It’s time to take the jump down the rabbit hole and enjoy the mind-bending bizarro world that occurs when the separate realities of five seriously insane housewives collide.
Make that six.
There’s something special about any housewife franchise that warrants an “undisclosed location” for their reunion episodes. After all the Russian Tea Room is just so obvious. It doesn’t have nearly the same panache as a location that can only be described as “in the warehouse district, near the railroad tracks” and probably surrounded by hard working crack hos, pimps, and gangsters. Miss Thang is nearly beside herself with excitement. Not only has he color coordinated his outfit with the set, he also saw some real live tranny hookers on the way in.
They’re having a sale on BJ’s right outside!
The ladies have taken their seats with poor, about-to-pop, Jacqueline protectively ensconced between Mama Manzo and the Diva to Miss Thang’s left. It’s not clear whether the Laurita/Manzo women are sitting with their sister to give support in case her water breaks or to keep her from saying anything that might make the family look bad. After all, they’ve had time to come up with an agreed on party line regarding the entire Nina/book/table turning season, and there’s no way in hell that Mama’s going to let her sister-in-law, or anybody else, embarrass them a second time.
I may not be an expert on body language, but I’m pretty sure Mama is sending Miss Thang a message.
Miss Thang is looking a little worried about Jacqueline’s expectant condition, and I don’t really blame him. It’s just a guess, but I doubt that Andy would relish the sight of a head pushing it’s way through a gaping vagina, and there’s no saying that he won’t be forced to experience the wonders of birth before the day is done. Jacqueline isn’t looking too happy either, but the only way Bravo is going to let her out of this reunion is if her water breaks. It’s a good thing that they have a nurse on the set, because Jacqueline tells us that she was doing her best to get the flood started right up until they started filming.
Never one to miss out on a possible fashion trend, Low-Magnon has her own bun a-bakin’ in the oven, or in her case an open pit fire.
We’re in talks to do a remake of Clan of the Cave Bear.
Low-Magnon and Nina are occupying the couch to Miss Thang’s right. As he goes around the circle greeting the housewives, he ends with Nina complimenting her on her hair extensions. I have to say that long hair is a good look for Nina, she looks a little less stressed and crazy. Or maybe it’s not the hair, I’m thinking she got her eyebrows lowered, or at least one of them. Is that even possible?
She can go from surprised to pissed just by turning her head.
Miss Thang starts off the discussion with the riveting topic ‘big Joisey hair. Low-Magnon’s in particular. Does she really think her current hair is small as in not big? Low-Magnon looks momentarily confused until she realizes that she totally mistook the meaning of the word small. She thought it meant her hairstyle was, you know, “more modern”. Miss Thang grins back at her, while he wonders if he should bother defining the word “modern” for her. I gotta feel for the man, language barriers are always a challenge.
I give him another hour before he starts speaking slowly and loudly and waving his arms around.
The Diva jumps in with a picture from her own big hair high school days. But the hair is just an excuse because the picture really proves that she had those same puffy lips she spends so much time outlining when she was a teenager. Seriously, the woman has no trouble frankly admitting her “bubbies” are made of silicone, but God forbid anybody thinks her lips are. I guess everybody needs to draw a line somewhere.
So natural that Nature’s Valley is going to design an advertising campaign around her, from the head up.
Miss Thang reads a quote from the NY Times describing the Jersey housewives as being more popular than the other housewives because they’re the most preposterous and the most believable. Mama offers that they’re popular because they don’t try to be what people like. I’m guessing that they’ve been using that same line since they made up the bitchy popular clique in high school. We get a flashback of the whole pulling-out-the-book-table-flipping-meal fiasco. Meanwhile, Mama is looking a lot like a bulldog who’s pretty sure her bone is going to be stolen. So I’m guessing that the months between filming and the reunion haven’t been spent in deep reflection over her spiritual growth as a person.
Miss Thang wants to know exactly what precipitated the over the top table-flipping madness. Low-Magnon furrows her brow in concentration and makes some “zzzz” sounds before explaining that “everything just exploded and she was done.” Awesome. Her insight is breathtaking. However, she totally recommends that whole table flipping thing to put some spice into a sex life, because afterwards the Juice was finally turned on, and she means really turned on. Mercifully, before she can launch into a graphic description of wild neanderthal/weeble sex, Miss Thang brings up the question of whether it was appropriate for Nina’s kids to be in the room for the book confrontation.
The Manzo/Laurita woman must have been taking some polls at the local beauty shop and discovered that Nina’s decision to leave her children in the room for the confrontation has been wildly unpopular with the viewing public. Mama Manzo and the Diva are jumping all over Nina for bringing the book to the dinner and then pulling it out in front of her children. Nina points out that she didn’t actually say anything inappropriate unlike Low Magnon and the Diva. But none of the Mean Girls are going to admit to any inappropriate behavior of their own. This is about Nina being the bad guy, while they’re the good guys, and there’s absolutely no possibility that every last one of them is crazier than a rat on crack.
Those flowers are an insult to my family.
Nina explains that her decision to keep her children in the room is part of a master plan to prepare them for any situation in life, which is why she is sending them to spend the next year in the Middle East. Seriously, these girls are going to be totally qualified to work as producers on the Jerry Springer show. Miss Thang points out that Nina must have known that her girls were going to see a knock down, drag out fight. Nina shrugs and tells him that maybe she thought the presence of her girls would keep the women from exploding. Cool. I think everybody should have a child or two to act as human shields.
The Diva points out that, while Nina didn’t actually say anything inappropriate, the contents of the book and therefore the very presence of the book was inappropriate. After all, the Diva never talks to Lexi about kidnapping or prostitution. Well, almost never, all those diatribes about the dangers of Greece don’t really count.
It must be hard to remember what was shown and what wasn’t when you’re in the heat of reunion lies discussion.
Mama Manzo starts blathering on about how Low-Magnon and the Juice were nice enough to extend an olive branch to Nina and, instead of making olive oil, Nina threw it back in their faces. Because Mama knows that inviting Nina to her dinner party was an act straight out of the overflowing generosity of Low-Magnon’s heart. After all, it takes a really big person to invite a universally despised guest to a dinner party and suspend all judgement, while entertaining them with an open heart and good intentions. And it would have been really impressive if that was what had actually happened. However, inviting a universally despised guest to your dinner party with every intention of continuing to despise her during and after the event, all the while expecting her to appreciate your super fake efforts to temporarily tolerate her, just doesn’t have the same panache. Especially when you throw in their klassy whispered exchanges, not to mention sending texts about her to their spouses, while sitting directly across from Nina.
We were prepared to pretend to be nice to your face and you threw it right back at us.
Nina points out that none of the Mean Girls were coming anywhere near her so she really had no other opportunity to address them as a group about the book. Mama Manzo leans forward and, with the utmost sincerity, lies. Damn, she’s good. She sounds completely reasonable when she says that if Nina had wanted to talk about the book the Laurita/Manzo women would have been totally happy to trot right over to her place for a cozy cup of tea and a heart-to-heart, just-us-girls kind of chat. Nina turns her face to show the eyebrow that’s frozen in a state of perpetual surprise and says skeptically, “Really? Because when I asked Jacqueline if I could get everybody together she said no.” Jacqueline says that she doesn’t remember that particular conversation, but I’m officially taking everything she says with a grain of salt. Not only is Jacqueline wedged between Mama and the Diva, she’s a week away from her due date and I’m guessing she’s having trouble remembering where her feet are.
OMG, I haven’t seen those in weeks.
It’s starting to get a wee bit tense between the Mean Girls and Nina Van Ho, but Miss Thang has an entire hour to get through and Bravo doesn’t keep him around just for his pretty face. Nope. Miss Thang’s a pro, and like any pro she’s all about drawing out the tension. After promising the ladies that the time for blood will come, he moves the convo to a safer topic; that being bubbies. According to Miss Thang, the Bravo site has been completely flooded with questions about bubbies, as opposed to boobies. Which, of course, leads to a flashback sequence of the Mean Girls playfully flashing, flaunting and flirting with their enhanced mammary glands. Poor Nina, she’s totally left out of the bubbie bonding. And, really, the only time she tried to bond over bubbies was when she asked if she could borrow the Diva’s own pair of uber-siliconed twins. Unfortunately, the Diva was not amused by Nina’s awkward attempts to frolic and instead of bonding the Diva resorted to a frigid little smile before beating a hasty retreat.
Now that Low-Magnon is a silicone carrying member of the big bubbie club, Miss Thang is curious to know if the Juice is still an assman. I totally take this as a polite way of asking if silicone has the power to turn a closeted man into a raging heterosexual.
You can’t expect a man to change over night.
Other news on the Jersey bubbie front includes a painful story about Nina Van Ho’s implant mishaps (which goes a long way toward explaining her distracting breast misalignment), and the Diva’s life-changing decision to get a breast reduction, despite her husband’s obsession with humongous bubbage. After all, it is important for a woman to recognize that fine line between tasteful and tacky when it comes to artificial parts.
Or spontaneous hand gestures.
Speaking of husbands, Miss Thang takes the opportunity to fire off a viewer’s question concerning the whereabouts of the Diva’s MIA spouse. The Diva gives a little shrug, bats her eyelashes and says that Tommy doesn’t really exist except in her twisted mind.
Is it too much to ask to have one sane housewife per show?
Haha. The Diva is just kidding us. Her husband really exists, he just doesn’t want to be part of the show. Wow, what a concept; a person choosing not to whore themselves out for fifteen minutes of self-destructive fame. Of course, this leaves the question of when the Diva and her husband see each other, especially if the cameras are following her around 24/7. No problem there. I guess it’s easy for a marriage that revolves around the breakfast table plus one date night a week to avoid being filmed. I’m feeling kind of bad for the Diva. In the immortal words of Vicki Gunvalson, this is a woman whose “love tank” has got to be a little low. No wonder she’s turning the charm in Miss Thang’s direction.
Scared in the way that only a gay man can be scared when a buxom blond female is eyeing him like a piece of candy, Miss Thang strategically turns his questioning to the other side of the room. Addressing Low-Magnon, he asks her how she feels about the majority of homo-sapien viewers considering her to be a wee bit over the top. Low-Magnon’s mind must be working at warp speed because it takes her almost no time to come up with the brilliant suggestion for Miss Thang to ask “everyone” about that, because Low-Magnon couldn’t possibly know what everyone is thinking. We’re treated to a touching flashback of Low-Magnon’s daughter, Gia, working toward a career as a possible and very probable trashy d-lister, followed by Low-Magnon displaying her talents as a cash dispenser.
Somebody needs to smack this woman before she lapses into a coma.
Miss Thang wants to know how long Low-Magnon and the Juice have known each other, because, seriously, you have to wonder how a cave person and a closet case could find true love. It turns out that Low-Magnon and the Juice have known each other their entire lives. In fact, the Juice’s father was in the hospital when Low-Magnon was born, which leads to a mind boggling array of speculation. Especially when it’s revealed that, despite being friends with the Juice’s parents, Low-Magnon’s mother continually warned her to stay away from him. Of course, to be fair, this could have more to do with a prejudice against inter-species breeding than the possibility of the Juice and Low-Magnon being half-siblings.
Miss Thang moves on to another viewer’s question concerning Low-Magnon’s definitive statement that living in someone else’s house is gross (except I think Low-Magnon actually used the creative term skeevy). The viewer points out that Low-Magnon needs to remember that millions of other people are not as lucky as she is and ostensibly her remarks could be construed as both insulting and a tad bit insensitive. Low-Magnon is quick to say that she wasn’t speaking of other people she was speaking for herself because “other people may not be very cleansing.” In case you’re wondering about her use of “cleansing”, she also offers up cleansily and cleansiness as new adverb/adjectives.
Don’t you hate it when a tricky word like “clean” is on the tip of your tongue and your stuck trying to search for that great teleprompter in the sky.
Boy, poor Low-Magnon isn’t getting much love. Not only do the viewers object to her use of a seventies word like “skeeve”, but they’re also all over the issue of her being a possible stage mother. Before Low-Magnon can marshal herself to launch into another incoherent defense, Mama Manzo and the Diva jump in to protect her. They both spend some time gushing about how Gia really, really wants to be a star, and how with her amazing talent eventual super-stardom is inevitable. Of course, it’s equally possible that she’s just another histrionic personality disorder blossoming out to bless the world. Luckily, with the advent of Reality TV, there’s still plenty of opportunity for her to be a success.
Being crazy worked for you, right?
Miss Thang takes the opportunity to promote some hate between the NYC and New Jersey housewives by reading off a critical statement from JZ’s blog. JZ is worried about Low-Magnon’s overindulged children developing into troubled kids. Is Low-Magnon worried? Not so much. After all, Low-Magnon’s cavedaddy gave her whatever her little heart desired and she turned out great. In fact, Low-Magnon is pretty sure that she’s fabulous.
Bless her furry little heart, everybody needs at least one fan.
Andy turns to Jacqueline and points out that she’s the first housewife to have a baby and, if Bravo gets really lucky, she could have it before the day is out right in front of their cameras. Jacqueline doesn’t look too thrilled at the prospect, but she’s willing to share that the baby is a little boy named Nicholas. Miss Thang looks a little hurt, like maybe he was hoping that she’d name the new Laurita/Manzo after him. We’re treated to a flashback of the Let’s Humiliate Ashley show followed by Jacqueline’s struggle to conceive. In her swollen to the point of exploding, raging hormonal state, it’s not surprising that Jacqueline is reduced to a flood of tears. Seriously, who puts a woman in her last week of pregnancy through this kind of emotional rollercoaster?
“I get a bonus every time I make a housewife cry.”
The Diva is quick to point out that the Laurita/Manzo family has been there with Jacqueline all the way through her struggle with her miscarriages. Miss Thang takes the opportunity to ask if the momentarily impending birth of baby Andy Nicholas has healed their relationship. The Diva says that they healed because they are a family, but Jacqueline is looking a little less convinced. Of course, that might be because she has a baby swimming around in her tummy frantically looking for a way out of the darkness.
Bravo can wish all they want to, but this is a woman who’s determined not to unglue her knees until she’s far away from the cameras.
Miss Thang surreptitiously glances at his watch and decides that it’s time to get back to the real drama. Specifically the troubled relationship between the Laurita/Manzo women and Nina Van Ho. The Diva offers that the viewing audience might be laboring under a misconception about their avoidance of Nina. Their reason for not hanging out with Nina doesn’t have anything to do with her being a piece of garbage. After all, the Laurita/Manzo clan is friends with a lot of pieces of garbage. The real reason that they don’t want to hang out with Nina Van Ho is because of what she’s been doing to their family. You know, by being friends with Jacqueline and having that nasty book written about her.
Nina takes the opportunity to ask if she was the reason that the Diva and Jacqueline stopped talking, and Mama Manzo suddenly goes on the alert.
Uh Oh, this must be treading on some dangerous territory. Mama Manzo is working up a sweat in her rush to keep Jacqueline from answering any of Nina’s questions. The official party line is that until Nina’s arrival on the scene the Laurita/Manzo clan was one big happy exclusive club. However, since the advent of Nina Van Ho (AKA the Devil) everything has gone to Hell in a hand basket. Not only is the Diva on the outs with Jacqueline, she’s also on the outs with her brother/Jacqueline’s husband, Chris.
And then everybody got sick and locusts are crawling all over the house.
Jacqueline isn’t quite buying into the whole ‘Nina Van Ho purveyor of death and destruction’ image. She manages to squeeze a sentence in between Mama’s rants to say that she and the Diva’s relationship had issues before Nina came along. I can’t help feeling a little bad for Mama. She’s obviously more of an old school ‘don’t air your dirty laundry in public’ believer, which has to be quite a strain when your being filmed everyday for weeks on end, by people looking for scandal.
Miss Thang takes pity on Mama and turns to Low-Magnon reminding her of her comment that the Juice gets along with everyone, BUT what about that whole incident with the dance instructor? In case Low-Magnon has forgotten about her husband’s totally despicable homophobic nastiness, she gets to see a flashback just to remind her. I totally love the irony of Low-Magnon saying that the one thing she can’t past is Nina having disrespected her husband, when the Juice just disrespected the entire gay population.
Miss Thang asks Nina why she got upset about the Juice’s anti-gay slurs, which should give Nina a moment to shine. Unfortunately, the wretched woman is unable to restrain herself from taking advantage of any opportunity to portray herself as a victim. She starts sniveling about how painful the Juice’s nastiness was to her personally because her best friend is gay. Low-Magnon does her feeble best to come to the Juice’s defense by starting to explain that the Juice wasn’t calling the instructor gay, he was just calling what they were doing gay. Before she can finish her statement, she has the totally awkward realization that this doesn’t make the Juice look that much better. Switching approaches, Low-Magnon starts gushing about how her husband grew up with gay friends, who knew they were gay, and he loved them.
Mama and the Diva jump into to defend the Juice from these pesky accusations of homophobic slander with more evidence of his love and respect for gay men. Low-Magnon adds that the whole thing was really the fault of Nina Van Ho for creating drama out of the Juice’s harmless remarks. And, there you have it; the three popular girls have explained away the entire incident just like they were in the principal’s office. Mama has given Miss Thang her charming smile, and the Diva has fluttered her lashes in his direction. Clearly this should be enough to convince the most stalwart of men that the episode was just a big misunderstanding, and the Diva is nothing if not confident when she smiles and says happily, “Next question, Andy Cohen.”
Nice try, ladies. This ain’t Miss Thang’s first time at the rodeo. She’s been dealing with batshit, crazy, manipulative housewives for a long time now, and she’s not buying what your selling. Miss Thang says frankly that, as a gay man, he found the Juice’s comments offensive.
My hero for the day!!
The Jersey’s housewives jaws collectively drop and Low-Magnon’s expression becomes dazed as she tries to process what just occurred.
To give her credit, Low-Magnon does manage to apologize for her husband, saying that he did feel really bad after he saw the episode in question. You’ve got to wonder if by bad she means guilty, hypocritical or both.
Jacqueline has been quiet throughout this exchange, probably in hopes that if she doesn’t say anything everybody will just forget about her. Sadly for her, Miss Thang is just pacing himself. Turning in her direction, he brings up the common perception that Mama Manzo walks all over Jacqueline. Both Jacqueline and Mama quickly deny this, as Miss Thang grins like a maniac. Oh boy, he’s got a rumor to share and it’s a doozie. Apparently there was an incident between Mama and Jacqueline when punches were thrown. Surprisingly, the “ladies” confirm the rumor. Even more surprisingly, it was Jacqueline, not Mama, throwing the punches. I’m telling you, this entire group of woman is f-ing nuts!! They ALL need to be sedated.
If Nina Van Ho is the craziest woman out of the bunch, I honestly believe Mama Manzo is a close second. I really think she’s channelling the spirit of Marlin Brando. We get to watch a flashback of Mama moments, culminating with her stating with a full on Joisey accent, “Let me make something perfectly clear; before I like you, I don’t like you.” Awesome. We can always use a little more paranoia in the world.
There’s a slew of questions regarding Mama Manzo’s attitude toward her children involving issues like strip clubs, and the role of her son’s future wives. I sincerely hope for everyone involved that when Mama’s sons are ready to get married they figure out a way to transport some women from the 1950s. While Mama waxes poetic about the role of woman/mothers/wives, Nina makes a totally pathetic attempt to bond with the Mean Girls over the whole Italian mother thing. Totally. Awkward. Nina gets all enthusiastic over the role of a doting wife and the Mean Girls do their best to ignore her.
I’m telling you, I could make your son happy.
Miss Thang tactfully moves the conversation away from the topic of marriage to a topic only slightly less inflammatory. Are the Laurita/Manzos real life Sopranos? The women deny the charge as a group and the Diva explains that the only reason they get accused of having mob connections is because they live in New Jersey. Apparently everybody in Jersey gets called a mobster on a regular basis. In fact if the women lived in Ohio, nobody would ever suggest that they have mob connections. Because in Ohio it’s really common for contractors to pay for everything with stacks of hundred dollar bills, for families to be best friends with people indicted for mob connections, and for relatives to be murdered under horribly grim/mysterious circumstances.
Uh Oh, Mr. Brando is taking over Mama’s menopausal, middle aged body, and treating us to a good old fashioned diatribe straight from the lips of the Godfather. He/she rants about their family being beaten up and tossed around by the accusations of mob connections and, without pausing to breathe, moves on to the history of her father-in-laws death, her husband proposal to her on the night of her father-in-laws death, and the family business being built on blood, sweat and tears. Her eyes are rolling around and her expression would put your run of the mill serial killer to shame. Mama dares any one in the media to make allegations of mob connections because she will go “head to head and toe-to-toe with anybody” that says her family is involved in organized crime. You know, I can’t help thinking that the threats that these women are constantly making probably aren’t helping their image a whole lot. Generally speaking, people who aren’t criminals don’t make a lot of threats.
Mama goes on to talk about how difficult it is for her family to have to relive the unusual circumstances of her father-in-laws death. The Diva dabs at her tear filled eyes and says sadly that the people who keep bringing it up should think about the grandchildren who didn’t know the story and didn’t need to know.
Nothing ironic here.
Well, Gasmi, that’s it for part one. I’m working on part two and I hope to have it for you in another day or two.
Massive hugs to everyone,