Real Housewives Of New Jersey has always been about togetherness, strong roots, and “fambly” and friendship, which is nice. In a way. But then you add Teresa Giudice and Jacqueline Laurita‘s never-ending bitchfest about each other and the whole thing goes to wine in a solo cup.
Poor, poor Dolores Catania is the victim of Frank’s double-edged sword of benevolence. She came home from the salon and her kitchen was gone.
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Dolores thought she was getting a gut remodel so she could finally – after 16 years of being divorced – start her life afresh. With Frank’s permission to renovate Frank’s house using Frank’s finances, that is. But Dolores is not too thrilled with Frank’s decisions about how to use his renovation dollars. She doesn’t want him to resurface her cabinets and floors; she wants walls knocked down and a reasonable budget of $10,000 – $20,000 per room. It’s only logical given that a kitchen reno costs $100,000 and she’s only getting painted cabs and white granite.
Well, ladies this is a lesson in be careful what you wish for, because Dolores huffed and she puffed and Frank blew her house in!
Siggy Flicker comes over to pick up Dolores and walks right into the renovation and Dolores throwing a fit. Naturally Siggy starts ordering the contractors around about what to do with Frank’s money: Siggy wants every wood dark; Siggy wants everything else white. Dolores manages to stop freaking out long enough to drive to Jacqueline’s house.
Jacqueline is shoveling snow herself, and brings the chill from outside right into the kitchen to rehash her drama with Teresa. To hear Jacqueline tell it she was merely the poor maligned hostess forced to restrain the out of control rogue guest – and oh, the trauma! Basically the gist is that the entire argument was Teresa’s fault, since she can’t take accountability or let go of the past. Siggy and Dolores are shocked.
Over in Beaver Palace, where the renovation gods never shine their rays, Melissa Gorga is lecturing Joe for getting involved in Teresa and Jacqueline’s fight, and also complaining about how out of line it was for Jacqueline to drag Joe into the middle.
Jacqueline believes it was totally fine to call Poison. After all, they’re friends and like, um, she had to get to the root of the issue and try to destroy Teresa.
Melissa wants to get to the root of why Jacqueline used her crazy twitter fingers to dial Poison’s number. Apparently there should be restrictions on what iPhone buttons those things are allowed to press. Me, I’m just trying to get to the root of Melissa’s orange hair in the confessionals. No bueno.
Melissa and Jacqueline meet for lunch. Melissa tells Jacqueline that calling Poison was innneeeepppprrropriate because he’s a man (in his mind) and shouldn’t be involved in chick problems. A) Poison involves himself in so-called ‘chick’ problems; and B) Jac and Teresa’s problems go far beyond ‘chick issues.’
Jacqueline immediately blames Teresa for lying, therefore she was reduced to calling Poison. And also Teresa said Joe’s name first – so HA! And if someone says the name “Poison,” you have to call them, right?! “After all I’ve done for your family…” threatens Jacqueline.
Finally Jacqueline and Melissa agree to not to talk about Teresa, but honestly what do these two have in common besides RHONJ and Teresa? (NOTHING). Jacqueline huffs that the new namaste Teresa is the same old Namacray-con artist.
While everyone in Franklin Lakes is complaining about Tre, Tre is doing yoga and getting her electronic ankle bracelet cut off. Namaste outta jail everyone! Apparently you can cut those things off yourself? Apparently Juicy is allowed to play with scissors? Well color me shockaroonie. Joe jokes that he hopes he doesn’t miss and cut Teresa’s butt while she’s doing upside splits, then he makes her go into the bathtub in case she bleeds. This is like Deliverance comes to Jersey. Joe is excited Teresa is a free woman, because this means she can drink wine. #Priorities. Teresa doesn’t actually miss drinking though.
After earning her hall pass from the detention, Teresa invites Melissa and Poison over to discuss The Matter Of Jacqueline. Teresa guzzles green tea, which is good for like cleansing and wants an “edamame” to really get all the toxic friends out. It takes Melissa a while to realize Teresa means “enema.” So, Teresa wants an enemy-enema? I’m sure she could get one in LA if she were allowed to leave the state!
I don’t know what kind of effect green tea has on Teresa, because she turns into green TreHulk at the mere mention of Jacqueline. Teresa is not buying anything Jacqueline is selling – not her bankruptcy lies, not her fake ‘Why can’t we be friends’ karaoke rendition, and certainly not about her crocodile tears and victim act. “Save it for somebody else, bitch!” fumes Teresa, dumping a gallon of wine into her green tea.
Of course Siggy and Dolores are soooo buying Jacqueline’s victim routine – including Jacqueline’s insistence that Teresa wrongly accused her of having ‘legal issues’. The innocence of newbies!
Good thing Siggy has her own problems to worry about. Siggy and her children are at a cross-roads – she can’t understand why they would rather interact with a non-responsive phone screen or do homework than hear her overbearing hysteria. She decides the secret to family unification is to re-embrace her long-forgotten Jewish heritage by celebrating Kiddish once or twice a month.
Siggy’s father was a Holocaust survivor and she was raised for a time in Israel. She was brought up in a very faithful family full of tradition, yet it has all lapsed as she pursued the perfect relationship with her second husband (are we ever gonna meet him?!) while allowing her children to languish in their rooms playing X-Box. Siggy also apparently allowed her US History to languish, or maybe she’s just so used to looking at hundreds she forgot who Andrew Jackson, that guy on the Twenty, is.
Over Kiddish supper, Siggy’s daughter Sophie complains of being bored without her phone, and Siggy’s son gets caught violating the no cell phone policy, then complains that his family is boring. Siggy is overbearing as hell and a nightmare of shrieking, but her kids are straight brats. Siggy should have taken Joshua’s phone, changed the password, and then put up a Facebook status on his account that reads “Joshua picks his nose and eats it for Kiddish supper.”
Speaking of overbearing nightmares, Teresa forces her kids and Joe into a “fambly” meeting to discuss how they can have more connectedness.
Apparently Teresa became a family therapist in “camp” so that qualifies her to oversee the mental health her four beautiful “dawters,” plus one awkwardly colored dog (and Juicy). Milania is annoyed that Joe yells and is fat; and Gia is annoyed that Teresa exists. Gabriella and Audriana just want to sink slowly into the garishly ugly overly-aggressive cheap furniture and resume their places at their rightful families somewhere in an alternate universe.
Instead they’re forced to celebrate Milania’s tenth birthday with a hot pink Hummer limo and indoor skydiving. Because this year Milania is getting a “low-key” party. When I want to conserve money and focus on the important things in life, I always make sure to get a hot pink Hummer limo. Don’t you!?
Teresa fails to launch at skydiving, which is symbolism that was all too poignant. And perfectly timed, too, for the heart-to-heart she and Joe have with Milania about his leaving for an extended stay in ‘camp’. Milania is worried that Joe will be missing her next birthday, and wants to know when he’ll be back. Joe looked so sad barely scratching the surface of reality from his daughter as he tried to shield his 10-year-old from becoming a grownup too fast. What a bummer for these kids.
Things are perkier over at Jacqueline’s. Ashlee’s boyfriend Pete comes over for dinner and this gives Jacqueline the nerves, and also the opportunity to brag, again, about being ‘The Cool Mom’. Did Jacqueline miss the meaning of Mean Girls? Rhetorical question!
Also, why is Jacqueline’s house so dark, dreary, and depressing? After Jacqueline stumbles through dinner awkwardly poking at Pete over his intentions for Ashlee, Pete follows Jacqueline into the kitchen to ask for her help in secretly choosing an engagement ring for Ashlee. Jacqueline responds by dropping food on the floor, and then squeezing out fake tears about how love matters. Like a lot.
I love the flashback scenes of Jac and Ashlee which show us that Ashlee has matured while Jac is still the same 12-year-old she’s always been! Except her face has morphed into something… well, I don’t know, filled with hot air and resembling a deflated balloon? Sadly Ashlee appears to be going for the same look.
In the diamond district an emotionless Pete buys the first ring they show him – cause it’s perfect! – while Jacqueline warbles that they can “upgrade the ring” as time goes on. Of course – since something simple and lovely simply isn’t good enough! Yep, Pete, do as Jacqueline says and live as Jacqueline does – bankrupt, with a face that doesn’t move to register emotion.
Well, at least Jacqueline can swing a sledge hammer at Dolores‘ wall! Dolores has convinced Frank to give her more money for progress on the Deluxe Dolores Do-Over, which means tearing down part of a wall in the kitchen. How do I score a rich ex-husband who’s a push-over? #Goals. Jacqueline and Siggy are there to help Dolores bust her walls down.
While Dolores is prancing around bashing through Frank’s budget, she gets a furious phone call from her new business partner demanding to know where she is and yelling at her for never actually being present in the gym they co-own and are supposed to be co-operating!
Siggy lectures Dolores that she MUST go to work on Monday to do some adulting, not live in Frank’s world with Frank’s never-evaporating bank account. Dolores hesitatingly agrees she has to actually work if she ever wants to truly become a new Dolores, because what if Frank started running out of money?!
Other Dolores points: why was her son making 300 PBJs for a fundraiser. And I’m sorry about her dog, Boo.
Since RHONJ is a place of odd traditions, celebrating the removal of Teresa’s electronic ankle bracelet requires a girl’s spa weekend. Siggy and Dolores want to invite Jacqueline in the vain hope that she can, once again, “try” to repair her friendship with Teresa. Jacqueline agrees to go along to get along – but it’s more of the same fake promises that she’ll only go after Teresa if Teresa starts with her first. Cause you know, Jacqueline is all about taking accountability!
Meanwhile Melissa is sent to convince Teresa. Teresa is not interested in spending her first weekend of freedom with Jacqueline Laurita. She is not interested in once again believing Jacqueline is sincere. And since Teresa isn’t drinking, this is her in sound and rational-ish mind. Melissa has to basically beg her to go for the sake of their friend group not being caught in the middle of more of Jac’s whiny BS.
Teresa needs a paycheck so bad she’s always on her phone ‘working’ and ignoring her four beautiful “dawters,” so she agrees. Then Teresa receives the sample of her finished Turning The Tables book and stumbles through reading a few excerpts. Stuffing envelopes for her book launch party, Teresa wonders if she should include Jacqueline and Chris… or if this will result in yet another failure to launch their friendship? Conundrums by Bravo!
TELL US – WAS JACQUELINE OUT OF LINE CALLING POISON? WILL THE SPA WEEKEND FIX TERESA AND JACQUELINE?
[Photo Credits: Bravo]