everyone. Margaret thanks Danielle for visiting Marge Sr. while she was out of town and Danielle, THIS PIECE OF WORK RIGHT HERE, replies that Senior shouldn’t have to suffer just because Margaret was a bitch.
Because I have been so late and erratic with these recaps, a quick refresher for why Danielle is calling Margaret a bitch: Margaret had the temerity to speak to Dolores like she was a person, the end.
Margaret reminds Danielle that in the course of being angry with her for speaking to Dolores like she was a person, Danielle basically called Margaret a cheating whore, and Danielle shrugs that she was just really angry. What is she supposed to do, not call Margaret a cheating whore? And then, somehow, they agree to move past it because Danielle’s wedding is coming up and there is plenty more crazy to get to in the weeks ahead.
But the real fireworks come when Folletto stops by Teresa’s house to check on their padre following Padre Gorga’s cataract surgery. Padre Gorga insists that Folletto do a shot with him even though it’s the middle of the afternoon and Folletto has to go back to work, and Folletto obliges. But when Padre Gorga tries to insist that Folletto does another shot, Folletto begs off because the whole “middle of the afternoon” thing and the whole “has to go back to work” thing. This elicits eyerolls from both Teresa and Padre Gorga which in turn elicits exasperation from Folletto.
As such, he asks Teresa to come talk with him in the garage which with these two is never a promising development. In the garage, Folletto tells Teresa that Melissa informed him that she was talking shit about him as a figlio in front of everyone, and there was something about how he went to the Bahamas on the anniversary of their madre’s death? Teresa insists that the Bahamas business was all Dolores (it was not), but then complains that Folletto eats too many dinners with his moglie and not enough with his padre. This goes over exactly as well with Folletto as you might expect: he punches a fortuitously placed punching bag, informs Teresa that she can shove it up her culo, and drives away VERY ANGRILY.
At Jennifer’s McMansion, she returns from Oklahoma with toys for the children, which irritates her husband who believes she’s both being manipulated by them and spoiling them. Which she is, on both counts, going so far as to assert that “it’s easier to give in than make them listen to rules.” FUN PARENTING FACT: This is the precise recipe for creating monster-people.
Jennifer insists that parenting is her “job” and that since she doesn’t tell him how to do a boob job, he shouldn’t tell her how to do her job. WHICH NO. NOPE. NO. PARENTING IS A TEAM SPORT, AND IT IS JUST AS MUCH HIS RESPONSIBILITY AS IT IS HERS. Look: I am a stay-at-home mom so I obviously don’t think there is anything wrong with being a stay-at-home mom but just because I have more time with the kids doesn’t mean I am more of a parent to them than my husband, that’s just some retrograde sexist bullshit right there. Which, of course, is the subtitle of the entire series. The Real Housewives of New Jersey: Some Retrograde Sexist Bullshit.
As for Dolores, she is trying to make her pre-diabetic madre eat some damn vegetables. To that end invites Teresa over to … serve as inspiration? Because definitely, if Dolores’ 70-year-old mother will just put down the cannoli and pick up the kale, she will soon look like a woman training for a “bikini fitness competition.” Of course, the real reason Teresa is at Dolores’ house is not to make Dolores madre feel bad for enjoying cookies for breakfast, but to warn her that she’s been dragged into her fight with Melissa and Folletto. By her. Also, the two women agree that this is all, of course, Melissa’s fault because as the woman in the relationship, she is in charge of all of Folletto’s emotions and he has no agency at all.
Finally, Jennifer’s “Come Look At My Absurdly Large House and All My Tacky, Tacky, So Very Tacky Chinese Furniture That I Literally Flew to China to Buy” party.
Some nice things I have to say about Jennifer’s party:
- She put out a huge spread of food, which I genuinely feel is the most important part of any party (aside from alcohol, obviously).
- The food looks really really good.
Some nice things I have to say about Jennifer’s house:
It is big — cavernous in fact. And like a cave, it feels mostly empty but for fussy all-white furniture (exactly the kind you want in your house with FIVE KIDS UNDER 10), a basement bouncy house (just for the party) and the occasional throne. As Jennifer gives the ladies the grand tour, she explains that they have a “fancy room” where men will ask them for their daughters’ hands in marriage (her oldest daughter is 10)(also, I know that most people think that it is a nice gesture of respect, but asking a woman’s parents for permission to marry her is infantilizing) and that, as noted above, she flew all the way to China to shop for the furnishings. You can tell. Take that however you’d like.
The ladies have a bite to eat, and at some point, Jackie and Melissa excuse themselves to “check on the kids” but really to give everyone an opportunity to gossip in their separate corners. Jackie asks Melissa about the whole Folletto/Teresa situation, and Melissa explains that Folletto and Teresa argued and he stormed out of her house. Jackie asks if she’s tempted to say something to Teresa about it, but Melissa insists she wants to stay out of it. Because she should stay out of it. Because it has nothing to do with her.
Out in the kitchen, Teresa, Dolores, Jennifer and Margaret are talking about the exact same thing, except in Teresa’s telling, this is all Melissa’s fault for tattling to her marito that Teresa and Dolores were talking shit about him.
And that’s when Jackie and Melissa rejoin the group who are now thirsty for Melissa’s blood having committed the worst of the Jersey sins: she treated her marito as an equal adult in their relationship. They proceed to tell her as much.
The gist of it is, if I’m correct, that Melissa shouldn’t have shared with her marito the terrible things that her sorella-in-law said to her ABOUT HER MARITO; that somehow Melissa had more of an obligation to Teresa to keep her marito “calm” and not get him “all amped up” than to be honest with him about his own famiglia.
After Teresa and Dolores beat up on Melissa for a while, Jackie decides that it’s not fair that these two women are ganging up on Melissa and that she needs to step in and defend her friend. Jackie explains that it is perfectly reasonable for a moglie to talk to her marito when she’s upset about something. In fact, last she checked, Teresa is not a part of Melissa and Folletto’s marriage and therefore has no right to dictate what they talk about.
This bit of reasonableness is met with OUTRAGE on Teresa’s part: how DARE Jackie interject herself into her famiglia’s issues, and anyway, there’s a saying, Teresa explains, that the “man is the head and the woman is the neck and she can control him,” or something. Jackie is like, “Yeah, I’m not about that old school bullshit and anyway, if a moglie could control her marito’s behavior, what’s yours doing in meatball prison right now?”
And with that, the party quickly clears out because OH SHIT. JACKIE WENT THERE.
I love her. She’s my new very favorite.
Because you are being so patient with these late-ass recaps, a little present from the internets:
The Real Housewives of New Jersey airs Wednesdays on Bravo at 8/9 CST.