They’re back and bronzer than ever! The Real Housewives Of New Jersey started season eight with new housewife Margaret Josephs and the resurrected
career of Danielle Staub ready to mix things up with the nuttiest broads the Garden State has to offer: Teresa Giudice, Melissa Gorga, Siggy Flicker, and Dolores Catania. (Pause here to observe a quick moment of silence for Jacqueline Laurita, who is likely still watching last night’s premiere in a loop on her bedroom TV while she drinks BLK Water and screams into her pillow.)
We start the premiere super-sized episode on a sad note for Teresa and Joe Gorga, who lost their mom this past year after she contracted pneumonia. Teresa cries that her mom was a fighter, but caring and loving too. She would want her family to be strong after her passing, which is what Teresa plans to be as she handles her four daughters, Audriana, Milania, Gabriella, and Gia, solo while Joe Giudice is serving his prison sentence. Or away at “camp,” as the ruse goes.
One month after Teresa’s mother’s passing, cameras cut to Tre getting the girls ready for school and absorbing Milania’s insults about underdone bacon. Teresa assures us that Joe is doing fine – just FINE! – in the slammer. He’s losing weight, getting his GED, and staying in contact with the girls via email and phone. So, #HappyCamper.
Through the good days and bad, Teresa has one goal in mind: Taking care of her girls and making this mess work. So far, it seems to be going as well as can be expected.
Over and Melissa and Joe’s, Joe comes home from a visit with his dad, who’s heartbroken over the loss of his wife. Joe is obviously torn up too, which worries Melissa. She’s had an epiphany since her mother in law died; she wants to minimize the “stuff” clogging up their life in favor of shared experiences together. So – more Bahamas, fewer Birkins? Good plan.
At Dolores‘ house, she and her kids are dog-wrangling. Daughter Gabby got into vet school and son Frankie is about to head off to college. But the most bizarre development is that ex-hubby, Frank, is moving back in. What. The. Hell?!? Frankie is not thrilled about this idea, but Dolores seems positively giddy about the man who pays all of her bills and runs her entire life moving back in. He’s been her husband in ever other respect, so why not share the mortgage? Dolores sees this as a win. And a step closer to sharing a bed…?
Dolores has also been busy opening another gym, given how successful her first one was. Um, is this the same gym she didn’t even want to OWN last year? Mmmkay. Well, now she owns two!
Over at Siggy’s, she’s greeting her “king” Michael with ice water and a kiss. Their daughter, Sophie, heads out for a party while Siggy wigs out about their son, Josh, going to college soon. Nobody needs Siggy anymore, so she’s gonna have to fix some Housewives around here. Got any available, Jersey? Oh, yes they do.
Teresa and Joe head over to their dad Giacinto’s house to work on the cleaning/sorting process. The brother and sister cry in their parents’ bedroom as they discuss where their father will live (he wants to be close to Teresa) and the time they can never get back with their mom (especially the year Tre spent in prison). Oh man. I know Teresa has her share of critics out there – and deservedly so – but it’s pretty gut wrenching seeing these two go through such a raw experience on camera. The question is: Will it bring them closer or tear them apart? This remains to be seen.
Not torn apart yet is Melissa’s
delusional plan to keep Envy afloat! Yes, the boutique lives on. The stretchy man-made fabrics of Melissa’s inventory shall continue to supply neighborhood women with jumpsuits and high-waisted hot pants. Since Melissa severed her partnership with Jackie (who apparently snuck off in the middle of the night with all of their inventory), she’s free to make all of her terrible fashion/business decisions solo. But get this – not only did Jackie allegedly steal (her own) clothes, she handed them over to Kim DePaola! L-O-mutha-freaking-L! Kim D is officially the recipient of stolen secondhand polyester. She’s truly living the strip mall dream.
Back at Teresa’s, she explains to her confused father and Gia why Danielle Staub is totally cool now! No more tables need to be flipped, nor do necks need to be wrung at reunion shows. Danielle is a yogi, dontchaknow? She’s zen and peaceful
and in desperate need of a Bravo contract. So, Teresa is ready to be besties. Their joint alliance will obviously prove useful in a show that’s all about having the numbers on your side. Also, with Teresa and Danielle on the same side of crazy, ain’t no one about to snatch hair at low rent country club fashion shows.
Later that night, Teresa decides to see who else is on her side by gathering the troops, including an assortment of non-Bravo friends plus Dolores, Siggy, and Melissa. Dolores shocks everyone by announcing that Frank is moving back in. Even more shocking? She’s got a new boyfriend! HUH? He’s a doctor, bald, and wears plaid shirts. For Dolores, this is a new “type.” Also, he’s purportedly fine with Frank moving back in…which now makes him suspect. WHO WOULD BE FINE WITH THIS? No one, that’s who. Dolores says anyone who dates her has to accept Frank, though, so Dr. Bald Boyfriend will just have to deal with it.
Teresa confesses to her friends how sad she’s been since her mom’s passing, which they empathize with. Siggy thinks Teresa needs to get away to clear her head, so she suggests her hometown of Boca Raton, FL, for a girls’ trip. Teresa flatly says, “yeah, okay” while Siggy celebrates. They also make some lame excuse about celebrating Melissa’s birthday, but let’s keep this sh*t real: Siggy is trying to get closer to Teresa. She needs allies of her own.
At Prism Med Spa, Siggy is holding court at a speaking engagement for her self-help book, Write Your Own Fairytale. It’s here we first lay our eyes on new Housewife, Margaret, who’s donning her very un-ironic pigtails and a ruffled cold-shoulder top with floral leggings. This, friends, is her debut look. Siggy describes Margaret as “over the top” and fun. So…crazy? Yip, that’s code for crazy. (We all speak fluent Housewife here.)
After Siggy’s cliche’-filled speech, she signs a few paperbacks and talks to Margaret about coming to FL. Because, surprise! Mags will just happen to be in the neighborhood that same week. Thus, a Housewives trip is hatched. Now, we’ve just got to get Staub on board. And, oh…that will definitely happen.
After the requisite packing scenes unfold, the ladies land in Boca. And the gods must love us, because we are then treated to Siggy’s teenage photos. And I can’t be the only one who loves me some RHONJ ’80s classic pics, can I? They eternally SERVE! The hair alone takes me back to a simpler time, where a can of Rave hairspray and Bonne Bell lip gloss were all you needed for a night out on the strip. Sigh.
But times have changed, and this trip is all about acting like grownups who allegedly enjoy each other’s company. Dolores is just happy to be on vacation, as is Teresa, who hasn’t traveled this far out of state in four years. Before going to dinner, then to Siggy’s house later (she has a place in Boca, but is putting everyone up in a hotel to save on laundry!), the ladies head inside to get dressed. In the mean time, we get to know Margaret, who calls herself “the powerhouse in pigtails.” While this isn’t trademarked (because literally no one else would want that title), I predict Margaret will refer to this official description for many months to come.
Margaret founded a multi-million dollar company called The Macbeth Collection. She describes her products as “Lily Pultizer on crack.” Her mother, Marge Sr., and entire staff work for Margaret out of her home, which kind of impedes on her marriage to hubby, Joe. Okay, quick pause for a personal rant. WHY IN GOD’S NAME DOES ANOTHER DUDE ON THIS SHOW HAVE TO BE NAMED JOE?!? ARE THERE NO OTHER NAMES AVAILABLE IN THIS STATE!?! Rant ended. Let’s continue.
Margaret and Joe met when they were married to other people – and Joe was Mags’ contractor. It was a match made in scandal, as both Margaret and Joe left their partners for each other, then sailed off into the scorching glare of the entire town’s judgment. Mags clearly doesn’t give a sh*t because, I’ll remind you, this is a grown woman who walks around in pigtails.
Indeed, when the ladies meets Margaret for the first time, they can barely see past the frayed ‘tails to the woman in the middle of them. No matter, because Siggy completely sucks the life force out of the entire restaurant when they all arrive as she screams and waves her hands around in a spastic fit of welcome-wagon hysteria. Other patrons be damned! Siggy is ready to make this night about her, even though it’s Melissa’s birthday – or something.
As Siggy flits around the room and obnoxiously screams HELLO!!!!! in people’s faces, the ladies silently wish themselves invisible. But since that can’t happen, they decide to drink. Until Siggy returns to hold court about her problems: Her husband wants her to cut back on speaking events (and work in general), but she doesn’t want to. Margaret understands, as her ex was similar. At Siggy’s prodding, Teresa confesses yes, she’s been working a lot too, but she’d rather run the show than be locked up. She also resents Joe for putting their family in this position in the first place. Losing nearly a year with her mom before she died is bringing up a lot of resentment now too.
This is shocking talk from Tre, who has numbly been spewing the “I love my husband no matter what” crap for YEARS. But this is paradoxically typical of Teresa too, not taking responsibility for her part in the mess. Her personal Facebook status as a human being (and a Real Housewife) will forever be “It’s Complicated.” Melissa is surprised to hear Teresa talking this way, as is Joe Gorga (who Melissa tells on the phone later). Joe is even more surprised that Melissa sent him a naked pic the night before. He’s been waiting 12 years for that kind of
blackmail fodder gift.
In another call home, Dolores finds out that Frankie hasn’t gotten any of his college applications in. Siggy joins her to offer advice on what to do. Dolores decides to call Frank later to handle the head-knocking. I mean, he’s probably still got that mop in his hand from earlier, right?
But there’s no time to ponder these life choices right now, because everyone is about to be STAUBED! Danielle saunters in, invited by Melissa and Teresa, to crash the girls trip – and to stir the poop. She comes in hot, spreading the dirt about Kim D’s recent scandal regarding the car registered to her name that was found burned – with two bodies inside! Kim’s son was not harmed, but Danielle brushes right past this fact. She’s ready to cut that b*tch for the hair-snatching incident of yesteryear, and plans to pick right up where they left off if Kim D crosses her path again. This is, of course, music to Melissa’s ears. Siggy is not okay with Melissa thinking she kisses Kim D’s a$$, though. More to come on that front later, I suspect.
On a boat to Melissa’s birthday dinner, Margaret and Danielle are happy to meet, and the rest of the ladies prepare for a drama-free night ahead. Except, wait – do they remember that DANIELLE STAUB is on this excursion? Sadly, Teresa takes a quick call from her daughters, who miss their grandma and have been crying. Margaret feels badly for Teresa’s girls and hopes that they don’t get hit with more hardships anytime soon. Those girls have been through the wringer enough already.
Speaking of being put through the wringer, Margaret finds herself on the receiving end of Danielle’s inquisition at dinner. But Margaret laughs in her face, then regales the group about the “pot puss,” which is a spray she puts on her “puss” to make it (please don’t make me type this!!!!!)….juicy. Uggggggghhhhhhhhh. Melissa practically jumps out of her own skin hearing about this Margaret Josephs Bedroom Activity – yet wants to know more! It apparently gives Mags unbelievable orgasms, but only if you “let it marinate for 20 minutes.” (Okay, one moment while I swallow this bile back down…)
After pot puss talk discontinues, Melissa turns into a fun drunk, dancing around and squealing about bachelor parties. Margaret then brings up Siggy’s marital issues, which doesn’t sit well with her (even though she brought it up the night before out of nowhere). Siggy huffs that she didn’t marry a wussy – she married a MAN! Margaret’s like, um, okay. Back off, cuckoo. Siggy also thinks she’s the most talented person in the world, which makes tipsy Melissa wonder, what about Michael Jackson, yo? Realizing she’s losing her audience with this speech, Siggy just starts crying.
But her tears barely flow before Melissa’s custom designed cake makes an appearance. No sooner does Teresa offer a sweet toast to her sister in law, then Melissa decides to drunkenly throw cake at Tre. And what comes next can only be described as Teresa 2.0 with a hint of Teresa 1.0 (circa season one) either malfunctioning in her mainframe, or poised to take over the host once again for good. (Please let it be the latter! This season would be epic!) Because homegirl takes the ENTIRE CAKE and throws the damn thing at Melissa. Almost everyone (except Margaret, who doesn’t drink) is wasted enough at this point to laugh it off.
However, Siggy frets that they’ll have to explain to the restaurant that “we’re from Jersey.” She is royally pissed that Teresa just ruined her custom-ordered creation, which is all too evident after Margaret tells her to “take it down a notch” with the whining and moaning about spilled frosting. Looking directly at Mags, Siggy deadpans, “Go f–k yourself.” And thus, a season-long feud begins. Are we ready for this? I sure am.
TELL US: ARE SIGGY AND MARGARET SET UP TO BE AT ODDS ALL SEASON NOW? IS TERESA SHOWING A MORE VULNERABLE SIDE? WHAT DO YOU THINK OF DANIELLE’S RETURN? AND MARGARET’S DEBUT?
Photo Credit: Bravo