RHONJ Premiere Recap: Raw As A Cucumber
Jersey is back and while it hasn't been my favourite franchise in recent years, this season shows promise. The show's main storyline is still the feud between Teresa and the Gorgas and considering we’ve seen this family fight on television for the last 12 years, I couldn’t be happier that this is the beginning of the end of their toxic family feud.
After last season's reunion, it's never been clearer that these people fucking hate each other. Their only connection is this show and without it, they would've stopped talking years ago. Teresa making Luis' sisters, who she's known for five minutes, her bridesmaids over Melissa was a major fuck you and isn't something you can come back from. It shows what their relationship is and if I were Melissa and Joe, I wouldn't be investing in this toxic relationship either.
Teresa gushing over her new sisters-in-law wasn't about how much she loves her "new family" it was all about how much she hates her old one. Every positive thing Teresa says about her new life is solely designed to get under the Gorga's skin. Jersey's resident table flipper may have the IQ of a sesame seed but she's smart enough to realise what she's doing. We can't forget that Teresa Giudice is a raging narcissist and only keeps people in her life when they serve a purpose for her. She knows she's the star of the show and is using her leverage to get rid of her brother and Melissa, just like she did with Kathy and Rosie.
Teresa and Joe would sell each other for a bottle of BLK water for another five minutes on television, so their sibling relationship means nothing at this point. They're cast members first, family second and nothing is going to change that. Their parents are already dead, their children are grown and Teresa's obsessed with her new husband and his family so there's nothing left tying them together or giving them a reason to make amends. Their relationship has gone as far as it's ever going to go and while it's sad, it's the reality of the situation.
Although Teresa excluded Melissa from her bridal party, she invited her and Joe to her 50th birthday in Mexico. According to the Gorgas, inviting them on a trip weeks before filming was set to begin was a calculated move to mend fences going into the new season, while Tre said it was an authentic olive branch. This right here is the entire problem with their dynamic, both parties always think the other one only reaches out for the sake of reality television. There's no trust or love between this family anymore which is why this has to be the last season that we're subjected to their toxic dynamic.
Love her or hate her, Teresa Giudice is the star of this show and considering she's recently remarried she has a lot more to bring to this show's future than the Gorgas do. Melissa and Joe's time on this show has played out. At this point, they're career reality TV personalities who clock in for filming, post sponsored content to IG and attend every C-list OK! Magazine party they're invited to. Historically, I've always leaned towards the Gorga's side considering Teresa can't form a logical argument to save her life, however, if we're looking at who has more staying power: it's Tre.
In an effort to rehab her horrible image following last season, Teresa checked herself into anger management and while that's an amazing decision for anyone who has to interact with this woman, it's horrible news for the viewers. Who is Teresa Giudice if she isn't throwing glassware around restaurants? This 50-year-old woman is now being trained not to rage which is harder than teaching a puppy not to piss on a rug. Tre invited Margaret over to hash out their feud with their husbands present and while Teresa didn't take accountability for any of her behaviour, the two women decided to move on, mainly because Marge knows staying in Teresa's good graces is synonymous with staying on the show.
Teresa hated Margaret for asking about Luis' dramatic past with his exes and threw a table on her in the process, however, after one fake lunch together she decided to invite the woman to her wedding. Only on reality television can you go from calling someone an evil cunt to adding them to your wedding guest list in a matter of weeks. Obviously, Luis is in his fiance's ear trying his hardest to make her come off as a decent human being, but her inability to take accountability for anything coupled with her Texas-sized ego isn't getting her anywhere. Margaret's smart enough to realise she's never going to get a real apology from Teresa, but their relationship is shallower than an inflatable kid's pool, so she really doesn't need one in order to move on.
Believe it or not, things actually happened on this show that didn't involve the "T" word. The Jersey cast hadn't changed in the last four seasons and it was getting staler than a piece of week-old bread so seeing new girls in the mix was a breath of fresh air. The MVP newbie so far is undoubtedly Danielle. This woman has the voice of a Staten Island truck driver and an old-school Mob Wives meets Jerseylicious energy that I'm utterly obsessed with. If you cast a woman on the New Jersey Housewives and she doesn't sound like she'd be friends with Carmela Soprano, then I don't want her.
Not only does Danielle seem like she spent a large portion of her 20s fist-pumping "down the shore" but she also has a connection to the Manzos! According to Jersey legend, Danielle's stepmother was married to Caroline Manzo's brother. If you're a new Housewife and there's a throwback image of you with Jacqueline, Caroline and Teresa in the first five minutes of you being on screen, then I'm instantly invested.
Danielle has deep connections to this group which made her introduction seamless, the woman could've been here for five minutes or five seasons and I couldn't tell the difference. Danielle's from Staten Island which means she'll shank you with her acrylic nail, yank your hair like there's no tomorrow and dramatically retell the story to her friends at brunch while sucking down a champagne heavy mimosa.
To top off the excellent casting that is Danielle, she also has a sassy daughter Valentina who is giving old-school Milania a run for her money and a jacked-up husband who she's fucking obsessed with. Let's just pray he doesn't get caught cheating on her in two seasons' time because his penis would get thrown into the Hudson faster than you could say BOBBIT. Danielle is the blueprint for what producers need to look for when casting these shows and if she ends up flopping, I'll be more betrayed than Marge's ex-husband when he found out she was fucking their plumber.
The second newbie to the group is Rachel. The only things we know about her are that she and Melissa's sons are best friends and that she was born in 1991. How on earth is this 32-year-old New Jersey Housewife and mother of a teenager younger than Jax Taylor? Make it make sense. Honestly, the fact that this woman is younger than most of the cast of the Summer House is mind-boggling but hopefully, she throws a drink or calls someone a cunt to distract us from this startling revelation. Rachel also shared that her husband appeared on Law & Order which is essentially a rite of passage if you're a struggling actor or model in the tri-state area.
The third newbie in the mix is Jennifer Fessler who sounds like she's been choking down Marlboro Reds since she was 12. That's not shade, it's an accomplishment. I like my Housewives seasoned and chain smoking is a key factor in that. Fessler looks like Cindy Barshop heard there was an open call for New Jersey Housewives and swam across the Hudson for a second shot at Bravo fame. Although she's only a friend, Fessler which is the only way I'm referring to her from here on out, seems like a hoot and a half who will suck down some cocktails and make everyone belly laugh. After the success of Kathy Hilton and Marysol Patton, every cast needs a kooky "friend of" to keep things light and fun.
To end the episode, Dolores planned a "sexy calendar photoshoot" for the husbands and if her idea of sexy makes people want to vomit in their mouths then it was a success. I'm sorry, call me an ageist but I don't want to see a bunch of 50-year-old men roll around in olive oil and flex their struggling muscles for a camera. Joe Gorga almost ejaculated while posing with tiny sausages for his Fourth of July themed shoot. Attention is to this man what oxygen is to the rest of the human race. Honestly, I'm scared for what will happen to Joe if he's off the show next season because without the warm camera lights beaming down on his drunken antics he could do something really bad to himself or worse: he could try stand up again.
Dolores has a new Irish boyfriend Pauly which is amazing for her but I couldn't care less. I like Dolores as a person but as a Housewife, she's more useless than balls after a vasectomy. I don't care about her new relationship, I don't care about Frank still living with David and I don't care about her daughter's obsession with animals. She's a nice woman who got fantastic plastic surgery during her time on the show but if anyone should've been demoted, it's Dolores.
The first time she and Jen Aydin spoke since their fight at the reunion, Jen called her a cunt and an old handbag and Dolores still didn't engage in the fight. Jennifer Aydin is unhinged and never fails to take things too far, however, she gave Dolores a fight on a silver platter and Paterson Dolores still didn't step up to the plate and do her job. Initially, I was excited to see a Jennifer Aydin vs Dolores Catania feud play out but if their entire storyline is going to be Jennifer looking for a reaction and Dolores not giving her one, then I don't want it. Jennifer thinks she wasn't a good friend to her and Dolores believes she was. Unless they start spreading rumours about each other, there are not many places this argument can go aside from agreeing to disagree.
Let's all pray that this season is as good as we've been promised because there's nothing more depressing than a Housewives trailer tricking us into thinking we've got a good season coming our way only to end up with 17 episodes of bullshit.
The Real Housewives of New Jersey airs Tuesday at 9/8c on Bravo. Stay tuned at Good Tea for our shady recaps and exclusive tea on the craziest ladies in Jersey.