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Welcome back to the Real Housewives of New Jersey. Finally! After, oh I don’t know, maybe a hundred weeks of bore snore Moonface and her pushover Mom Jacquee, we finally get back the heart of what this show is all about!
And that’s a good old fashioned blood feud!
But, we’re not out of the woods yet. First we need to go into the woods – literally, into the woods – with Chris and Albie Manzo who inform us that they’re going to Grandma’s house. All I can think of is Uncle Pat’s farm from the Sopranos, and I wonder if they had a little trouble with anyone at the Brownstone last night and need to dump the body.
Actually, as far as I’m concerned that’s totally what they’re doing and they have the best cover story ever – they’re visiting Granny’s craft room. Only now it’s converted into new family offices where the Manzo brothers and some other nephew are going to be “working”. They are a family of entrepreneurs, says Caroline. Well, if your definition of entrepreneur is someone who plays businessman in Granny’s old craft room.
Let’s use these green crocheted potholders as money!
Well, this front is called New Star. Already winning points for originality. Chris Laurita set it up for the “family” to have as a long term business. Chris Manzo seconds my thought that it’s a little hard to take business seriously in Granny’s former craft room, but Albie of course immediately wants to hold a meeting. Chris is full of ideas. First he wants to write a book about toilets because, he explains “you don’t want to just shit anywhere”.
The other nephew mentions that it’s a good idea because Chris is thinking out of the box, but Albie shuts it down. That’s okay. Chris is right back with a breathalyzer cell phone, so you don’t drink and dial. This idea gets a little more attention, as they then decide they should attach a breathalyzer to Ashley’s twitter.
Please Lord do not let this be a transition to Moonface…and it’s not! We’re hitting the Wakile’s for a little giggling over Lebanese Dilbert’s birthday party. He asks Kat if it’s a surprise and she says why bother, it’s impossible to surprise him anyway. Then he tells us that he was born in Beirut and moved to the U.S. when he was eight. He didn’t speak a word of English, and that’s how he became what he calls a jokester.
My first word was cocksucker. Funny, right?
Vic, the slutty/nerdy daughter is decked out in a V-necked red dress. Let’s just say it does not exactly scream VIRGIN. Dilbert dutifully asks about Teresa’s behavior at the goddess party, and then gets happy when she tells him the Guidices will not be attending his birthday party.
So what are you sayin’, just because we ruin everything we’re invited to, we’re not gonna get invited no more? Is that what you’re sayin’?
So if the Giudi aren’t coming, that should mean the Gorgas are. And sure enough, they’re rolling down the snowy Jersey highway with Joe praising Mel for not wearing a bra. Ewwww is her response. And mine. And America’s. Then he tells her she “blossoms like a flower”. More ewwwww’s all around.
Of course the conversation in the car turns to Teresa. Mel is bothered by how negative she’s being about her singing career. She points out that when Teresa came out with a cookbook, Melissa didn’t tell everyone that it’s actually Teresa and Joe’s mother who does all the cooking.
I would never tell people that Teresa doesn’t really cook.
Everyone arrives at Dilbert’s party which is at someplace called The Aladdin. It has sparkly doors, and the Wakile’s come busting through, lead by Vic who looks like a hooker circa 1985 in her red dress and white fur. And look who’s here – it’s Kathy’s sister Rosie! Forgoing a night at the lesbian biker bar to sit in on the drama.
When do I become a series regular?
Dilbert offers everyone an apple martini, which isn’t Persian, or Italian, just kind of gay. Caroline, the world traveler, makes a big fake deal about how she loves “the vibe” and how the music “envelopes her”. Then she and her brother Chris start complaining about how there’s no pasta. Richie jumps in and starts making Italian pasta jokes, which according to Kat, is just fine because at least he’s not doing it behind anyone’s back.
They sit down at the table, and Caroline asks Lauren if she’d rather have Italian bread – a two-pronged attack with the intended targets of a) middle eastern food and b) Lauren’s fat ass. Then they pass the hookah. I don’t know if they’re necessarily high on hookah smoke or maybe a little drunk, but Joe Gorga wants to smell Melissa’s armpit. That’s just weird. Then he wants to share with the table the story of Melissa’s open heart surgery that she had when she was nine.
Then Dilbert gets a cake with sparklers. They all go dancing, except, of course, the Manzos. Lauren says that it’s very Italian of them to not be dancing. Nooooooooo. Can we get back to the days when you were getting people kicked out of someone else’s party? Or to the dead bodies under Granny’s craft room? That’s more my kind of Italian.
So, the Aladdin looked fun but moving on – we’ve got another party in Franklin Lakes! At the Chateau! It’s the grand opening of the Lauren Manzo makeup empire. Teresa is wearing a hot pink and purple fur coat for the occasion.
The bankruptcy court let me have Milania and this. I win!
She and Jacquee are getting ready in her bathroom. Jacquee tells us she’s not a “fancy” dresser, and then proves it by proudly showing off her $55 dress that she bought at Dress Barn and bedazzled herself.
Teresa politely asks about Dilbert’s birthday party, and says that she’s not worried about Jacqee and Caroline “jumping ship” – they’re her friends. I don’t know why Teresa’s so calm today, but I don’t like it. Considering all her furniture’s been repossessed, Teresa and Jacqee are eating pizza and drinking wine in her bathroom, using the ledge on her marble tub as a table. Teresa asks about Ashley and Jacquee says that she was supposed to make t-shirts for the grand makeup event, but she doesn’t know if Ash came through or not.
I didn’t want to bother her or anything. I just sort of like to let the parenting take care of itself, ya know?
They talk more about Ash needing to find her own way. After about thirty seconds of listening to someone else talk, the best advice Teresa can come up with is “maybe she needs to just not be around you.” Um, thanks.
At the Chateau, Lauren is thanking her Dad and telling him that she couldn’t have done it without him and Caroline, because it would be stupid to just thank their checkbook. Caroline tells us that now that they have bought Lauren a business and blackmailed enough Franklin Lakes ladies into getting the signature Lauren Manzo Crayola eye, they can put a checkmark next to Lauren’s name. Another Manzo success story!
Mel shows up in just a regular fur, and promptly informs Teresa that her hot pink fur is making her go blind.
But would I ever tell her she has an ugly ass fur? Of course not!
Jacquee has abandoned her bedazzled K-Mart dress for an off the shoulder dirty grey Hanes t-shirt. She asks Caroline how Ash made out with the t-shirt design and Caroline shows her the shirt. It came out really good! It’s a girl looking in a mirror. They tell her that Ash did come through with the design, but not getting it made or anything else. Huh. There must have been commuting invovled
Lauren sulks and mentions that Ash didn’t show up to the grand opening, but she finally turns up at the end. Ash tells us she’s proud of the shirt, and she was late because there was snow on her car. Oh right, it must have just snowed on that part of Jacquee’s driveway.
Jacquee tells us that she’s done all she can and now she has to let Ash do her own thing. Until she changes, she’s going to have the same problems wherever she goes, she continues, but Ash needs to figure it out for herself. But she does tell Ash she’s proud of the final t-shirt design and she knew she could do it.
Alright, I’m not sure that Lauren Manzo and makeup artist even belong in the same sentence, much less in a salon so let’s move on to Teresa’s trip to the grocery store. Recapping a trip to the grocery store, you say? Well, considering she’s brought Milania with her – hell yes! The little Antichrist announces that she wants pineapple as they enter the store, and I just know we’re in for some destruction. Sure enough, the minute they hit the fruit aisle, Milania has climbed atop a display of plums. The little baby sits there in a headband that would make Charo proud. She looks like she was abandoned by circus folk.
Send me back. The little car was better than this.
Gia and the milkman’s kid are absent from the shopping trip. Teresa once again brags about her skills as a Mom. She tells us she cooks healthy food at home, with not a lot of “ingrediences”. I really hope she’s just sticking to nutrition, and not trying to teach them to read or spell or…talk, or anything.
Milania starts pulling frozen dinners out of the freezer section and throwing them around the aisle but Teresa gets that whole thing under control by telling her that “Mommy cooks for you every night”. As they pick up some hot dogs, those little plastic casings o’ nutrition full of tasty and delicious “ingrediences” like rat droppings, Teresa brushes the kids off to make a phone call.
I make all my important calls from the produce aisle.
She’s actually calling her brother to invite him to her upcoming book signing. I’m still wondering why this phone call has to happen right in the middle of Aisle 6, but I guess you just have to willingly suspend your logic when dealing with Teresa. And odd location aside, it’s a good sign that she’s inviting the Gorgas – their big complaint in the past was that they were never invited, so it’s a step in the right direction. I said a step, nothing more. Cause the minute they resolve this shit I’m moving to the Food Network.
It’s kind of an awkward conversation, but he is basically happy that she invited them, although he does throw a “better late than never” in for good passive-aggressive measure. Milania entertains herself by climbing into a display case full of what I think is salad and chickens, but Adriana La Cerva informs me is actually cheese, which I guess makes more sense.
The kid falls on her ass into what I think are some fruit platters, Teresa picks her up and she climbs right back into the display case. The baby is tearing into a box of Cap’n Crunch, and as she ends her call with Joe, Teresa compliments her kids on being “very good”.
Satan would be proud!
Over at Melissa’s, her producers are back because she’s on display, on display, on display. This time, the witchy sisters are there too. The blue eyeshadow one wants to “hear some magic”, and the really witchy one makes sex eyes at the the black guys.
Sorry cracker, not happening.
Mel gets in the booth in her fur vest, and tells everyone how in her zone she is. Her producers tell her she’s a little pitchy. Then they tell her it was horrible, and she had to do it again. She tells a nice story about how when she’s performing, she goes back to dancing on her Dad’s coffee table. She gets a little choked up talking about it – but what can you do when you’re on display, on display, on display?
The sisters dance around the studio, but who am I to talk? I dance around my house and car to this crappy song. It’s a basement party at the Gorgas! The witchy sisters do that one finger in the air dance that lives forever in Jersey.
Paparazzi Bravo cameras watching me do my thing…
Back to business – no disrespect to the very professional basement recording studio – it’s time to talk about the totally legitimate “family business”. Chris Laurita says he’s in the wholesale apparel business, and he’s putting up the money for Albie and Chris Manzo to start this New Star business. It’s still very, very unclear exactly what kind business they’re going to be in, but Chris Laurita says Al’s “gonna work his Ginney charm”, which I guess tells us all it’s safe for us to know.
We learn that Chris L. and Al were strolling around the food show and discovered some black water. Albie talks about how Chris has sold weddings at the Brownstone, but nothing more. Chris says that Albie is too sensitive and stressed and he needs to lighten up. They’re both right, and that’s why they’re a good team. But…black water?
Really. You would have been better off with the toilet book.
The black water ladies show up and of course they’re Canadian. Only a country with an inferiority complex of being stuck next to the United States could come up with something so stupid. Americans drink clear water? We’ll drink it black, eh!
And the Canadian ladies are immediately all up on their high horse about the family business. They say that they’re nervous because they’re put everything into their black water business and the Manzo kids don’t have a lot of experience. “We might not be the biggest, but we might be the best,” is Chris Laurita’s dynamic sales pitch.
They remind him that their water will be extra hard to market because, you know, it’s black. Oh, they give some reason for why it’s black, some kind of vitamin or mineral or food coloring or something. I don’t want to drink black water. But I don’t want to drink regular water, either. All I want is champagne and Diet Coke. I might not be their target market.
Caroline’s already working the Jersey angle, saying that black water fits in with the general dirty Jersey reputation.
Therefore, I declare black water a succes. Two more kids checked off the list. My work here is done.
But the Manzo boys, however misdirected their enthusiasm for this ridiculous product may be, sell it! Chris talks about how he loves something different, and he’s already setting up blind taste tests. Albie mentions a launch party, and Chris reminds the group that he’s managed 645 weddings at the Brownstone, but he’s also vacuumed and laid out china for almost all of them. In other words, he’ll be lugging boxes of black water to Whole Foods himself, he says, and I believe it.
Eh, it’s black water. Do what you can do.
Over at the Gorgas, Joe’s doing some work around the house and whining about not wanting to go to Teresa’s book signing. So what’s the problem now? Well, the Brown Smurf is sending some really nasty texts. Something like “so nice of you and your fake wife to support your sister for the first time”. And the oh so brotherly “you make me ill”. And of course, the very touching “I’ll break your jaw and wire it shut”.
Smurfy caps it all off with a sugary sweet “retard” to his brother in law. Joe Gorga says he didn’t argue back, but it looks like there was some kind of response on his phone. I wish we got more of a close up. But they agree that Brown Smurf is the what’s keeping the family apart, and I have to agree.
The Gorgas declare for the millionth time that they did not go to Teresa’s previous book signings because they were not invited. Then they talk about how what really sucks is that Brown Smurf is hurting his daughters. Gia does seem to be really close to her uncle Joe, which is just another reason for Smurfy to hate him.
Melissa says that it was Teresa who put the Joes in competition, and it’s no competition because they’re two completely different people. Joe Gorga is a workaholic, and Smurfy thinks the working man’s a sucker. Yay fraud.
Signing your own name is for suckers!
But Gorga had a big house at a young age, and then when he and Mel moved into the new house all Brown Smurf had to say was that the rooms were “small”. Small, but you know, furnished. And not owned by the bank. In conclusion, the Joes are in some kind of competitive bloodsport and Teresa is like their Helen of Troy.
At Teresa’s, she’s running late for a change. She yells about how the book signing is supposed to start at 5:00, and of course we check in at the bookstore at 5:15…and 5:30, and that’s when she finally arrives. She does make sure to call her brother on the way to the bookstore, to remind him to come. She either really wants him there, or really wants to make everyone think she does, and I choose the former. But does she know about her Smurfy husband and his “retard” texts?
She hits the bookstore in a purple fur, and the crowd isn’t huge but they seem pretty happy to see her. She is really nice to the fans – there actually is a charming girl somewhere in there, but it’s buried under a thousand pounds of hairspray and purple fur and rarely pokes its head out.
She keeps asking everyone if they’re brother and sister, then she says that it’s family before fans and friends. Then she says she would like to know how that feels. Well, where’s your lazy husband? I’d love to know how many book signings he’s dragged his drunk ass to.
Kat and Lebanese Dilbert show up at 7:45 and it’s pretty much all over. Dilbert immediately wants to know where the champagne and hors d’oeuvres are.
What, no couscous?
Kat tells Teresa how proud she is, and even brings her own copy for Teresa to sign. She says she knows Teresa loves her and vice versa. She and Dilbert stand around awkwardly in the bookstore. It’s polite and weird, but at least they showed up. But what about Mel and Joe? Will the Brown Smurf’s evil text messages keep them away? I hope not, cause Smurfy himself isn’t even there.
And sure enough, the Gorgas show up. At 8:30, but Teresa’s the last person who can complain about people being late. Although, you just know she’s the type who does anyway.
“It’s over already?” says Melissa as they walk in. Oh, this is going to be very nice. Joe thanks Teresa for inviting them, and then they make a big deal not to make a big deal over the mock up for the cover of her new book.
Joe asks how he can buy a book and then tells the bookseller proudly, “Gimme ten, it’s my sister!” The bookseller’s name is Tom, and he looks like they bought him at the bookseller store, Santa Claus glasses, short sleeved haberdashery and all.
Joe tells his sister that he’s glad she’s doing well and he supports her. He asks her to sign a book and literally forces her to make it “personal”. She sits there, and can’t write. He stares at her.
Finally, she writes that she loves him more than anything in this world and she misses her brother. She has tears in her eyes. It’s pretty intense. It makes me want to call my brother, but since the last I heard from him was what seemed like a ten page text about his broken sump pump after the hurricane, I decide to leave him alone.
Actually, I don’t even know what a sump pump is but I’m suddenly very appreciative for the long text about it.
He makes Teresa read out loud what she wrote. “Very nice,” he tells her, and then gives her a tiny half hug. She says that she wanted a bigger hug, but she can still feel there’s a wall there. Does she really not know that her jackass husband spent the entire afternoon texting the man threats not to show up?
I’ll kick your ass in the Self Help section.
And that should be the end of the bookstore visit, but Joe’s got one more thing to say. “Talk to your husband,” he tells Teresa, and then informs her of Brown Smurf’s texts. Teresa insists that Smurf wasn’t threatening, even before hearing about the evidence, but her brother won’t leave it alone. “Talk to him or we don’t have a relationship,” he tells her unfalteringly.
Joe says that Smurfy is forty, and needs to act his age. He’s a professional and he needs to act like one. He’s a professional fraud, sir, and he’s already acting like one. Teresa makes lame excuses, again not knowing anything at all about what had transpired on text, telling Joe that Smurfy only got upset because Melissa and Joe never came to her signings before and he just didn’t want her to get hurt.
Again, we’re talking Teresa here, so let’s not point out the huge swiss cheese holes in this argument. And again, the Gorgas make the point that this was the first time they were ever invited. Then they argue over whether a posting on Facebook is considered an invite. Then they argue over whether they even were Facebook friends at the time of past signings. In the end, Joe tells Teresa that if she wants her brother, she needs to tell her husband to grow up. Melissa stands there flipping her hair.
Joe walks out with his stack of ten books almost as tall as he is. Mel trails behind. They were totally right to confront Teresa about her piece of shit husband, but what an ambush! She says she’s shaking. I would have been too, but who doesn’t love a showdown in the bookstore?
Teresa makes her phone calls from the produce aisle, I stage my dramatic showdowns in the bookstore.
Teresa gets home, and there is literally a party going on at her house. Now, I am no fan of this mean deluded lady, but I did feel a little bad for her, coming home from hawking her book at some tiny bookstore in a snowstorm…while Brown Smurf is home partying with half the neighborhood. Not one of them could go to the bookstore with her?
“Joe’s had a lot of wine,” Teresa tells us, still trying to paint this garbage can platinum. He’s wasted. Gia drags out her gymnastics mat and shows her stuff. Brown Smurf, not content to be shown up by a nine year old girl, does a backflip of his own. He lands on his face, and chips his tooth on the marble floor. Gia starts screaming hysterically, like in the way that you need to be sedated. Teresa says she was embarrassed.
Perhaps you might have listened to those Jewish friends?
They all land around the kitchen table, and Teresa tells them about her adventures at the bookstore. She says that Kathy, Dilbert and her brother and Melissa came. Brown Smurf makes the sign of the evil eye around her, and he accuses her brother and Melissa of being the perpetrators of said evilness.
Well, “I don’t like your fucking brother,” is what he actually says, because he’s the Brown Smurf and he has a very limited vocabulary. He drunkenly insists that Joe and Melissa were somehow up to no good by showing up at her book signing, and shock of all shocks on earth, Teresa defends her brother!
She says she thinks he was there to support her. Smurfy replies that her brother’s upset because Teresa’s taller and has more hair – do I need to point out that the exact same can be said of this troll? I don’t, do I?
And then, he tells Teresa to shut up! Biiiiiig mistake, buddy. She immediately makes him apologize, and then tries to understand why he’s feeding her “poison” about her brother. Brown Smurf now deflects blame from Joe to Melissa, that “white trash from down the shore”. He also says the he would never start a fight, and he “can’t look up to people like that”. Teresa tells him to speak like an adult, like that’s an actual option.
By the way, there’s a whole table full of people of people watching this martial drama take place. One of them is a blonde lady with a poodle perm who looks like she might have been the one who spiked Gia’s milk with Percoset after Idiot Smurf went roll bouncing on the marble floor.
Percoset Poodle Lady. Inexplicably fascinating.
Then Teresa very calmly drops the bomb about threatening emails. “He’s so stupid,” is Brown Smurf’s smug response. He shows his phone as evidence, and the first problem is that Joe Gorga is in his phone as “Fatass”. To be clear, Joe hates Joe for being fat, short and bald.
Some “family friend” offers to read the texts, and according to him, he paraphrases. He says that Brown Smurf was trying to make a point, and then Gorga has to go and call him a stupid ass. Well, was that before or after Smurfy called him a retard? “That kid is the worst kid in the world,” slurs the Brown Smurf.
Then we get some ridiculous story about how when Teresa and Brown Smurf first got together, Joe Gorga stayed friends with Teresa’s ex. But then Teresa points out that Smurfy had allegedly gotten over that major issue, so what’s the problem now? Oh, it’s the christening. He doesn’t like how his family was treated. His mother’s hair was pulled, he yells self-righteously.
You’re mother’s hair was pulled, the crowd chatters excitedly. Even the Percoset poodle lady is in on it! What does it say about this group that Teresa is the one making sense?
I know, right?
Next week, something boring happens with Lauren and her boyfriend the mountie making mozzarella, but there’s also a face off between the two Joes! Gia has her big dramatic scene where she sings a song for her Mom and Tio Joe, and of course, it’s the spawn of Satan’s fifth birthday… which makes how many years left til the apocolypse?