Real Housewives Of New Jersey is nothing without a good villain – and this season, unlikely candidate Jim Marchese stepped into that role. Jim has been polarizing since the first day he appeared on the show, and he’s never shied away from being outrageous. Even today, after the season wrapped, Jim doesn’t apologize!
The Jim readily admits that he can be “a douchebag” but he’s OK with that title if it comes with defending his wife Amber Marchese, his career, or his reputation. “I am unfiltered. Clearly.” Which Jim says is why so many of the Housewives found him “unlikeable” – something that also goes for viewers who have lobbed a full-scale attack against Jim on social media and other platforms. One Jim encourages, it seems, by always retaliating.
Perhaps people really just want to see if the lawyer, who is not a lawyer, but did go to law school and didn’t take the bar, will follow through with suing us until we’re financially decimated, after he explains the ethics of abusing the legal system.
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After arguing with Joe Gorga and his statement asking Dina Manzo and Teresa Giudice if anyone had an IQ over 12 at the First Responders Party, Jim realized he had jumped into the ring of fire and there was no turning back. “I knew I was going to get hammered, so I might as well say exactly what I’m thinking … This is a show. It’s entertainment,” Jim accepts.
Jim acknowledges he’s never had a problem being the bad-guy if it means dispensing the truth – and he lives for the moment of catching a Housewife in a lie. “They think they’re a protected species,” he scoffs. “I just love watching their faces when I say exactly what I’m thinking.”
And he laughs about his wife’s co-stars assuming he would be meek and a pushover based on his profession and appearance. “They all assumed because I wore a sweater vest and spoke properly for three months … they thought I was a sheep,” Jim quips. “Behold a pale horse.” It’s a quote from the Bible’s Revelations. Jim, raised in a middle-class Italian-Catholic home, has four siblings and a hefty resume of academic achievements. He attended Columbia, then Seton Law.
Despite the fact that he has taken to reality TV like a duck to water, and risen to the occasion as a RHONJ villain worthy of Danielle Staub, initially Jim was reluctant to even participate. But as his close friends tell it, Jim is “misunderstood” but there’s no misunderstanding how much he loves and adores Amber.
“I gotta tell you, Jimmy is completely in love with her. How he dotes on her and how he protects her is totally who he is, and that’s no B.S,” says Jim’s childhood friend Jim Contreras, now a retired investigator with the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office. Jim describes meeting Amber as “love at first sight.” Despite the fact that Amber was engaged to another man when they met. Jim pursued her until she called things off because he knew she was the one. “I’ve always had a very good feel for ladies,” he tells NJ Advance Media via NJ.com.
Jim was married before, and had two sons with his first wife – and they also and a nasty custody dispute which Jim won’t discuss. All is settled now and they share joint custody.
After Amber was dealt with The Cancer and was in remission, she decided to pursue her passions and take some acting classes. Which is where she discovered a casting notice for an unidentified reality show. The casting sought “fabulous women who lead exciting lives, with flexible schedules,” Amber auditioned and during a series of interviews revealed that she knew a girl now starring on a reality show – that girl would be Melissa Gorga. Amber was asked what she knew about Melissa and their previous friendship – which was supposed to be the big storyline this season: Amber vs. Melissa. And in 2013, Amber got the call to join RHONJ.
Jim didn’t want to participate and also notoriously worried that interacting socially with Teresa and her husband Joe, indicted for mortgage fraud, could compromise him professionally. But that didn’t stop Jim from getting involved behind-the-scenes, he and Amber brought producers to the attention of Nicole Napolitano, through her ‘relationship’ with their friend Bawby.
The dissolution of Jim and Bobby Ciasulli‘s friendship has turned out to be a major storyline this season – Jim exposed Bobby as a “Housewives stalker” at the reunion.
Bravo is still uncertain about the direction RHONJ will take next season and if any of the cast will remain. After all, all the disaster that was season 6 encapsulates the second season in a row where ratings slid and viewers lost interest. But season 6 has been the worst yet – ratings tanked, viewers were disconnected and disgusted with the storylines and the new ladies, plus the inclusion of Teresa’s legal situation forced the glitzy drink-laded fights, scheming, and drama that traditionally dominates RHONJ to be pushed aside in lieu of a more somber and sedate show about… well nothing.
Would Jim return if asked? He doesn’t say.
Personally, I think if Bravo was wise they would have excluded Teresa this season and given her a spinoff that focused on her legal issues. That way RHONJ could have been about what RHONJ is about – we might have gotten a better feel for the new ladies, we DEFINITELY would have gotten better story lines. Next season I honestly think they need to star afresh – new girls – maybe keep
The Jim Amber and possibly Melissa? – but scrap the rest of the cast and go in a new direction. Find some fabulous, legit wealthy women and go from there. Also, no more family feuding: been there/done that/old news. Bravo keeps attempting to recapture that old magic of the first two seasons after Melissa joined by integrating different families with different family feuds, but we’re tired of it. And ratings support that.
TELL US – SHOULD THE JIM STAY? WAS HE A GOOD VILLAIN?
[Photo Credit: Instagram]