This week: homophobia, xenophobia, and just plain vileness rule the housewife universe. Given the choices, I’m rooting for the batshit crazy chick.
Warning: This episode should not be watched without reinforcements. So, if you have it, grab it. Even if you’re reduced to chugging mouthwash. Believe, you, me, you’re going to need it!
There’s nothing like a little character assassination to spice up a reality TV show. Just to be clear about the assigned roles:
The Intended Victim:
The Collateral Damage:
Some of the nasty, mean rumors swirling through the beauty parlors have started to come to Nina’s ears, and she isn’t happy. It’s not just that the rumors are insulting. There’s also the whole issue of her “friends” failing to bring the rumors to her attention. Especially the nasty tidbit about Nina allegedly chasing after a personal trainer. That one is just really low. After all, Nina has standards. She isn’t about to chase after anybody whose salary couldn’t cover what she owes to Nieman Marcus. Too bad Nina doesn’t believe in paying in cash like some of the other housewives.
I’ve got to wonder if the reason that Theresa is so shall we say ‘limited’ has to do with the poor thing only possessing half of a normal forehead. Seriously, there can’t be much room for a brain in there.
Jacqueline does her best to stutter out excuses between gulps of wine, while Nina alternates between snarling at her for “stepping in poopy” and proclaiming how passionate she is about Jacqueline. But the real issue here is Nina’s very strong suspicion that all these nasty rumors are being started by Jacqueline’s sister-in-law, the Diva.
Not that I blame Jacqueline for going the wino route. It can’t be easy to be stuck between crazy Nina and the source of all evil, or at least the source of the current anti-Nina smear campaign.
Low-magnon doesn’t have much to offer beyond staring in fascination and drooling in excitement at all the drama going on. My golden retriever does the same thing whenever there’s a debate at our dinner table.
It’s time to go to a Diva segment, and the first thing we’re shown is:
In preparation of her trip to Greece to visit her father, Lexi is sitting on the floor of her closet surrounded by most of her wardrobe. The Diva joins her to help her pack, which should be kind of an ‘awww’ moment. You know, the pain of watching your child grow into adulthood and sprout “bubbies” (not to be confused with my Jewish bubbe). But the Diva’s nasty little description of the “disgusting pigs looking for young American girls” who are laying in wait for her daughter, kind of ruins the moment.
No wonder the Diva doesn’t mind having a naked cat.
Low-magnon drops in on Jacqueline to share her latest plan for housewife festivities. She and Juicy Joe have been watching Dancing With The Stars. I hope they’ve been reading Pottymouth’s awesome recaps as well, but that might be expecting a bit much from these intellectual wonders. Anyhoo, the Juice has been inspired to dance, and Low-magnon has been inspired to make a night of it. Personally, I’m guessing that Joe finally figured out the purpose of those pink tutus that Low-magnon keeps dressing him in. You know, the ones she carefully selected so they could all match.
Low-magnon offers to call Mama Manzo and invite her if Jacqueline will call Nina, and then the producers will be happy. Jacqueline is thrilled with the idea.
Jacqueline squirms for a moment before saying a little defensively that she’s always liked Nina. Besides everybody has had rumors spread about them at one time or another. Low-magnon disagrees because the rumors about Nina are really bad rumors, and not at all the same as the run-of-the-mill money laundering/mob connection rumors surrounding most upstanding citizens. In the face of this blatant truth, Jacqueline has no recourse but to gulp down some more of her “coffee” and reach for the phone. At this point in the history of the housewife franchise, I’m pretty sure that “Real Housewife” has at least a 20% chance of being synonymous with “Real Alcoholic”.
Nina is thrilled to be invited to an evening of dance, having been a “dancer” and all. She promises to be there with bells on, and the only thing that could make me happier would be if the Juice came twirling in with his own tinkling string. Sadly, when the big night finally arrives, the Juice has ditched his bells in favor of some blatant homophobia.
The Manzo family arrives, sans the Diva, and with Mama Manzo in the role of a chaperone.
Being an all American mob family, the Manzos love themselves some light-hearted high jinks.
Nina’s dancing doesn’t leave anybody in doubt of what she’s like in bed. Once you turn her on, it’s going to take an awful lot to turn this woman off. Not to mention she’s kind of scary.
Because she’s such a good sport, not to mention a kind, caring person, Mama Manzo is happy to admire Nina’s dancing ability. Or she would be if her own daughter didn’t look like such a lump standing next to Nina.
So, really, Mama Manzo ought to be pleased as punch. But the sight of her precious oldest born, soon-to-be-a-lawyer son, Albie being tutored in pelvic thrusts by Nina Van Horn in all of her batshit crazy glory, is a little too much for Mama.
Mama Manzo is convinced that Nina is trying to seduce her son and further divide the Manzo family, but she needn’t have worried. Albie would have been no more than an amuse bouche for Nina’s appetite. All she had to do was give Albie one hot and heavy laser look and his jewels would have shrivelled up in stark raving terror.
Nina abandons Albie’s dried up husk and moves on to a man who is seemingly impermeable to her laser like sex drive.
Or maybe he’s just too dumb for Nina to waste her time on, but I’m voting for a major closet case. Seriously, all the handsome dance instructor has to do is approach the Juice to squeeze a panicked homophobic “He’s sooooo gay” out of him. Low-magnon thinks her husband’s gay bashing is cute, and probably a little reassuring. After all if “gay” was my husband’s favorite word I’d be a little concerned about the long-term prospects for our relationship.
Nina is the only person present to register that the Juice is being an ass and homophobia is not okay. I’ve got to say that Nina might be completely nuts, but I kind of fall in love with her when she offers to make the Juice into a soprano.
Sadly, Joe’s not done with his vile homophobic witticisms. I don’t know what that guys been doing in the back alleys of Jersey, but he’s definitely feeling a need to make sure the entire viewing public knows that he’s not gay. When the Juice is ready to pay and calls out to the dance instructor “Come on, Gaylord”, I am totally impressed that the instructor doesn’t haul off and knock the funny looking little weeble bear on his ass and then stand back and wait for him to wobble back up before hauling off and doing it again. Nina actually takes a mild restrained approach telling Joe “that’s enough of that”. I swear to God, did the entire Manzo crowd graduate from special ed together? The Juice, acting just like the limited neanderthal that he is, tells Nina to “be quiet” because in his mon-syllabic vocabulary, “quiet” is kind of a big word. Nina, sounding more and more like a teacher, tells him that she’s not his wife and he can’t tell her to be quiet.
The Juice and Low-magnon are bound in the holy, but possible inconvenient, bonds of matrimony and mutual Nina hate. Low-magnon can’t possibly understand how somebody could have a problem with the Juice who’s just “the most easiest person to get along with” as long as you don’t object to ignorant, inappropriate, vile, bullying, homophobic behavior. And the Juice is just as pissy, but I have a little more sympathy for him. After all, his evening ended like this:
When you know he wanted it to end like this:
You’ve got to love that a show about Jersey, possibly the most negatively stereotyped state in the country, is featuring a bunch of women who seem hell bent and determined on living up to every negative aspersion ever cast on the Garden State. The departure date for Lexi’s trip to Greece is drawing near and the Diva is having a going away party for her. Yay, party games! Let’s play ‘How many embarrassing displays of cultural ignorance can one family produce?’
I’m sure the Greek population will be thrilled to hear that there are no toilet bowls in Greece; there is no equivalent to the FDA; they don’t pay attention to the cleanliness of their water supply; tourists should not only be supplied with “wipes to properly clean” themselves but also medicine to ward off any nasty bugs that they might pick up. Well done, ladies! You’ve totally proved the stereotype of the nasty ignorant American. What next? Oh, a spot of character assassination? What a surprise!
Mama Manzo doesn’t waste a lot of time before bringing up Nina’s perfidious behavior in mauling her precious son. Just in case anybody in the viewing audience might doubt that Nina had less than honorable intentions, the Diva helpfully points out that shvitzy Steve is only a couple years older than Albie. So it’s really not that big of a leap to think that Nina intended to jump Albie’s bones.
Low-magnon is endearingly convinced that the only reason that Nina didn’t maul the Juice is because Nina knows better than to mess with Low-magnon’s man.
Just in case there isn’t enough Manzos to populate the earth, Jacqueline and her husband, Chris are back in the office of their fertility expert. Why is it that the doctors who agree to be filmed for reality TV always look uncomfortably disreputable?
Jacqueline and Chris’ chromosome test results fail to show any reason why they’re having trouble conceiving. In fact, the good doctor doesn’t seem to have much to offer other than “it might be your age”. Ah yes, the aging uterus predicament. I believe we’ve covered this with the NYC hausenfrau? Chris seems less than impressed with the news.
I’m thinking that the doctor has heard it all before.
However, Jacqueline is heartened by the visit and full of new ideas.
The time has finally come for Lexi’s father to pick her up and whisk her off to that impoverished land riddled with bizarre diseases and dangerous men otherwise known as Greece. While I’ve always considered Greece to be an awesome vacation spot, the Diva clearly has higher standards. She’d rather that Lexi spend her time in prison. The local prison might not be quite as scenic as Greece, but it has the the added benefit that Lexi probably won’t drown, be accosted by terrorists, or get lost; all surprisingly frequent occurrences in other countries.
Because this is the Diva and it’s contractually required that all of her segments either include bigotry or character assassination, she offers up the stories of Andrew who contracted a “funky ass disease” from a water park in Cyprus and another unfortunate relative who contracted Lyme disease in Germany. For variety’s sake it’s kind of nice to see that the Diva’s xenophobia is branching out into other countries. All this Greek bashing is getting a wee bit redundant.
Over at Nina’s House of Pleasure and Pizza, Nina is engaged in the surprisingly ordinary tasks of making pizza dough and waiting for her girls to come home. In between tossing the dough and baking the pizza, she asks about their days at school and gently explains that the entire world is now out to get the three of them.
I can only hope and pray that Nina’s daughters turn out to be hired actors, because, seriously, after this show airs their only hopes of leading a semi-normal life will be to leave the country.
Just in case the footage of Nina up to now hasn’t done her family enough damage, Low-magnon, the Diva, and Mama Manzo have a little wine and decide to make their lives a living hell.
Of course none of the women bother to mention that the author’s own family repudiates the factual accuracy of the book. And, what’s more, even if the description of Nina’s activities is accurate they occurred 24 years ago.
Low-magnon, being, well, low-magnonish doesn’t quite grasp that a questionable book, concerning events that occurred a quarter century in the past, isn’t quite as reliable a predictor of future events as reading the Shooting Star Astrology column in the local paper.
Honestly, I don’t know if I’m nauseous from horror or anger. Who thinks it’s okay to go on national television and spread the vile gossip that a woman is trying to demand money from her boyfriends in exchange for sex to pay the bills? What kind of people are this cruel, sadistic, and nasty? The Diva listens to Low-magnon’s cheerful slandering before adding her considered opinion that “eventually a person like that has to hurt you. Okay, fine. That still put’s Nina heads above this crew, where there is no eventually there’s only immediacy.
Showing signs of being a truly decent person, Jacqueline heads off to Nina’s house to tell her that “the book” has been discovered. Not surprisingly, none of the Manzos wanted Nina to know that they had anything to do with the discovery of “the book”. Because, hey, it’s more dramatic not to mention effective if they can unexpectedly reveal it to an entire television audience instead of a single town.
The only fault I see in Jacqueline’s plan is that she only brought a single bottle of champagne instead of an entire case. Liberally fortified by the bubbly liquid, Nina takes a stab at explaining that she had nothing to do with the drugs or kidnapping. She simply came home from a modeling shoot to find herself in the middle of an FBI bust, and was promptly arrested as an accessory.
Jacqueline wants to know if the library lists the book under fiction or autobiography, which shows a touching faith in the veracity of ghost writers. Nina doesn’t spend a whole lot of time in libraries, so she doesn’t really have an answer, but you know who’s a veritable bookworm?
You’ve got to give it to Low-magnon and the Juice, they’re definitely shattering that whole stereotype of caveman living in caves. I bet they’re insured by Geico.
Any yet,something doesn’t quite match.
Low-magnon drags her husband into the living room to show him the overdone, somewhat ostentatious furnishings before demanding if he doesn’t love the couch. Which is really kind of a stupid question, because we all know that
closet cases ‘real men’ don’t love couches, or anything to do with interior decorating. Nope. Real men weeble around and get sent off to pay the help.
Low-magnon’s girls all crowd in to see their respective rooms. I know this segment should be really cute and endearing. It’s not.
I really can’t take much more of this crowd, so suffice it to say that Gia doesn’t speak Spanish and she’s been called to be an extra in Gossip Girl. I’m moving on.
OMG, I’m such a fag hag. Just the sight of a gay man gracing this show makes me feel like everything might turn out okay. Seriously, there’s nothing like hearing your GBFF call your enemies “bitches”, in a totally matter-of-fact voice, to put them in perspective.
Nina tells us that Tommy taught her that every pretty woman has a gay man helping her along. Personally, I think that’s a little exclusionary. Every woman needs a gay man helping her along.
Nina relays the entire book/arrest/slandering episode and in the process develops an awesome Joisey accent.
Followed by her best Diva impression:
We leave this episode with the promise of a callout, smackdown between Nina and the Diva and I’m totally rooting for Nina. I guess that means I’m more on the side of insanity than on the side of absolute evil.