Welcome back to Jersey! I don’t understand why the Bravo production team thinks anyone cares about Moonface Ashley, but they seem determined to stretch her departure out as long as possible. And so we start this week’s Real Housewives of New Jersey episode at Jacquee’s house where Moony is predictably whining about her trip. What’s the problem now? Oh, well she just doesn’t know if she packed enough “outfits”.
If my beanies don’t match my hoodies, how can I be expected to move forward with my life?
Jacquee’s reply is to hold the little newsboy baby and sing another creepy song about how Moony’s going on a trip. I will give her credit, she does seem completely immune to Moony’s whining, but it’s about time. Albie Manzo shows up to deliver her to the airport, and seems just as annoyed with her as everyone else. He makes her lug her own suitcase which leads to, you guessed it, more whining. I’m really running out of ways to tell you about all the whining and it’s bad for the recap.
Well, while we’re on the topic of failure, let’s check in with Lauren Manzo. And what do I mean by failure, you wonder? Because the last time she had a storyline, it was her opening party at Chateau for her new makeup business and Mama Manzo was checking “another Manzo success!” off her list.
And I hope she used pencil because sure enough, the very next day…Lauren quit! She wasn’t getting respect. Everyone just looked at her like “my Mom’s kid”. Okaaaaay….so you want Mommy and Daddy to set you up in a fairy tale business but you want everyone else to pretend you’re self-made? And you can’t even stick it out for 24 hours?
I’m the Kim K. of the makeup business!
This is pathetic. And now I’m having flashbacks to Lauren sitting like Don Corleone at her kitchen table, passing edicts on Moony’s t-shirts design. And now, I’m having flashbacks to being like, five and playing beauty salon in my basement. I would have never quit on my Barbies, even if they thought I only had them cause my Mom bought them for me.
Well, on to the next failure in Lauren’s life, and that’s her weight. Mama Manzo’s taking her to Dr. Perricone in NYC for one of those starvation diets that costs the same as feeding 80,000,000 African children. And Lauren just can not understand why she’s not able to lose weight. She says that what she does eat, she doesn’t eat a lot of. Yes, I’m so sure she’s up at her boyfriend’s Italian deli in the boondocks eating like a little baby bird.
Caroline of course makes it all about her dramatic monologue. She wishes it was one of her sons who was fat. I hate to break it to you, but one of them is getting there. Then she advises the doctor that Lauren is entering a very superficial business and she doesn’t want her to feel like she “doesn’t match up”. Wow, kind of harsh. If she’s a great makeup artist, who gives a crap what she looks like? But I guess the Manzos are too busy buying her play salons to ever figure out if she’s actually talented. Nice vote of confidence.
Luckily, the doctor is not as big an asshole as Caroline and quickly jumps in to tell Lauren that she’s beautiful. He shows her the one meal on this plan, and it looks like pee. He describes it and it sounds like he says “pasteurized piglets” and I obviously know he doesn’t, but he may as well have. He asks her how much she would like to lose and she says 35-40 pounds. She wants to lose that much on a cleanse? Why is this doctor not laughing in her face?
Instead, everyone just pretends like this is really going to happen. Lauren tells us how easy it will be for her to stay with the diet and never cheat. And when she does, I’m sure it will just be with very small portions, so she should be size 4 in no time at all.
And over to our next failure, and that’s the Guidices. Things aren’t good. They’re visiting the pizzeria, which I guess is closed down. There’s beeping as they enter. What is it? Oh, just some alarm that I never knew how to work anyway, says Brown Smurf casually. And we wonder why this didn’t work out for him. Well, actually – we didn’t really wonder.
Smurfy is full of sage wisdom now that he’s seen the dark underbelly of the restaurant world. “I don’t care what anyone says,” he advises, “Nothing’s easy.” Um, actually I’m pretty sure that Smurfy was the only one saying it was easy. But since hell is still heated, we will surely not be getting any accountability here.
General ignorance is certainly not to blame here – no, it’s just the old suspended license holding him back. And something about how he can’t rely on other people. Teresa says that when Brown Smurf “went away” – to jail, that is – it was a learning lesson for her. She says it made her stronger. Finally, he decrees that one must “hustle to make a buck”. What’s that you say, now? Working to make a dollar? What a concept! I hope everyone’s taking notes here.
And Teresa wants us to know that she does not need anyone to feel sorry for her. Of course not. Not with the gas station across that street that Brown Smurf announces he will be purchasing to turn into a corrupt senior citizens home. Teresa nods like a puppet.
Keep in mind this conversation is happening inside their failed and apparantly now abandoned pizzeria.
Okay, on to the Wakiles and their patchwork house. I notice the slutty daughter kicking up her leg on the little intro screen. She’s so the the BJ queen of her class. And now we get by far the dullest part of the hour, and that’s a tour of New Jersey gas stations with Lebanese Dilbert Sr. and Jr.
They head into the first one and meet with the “Managing Partner”. Of the gas station. And if you’ll now please excuse me for just a moment, I need to go refill my Diet Coke. During that time, I will be the Managing Partner of my refrigerator. I will also be the Acting Regional Director of the cabinet where I keep the glasses, as well as the Vice President in Charge of Bendy Straws. I know, I wear a lot of hats in this operation.
And more business advise courtesy of Lebanese Dilbert. This information can also be found in Business 1A at your local community college. Delegate. Ask for results. Show your employees that you care. Dilbert Jr. seems just as bored as we do, and tells Sr. that he’d rather do real estate deals than this because you don’t have to play by the rules.
I understand what he’s saying – doing deals is different than making sure the Slim Jims are lined up according to flavor. But Sr. just assumes Jr. is talking about cheating, and – oh, I don’t know. This part’s terrible. I’m even willing to revert to Moonface.
But only because she’s on her way out! Albie deposits her at the terminal, where she continues blabbering that she doesn’t know her flight number and wants to throw up. I don’t care if she’s puking, as long as it’s somewhere west of the Mississippi.
Then we’re in Paterson where Mel is visiting Midge at a construction site. In a very poorly acted scene, Midge asks his guys for a few minutes with Mel so that she can present him with a collage. Then they walk around town and point out the buildings they’ve bought for each kid. Three kids, three buildings, so none of them ever have to work. Well, at least they’re honest and probably not planning on shoving “another Gorga success!” down our throats.
Oh, and Mel doesn’t get a building. She just gets “this” Midge says, pointing down….ugh, just ew. And building of her own or not, Mel is proud of him. She remembers back when they had $3,000 in their bank account and he was telling her they couldn’t afford diapers.
Take my hand, we’ll make it I swear…
Back to Moony who’s all “omg my life’ and that’s because Princess Popcorn Brain missed her flight. She’s on standby for the next one. Albie calls Chris Laurita with the news. ”It’s not looking good,” he says, trying to soften the blow. Chris is not at all surprised. And he tells us flat out that his goal is to get her the hell out of there. Then he compares her to their family dog, and the dog comes out looking like the one who would have made the flight.
Meanwhile, Jacquee is getting ready to have everyone over to her house for the She’s FINALLY Gone party – but of course no one at this party is at all surprised that the non-guest of non-honor will most likely be making an appearance. ”If she gets on, she gets on if not she comes home,” says Jaquee mildly. There’s no way this lady’s become so relaxed. I think someone’s made friends with Xanax.
Then Chris Manzo makes the scene to report that while Moonface failed to actually board the flight, she did not miss the opportunity to live tweet her adoring public the entire time. And naturally, it’s every single person at Newark airport’s fault that she missed her plane. The employees are useless and she has the worst luck. Never mind that she spent most of the boarding period on a search for Dunkin’ Donuts.
Caroline, Lauren and the Gorgas arrive and continue to shake their heads over Moony while enjoying some antipasti. Lauren laments that summer is the “worst time to start a diet”. So right. I always think of Thanksgiving and Christmas is the best time to diet. No wait, actually, it’s Halloween because the candy is in such small portions anyway. Either way, Lauren is already showing her commitment to starvation by burying her face in a humongous glass of red wine.
Then Kat shows up and before anyone even gets a chance to ask her if she’s brought a life sized cannoli with her, Moony’s baaaaaack. ”I’ve had the worst day,” she complains. Chris is having none of it. He tells her she has no common sense. “Whaaaat?” she simpers, twirling her straw hair like a wanna-be pretty girl.
Chris does not back down, making him hotter by the minute. Moony whines to Jacquee to protect her, and when Jacquee says nothing, Moony starts yelling that saying nothing is as bad as saying something. You can’t win with this moron, and even if Jacquee doesn’t understand that, her pills do and she successfully avoids engaging with Moony.
Chris closes the case by declaring that trying to help her is a waste of time, and there is no turning back after this. He is taking her to the airport, he is checking her bag and walking her through the gate. ”All you have to do is WAKE UP,” he snaps at her.
Oh, don’t underestimate my ability to screw that up. I can sleep all day like a champ.
Well, enough of Moony – luckily Mel’s on hand to bring the action back where it belongs and that’s with Teresa. And THE COOKBOOK. Oh, wait, no, it’s the gold-digger comment that’s on schedule today. They like to rotate possible blood feuds I guess, seeing what’s got the best table flipping potential.
And she’s trying to keep it under wraps, of course, but she’s bothered. But she’s letting it go. But she’s bothered. And in the middle of this crisis of conscience, in walks Teresa. She can tell they’ve been talking about her. But she can sleep well at night, can they do the same? Well, why wouldn’t they? Does she think they toss and turn all night long, tortured over the fact that they took her THE COOKBOOK jokes as insults?
“Ummm…,” she begins, and is interrupted immediately by the entrance of Lauren’s boyfriend Vito who gets the “Norm!” welcome. When did this mountie become such a beloved character? Or is it just to avoid having to listen to Teresa? I’m going with the latter, especially after the next “Ummm” which is interrupted by a lively discussion about meatballs.
Finally, Teresa gets a moment of silence to say that she knows there’s been talk amongst them about THE COOKBOOK. Caroline says she’s holding a news conference to relieve her guilty conscience. Basically, true. She tells them it’s a family cookbook, she wasn’t trying to offend anyone and if anyone took offense, she apologizes.
Lebanese Dilbert replies with a not at all rehearsed line asking her if she’s planning on pulling the books off the shelves and reprinting. Yes, moron. The broke lady is going to buy back all her own books and then have them reprinted. Please. It’s not tainted Tylenol you know.
So she ignores him and continues on about how it was not malicious and all in fun and you know, actually come to think of it, she’s written amazing things about all of them! Hey, yeah! In fact, in the first THE COOKBOOK, she wrote some nice things about Midge.
She badgers him about reading the first book. And he has not! So supportive! But it’s okay, Teresa just instructs him to read it the next time he’s on an airplane, as if this guy has ever set foot outside the Tri-State area. She also informs him that once you start reading it, you “can’t put it down”, according to everyone she knows, according to Teresa.
And that she mentioned him in the acknowledgments, which in the publishing world is a big deal. I’m giggling watching this group munch on salami and listening to Ter explain the publishing game.
Finally, Brown Smurf tells her to “leave it”. But Mel, who is over it, not bothered and fully ready to move on, snidely comments, “We’ll take one for the team so that you can make a little extra cash.” Well, she certainly deserves that – if she can’t take the heat, she should get out of the kitchen / THE COOKBOOK business. But if Mel’s got something to say, I could live without the constant proclamations of how “over it” she is.
Then again, without passive aggression, the entire Housewives franchise would die a swift death.
“What does that mean?” asks Teresa. Hey, at least she explains how her insults are jokes.
And Mel, like a little sequined robot just repeats the insult. I mean, joke. Ter sort of lets it go, and keeps prattling on about how they’re all family. “So with that said, that’s all I have to say,” she finishes definitively. Haha. This is how I end arguments too, I just tell people we’re done and change the subject. Sometimes it works.
“It’s not a true apology,” Jacquee critiques to the interview camera man.
“What else can you do besides apologize,” shrugs Ter to the interview camera man.
Well, I declare THE COOKBOOK battle resolved.
So, with that obligatory scene out of the way, the ladies are in the kitchen and the men go down to the basement. Ter is on her phone and ignoring everyone and Jacquee tells her to join the group. Gosh, that Xanax is doing wonders for Jacquee. She’s coming off like the Dalai Lama tonight.
Down in the basement, Brown Smurf is telling us how he and Lebanese Dilbert used to be close, but now not so much. Lebanese Dilbert tells us how Brown Smurf always has to be “the best” at everything, but he’s really just the best at being a “googly butt”? Cause he’s full of hot air. Obviously, this is a very mature and well thought out argument. I feel so enlightened to be writing about it.
And with that, we hear a bunch of yelling and crashing and the ladies getting nervous upstairs. What happened? The details are a little unclear, but it appears that Lebanese Dilbert (or maybe Midge?) was busting Brown Smurf’s chops about being short.
And so, Brown Smurf went to grab Lebanese Dilbert’s “nuts”, as all heterosexual men do, but was not able to get a good grip, as Lebanese Dilbert apparently has “pebbles for nuts”. Next thing everyone knows, Lebanese Dilbert swings at Brown Smurf and then hits him with a candlestick.
It was Lebanese Dilbert in the basement with a candlestick!
Brown Smurf complains to Gia that it won’t look good for him to be a “businessman” with a black eye. They don’t show it, but I’m sure Gia eyerolled in response. Meanwhile, he cooks over the stove with a pink spoon. “Cause you’re a girl,” trills the demon seed, Milania in her first appearance of the episode.
Over at the Wakile’s patchwork house, Kat and Lebanese Dilbert are also reviewing events. Kat complains that Brown Smurf always picks on her husband, which could be true, but I see Dilbert picking on everybody. And of course he seems the type to dish it out and not be able to take it.
To be honest though, Dilbert does seem to feel a little bad about basically beating the crap out of Brown Smurf. He acknowledges that it might be a little hard for Smurfy to have to watch Teresa supporting their family.
Dilbert Jr. comes downstairs in a suit, and let me tell you that kid is adorable. His parents want to know if there will be sex, drugs and rock and roll at his party or date or whatever, to which he replies, “Yes, Yes, Yes.”
Then they ask if they can make him pee in a cup when he gets home. “If that’s what your heart desires,” he sighs. This kid’s ready for his own apartment.
And all of the sudden, Kat “can’t believe it!” What? Well, apparantly there is a family twitter account that some ho-bag sent naked pictures of herself to. For Lebanese Dilbert Jr. Dilbert Sr. says they should tell her to just hold that thought til the kid’s eighteen, but Kat of course has to cluck at the camera and recite some quip about “crotches in cyberspace”.
The slutty sister comes down to critique the naked picture. She laughs that it’s disgusting, and mentally takes notes on what angles not to use for her own nightly photo shoots for the boys basketball team. And Kat sends the horny fan an email saying that she should do better things with her “beauty” than this. And the slut gets right back to her, saying that she’s sorry, she just finds Lebanese Dilbert Jr. attractive. And, scene. Oh, those wacky Wakiles!
And then, finally, we get a treat – it’s Mel in the recording studio! We’re on song #2, and it’s still amateur hour over there in the basement. She runs out of breath, can’t get on the right rhythm, and overall knows she’s “off”. She makes alot of wrinkly faces to go along with this proclamation.
The black guy who she has sex with but pretends is her producer when the cameras are on in the basement tells her that he thinks that Mel and Midge are best friends, and she’s a lucky girl because not everyone gets a recording studio built in their basement.
“Now you’re gonna get me emotional,” she complains. By all means, don’t do that. Don’t put any emotion into the love song you’re singing for your husband. They finally finish the stupid song and Mel confidently declares that she needs to make five more ballads. “Definitely not,” her black boyfriend immediately replies.
Okay, and now for the real star of the show…Milania! She’s making a mess in the Guidice house. Teresa tells us that just because she’s on the cover of magazines and a best-selling author, she’s still just a mother of four at home. Magazine covers and best-sellers…I mean, technically yes, but talk about loose interpretations.
“You’re a hooker, not a cooker,” yells Milania at Gia, who’s trying to cook while the busy mother of four sits around talking to interviewers on her reality show. Then, the baby starts bleeding. Brown Smurf is unconcerned, and then the Milkman’s Kid, who at this point is probably hiring a private detective to track down her real family, snaps, “Well, you can at least wipe the blood off.” Great job, Mr. and Mrs. Brown Smurf, you have your four year old parenting for you.
Then Albie, Chris and Chris arrive. Chris tells us that although his Mom and Teresa are “at odds”, as long as he’s known Brown Smurf, he will always invite you over to eat and hang out. But nowadays, the fun is kind of ruined by the fact that you have to listen to Brown Smurf extol the great virtue of all things Brown Smurfy, and also avoid getting stabbed in the eye with a fork by Milania.
Sounds awesome! Where’s my invite?
They all say that Brown Smurf’s nose and eyes look better, but at the whole fight was weird. It looked fun at one point. But then, it got weird. Well, where’s the evidence? Was the cameraman on break?
And I guess Lebanese Dilbert did feel bad about the whole thing – at least according to Brown Smurf who says that received multiple phone calls the next day, all of which he ignored. New blood-feud? Let’s keep an eye on this one.
Brown Smurf accuses Lebanese Dilbert of being an idiot, and then one of the Manzos asks him when he’s getting his drivers’ license back. Brown Smurf thinks October. Wait, what year are they in again? RHONJ space-time continuum is very confusing.
Chris Laurita seems to have lovely table manners. Just mentioning. Anyway, he says that when he first heard about the DUI, he felt bad but when he heard about the fraudulent driver’s license, he thought Brown Smurf was a moron. That’s what it took? Chris rightly points out that this is not acceptable behavior for a 40 year old man with a family.
Somewhere off yonder in Jersey, Teresa’s at a book signing. A frumpy lady from Oklahoma comes up to her table and identifies herself as one of Teresa’s biggest fans. Then she tells her that even if all the allegations against Brown Smurf are true, she loves them regardless and they’re in her prayers.
Can you just STFU and buy my book? And the In Touch where I’m posing in dishrags?
Well, this is new for Teresa. No one’s ever asked me anything personal before, says the dodo who’s been broadcasting her personal life on television for three years now. She realizes it’s a result of being on the cover of the gossip magazines, but she also realizes that’s how she sells THE COOKBOOK and supports her family.
And on to Mel and Midge. They are having a super romantic dinner…at opposite ends of a really long table. Midge assumes the setup is so that Mel can announce that she’s having another baby. Mel just smiles secretively and says it’s a surprise.
Well, that was a brief interlude. Back at the Guidices, lil’l Mama Gia is putting the baby to bed, and Chris, Chris and Albie thank her for doing it. Actually, it’s more of a “sorry for your sucky homelife but you’ll be eighteen soon” than a thank you.
With the children in bed, it’s now time for Brown Smurf to reveal his piece de resistance, and that’s a teeny tiny article in a local paper saying that Midge has been sued. He clutches the newspaper triumphantly, and proclaims that he can take the heat, but can his brother in law? Well, I’m not sure sure we’re even going to find out. When you get on TV, there’s always one or two jackasses who smell money and attention. It’s hardly been splashed across Life & Style for three weeks straight.
And Chris Manzo is there to articulate the sad decline of the Brown Smurf by telling us somberly how much fun the guy used to be – he’d get drunk, pass out and you could throw ham at him. Fun! Again, where’s my inivte? But nowadays, Jolly Smurf is gone and all the guy does is make snide comments and tell everyone how smart he is.
This all leads to the best part of this episode by far, and that’s Chris Manzo doing Brown Smurf saying, “I’ll tell you duh truth, dere’s God’s brain and den dere’s me.” I’m cool if you need to quit reading this for a few to go weep for humanity.
And back to the Gorgas. Midge has a feeling that something good’s happening that night. “I got a lotta poison in me,” he tells us. That “poison” thing is so stupid, but you know there’s a fan base out there that thinks it’s adorable, tweets about it and now we’re stuck with the most disgusting catchphrase ever.
“No poison for you tonight!” says Mel, keeping on message with the branding. They fake argue, and he tells if she doesn’t want to have sex with him to stop looking so good. Aw, kind of cute. Then she gives him a hokey speech about how much she loves her life, he made all her dreams come true, how happy she is and how she took all the feeling she was feeling and -
WAIT!!!! Were these all the feelings she was feeling that were driving her insane? Paparazzi watching her do her thing? No? Other feelings? Oh.
Yeah, these are Midge-related feelings, and we’re going to hear about them in the sappiest song ever, “How Many Times”, aka “Dear Joe”. Or maybe it’s a 90s boy-band style “How Many Times (Dear Joe)”. Actually, I hope it is. If you’re gonna be cheesy, may as well be thorough about it.
This is what I’ve been doing in the basement all these weeks, she explains so he doesn’t get on to the fact that what she was really doing was her black boyfriend. And then we have to listen to this crappy song. It’s Mel trying to do Beyonce and it’s not pretty. But Midge tears up and says that the song proves how much she loves and adores him and their life. Oh, is that so? The song, huh? The marriage vows were meaningless, but put it in a basement produced song and Midge is a believer.
Then it’s time to end this week’s installment…the exact same way that we started it. Once again, it’s time for Moony to go to the airport. Jacquee is playing a game with the little newsboy, Xanax in full effect.
And speaking of the wonder pill, Moony’s eaten some too and now she’s “kind of falling asleep”. I sense that she’s setting up another scenario for her to miss her flight, but all Chris Laurita tells her is that well, if the plane goes down, she won’t feel at thing.
Jacquee tells us that since Moony’s been receiving psychiatric help, she’s developed all kinds of fears of elevators, heights and anything else that might be an excuse for attention. Then Chris says that he loves Moony, but she’s not welcome back until she has a plan for life that she is executing. I would not be holding my breath.
And no terminal drop-off with Chris. They park, and he is nice enough to lug her suitcase for her since she’s all pilled up. She just keeps whining about how she hates her life.
Hey, us too!
Back at Jacquee’s, she’s folding laundry and telling us how her greatest fear is that Moony will never do anything with her life. Well, get ready to face that fear. “Sometimes I just cry,” she informs us. Yes. WE KNOW.
She looks through old photo albums and cries, cause sometimes she just does that. Chris tells us that it’s good for Jacquee that Moony is leaving because her hurt is so deep and she’s having a hard time. No, really? Is that what all the crying and complaining and life coaching is about? Thanks for clearing it up.
So she sobs and blames herself and sits there in a ridiculous pink dress that she found by a curb outside LIsa Vanderpump’s house and gurgles that Moony’s going to look back and hate her. Fine. Just as long as she’s hating you from a plane bound for Vegas.
Next week, Caroline says Teresa is willing to destroy a family. Teresa and Jacquee get in a fight. Teresa starts another fight, and Mel wants an apology from Teresa for the gold digging comment that she’s completely over. See you then!
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