Let’s talk about the Real Housewives of New Jersey premiere, the most entertaining, heartbreaking shitshow on television right now.
Season six of The Real Housewives of New Jersey has kicked off, and the premiere had everything one would expect from our fiery New Jersey ladies. To catch you up, we’ve lost Jacqueline Laurita, Caroline Manzo, and Kathy Wakile (which means no more Rosie and Juicy Joe getting drunk together, which is a real bummer), and gained back Dina Manzo, and we also have newcomers Amber Marchese, as well as twins Teresa Aprea (pronounced Tuh-REH-Suh. “Reh” like “meh”.) and Nicole Napolitano.
Not invited back was our gangster queen Danielle Staub, and shit-stirring friend of the housewives Kim D.
So let’s talk about this.
We open on Melissa and Joe Gorga pretending like there is not any drama between themselves and the Giudices because of all the legal problems Teresa and Joe are dealing with, despite the fact that the Giudices had been indicted at the time of filming the season five reunion episodes and that didn’t stop either one of them from slinging insults across Bravo’s stage. But hey, maybe they’ve all made up since then.
Melissa calls up Teresa to talk about some rumour, and Teresa is serving up a look that gives me life. Juicy Couture tracksuit, full glam hair and make-up. It”s some 2003-era realness, and I’m about it.
Gia says that she understands what’s happening with all the legal drama and accusations and starts crying, and I start crying too because it’s not her fault her parents are greedy fucks and I feel genuinely bad for her.
Queen Milania asks Teresa if she can read a book while Gabriella does her homework for her and it gives me life because she is the best thing about RHONJ if I’m being completely honest. I mean, look at this sass:
Dina turns up with a plant and a gift for Teresa and they start talking about money.
Teresa laments that attorney fees are eating up all her cash and she has nothing to put away for the girls’ college funds, which I would sympathise with if they weren’t filming this scene in a built-from-scratch mansion where she dropped $100k in dirty cash to furnish back in season one. Like, Tre, I think you’re stupid so I feel bad for you because I feel like this goes over your head a little but seriously, you could pay for Gia’s college if you sold off some of the gaudy crap lying around your house.
Dina’s plot of the year will be her break up with her husband. I have yet to decide whether I care about this or not. She’s been separated from her husband for ages but they still live in the same house. “He has his life, I have mine, and we meet in the bedroom.” She does not respond well to a question about the state of her relationship with sister Caroline:
Melissa and Teresa take Milania and Antonia to cheerleader practice to prove that there is no drama between them anymore, and Teresa tells Melissa that Milania ‘twerks all the time’.
Teresa proves once again that she is a “cool mom”.
Next, we meet the newbies. There’s Amber, who seems like a high-strung psychopath, and shades Melissa within 2 minutes of making her debut, saying that they both wanted to get rich, but that Amber chose the “school way” rather than marrying for money like Melissa. I loved it, and she seems like she’ll be fun to watch. Then we meet the twins, who are like a Jersey Kristin Chenoweth on crack. Within three seconds of being on screen, Teresa pulls out the old “my family’s Italian, so…” line, which I swear, if you drank every time you heard someone say this while watching, you’d be hospitalised.
New Teresa is married, Nicole is divorced but dating her brother-in-law’s best friend. Here is Nicole’s life motto:
My main question here is “why is she wearing Lindsay Lohan’s SNL Disney Princess dress?”
Teresa’s delusion reaches a new height on the way to Amber’s party when she says to Dina:
“You know what stinks is that other people are probably going through the same thing, but because, you know, people know who I am, you know, I’m being judged.”
How many people do you currently know who are under federal indictment for fraud and facing 50+ years in prison? Personally, I know tons. So many.
Amber’s party is a high-strung mess. She has her children posted at the door to walk every guest into the party, and Amber loses her mind when the guests that Nicole invited drop food on the floor, claiming that “Italians know how to behave at parties.” Equally Italian Nicole rebuts that Amber needs to loosen up, because it’s a party. To be honest, I don’t really care either way but Amber’s reaction is fun to watch. Teresa’s husband Rino is a wonderful addition and I hope we see a lot of him this season, because watching him lose his shit over how boring Amber’s party was and then storm out saying things like “I could start a party at a funeral home” and “What the fuck are you talkin’ about, I’m goin’ to Florida” made my life.
Dina and Amber bond over Amber’s battle with breast cancer, as Dina works for a charity that helps children suffering with cancer. Teresa bonds with the twins because they’re as braindead (Tre uses the word “carefree”) as she is.
Melissa and Amber get into some weirdness where Amber accuses Melissa of not being there for her during her cancer battle. Melissa says she had no idea she even had cancer, and Amber says that Melissa sent her a Facebook message about it, which she no longer has. It’s unresolved and pisses Melissa off, and I’m sure it’s not the last we’ll hear of it.
Obviously the producers are aware that Milania is a fan favourite because she basically has as much screen time as the new housewives. There’s even an entire stand alone scene of her being sassy, and it’s great.
Melissa retreats from her awkward conversation with Amber to bitch to Tre and Dina that she doesn’t like being accused of things that aren’t true, to which Tre replies “I know the feeling, I KNOW THE FEELING!”
… Except that those things *are* true, Tre. Like, gurl, for real, pull it together.
Okay, so let’s talk about the Giudice family portrait.
Here’s the thing. Maybe if you have no money to put away for your daughters’ futures, don’t spend money on a glam squad for a family photo. Maybe don’t cater your party in your giant mansion.
“This year for Joe’s grandmother’s 80th birthday, we’re going to be taking a portrait of the whole Giudice family, but it’s really for Joe.”
Oh, okay. SURPRISE, Giudices. You thought this was about your beloved grandmother. It’s not, it’s about the felon.
In all fairness, though. The Giudices are obviously greedy motherfuckers, but no one is disputing that they don’t adore their kids or that they’re not a very close knit family (on Joe’s side, at least?). This might be the last time that the whole family gets to spend time together before Joe goes to prison, and he may be deported, so if this is supposed to be a sort of ‘last hurrah’ for Tre and Joe before they face the music, then fair enough, I suppose.
It’s interesting that they’re completely avoiding the whole “Joe’s a cheater who called his wife a cunt and a bitch that one time” plot line, as if Bravo’s trying to paint them as wrongly accused saints all of a sudden, now that they’re facing federal charges. Bravo logic does not resemble any logic I’ve ever encountered in real life, but let’s not get sidetracked with that.
Okay, so I’m not going to lie to you. Joe’s speech made me bawl. Not for Joe, he deserves everything he gets. But for poor Gia, who’s cried in pretty much every scene in this episode. I know Joe and Teresa need the money, but going through puberty is hard enough, let alone doing it on television, let alone doing it on television when your parents are under federal investigation and your entire life is being torn apart in front of the world. I mean, say what you will about her parents, but Gia’s copped a rough deal in this situation, and her parents’ need for money (and attention) has put her in a position where she’s being exploited for drama and ratings.
I also didn’t realise that Joe’s father had passed away, and when the ‘in memorium’ screen came up, it basically broke my heart.
The overview of this season looks like it’s going to be a lot of the usual drama we’ve come to expect from the New Jersey ladies, with a side of heartbreak for Gia, basically, and despite my concerns for Gia’s mental wellbeing, and the fact that I think she’s being exploited, I will tune in for every. Single. Episode.
Who’s with me?!