This is it – time to say ciao, bellas to the Real Housewives of New Jersey! I’ll warn you now, it’s about 50 mintues of family portrait filler and 10 minutes of Teresa’s new cookbook where she insults everyone in Franklin Lakes for not being as Italian as her.
Our first stop is Mel’s closet, where she’s decamped with a stylist and little Gino. She’s wearing normal looking jeans, except they have just one leopard patch on the back pocket. I wonder if she sends all the family’s denim to the tailor for this alteration.
While they’re combing through a sea of animal print and elaborate brocade, Teresa hair hurts by association and she calls Mel. The call is interrupted by a fax machine on Teresa’s end. It’s some kind of message from the phone company in 1995.
But let’s get to the important wardrobe issues at hand. Which family will be wearing pink, and which will be wearing purple? Teresa might do pink. Okay then, I’ll do purple says Mel. She’s been trying to do a family portrait forever, and she’s finally been included. She’ll wear basic black for crying out loud.
No I won’t. Be serious.
The stylist is standing by hyperventilating – she has been forbidden to style Melissa by the evil queen of Franklin Lakes. She begs Mel not to say anything, because Teresa will never see this on TV and fire her. Although I suppose it’s worth the risk. The countryside is surely filled with ladies who need help deciding whether cheetah or leopard goes better with furry pink accessories.
Over at Teresa’s, she’s filling in the Brown Smurf on the upcoming family photo, and the inclusion of the Gorgas. Smurfy looks furious at the news that he will be photographed with these people. Milania makes her debut climbing up a table, which she topples off of about five seconds later. The baby Audriana follows. This baby has potential as a Milania II. Just wait until you see what she does when Melissa shows up.
Smurfy whines about having to take a family photo, because who knows how long they can keep this truce going? Well, don’t you want something nice to start the insurance fraud blaze that will inevitably befall the new Guidice family restaurant?
“Can’t wait,” grumbles Joe. Teresa tells us that she loves her brother more than anything and basically, that they can’t get rid of him.
Yeah, we could.
So what’s going on with Jacquee and Moonface? Moonface is looking sort of prettier. And it’s true that we haven’t really seen her recently. I wonder if her recent forced vacation from the Lauritas’ was just a cover for a trip to the clinic. That one would be easy for Chris to justify paying for. Everyone likes to look at something pretty. Er, prettier.
Chris is hanging out by the wine fridge. He’s accusing Jacquee of misplacing some bottle of white wine. And then we learn that all the fuss is over another sibling, Jamie. We learn that Chris and Jamie have always been close. Jamie is big and tattooed and he seems kind of gay.
The first thing Jamie tells us is that he “mainly works with celebrities” which tells me that he’s mainly a jackass. And Jamie is the latest in the long line of everybody on earth who’s been drafted to try and talk some sense into Moonface. Who’s next?
I really think I could do some good here.
For some reason, Moony thinks that she and her Uncle Jamie have a lot in common. He gives her hope, she tells us. That’s because he’s covered in tattoos, and Moony has some ink of her own that she’d like to share.
First up is a swallow on her arm. Not on her wrist. Not an armband. Just a big blob in the middle of her forearm. Uncle Jamie immediately sees the problem with some indecipherable art on her arm that people will always be asking about, that she will always be responding, “It’s a swallow!” He tells her to just tell people it’s a bird.
Are you that stupid or that much of a whore? Very hard to tell.
And she’s got another new tattoo that she thinks her partner in cool black sheep-ness will help her out with – unfortunately, it’s another blob. This one’s on her foot. It’s another bird, only this one is molting. One feather for each little brother that she never sees and refuses to babysit.
Chris flat out tells her it looks like someone took a shit on her foot. Then he buys her a diamond ankle bracelet to set it off. Uncle Jamie travels the well worn path of how do you plan on getting to California, and how do you plan on paying your bills once you do get there, and blah blah blah and all Moony’s thinking is how can I get Chris to buy me that new shirt at Posche?
Of course Jacquee can’t help but stick her face in and start blathering about being positive and making the right choices, and how dare her? Moony immediately starts bitching and complaining about Jacquee and her bullshit right choices speech.
Uncle Jamie tells her “don’t go into that mode” in his big tattooed man voice, and Moony switches to the default sob and run out of the room. Then she whines to us about how Jacquee gives her mixed signals about how she has to “prove herself”, but they don’t give her details on how to do it.
That’s right. We used the Life Instruction Manual as diapers for the new baby just to fuck with you.
Jamie wisely decrees that Moony has no plan and no direction. Wow. I can see why they brought this expert in. Actually, I can see how he’s related to Caroline. Moony wanders back into the kitchen and Jamie tells her she’s being lazy and to stop crying about it.
Same advice I give to all the celebrities. Ya know how it is.
Then Chris pipes in to say that even though she comes off like a bitch sometimes, he knows that’s not the real her. Then he says that he keeps giving her more chances, but he knows that’s what he’s supposed to do. Then he calls the contractor to start discussing the new Moonface Wing of the house.
So, in the end, Chris says she can stay living there. And Caroline says that Moonface gets it. And that she’s smarter than all of them, because she knows exactly how to work her extended family. I kind of like Caroline today. And not just because she agrees with me.
“The princess is still in the castle,” snips Jacquee. “Mom, seriously right now?” whines Princess Moonface. Nothing has changed. Thanks, Chris.
Her love is way overpriced. Stop trying to buy it.
And so, what’s going on with Caroline? Well, she’s following her dreams! And she’s got plenty of platitudes for us along the way. Did you know that you get one life, and this is not the dress rehearsal? Well, actually, you know, it might be. It’s not like there’s any scientific evidence either way.
But anyway, she loves her community college radio gig because she loves making callers feel like they’re not alone. That’s kind of nice. Cue the lady calling about her kid with a learning disability who learned how to swim and now he’s doing great. “You have to try and find the thing to get them motivated, and maybe swimming is it,” Caroline advises. Um, yeah I think the lady already figured out the swimming thing out, that’s why she was telling you about it.
I have this amazing idea. What if we slice the bread before we sell it?
And now cue the flashback to Albie getting kicked out of law school. I have already registered my fondness for Albie, and I’m sorry that he didn’t get his dream, but I don’t want a lawyer who needs to read everything three times. And I sort of felt like Caroline did him a disservice by telling him he could do it. It’s one thing to encourage, but you have to be realistic. I mean, I’ve wanted to be Queen of the World since I exited the womb, but through time, my parents gently let me know that it probably wasn’t going to happen.
Lauren and Chris are there to visit Caroline at – well, what she’s calling “work”. She tells us she’s at crossroads – between Mommy and Caroline. Yeah, yeah, empty nest is touching and all but does it translate to a new blood feud?
No, but they do get a wacky caller who tells them she wants to buy a big house, fill it with kids and then travel the world. “That’s awesome,” says Caroline, “Are you going to carry the house on your back?” The kids giggle at her, she accuses them of being disruptive but it’s just cute family stuff. They congratulate Caroline on following her dreams on the community college radio circuit, and she dispenses some more wise commentary about now knowing what comes next.
For us, Kathy comes next. Why does Kathy’s house look like three pre-fabricated houses glued together?
Fell off three different trucks, whaddya think?
There’s a makeup artist on premise to do Virgin Victoria’s makeup for a dance. She’s only going with a friend, though. Kat comes in and does her hair. Then she gets all teary and overcome at her little girl growing up and going on the pill. She never knew what love was until she had a child – well, this is groundbreaking stuff. Surely you are the first parent to feel this way. Please tell us more.
I’m kidding. Turn that hair into a cannoli chignon or leave.
Vic’s date comes to the door and Lebanese Dilbert gives him a totally obvious and predictable hard time. The date is wearing a light aqua vest and tie to match the virgin dress. He’s brought a corsage for the virgin, and a flower for him, but no offering for the virgin’s mother?
OG Jersey style.
Dilbert gives him more of a hard time. He tells us he’s known the kid since he was little, but he wants him to know he’ s being watched. Then he gets really subtle on us. He breaks out a some nuts and a nutcracker, and asks the kid why he looks nervous.
Luckily, the virgin is ready for her grand descent down the staircase in the patchwork house. Everyone stands at the foot of the stairs for the big entrance. She looks nice, but what is it with the Wakile women and their aversion to Spanx?
Over at the Guidices, we have the other big event of the day, the family portrait. Of doom. I hope. Teresa is getting the kids ready, and then she has to get dressed. Linda is the photographer, and she seems kind of idiotic.
Grandpa Gorga comes over grumbling and complaining that he can’t see anything out of his eye. A mile down the road, Mel is packing her brood into the car, encouraging them to smile for the picture. One of them informs her that they have to pee.
They arrive at Teresa’s. Gia and the milkman’s kid go outside to greet Melissa and crew, and Milania II not only slams, but then locks the front door behind them!
I hate that bitch Melissa.
Then it’s Midget Joe’s time for reflection, and where else would he start but with THE CHRISTENING. What a relief. Nearly halfway through the show and no one had mentioned it yet. I was getting worried. We relive the impassioned, “YOU’RE MY FATHER! YOU’RE MY FUCKING FATHER!” and I have to ask, was that particular adjective really necessary?
Midge tells us that his father had made him the man he is today, and he wants to make things better in the family because he feels like he and Teresa are letting him down. He really wants a picture of his boys and his father.
Gia prances around in something sparkly from the Dancing With The Stars Juniors collection. Alright, let’s get Milania II dressed. It can’t be easy. The kid basically goes into rag doll mode and it takes both Teresa and Melissa to get her outfitted into her mini Moulin Rouge dress. I’m not kidding. It has feathers.
And of course, Teresa just had to show Melissa and dress the kid in both pink and purple. They yell at her to spin around. Then Mel tries to pick the kid up and she’s like, hello bitch, did you not notice before when I slammed the door in your face? But then Teresa tries to pick her up, and she remembers that this is the lady who’s making her dress like a parakeet on crack and decides Mel is the better option. “She wants me!” Mel trills.
Then the sister-in-laws hug and spew a bunch of meaningless crap about how loyal they are to each other and now happy they are that everyone’s family again. Teresa insists that her hug was from the heart, which translated means that Mel’s was fake as her boobs.
Finally it’s time for the photo. They all sit down, and all three Gorga men are decked out in plaid shirts, black vests, black Kangol hats and huge silver crosses. I find the wardrobe choice fascinating. They sit Grandpa Gorga down in the middle of the sofa – wait, there’s a sofa? Is it rented? Did Bravo pay?
Anyway, the photographer proves she’s nuts by tickling Grandpa with a feather duster. Not even a cute one. Just the standard red, yellow blue striped one that’s $4.99 at Walmart. I’m with Grandpa on this one. If anyone came at me with that thing I’d shove it down their throat.
And more picture taking. It’s really quite boring. The most excitement is the one year old dressed like an old French hooker, and Milania storming off mid-shoot over what I can only assume were creative differences. They try to lure her back with the promise of the Justin Beiber movie, but it doesn’t work.
Over him. What are the Sheen twins up to? Have Charlie send a jet.
Back at Kathy’s it’s more pictures. These are for the dance. At first I think they’re at the actual event, cause it looks like there’s some kind of step and repeat, but it turns out to be a tent attached to the side of the house. Wow, what happened to prom pictures in the living room or on the front lawn? Now we need a special tent for it?
Kat is sobbing while the virgin poses. The virgin is also very bossy amongst her friends, which you can kind of tell by looking at her. She’s got that HBIC look about her. She orders everyone to wave goodbye in some sort of conga line out of the tent, and then hops into the “just friends” friend’s car. Then they ditch the prom to have sex in a motel room on the shore.
Annoying, right? And no one who poses open mouthed like that is a virgin.
Dilbert tells Kat what a great job she’s done as a Mom and she pretend acts humble about it. She flip flops about whether or not she she’s ready for a career that takes her kids away from her because she wants to celebrate everything they do. “Open up a can of tunafish, I’ll celebrate that,” she declares passionately.
I mean, go ahead but my kids have already mastered the art of opening tunafish cans. And so, we’re buying them a tunafish can opening store. Another Manzo success!
Back at the Guidices, Smurfy is actually speaking to one of the little Gorgas. Then it’s time for dinner. And Smurfy continues being nice to Mel, offering her different kinds of wine. Mel and Smurfy end up on either side of Grandpa Gorga, who comments that he’s got his daughter-in-law and son-in-law on either side of him. In other words, you’ve got dinner to stir up another blood feud. Don’t let me down.
They toast using plastic cups, because that big sofa ate up all the budget and they couldn’t afford to rent crystal. Then we flashback to more of the drama of the year. The showdown at the bookstore. The showdown at Jacquee’s house. Teresa tells us the never wants to go back to that place. Well, until she finds out Mel’s using the forbidden stylist.
So, is this the best they can do for the finale? Family portraits and prom step and repeats? Well, they’re been saving the best for last, teasing it all week long…and that’s the cookbook! And it’s coming up next!
Alright, let’s get to Caroline’s house, where she’s serving a big plate of something to her three kids. It goes without saying that the Gay Sidekick is there too. Lauren reads her line about how she was at Jacquee’s the other day, and she saw Teresa’s book. Oh, and she just happens to have a copy of it with her!
Another book! The Manzo boys and the Gay Sidekick comment on all the book drama with these ladies. Well, Lauren starts reading the book and the hits are coming fast and furious for the Manzos. First, Teresa’s offended that they fry meatballs. “You could deep fry a sock and it would taste better than a deep fried meatball,” is her comment.
You could deep fry a sock and set your damn house on fire, moron.
Over at Kat’s she’s upset too. But mainly because she was barely mentioned, much less skewered in the cookbook. There’s a vague comment about how Teresa wishes her cousin would stop making “lame jokes” about her. Kat clings on to the comment that may or not be indirectly directed at her and takes the opportunity to say she thought things were getting better and she doesn’t understand.
Dilbert jokingly, or not, throws the book in the trash. Then Kat says that if Teresa’s recipes – which, let’s not forget last week she was proclaiming to be just as much her family recipes – are good, then you don’t need the mean narrative. Ok, first of all, everyone knows Teresa’s food gives you the shits. So anyone who buys this cookbook is doing it for the dirt. Second of all…where’s your cookbook, lady?
I have a champagne split and two plums in my fridge. Show me how to make it into a cannoli or get off my TV.
And the book is the talk of the town over at Mel’s too. Her confidante is the witchy sister. And Teresa’s dig at Mel is that her “baby sister-in-law copies off of everything I do – from the shoes that I wear to the furniture on my front porch.” Maybe she’s talking about her other sister-in-law, comments Mel, further stating that she doesn’t even have any furniture on her front porch.
Mel decides that she’s not going to tell her husband what’s in the cookbook – following the forbidden stylists line of thinking that there’s no way he’s ever going to see this on TV. She wants to try and ignore it, and focus on the good things like the fact that the kids are getting to spend time together. The witchy sister agrees that Mel is allowed to let it go, but the moment the cameras are off they order 200 Dominoes delivered to Teresa’s house.
And what our our illustrious author? She’s entering her bank-owned manse, chasing Milania II through the buses, and is Gia on a Blackberry?
I’m on with Gloria Allred. She’s got the emancipation papers ready to go and then we’re doing a press conference.
Why does the Brown Smurf insist on remaining shirtless when there are cameras around? It’s a crime against humanity, plain and simple. Teresa informs us that her book is not just a cookbook, she puts stories in it too and that’s why it’s a bestseller and people love it. Right, we already covered that.
Oh, except it’s not a bestseller! And Teresa is on the phone with her publicist demanding to know why! The milkman’s kid is playing the blues on the piano, and Milania I is jumping all over Milania II. It’s like she’s being jumped in to the devil’s playground. The family portrait arrives, and it’s very…colorful. Teresa hangs it in the hallway, and yay, now she has some furniture! Sort of!
Teresa wanders the house searching for a hammer and Jacquee arrives to visit. She looks at the family portrait with Gia, and asks how things are going in the family. Gia’s response speaks volumes – she tells Jacquee that it’s good for now, but it might not hold because Melissa “kind of controls” her Uncle. Wow. Look, we only know what we see, but does seem that Mel is only trying to get Midge to reconcile with the family. Way to poison the kid.
Oh, and did I mention that Danielle’s a prostitution whore?
Teresa finds a hammer and hangs the picture, and then joins Jacquee in some other room. Jacquee is touching up her makeup and complaining, for a change, about worthless Moony. “Yeah, I feel like I haven’t been there with the whole Ashley thing,” Teresa mentions, suddenly realizing that there might be another storyline happening here.
I feel bad for Jacquee – she says she’s been crying and she’s stressed and her face is breaking out over it. And why? Well, because Chris has gone and bought Moonface a TriBeCa loft. Hey, gotta give the kid a chance, right?
Not really, he just let her continue living with them. But he’s not being strict. She’s partying all night and sleeping all day. “Well, Chris has to make it better,” Teresa tells her, just taking whatever person she heard Jacquee talking about and adding some generic advice.
Did I see some purple trim on Mel’s family portrait dress? That bitch. I knew her hug was fake.
But back to the cookbook. The Manzos still have it under review. And the latest transgression is that Caroline is “as Italian as the Olive Garden”. What’s bizarre though, says Caroline, is that she was just with Teresa the other day, and she didn’t mention it.
And then – the judgement. “Jacqueline is loyal to a fault – I am loyal to a degree. You have to recognize that the tides are changing. I recognize that now, and it’s sad,” says Caroline. And you know what? It is sad. The Manzos really did treat Teresa and hers like family. They were loyal to her through everything. They denied her true colors as long as they could, but the ugly just wouldn’t stay hidden. And I have a feeling that once the Manzos turn on you, there’s no going back.
So Teresa’s insulting intro – that’s where the Manzo digs happen, in the intro – ends with her saying that she loves Caroline Manzo, even if she is only 1/16 Italian. “Who did that math, their accountant?” wonders Gay Sidekick in a last ditch attempt at his spinoff.
I can totally do a black crocheted hat if this one isn’t testing well.
Ooooh, and there’s more! Teresa goes on to say that this is a “family cookbook” and she does not condone young girls stripping in car washes. Okay, that was like three years ago. I think it’s safe to say that the stripper car wash is more reality show lore than anything at this point. Lauren does a spot on imitation of Teresa’s voice, cackling, “It’s a jooooooke! Get it?”
Over at Teresa’s, Jacquee gently says it seems as though she was bashing Caroline a little, and Teresa’s response is exactly what Lauren said it would be. I mean, exactly. Jaquee points out that if it was a joke, why didn’t she let Caroline in on it? Well, did you see the great picture of me and Caroline, Teresa wants to know? I mean, what says friendship like a picture hidden on page 134?
Then Teresa starts saying that she called Caroline, but she wouldn’t pick up. Well, didn’t you see her? Wouldn’t that have been a time to mention it? Or was Caroline saying that she had seen Jacquee, and that’s who didn’t mention it? I don’t know. I’m confused. Is there another blood feud or what?
Jacquee continues to try and talk sense into Teresa while Milania II tries in vain to slam the piano cover down on her tiny fingers. And all Teresa has to say is that everyone else is sooooo sensitive, and no one’s perfect and if you’re going to nitpick every little thing then you will never be able to be friend with anyone.
Or, you can talk shit on everyone in a widely distributed book and lose your friends that way. Lots of options.
And then, we close it out. We learn that Moonface is still living at home, and Jacquee is trying to keep the peace. Teresa thinks it’s amazing how people have no sense of humor, because in Teresa-land, everyone thinks she’s the next Lucille Ball. I’m not so sure. If Lucy wrote a shit talking cookbook, it probably would have stayed on the NY Times list longer than one week.
Kat is still “stirring things up” Bravo tells us…in the kitchen. She is hoping to use Lebanese Dilbert’s bankroll for her new cannoli company.
As for Mel, On Display was #14 on the iTunes dance chart, and I am proud to say that I’m one of the people who put it there! Midge is determined to make Mel a rockstar. Finally, Little Joey just had a first birthday party but the Guidices did not attend. Blood feud back on!
And Caroline is hurt, and I don’t blame her. She says she put her reputation on the line to always stand up for Teresa, did nothing but support her and she did not respect or appreciate any of it. She was Caroline’s friend when it served her purposes. “You hang around shit, you start to stink,” muses Lauren, bucking for a guest slot on the community college broadcast. Caroline tells us being Italian is not speaking Italian or making homemade wine, it’s about being loyal and trustworthy.
Well, this was kind of a snore of a finale. I feel like THE COOKBOOK was enough for the whole episode. Where was the staged book signing? Are they saving it all for Season 4?
Before I dramatically declare that we’ve been cheated, let’s check in on the Reunion, starting next week. Teresa uses her highly developed brain to deduce that Melissa is the devil. Her indisputable evidence? A red dress.