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Aftershocks: The police get involved with The Real Housewives of New Jersey, somuch for harmless fun
It was the event we’ve been waiting for all season: Clash of the Titans Real Housewives of New Jersey-style. Last season it gave rise to the legendary table-flipping scene, and this week Bravo has been playing a teaser endlessly, suggesting another showdown between the fiery Teresa Giudice and her arch-enemy Danielle “Garbarge” Staub.
We’ve been on the edge of our microfiber sofa ever since we saw Danielle telling Teresa not to call her “honey.” And watching with feverish anticipation as, without missing a beat, Teresa fires back a beautiful alliterative bullet: “Is Bitch better?”
As usual, Bravo makes us wait to the bitter end of the episode. First we revisit Jacqueline’s penchant for making any occasion an excuse to cry “bottom’s up,” no matter what time of day, even during her lazy workout with Teresa to lose that baby weight. Her drinking is de rigueur by now.
Then there’s Caroline’s extended family (we meet the entirely forgettable sisters Cookie and Frannie at lunch), her empty-nest monologues, her dark night of the soul, fake crying fits, and her uncomfortable date-night with Albert. It’s no wonder he tells her that he’ll never retire.
Whatever her true motives, and whether or not she’s aware of them, it’s Posche boutique owner Kim D. who’s masterminded a brilliant blow-up for all to enjoy.
Step one: Kim D. goes out to pay her water bill, leaving a temporary receptionist we’ve never seen before to be utterly nonplussed as Danielle makes a grand entrance at Posche, clad entirely in black. Danielle’s all about confrontation this season, and Kim D. has invited the dreaded Teresa and Jacqueline to her upcoming community fashion show. Danielle even blows off daughter Jillian’s call, saying “Mommy’s got a little situation.”
This secretarial slight is the last of many last straws. Danielle swears off shopping at Posche “to preserve her friendship” with Kim D. Just episodes ago, Kim D complained that Danielle owed her lots of money. The times they are a-changin’ in Franklin Lakes.
Even Ashley is suspicious, asking why it’s not Christine who’s in the show. Later, when Ashley storms the runway, Danielle gets it: Christine must be “too professional” and Kim D. probably wants each model to look as inexperienced as the next.
Step three: Kim D. tries to smooth things over the phone to insure Danielle’s attendance. When she calls, Danielle hopes and prays for a “rebuilding of trust” as one of her dogs contemplates humping a fuzzy purple dildo-shaped toy. Plan complete.
While Danielle struts and frets her hour about her foyer waiting for friend Kim G. to accompany her to the show, her choice of footwear seems overwrought: thigh-high black leather spike-heeled boots, which make us think that she looks more like she’s going to a Helmut Lang-inspired trampling-fetish party rather than a modest clothes parade at the sedate North Jersey Country Club.
That night, the excitement mounts as spray-tanned girls swagger down the runway. There are some lovely acid-washed jeans on one girl, and Teresa says she’d like a pair. Just a table away, Danielle affects a cell phone call, a trick she says she learned from Paris Hilton.
Finally, Ashley takes the runway and Jacqueline hoots her on. Danielle calls her a whore and says that none of them know how to walk. Danielle tries to stare her down, but later Ashley pulls out the stalker gaze with greater ferocity, and the look of disgust and amusement on her face is a wonder. Jacqueline tries to rein her insolent daughter in, but Ashley just stares and stares.
Danielle stands to leave, and the soundtrack builds a sense of foreboding as Teresa waits in the hallway to “run into” her favorite piece of garbage. She breaks the ice and says in a sing-songy voice, “Danielle, hi!" And within a few minutes, she’s calling her an old hag.
After all this exhausting buildup, what did we get? Only a briefly vague confrontation and then a next-week on-the-Housewives montage of some screaming, potential fisticuffs, and even a visit from the police. Someone might be pressing charges about something, but we’ll have to wait yet another week.
Instead, we were stuck with a “Watch What Happens” re-enactment of the Manzo family’s ridiculous “ham game.” As Andy Cohen and young Albie Manzo shout over the sound of cured pork slapping against bare faces, Cohen (Houston’s recent Pride Parade Celebrity Grand Marshal) pretends to be shocked as the strapping Albie flings slice after slice.
Is it that Mr. Cohen doth protest too much? The girlish excitement in his voice tells us that he loves every minute.