Welcome to the Real Housewives Of New Jersey Reunion – Part One. Or, the Everyone Hates Teresa Show.
This one is taking place in the Count Basie Theater, a stage that has seen such greats as Bruce! And Jon Bon Jovi!
Oh come on, you thought I was going to recap Jersey and not throw one of these in? JBJ forever!
We get the introduction. First up is Kat and no, she has not brought any desserts with her. Clearly, Kat has not been reading this, otherwise she would have simply constructed a cannoli cocktail dress for the occasion and called it a day.
Next to Kat is Teresa. So let’s first consider that the only person who will sit next to her is Kat, with whom she spent the majority of the season engaged in a B-story blood feud. Interesting already! Andy likes Teresa’s hair straight.
Ain’t I look like Lucille Ball?
Andy wants to know if Mel feels on display. Oh, clever Andy Cohen. I totally see why you made yourself the host of your own show on the network you work for. Meritorious indeed. And she does. And she is wearing a dress that I own! Mine’s black, but that’s just cause I’m not the devil. But more on that later.
And last, there is Caroline. We learn that she has threatened to wear pajamas to this event. I’m not sure what that means, but she does not look thrilled to be there. And then we steamroll right into the Jacquee issue. She’s not there. Followed by a looooooooong pause.
Finally, Caroline reports that there was an incident last night while filming, and Jacquee was so betrayed and hurt that she felt she couldn’t come there today and look at Teresa. “Is that right?” queries AC, intrepid journalist.
Teresa naturally avoids the question and tells Caroline she shouldn’t be speaking for Jacquee. Caroline says she was asked to. Teresa says she has to “laugh about it”. Caroline says good for you honey, Jacquee’s at home crying about it.
Then, Teresa kicks the last little brick left over from the fourth wall, and snaps at AC, “But we can’t go there cause that’s fourth season remember?” Ooooh, obviously someone got a pre-show lecture.
We’re holding this til next summer, when it will still be completely relevant.
We watch a brief recap of the season. Teresa is stone faced. Caroline looks murderous. Ahhh, just how I like her. Then she starts glaring at Teresa. And the first topic is THE BOOK. Oh wait, not that book. THE COOKBOOK. Teresa says her book was not written to piss anyone off – it’s about love and fun and family.
And how I would never, ever let my girls work at the Manzo’s skanky stripper carwash.
Just try and stop me, babe.
Mel is asked for her thoughts, and she informs us that she doesn’t want to make a big deal about it, but for the record, on national television – she does not copy her sister-in-law. “Did I say your name?” Teresa spews, “I have three sister-in-laws.” Oh, she does? Brown Smurf has siblings? Or there’s more Gorgas out there?
Teresa compares herself to AC, who is also authoring a book. And it’s not a totally stupid comparison because let’s face it – AC can write a book about wearing pastels and being annoying, or he can dish the dirt on every single Bravo show out there. Which book would you read?
Then Caroline interjects, and Teresa interrupts her with, “Am I speaking to you?” So we learn the backstory of the 1/16 Italian comment. Something about some joke that they made on the Rachael Ray show. Oh, okay. Well there’s a reference that you could logically assume everyone would get.
Caroline abandons that argument and transitions into mama bear, berating Teresa for crossing the line in picking on her kids. Now she’s losing me. I know she’s talking about the car wash thing, but guess what, your kids are in their twenties. They’re hardly poor defenseless children. You don’t want them to be mocked for crackpot business ideas? Keep ‘em off TV.
Kat intervenes and stick up for Caroline. Teresa basically ignores her and points out the big wonderful picture of she and Caroline that she stuck in the book as evidence of…well, I don’t know what. Cause now that I think about it, talking shit on someone in your book and including a big happy photo of you and them isn’t really a good argument for this. “You can take it out,” advises Caroline.
Well, let’s move on to the other people who got their feelings hurt. Teresa doesn’t care, because people simply don’t understand that there’s a big difference between attacking and being funny and she is obviously just funny.
Then we get into what a tough year it was for the Guidice Smurfs. In the past, Teresa has said everyone stood by her. “Are they still like family?” AC asks, in his best Barbra Walters voice. And no, we are told. They jumped ship.
“THE BOOK was the icing on the cake,” says Caroline. And then she talks about how when she first met Kat and Mel, she went into it with preconceived notions based what Teresa had told her. “How did I influence you?” Teresa asks furiously. Are you kidding me? You couldn’t hold your contempt when the cameras were rolling, who knows what your crazy jealous ass was saying all along?
And then we learn – she told Caroline not to ever compliment Melissa. Don’t ever tell her she’s pretty, Caroline says Teresa told her. Got that? Teresa is appropriately shocked and aghast. I believe it. You’d have to be a moron to not notice Teresa’s flaming jealousy over her younger, prettier, generally more likeable sister-in-law.
Well, enough of that. Let’s talk about the last reunion when AC was “pushed around like a rag doll”. Wasn’t that awesome? If there’s one thing I like about Teresa, it’s that she slapped AC around. “Didn’t mean to!” chirps Ter by way of apology, and I like that even more.
But hold on – AC now has a new understanding of what’s going on. “You pushed me because Danielle had said something…” he says, leading us to the flashback from A YEAR AGO.
Seriously, this was like five stripper / twitter controversies ago.
I don’t know why this dumbass continues to shove eighty year old story lines down our throats. But, that beat down was courtesy of Danielle saying that Teresa didn’t go to the hospital when baby Gorga was born. Mel gets a little uncomfortable on this topic, and says she’s not sure why Danielle was getting involved.
She confirms that Teresa did come to the hospital to visit, but Brown Smurf did not. He did visit them at home though. But let’s talk about what the hell this has to do with Danielle anyway, because that’s why Mel is squirming. She is asked if she was in contact with Danielle. “Well, she Facebooked me…” says Mel sheepishly. Facebook is also what kept you away from the book signing. Facebook is the new villain of the show. And the world.
They exchanged email messages, Mel goes on to explain, mainly because Danielle “saw the tension” between sister-in-laws. Teresa immediately jumps all over that one. “What tension?” she asks. Good point. Mel wasn’t part of the show at that time. Danielle and Teresa were firmly planted in arch-nemesis territory. When and where and under what circumstances did Danielle notice tension? And what was her plan? You’d have to be stone cold crazy to think that your sworn enemy would want you to play family counselor.
Then we talk about the real problem and that’s Mel joining the cast in the first place. “They called me on a Friday and you called me threatening my life on Sunday,” she states. Mel alleges that Ter told her she had a huge forehead and people would make fun of her and that Caroline hated her.
“I said it about me, because I have a small forehead!” Teresa explains. Well, that’s true but I still believe Mel. Maybe you have a forehead complex, Teresa suggests to Mel, who has her hair slicked back and forehead on display, on display, on display for all the world to see.
THEN, Caroline reports that Teresa said that Melissa looks like a horse! It is at this point that I realize we’re in for a full hour analysis of Teresa being mean and stupid and crazy and why everyone hates her. It’s hardly breaking news.
But it’s at least better than this shit.
“You crucified these people to the country,” Caroline accuses, her new “loyalty” in full swing, “And they’re good people!” Teresa says she knows this because they’re her family. Then she whines about how she was only mad because she didn’t know what was going on.
“This is the facts – I was upset with both of youse for comin’ on the show without telllin’ me,” Teresa lays it down. She accuses them of joining the cast to advance their singing and cannoli making careers. Why do you care, everyone asks her?
“You knew at THE CHRISTENING we were going to film,” says Mel, anxious to swing the conversation in her direction. And with that, we’re back at THE CHRISTENING. The first thing we see is Gia trying desperately to pull Teresa out of the fray before it starts. It kind of breaks my heart.
Thanks. I put in lot of solid performances this season.
I also notice Milania lurking in the background the whole time in a pouffy pink dress. You just know she started a toddler brawl when no one was looking. I love the flashback version. We see Daddy Gorga calmly eating while the Midget Gorga starts throwing punches. I study the screen for Kat wheeling the baby stroller out of the line of fire, but that part is suspiciously missing from the montage.
After the viewing, everyone is upset. Ter is crying. Mel looks like she’s about to. Kat looks deep in thought, probably wondering why her moment of baby saving glory wasn’t included. Ter says it hurts to watch. Mel says she’s disgusted that this is the memory of her son’s christening. Well, welcome to reality television where all your big moments get ruined for our entertainment.
Caroline chokes back tears. Ter says that her parents were devastated after THE CHRISTENING, and that her Dad still doesn’t know that her brother called her garbage.
That’s why I’m repeating it now. Got that, Dad? Joe thinks I’m garbage.
Are Midge and his father on better terms now? “Yes, thank God,” says Melissa. Oh, Jesus doesn’t get credit for this one? Talk about loyalty! Then she gets grilled a little, when AC asks her why she was so upset that the Guidi Smurfs were dancing with her baby.
Well, no one was speaking at that time,” says Mel. “YES WE WERE!” yells Teresa. She goes on to rant that her brother thinks she kept him away from the show. “You think a man cries like a little baby to his Daddy on television over keeping him off a TV show?” Mel asks incredulously. Crying like a little baby on television, huh. I always knew Mel had that emasculating bitch thing about her.
So, we take it back even further, to last season’s premiere. How come you had 900 people at the Brownstone, but you didn’t invite us, Mel wants to know? Well, says Teresa, it was because you had just given birth. And besides, it was all over Facebook and Twitter and so if Mel was a good wife, she would have picked up on that, called Ter and begged her to at least invite Midge.
Kat is very offended at the accusation that Mel is not a good wife. Because this is all very different than Kat insinuating that Ter was a bad mother all season. AC points out the Mel that it was her midget husband who started the fight in the first place, and she says she knows. “Do the Gorgas have a temper problem?” AC continues to probe.
Good question. Let’s get to the bottom of this complex issue.
They love a lot and get angry a lot, says Kat who is then accused by Teresa of being half Gorga herself. “No, I’m not,” Kat immediately replies. Teresa reminds her that her Mom is a Gorga. “Well….,” Kat trails. Funny, when you were wondering where you piece of THE COOKBOOK pie was, they were your “family” recipes too.
More fun facts about THE CHRISTENING – according to Mel, one of her sisters did get punched in the face by Brown Smurf’s mom, but the sister or some other friend also pulled someone’s hair. Maybe Teresa’s mom?
Then we talk about Gia and how upsetting it must have been for her and hey, did she happen to watch it? Which of course starts a whole new fight over the degree to which little Gia was traumatized by this. “She lived it,” Teresa comments, then adds that she might have seen it on TV too.
“She watched it in Chris’s basement,” Caroline is quick to interject, followed by “Don’t tell me!” and “You showed her!” and “You were in the basement too!”. Who knows who’s saying what, and it’s still unclear whether or not Gia watched THE CHRISTENING episode in Chris’s basement.
AC abandons his quest for truth in this matter, and moves on to another montage of the special moments between Ter and Midge. Caroline, who seems to have located her shit-stirring spoon, says that Teresa didn’t want to make up with her brother. She says Ter called him an asshole. Ter freaks out and calls Caroline a liar and an exorcist. I’m guessing that was supposed to be an insult. Or maybe a joke? Who knows with this one.
Then we get light hearted for a quick minute. AC doesn’t know if it’s an Italian thing or a Jersey thing, but basically, they’re all illiterate. We cut to a new montage of everyone saying “youse”, Melissa singing about saving a “wench like me”, Caroline talking about being stuffed in an envelope and both Mel and Ter referring to work “ethic” as work “ethnic”.
See, she’s always copyin’ me! Bitch.
Of course we also hit upon the “Norwegian” storm that hit NJ on Middle Eastern night, and how lots of “ingrediences” confuse Teresa. Ter argues that it’s her language and she likes it and she’s not going to change who she is. You sing it, sister! Screw literacy!
They call Kat out for insulting Ter’s intelligence after her Norwegian/Nor’easter slip up, and guess what? “It was a joke!” says Kat. She can’t be serious, so I’m guessing it’s just a little sarcasm for Teresa’s benefit. “It wasn’t mean to be mean spirited,” she continues. Of course not. Because you just don’t have it in you to say mean things about people’s intelligence. Or cooking. Or parenting.
And we keep it light for the next segment, and that’s Melissa On Display! We hear her tell us that she “tends to be spoiled”, followed by about 739 “Thank you Jesus!”s. She even thanks Jesus when Midge gifts her the recording studio.
Alls I’m sayin’ is, you don’t see Jesus crying like a little baby to his Daddy on television. Now go buy me the Meadowlands.
There are a few laughs as she hits the sound booth, tells her production team to “give me a few seconds to warm up”, and starts doing…shoulder rolls. “That’s how she warms up?” asks one of the black guys in the studio. The other guy shoots him a look, because there’s a big market of white chicks who can’t sing and he doesn’t want this joker to mess it up.
We also flashback to the performance, and of course the typical pose at the end, which I myself have recently incorporate into my stuck-in-traffic performances of On Display. Inquiring minds want to know if Mel is black. No, but everyone always asks her that. Her sisters used to joke that they must not have had the same father.
Then AC calls her out on thanking Jesus for everything, from her kids to her gold Rolex. But at the same time, she told her daughter that Jesus was 87 years old. Oh, please. This is stupid. What was she supposed to do, sit the kid down and teach a quick class on Comparative Religious Theory?
Cookie from Santa Rosa Beach wants to know how is On Display doing? It’s #14 on iTunes, Cookie, didn’t you watch the finale? Quit wasting our time with these old questions. Well, On Display is her baby, and she wants to record more but she and Midge are doing this “independently” and it’s getting expensive so “we’ll see what happens”. In other words, she needs to start having sex with him again.
And what does Ter think of Mel’s singing career? Translated – are you going to lie and keep the peace or tell the truth and start a new blood feud? And she goes with Door #1, saying that she liked the one song Mel sang for her brother.
Which leads to a treasure chest of a topic, and that’s how Ter thinks Kat and Mel follow in her footsteps. “My cookbook inspired you,” says the first person on a reality show to ever try and merchandise something.
And then we quickly flip to Mel’s dad, who she sings for. And AC is full of obnoxious questions. How did he die? How old were you? How did it happen? He was driving in the rain, and he hit a tree. “He just hit a tree?” AC asks suspiciously, like maybe the tree was planted there by Teresa.
Mel is clearly upset, and starts sobbing. Caroline is very sweet to her and reminds her that he’s watching now. “What do you think he would think of your singing career?” AC asks. And the answer is really nice, she doesn’t think he would care about her success, he’d just be proud that she did it.
You must have been close, AC intuitively deciphers from the crying women across the sofa. He asks what Dad would have thought about the show, and she says he was so strict, she doesn’t know if he would go for any of it. Her Mom says he would be proud though, because she’s in the spotlight. She quickly covers with the fact that the spotlight isn’t always a good one, but she’s in it a little bit.
And now, I’m going to write a new song called In The Spotlight, about the pressures of sitting in on a lit stage in the Count Basie theater.
Another one of the viewers wants to know what does Midge Joe do, print money for a living? “Joe is, um, successful, God bless him, he’s an extremely hard worker, he renovates warehouses into condos and now he remodels large homes.” So, he’s an Italian guy in construction with massive amounts of cash. Draw your own conclusion, I don’t want to get whacked for hearsay.
Let’s get to the good stuff – Teresa calls Mel a gold-digger and Mel says she should be ashamed of herself. We hear yet another thousand year old story about how they went out to dinner and Mel allegedly said the minute she saw Midge’s house she knew she would have him and that she wouldn’t be stupid, like her sisters.
“My sisters have an amazing life!” Mel yells, and then accuses Ter of “looking like the devil right now”. “You’re the devil, do you like that, bitch?” Teresa replies. First of all, that’s the dumbest comeback ever. And whoever the devil is, Caroline’s the exorcist so she should be able to handle it.
There’s a Bravo interlude about spray tanning. It comes off on your sheets and you end up smelling like a stripper. I’m surprised AC knows so little about it. There’s not a Housewife on Bravo that doesn’t log at least three hours a week in the spray tan booth. I was under the impression it was a contractual requirement.
So, what’s up with Teresa’s bankruptcy? AC notes that she has stepped up to take care of the family. She says that she loves working and she wants to show her daughters not be dependent on a man and go to college and be successful. Well, we’ve already got Milania scheduled to lead the Armageddon, does that count?
AC has a lot of questions, especially the comment about how her Jewish friends said she should have left him. Teresa explains that one of her Jewish friends told her that, which is what I figured happened. “It wasn’t nothin’ against Jewish people,” she says. AC does concede that she’s always said Jewish men make the best husbands. Ter’s awful, but I don’t think she’s racist. That’s a whole different kind of stupid.
But of course Kat wants to take the opportunity to start something and then complain that she doesn’t want to be in a fight, so she scolds Ter that her comment implies that Jewish people don’t hold the sanctity of marriage seriously. They compare the analogy to saying that all Italians are in the mob, which doesn’t make any sense at all, but in the end they force Ter to apologize.
Alright, that tactic didn’t really go anywhere, let’s talk about how Ter spends her money. What money? Exactly. We flash back to Christmas, when it appeared as though her kids were “showered with gifts”. Well, explains Teresa, it was just a Mercedes truck and an iPod touch.
Bitch knows better than to buy me some shitty Toyota.
Ter gets very annoyed with AC for continuing to badger her about Christmas presents, so she snaps at him that it wasn’t really that much. “Wow, you’re really cracking the whip today,” he bites back. Well, what do you expect? I’m no fan, but you have been baiting her all day. Only a fame-whoring reality TV exec would expect us to believe that he wasn’t luring this chick into a table throwing beat down.
And to add fuel to that fire, AC mentions the comments that everyone made about Ter smiling through her pain, and Teresa’s mad about that too. Mel says that she would crawl under the bed if she had all this bad press, but Ter just smiles and tweets that everyone should check out her new bankruptcy article in In Touch.
Ter’s looking a little beat down at this point. Can’t say I blame her. People want to know if Midge Joe offered her any cash from his money printing factory when they fell on hard times. Ter quickly says no. Mel is suspiciously quiet. Ter says that Brown Smurf got help from his Dad.
AC wants to know the real story behind the auction of all her things. He saw pictures on the internet. “Yeah, they were sayin’ we had Picassos worth fifty thousand,” Ter mentions. “Um, more like fifty million,” AC snottily reminds her. Oh please, your art collection is probably a display case of Barbies.
“Well, there you go, my husband would never go for that,” Teresa says, proving her point in the most hilarious way possible. “Well, actually, he couldn’t,” sniffs AC, unable to resist one last dig, like all good journalists.
And back to September of this year. Or last year. Or 1987 for all we know. AC reminds Ter that she promised to pay all $11 million dollars back. Actually, it’s $8 million, Teresa corrects him. What’s the diff? You can write a bad check for any amount you want.
He points out the bankruptcy dilemma – they would have been absolved of their debt, but they would have gone to jail. Oh, hell no, says Teresa. There was no jail time involved. None mentioned. Nope, none at all. Didn’t lie about anything. Wasn’t in the news or the “blog sites” as, someone On Display would call them. Court documents aren’t public record or anything.
But AC is not letting this one go. “So if you had kept going with the bankruptcy, you wouldn’t have been found guilty of bankruptcy fraud and you wouldn’t have gone to jail?” No, she replies defiantly. Well, how long do you have to pay the $8/$11 million back, AC wonders? “Dunno exactly,” she says casually. Maybe you should look into that, AC advises her.
Then we talk about what Brown Smurf does for a living, which is a whole new comedy routine. He flips houses. Because that’s a very lucrative proposition in today’s crap economy. People are just unemployed so that they can stay home and supervise their remodels.
Ter also mentions that it was Brown Smurf who got Midge into the money printing house flipping game. Mel is immediately incensed. Just because Midge got his start with a house that he bought from Smurfy doesn’t mean Smurfy gets the credit.
No bitch, I get the credit. Youse payin’ attention here or what?
Then Ter says that it’s actually Smurfy that got Kat and Lebanese Dilbert into fake real estate too. Kat is having none of it. “We had our first investment property the first year we were married.” And then they attached it to two other patchwork houses, and made a medium sized one! But then she warns Ter not to go any further with this topic because she won’t like what she finds out.
I don’t have it in me to say anything bad about the Guidi, but there are dead bodies under their house.
Ter goes on about how so many people come to Brown Smurf asking him for help. “Hookups, connections, that’s what he does,” she continues ignorantly. So, he’s the go-to guy for business advice, AC wonders on behalf of everyone on earth. And Mel concludes that “basically, any good that anyone has done in their life was courtesy of Teresa and Joe.”
That’s right. We invented breathing. Bitch.
And then I invented this dress, and shower curtains worldwide copied that too. Bitches.
And is she worried that her master of the universe is very possibly prison bound? No, because she knows he didn’t do anything. AC reminds her that while she was off the hook in the fraud lawsuit, Brown Smurf was found guilty and had to pay back $260,000.
Teresa says that he paid, and she can’t discuss legal matter anymore. “You want answers, call my lawyer,” she says, and I sort of want to applaud. Clearly, the stupidity is contagious because she’s got me halfway believing she’s the underdog here.
And so AC turns back to Caroline and says she looks “quizzical”. I’m sure he means “skeptical”. But Caroline, who doesn’t know the difference, agrees with the “quizzical” assessment. But true to form, she wants to be “quizzical” in a completely passive aggressive way so she just says how she’s confused about howTer owes so much money that isn’t hers. Ter counters with her own confusion over the Brownstone. OMG, let’s totally go there. Can we talk about Grampa Manzo who was found in a car trunk?
Ter then declares herself to be “calm and cool like a whistle” which I am definitely appropriating. Caroline tells her she is not, in fact, calm and cool like a whistle and she doesn’t want to hear what she has to say.
So you can plug your ears, replies Ter. Or maybe it was the other way around. But Ter was definitely the one who was calm and cool like a whistle. Then one of them asks the other one why they don’t shut up and listen, and then the other one asks why the first one doesn’t shut up and listen, and you know why people don’t shut up and listen? BECAUSE THERE WOULD BE NO TV SHOW IF THEY DID.
Caroline feels like she’s getting dumber by sitting there. “I’m in a whirlwind of stupid,” she says, “As an intelligent person, it doesn’t make sense.” Well, then how would you know? Everyone decides to plug their ears, and Caroline decrees that she’s going to take her own advice from two years ago (of course) and get Ter out of her life.
Following my own advice! Another Manzo success!
So, are you getting that people are mad at Teresa? Cause that’s kind of where I think this thing is going. Next week, we learn the answer to something I’ve been wondering about and that’s where does side of the mouth talker Dina stand on all of this? I’m pretty sure I heard Teresa say that Caroline and Dina aren’t talking! Loyalty, baby! See ya next time!