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Real Housewives of New Jersey recap

Last night was the season premiere of Real Housewives Of New Jersey, and the show opened days before Teresa Giudice‘s release from prison and ends the day she comes home. Apparently Teresa managed to smuggle a personalized hair dresser into prison? Also we met new gals Siggy Flicker and Dolores Catania. So far I like them!

Who I did not enjoy seeing was Jacqueline Laurita, who is still crazy after all these years. Also, Poison just had to show off his little poison spewer and just no. Still no. Always no. Forever no. Like Melissa Gorga has to be married to him and enjoy his many splendored little thing, but the rest of us, we didn’t take those vows to honor and cherish anything about him.  

Also, Melissa has new hair that is quite short and blonde. Interesting. 

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RECAP – CATCH UP ON THE DRAMA FROM SEASON 6!

So, the Feminist Revolution has come to Melissa! She’s escaped the kitchen and has become a working gal. Melissa is opening Envy Boutique to sell a delightful plethora of leopard print, sequiny, polyester, shiny, boob-baring finery (see Melissa even burned her bras!). Why do I feel like Kim D is seeking some sort of insane revenge? In my most fabulous dreams there are fashion show wars where Kim D and Melissa G go head-to-head. Gia it is your time to return to the runway. (I am so in richness and in stealth, Team Posche 4 ever.) 

But first, Melissa has to get Envy up and running, and turned into a boutique because right now it looks like the showroom for Home Depot’s stock cabinets. Luckily Poison to the rescue with a crew of stereotypically hot construction guys to demo while Melissa cheers. Poison is totally against Melissa working – he has needs, y’all. NEEDS IN his pants (Melissa has to help him go to the bathroom?!) and needs on the dinner table, so Melissa having this thingy called a job means that he has to wrap his own presents and remember his children’s names, and try to figure out how to turn on the stove to boil water, and manhandle Little Poison solo. Love, Italian Style!

Melissa

Also, Poison would like you to know that retail is not a good business investment, so he did not invest in Melissa’s little shop – and since he’s a smart business man he would know. Right. Says the man who invested in Melissa’s singing career. (Say that with a straight face!) Says the man who built a mansion for beavers. (and not the kind of beavers found underneath Melissa’s Envy jumpsuits!) So anyway, Joe should not be bragging about his investment genii. 

Something to ponder: Is “Envy” like when Melissa released a song called On Display, before she was on display for anything except Poison, cause I don’t get what I’m supposed to be envying – now or ever? Maybe it’s like we’re supposed to envy the success she plans on having? Interesting. 

Over at Teresa’s house, there’s a rush of preparations for her return home, and Joe cannot wait to escape parenting responsibilities after 11 months of being abused by Milania. I don’t care how crazy Juicy is – I still love him and I can even forgive him for screaming “shut up” at his 9-year-old. (although pssst – Joe and Tre, probably the reason Milania behaves so crazily is because you don’t, you know, parent her and even though Gia is a lovely girl, she’s 14, and therefore not qualified to raise Milania!)

Jacqueline and Chris

Then we pay a visit to Jacqueline. First of all, why is she wearing a powder blue Endora from Bewitched robe in her name intro? Second of all, Jacqueline and Chris begrudgingly mumble that they’re having financial issues and have been forced to sell their designer watch collection. OH BOO HOO! Too bad they can’t sell Jac’s twitter account or her wine cellar! Third of all, Ashlee has moved back home to save money, but if Jacs and Chris are so broke, why would Ashlee not be contributing? Also, Ashlee and Jacs get along so wonderfully that Jacqueline doesn’t cast her completely out of the Christmas photo. 

So, apparently BLK is not bringing in all the big bucks and so now the Lauritas are Brokey-Brokersons, so they have been cowering at home and hiding themselves away from the world in shame, therefore none of their friends have seen them in eons. They practically have forgotten that Jacqueline’s face resembles pudding after it’s taken on that ‘skin’ and moves as lethargically as semi-hardened wax. Until Dolores comes to call.

When the doorbell rings, Jacqueline thinks she’s hearing things again and considers crawling back into the hyperbaric chamber, but Chris shoves her towards the next room. Her ears are ringing so she just stares at his mouth moving and it reminds her of watching Finding Nemo on mute because Nick doesn’t like the noise. Jacqueline tries desperately to decipher what he’s saying, but it’ been so long since Quasimodo let her out it takes her a minute to comprehend that he’s instructing her to “Open the door.” After struggling to remember where it’s located, Jacqueline blinks into the light as she attempts to pull open the dusty door, practically sealed shut by lack of use and the leaves that have gathered underneath. Squinting into the apparition before her, Dolores appears, bathed in a halo of light and holding a bottle of wine. “Savior” Jacqueline croaks to Dolores shocked expression. 

I like Dolores so far. She seems fun and like ‘good people,’ as if she won’t be a ‘whatever way the wind blows’ type of friend. She grew up with Teresa and has known her since her Patterson days, but she married well (and unlike Teresa did not marry a neighborhood boy who led her astray into prison). Dolores is divorced, but she also just ended a long engagement. She’s a mother of two kids (17 and 20), and she’s also a friend of Dina and Caroline. She’s been on the show in snippets before and Jacqueline explains that even as their friend group broke apart, Dolores remained friends with everyone individually, which is nice.

Jacqueline and Dolores go to a yuppified speakeasy for the McMansion crowd who want to seem ‘hip’. They go there so no one can see Jacqueline wearing a lace bustier she stole from a mannequin behind Posche, and to meet Siggy, who is also in hiding and arrives wearing a Christmas scarf wrapped around her face. After some negotiations about how to actually get inside the place, Siggy strolls in like something out of Ivana Trump fan fiction, and blithely shrugs that she’s had a facelift as she casually orders the lobster bisque “with a straw.” I think I love this woman. 

Siggy

Jacqueline, Dolores, and Siggy all dish about plastic surgery, and Jacqueline, who previously had her neck lifted but can barely afford to stay in her home, is already planning her face lift!!! Dolores had one already and promises Siggy that once the swelling goes down she’ll look swell. Siggy agonizingly sighs in relief as she slurps her soup. 

After reconnecting with the outside world and inspired by the notion of prohibition, Jacqueline is all aglow. She goes home to inform Chris that they’re not going to wallow in shame, shirking civilization. So what if they’re broke – Teresa went to prison and she’s still showing her face, so the Laurita’s are gonna put up their Christmas tree, and decorate it with every single strand of lights for sale at Nordstroms, and they’re gonna invite people over for a party with a prohibition theme: but it’s BYOS (Bring Your Own Sauce). 

Meanwhile, Poison coaches Gino’s peewee football, and with Teresa locked-up, he’s reconnected with his parents. Now Melissa has managed to get her grubby little manicured fingers on the family Christmas Eve celebration and the Feast of Seven Fishes which she’s planning with her FIL. Everyone is uncertain if Teresa will come – after all, before before she went “away” last year she avoided the Gorgas. She didn’t approve Melissa’s request for visitation, so they haven’t spoken in a year. Still Melissa has decided enough is enough and since Baby Jesus’ Birthday is magical, she’s just gonna approach this whole Teresa thing with open arms and hope for the best. They email Teresa’s attorney to see if she can get approval from her PO to spend Christmas Eve at their house (yes, Teresa has a curfew for 6 weeks). 

It’s the day before Teresa’s release. Her attorney, James Leonard, visits Juicy to explain that he’ll pick up Teresa at 5am the following day, and drive her home, then she’ll get her electronic ankle bracelet on. 

Teresa is giving her Christmas gifts early. She begins with a hand-written note to Jacqueline, emailed to Jacs from Teresa’s attorney. In a snide, nasal-y voice that will win her no reality TV Emmy’s, Jacqueline reads it aloud in her best Teresa impersonation. It’s a quick and Teresa-esque note, that says she’s looking forward to “new beginnings” with Jacqueline and they have “a lot to catch up on.” 

Jacqueline over-analyzes all 3 lines of it like a 8th grader receiving a note from her crush. She whines that Teresa didn’t ask about her and it’s all “me, me, me!” Jacqueline compares it to Teresa throwing hot coffee in her face, then inviting her out for coffee the next day. Jac – your metaphors, much like your acting, need work. Chris chuckles. 

Over at the Gorga’s, Melissa is overjoyed to receive her own note from Teresa – their first communication in over a year. Teresa accepts the Christmas Eve invite and promises to bring sprinkle cookies. Melissa seems genuinely happy, and relieved. She laughs that she has dreams about sprinkle cookies. I think the word Melissa meant was “nightmares” – nightmares, Melissa, you had nightmares. Actually you were living in one – a nightmare in which sprinkle cookies haunted you, taunted you, just when you convinced yourself they were safe, the evil witch in a fairy tale, offered you one those sprinkle cookies, extended on a sparkly olive branch, except they were POISONED! WAHAHA. 

Then Poison got naked and we were all poisoned. Thanks for that, Bravo! 

Jacqueline’s party welcomes everyone the opportunity to discuss ‘The Teresa Issue’ as a group – even Kathy Wakile was dragged out from under the bed and propped up to obligatorily pretend she misses Tre. Rosie believes they deserve forgiveness and a chance to start over. Dolores is still shocked Teresa found herself in the slammer, because good Italian girls from Patterson don’t break the law. Apparently Teresa’s never even had a parking ticket? Eh – Juicy’s had enough tickets for all of them. All of all of us, actually. Siggy’s face is starting to heal, so she just winces a meager smile wincing through the pain and slurps booze through a straw.

Jaqueline corners Melissa

Meanwhile, Jacqueline is having doubts. She corners Melissa to discuss, in hushed tones, that note Teresa sent. Jacqueline doesn’t trust it, Jacqueline doesn’t know what to expect, Jacqueline is nervous, Jacqueline is confused – what does this mean, Jacqueline isn’t sure how to take it: is it good, is it bad, is it scary, is it sincere –  will they be friends – Teresa never put Jacqueline on her ‘list’…  Melissa sighs, and barely gets a word in edgewise to tell Jacqueline she’s overthinking it and needs to wait and see. Melissa worries Jacqueline is going into a Teresa-obsessed downward spiral again, and she’s not sure she can handle another breakdown. 

Too bad Jacqueline’s breakdown is already starting – she gives a toast thanking everyone for coming, and starts awkwardly tearing up over Teresa. Poison jumps in to raise his glass to ‘fambly’ or whatever one call this mess. 

Then Jacqueline, who is too broke to buy booze for a party, shows off her remote control Christmas tree! #Priorities

Teresa and Juicy

Finally, Teresa is released from prison, and trailed by paparazzi as if she is Kim Kardashian, finds her way home. She walks through the side door. Juicy is slumped over the counter, and the girls are running around upstairs getting dressed. Teresa burst into tears of shock and awe that she’s home, that it’s over, that she’s here in the house she can’t afford and has nearly lost to her own hubris and been saved by it too. Yet here she is again in this dysfunctional place she calls home, this time with her nails unpainted, but her hair miraculously perfect and wearing a stylish ensemble Gia prepared for her in advance. With the Botox worn off and less makeup, Teresa looks younger, she also looks humbled and strangely solemn. Quietly taken down a notch with the sheen of ego subtly rubbed thinner. After hugging Juicy for ages, she calls the girls and they run to her, jumping into her arms, and she sobs. We all sobbed. I sobbed. I did. I actually sobbed. 

Teresa and daughters

I mean what a journey! Audriana was born on this show, now she’s 6 and welcoming her mother home from prison, showing off the teeth she’s lost and saved for mommy’s return. No one could have ever predicted the paths Teresa’s story would take. What a strange and twisted trip it’s been, and it’s still not over yet. Not even close. But for now Teresa is holding her four beautiful “dawters” close, and squeezing the juicy right out of her Juicy, and actually dreaming of sprinkle cookies at Melissa’s house, ensconced in family and freedom. And these small happiness which Teresa has grabbed onto, palpable and earnest like the handmade signs her daughters decorated with, is certainly something to envy. 

Is this a new dawn for Teresa? Lord I hope so. Also, seriously, her hair looks amazing! So shiny and healthy! Her skin looks good too. Who knew prison was so good for one’s looks!

TELL US – IS THIS A NEW TERESA? ARE YOU GLAD JACS IS BACK? FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF SIGGY AND DOLORES?

[Photo Credits: Bravo]

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