Ho, ho, ho! Christmas never ends on Real Housewives of New Jersey: Self-servingcharity, wife-coveting & more
‘Twas the night before Christmas. Again, and again, and again.
Will December ever end in Franklin Lakes? This week on The Real Housewives of New Jersey, the town is snowed in with yet more exhausting holiday cheer, and we fear there won’t be a thaw for months. It isn’t the weather outside that’s frightful!
We love the Christmas season. Since we moved to Houston from the snowy north, we love it even more. But it’s been Christmas for a month on the show, and New Year’s is still to come. What were the Bravo producers thinking? We’re not feeling merry anymore. A quick glimpse at Caroline’s Christmas Eve dinner of our favorite Jersey girl, Dina Manzo, who left the show last season, almost gave us the Christmas blues.
New Jersey began this season with record-breaking ratings and has already been renewed for a fourth season. But will Bravo kill its darlings before the season is even over?
We’re even beginning to miss Danielle “Garbage” Staub, the grasping wannabe of seasons past. Danielle’s recently brought her own private brand of crazy over to VH1’s Famous Food, which improbably features former reality stars competing against each other to launch a restaurant in West Hollywood. We’re wondering if Danielle was “exposed” to the food service industry during her early career as a pole dancer.
It’s true, there’s holiday drama a-plenty in Franklin Lakes, with the Gorgas and the Giudices simultaneously acting out sibling and Oedipal rivalries. But this poor judgment makes us wonder about the future of The Real Housewives brand altogether.
Miami barely made it through one season. DC was axed promptly after its maiden run. Orange County is so tired it now resembles Night of the Living Dead, and the recently concluded and relatively short season in New York was a huge bore without Bethenny Frankel, who is doing just fine on her own. Four shows have run their course, while Atlanta and Beverly Hills remain lively. New Jersey began this season with record-breaking ratings and has already been renewed for a fourth season. But will Bravo kill its darlings before the season is even over?
We’d hoped that the conclusion of Melissa and Joe’s $50,000 benefit Christmas party for the St. Joseph’s Hospital kids would finish in a manner worthy of the Prince of Peace. When we saw Joe punching the air as he danced with anything female, just on the edge of drunk and sloppy, our hopes got even higher. Joe and Melissa held up some of the toys strewn around the bar shelving while they posed for publicity photos in a somewhat clueless attempt to demonstrate their holiday generosity to tabloid readers.
But there was a fly in the eggnog, as we expected last week. We just didn’t realize it would be that sanctimonious redhead, Caroline Manzo.
Does anyone else remember when one of our most treasured reality TV idols, the notorious Tiffany “New York” Pollard, made a guest appearance as herself in the fifth season of FX’s Nip/Tuck? As we recall, she gave one of the doctors some advice on how to bring your “character” to the forefront when you’re vying for camera attention: Start a fight. Maybe Caroline saw that episode recently on re-run, because she decided to try it out. She’s always been a maxim-filled bore, it’s true, and certainly we aren’t opposed to her showing a little fire. But we have some additional advice for you, Mrs. Manzo. You probably shouldn’t kick somebody out if it isn’t your party.
The object of her sanctimony and rage is Kim G, a peripheral character who’s fought with or befriended anyone who would get her some air time.
Caroline’s son, Christopher, tries to tactfully escort the troublesome Ms. G. out and smooth things over, but the rest of his family interferes. There’s something at stake, because Kim’s son is Christopher’s best friend. Christopher’s brother Albie storms out front and tells Kim to hit the pavement, but she reminds him, as she reminded Caroline, that it isn’t their home. The Manzos don’t seem to care. Kim G leaves with bodyguards in tow, and Christopher is left with a “damned if you do” look on his face.
Teresa and Joe Giudice, for once leaving a party without making a scene, find the events amusing — even stimulating. “Let’s go home and make love all night,” Teresa suggests with a randy look in her eye.
Later, Caroline tries to justify her actions, but we can’t get over just how bad she looks. Her clown-red hair (we’ll never forget Danielle’s wonderful label for Caroline’s coiffure) looks as if somebody cracked an egg on top and let it run down the sides. She looks worse than David Bowie on a bender.
It begins to look a little more like Christmas later on, as the Gorgas enjoy Christmas Eve at Teresa’s house. Their children clearly adore one another, and the group photos are awfully cute. Just when we think the Gorgas and Giudices have gotten through a family event without starting a brawl, a noticeably drunk Joe Giudice begins to mutter aloud shocking sentiments about his sister-in-law Melissa.
“She’s a friggin’ animal,” he slurs out for anyone who’s listening. “But listen, their family, that’s the way they are. They’re f-ing animals. Who the hell’d want to be that raccoon face over there? She’s a witch.”
We had been inclined to blame Teresa for the rift between these families. Teresa’s a handful, sure: Vain, petty and resentful. But for the most part, she seems to have a common rivalry with her sister-in-law Melissa. Joe Giudice, however, seems angry, vicious and low. We’re guessing his hatred of her is really thinly disguised lust, just as his hatred of Teresa’s brother is thinly disguised envy after his own financial embarrassments. And let’s not forget his ongoing legal troubles resulting from a DUI.
Watch out, Joe. If you keep it up, you’ll end up in group, sitting between Michael (father of Lindsay) Lohan and “Long Island Lolita” Amy Fisher on Celebrity Rehab. Then again, Dr. Drew might be the only one who can fix you.