RHNJ: “Do you want to see Justin Beaver tomorrow?”

October 11th, 2011

In the most recent seasons of Real Housewives, it seems as though producers have either purposefully tried to end things on a happy note or there simply wasn’t enough drama among the cast members to manufacture a final blowup. Thankfully for all of us who enjoy trashy television, last night’s season finale of Real Housewives of New Jersey was downright hostile. And I kind of liked it?

Normally I’m so sick of discussing the same problems over and over that I hate the thought of tuning in to see the reunion, but with the group poised to turn on Teresa en masse, I can’t wait to see what happens when they’re all forced to be in the same room together. Except for Jacqueline, that is, because she isn’t in the reunion clips that I’ve seen. If memory serves, this is the first time that a cast member has no-showed a reunion, so you know that something juicy is going on. Anyway, before we get to that stuff, we have to talk about what actually happened last night.

We started at Melissa’s house, where she was consulting with her “stylist” while inexplicably dressed like an exceptionally cheap hooker. Her “stylist” didn’t seem to have any problem with that, which means that perhaps she picked out the weird boob sling that Melissa had tastefully paired with a pair of lace-up leather pants. Also, the same woman is Teresa’s “stylist,” which pretty much gives you all the evidence that you need that she couldn’t be worse at her job if she tried. As if to properly set the mood for the scene, Teresa called during the appointment and let her fax machine make noises into the phone, as if this were some sort of absurdist, off-off-Broadway play.

At the Laurita household, Jacqueline had asked Chris’s tattooed gay brother who we met way back in the first season to come over and talk to Ashley about how being a black sheep doesn’t mean that you get a pass from making something out of yourself. Mostly the conversation just devolved into him trying to explain why Ashley shouldn’t tell boys in bars that the tattoo on her arm is of a swallow, which is why every moronic womanchild like Ashley really, truly needs a gay uncle in her life. They get right to the point.

Just in case you expected that scene to end on a satisfying note, Chris then totally caved and told Ashley that she could stay in the house, at which point she didn’t thank him or anything. She just stood there, grinning like the manipulative little twat that she is, having won yet again. You’d think that if she’s this good at getting what she wants out of people, she’d have been able to scam her way into a job by now, right? Oh wait, she doesn’t need one, because on of her parents will always give in and give her what she wants. Right.

Over at the Wakile house, Kathy’s kids were generally behaving themselves in a way that Ashley never has in her entire pathetic life. Victoria was having her hair and makeup done so she could go off to her prom. Downstairs, Richie let in Victoria’s date, who seemed appropriately terrified but also like he was trying to play it very, very cool for the cameras. More than anything that happened in the scene, though, I’d like to talk about Victoria’s dress. Is this cocktail-dress-as-prom-dress thing really taking hold? Or has it been around for a while? Were the ball growns that we all wore to my prom just a result of southern traditionalism? It’s way more fun to wear a ball gown, I think. Life has plenty of opportunities for cocktail dresses, but very few for gowns. Get a big, poofy dress, kids.

Anyway, Kathy took the whole prom thing very seriously, as though it were akin to going off to college and Victoria wouldn’t be coming back from prom until Thanksgiving. I know that prom is kind of a milestone, but by the time I went to mine, I had already been to a handful of formal high school dances and it was kind of old hat. Actually, I didn’t even buy a new dress for prom, I wore one of the ones I already had that I particularly liked. Also, I don’t think my mom took any pictures of me before I left for prom. (I know you’re reading this, Pamcakes. Correct me if I’m wrong. Do I have prom photos? I think not.)

Meanwhile, at the Giudice household, the entire clan (which, apparently, constitutes several dozen people) was getting together to take a family photo on what was literally the most enormous ugly couch I’ve ever seen in my entire life. How do you even get heinousness on that scale? The mind, it boggles. It more or less boggles constantly while Teresa is onscreen, particularly when she’s hot-gluing feathers directly to her children to make sure that she hits her tackiness quota for the photo. At this point, I’m mildly surprised that she hasn’t bedazzled the baby to look like a Blackberry case that Paris Hilton had in 2003.

The contents of the various family photos were perhaps too perfectly predictable to be funny. Nonjuicy’s little boys were both wearing hats to match their dad’s, and all of the men in the family were wearing giant chains with dangling crosses, the likes of which you’d buy if you were looking to put together a perfect guido Halloween costume. Adriana was wearing a Pretty Pretty Princess costume to which Teresa had added extra tackiness in the form of a fistful of pink craft store feathers, and Juicy was dressed in black like some bloated Johnny Cash wannabe. Somehow, though, no one shiv’d anyone else during the entire process, and the weird, screechy photographer lady actually got to do her job.

Speaking of the Giudices, the entire end of the episode was dedicated to all the smack-talking that Teresa did in her new cookbook. I didn’t realize that it was even possible to be a passive-aggressive brat by way of cookbook, but give Teresa an opportunity to be a a jerk and I suppose she’ll take it and run with it. She somehow seemed to take a swipe at everyone in the book, which made me wonder exactly how much text your average cookbook has that’s not related to recipes. Chief among her accusations was that Caroline prefers to pan-frying her meatballs instead of bake them, which Teresa apparently thinks is bad and wrong. I’m from the South, though, and that makes me an expert on frying things, so allow me to contradict her: pan-fried anything is the bomb.

Teresa also claimed that Caroline was only 1/16th Italian, which in addition to being a silly accusation, seems to be not at all true. When it was asked who exactly did that math for her, Gay Roommate Greg got in the best burn of the night (if not of the entire season) by suggesting that it might have been Teresa’s accountant that had helped her arrive at that number. Let’s all just marinate in the intensity of that burn for a second, shall we? It hurts because it’s true – Teresa had to have had help, there’s no way she understands fractions.

That’s not where the harsh words ended, though. Teresa also took to the pulpit to decry the tackiness of a stripper car wash (which is a brilliant idea that Teresa wishes she had thought up, probably), call out “her cousin” (Kathy) for making jokes about her, say something about Melissa that I didn’t catch because my Slingbox (don’t even ask) was acting up, and just generally put everyone on blast and make herself look like a giant, irredeemable jackass. (Which she is, so…accurate?)

Naturally, though, the problem wasn’t with what Teresa said, it’s with how everyone else read it, at least according to Teresa. She never does anything wrong, it’s just everyone else against her. Jacqueline came over to see the new, giant family portrait when it was delivered, and she took the opportunity to try and have a reasonable discussion with Teresa about the crazy poop-flinging that she did in her cookbook. Obviously that didn’t go so well.

Everything that Teresa does wrong is always everyone else’s fault, as we all know, and she claimed that she had called Caroline twice to let her know what was in the book. She didn’t address the fact that she’s seen and talked to Caroline a million times since she turned the book into her publishers, because if Caroline was unavailable to talk either of those specific times that she wanted to talk, then that was just the universe telling Teresa that it didn’t need to be discussed. Why is it so hard for people to understand that? People tell Teresa that she’s like Lucille Ball literally all the time, so doesn’t that give her license to say whatever she wants about anyone and not suffer any kind of consequences? Besides, Teresa doesn’t understand how consequences work anyway. This is a woman who got herself $11 million into debt and still thinks her husband should be buying her diamonds.

Can we shoot Teresa into the sun? Is it possible that we’ll be doing that during the reunion? Is that why Jacqueline wasn’t in the clips – she was backstage, managing the contraption that would rid all of us of Teresa forever? Please let that be what happens next week.

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