And Cohen goes down!
Aftershocks: Real Housewives of New Jersey claim moral superiority over JerseyShore
A thumping Rite-of-Spring-like orchestral riff plays. Cameras take us to a glamorous floodlight-covered location in Atlantic City. There’s a sudden flash of red. Is it table-flipper Teresa’s garish floral dress, or just her eyes?
It was fitting that the Real Housewives of New Jersey reunited at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa one year after the end of a tumultuous season. Putting these ladies in one room was a high-stakes gamble that paid off for Bravo big time as the ladies unleashed a torrent of rage and recrimination.
Within minutes, Teresa tells Danielle, “You’re a pig, you’re disgusting and you’re desperate.”
Oh, that's not a little toad. That's rather a large bullfrog, to quote Anne Bancroft in The Turning Point, one of our favorite bitch-slapping movies of all time. And while host Andy Cohen does his best to keep the women at least seated, he gets tossed around for his troubles.
Even seasoned viewers like us couldn’t have asked for a better Housewives reunion, but Andy’s often-provoking montages and follow-up questions made us want to ask a few of our own.
What exactly is this thing called “New Jersey”? Andy throws down the gauntlet, claiming precedence for his housewives over MTV’s Jersey Shore, which even the governor of New Jersey has denounced. We think there’s plenty of credit to be shared for pioneering representations of the proud peccadilloes of the Garden State. But Teresa’s distaste for her MTV competitors couldn’t be clearer, what with all that drinking and wanton promiscuity.
Sound familiar? It does to Teresa, who strikes the first blow of the night. She accuses Danielle of having her own Jersey Shore moment, screwing former boyfriend Steve (of sex tape fame) after barely knowing him a week and while staying as a guest in Teresa’s house on the Shore. Danielle denies it, but Jacqueline pipes right up, saying Danielle “straddled him” in front of her own children. Take that, Snooki!
We did learn that Jersey’s all about language as Andy mercilessly recaps a season full of hair-raising errors. Danielle can’t manage the plural of “woman” though we’re sure she knows the plural of “man.” Teresa thinks it would be “therapuetical” if “stanky” houses were “re-renovated,” but she claims her own private version of the English language makes her special.
And by the way, Teresa, what world do you live in? Is it Jersey or somewhere else? Sure, you have big hair and you mix up words as much as anyone else, but your behavior on the show reminded us of long-lost audition tapes for The Incredible Hulk.
We knew your table-flipping powers wouldn’t be wasted here. But when Danielle accuses you of neglecting your own nephew, we saw shades of red and patterns of veins hitherto unseen on the human body.
We admit we loved it when you got right up in Danielle’s grill and unleashed a scream that could have made boulders go deaf. And when Andy tried to restrain you, you flung him down like a rag doll with a broken leg.
We do wonder, of course, about your grasp of finances. Perhaps, as you claim, the New York Post got it all wrong and your house is not in foreclosure despite your $11 million bankruptcy settlement. Were you too distracted by the vision of Marie Antoinette serving sushi at your housewarming party? Maybe financial ruin has made your family closer, but it seems you’re hustling to sell as many copies of Skinny Italian as you can to make up the difference. We always knew you wore the pants in the family anyway.
Danielle, where do you get your money? We find it hard to believe that royalties from The Naked Truth, along with fees from the television show, actually cover your ever-growing legal expenses. All right, we admit we bought the book and indirectly supported your attorneys for at least 0.03 of a minute. But it’s not exactly The Fountainhead and we can’t imagine the sales are going to last much into next year, when you will no longer be welcome on the show.
How can you afford to pay so many lawyers to press charges against a teenager who pulled out a few of your extensions (you hardly won that case), serve former Housewives star Dina with a gag order, or track down all of your Gonzo sex tapes? Even Andy comments that your legal bills must be astronomical.
Those bodyguards of yours have also got to be costing a pretty penny as well. Certainly Danny, whom Caroline (with stunning brevity) characterized as a “sweat-hog reject,” doesn’t offer his protective services for free. And there are some obvious loopholes in your charity work as well. We remember that Christine insisted on a benefit for her Sweet Sixteen party. But we were shocked to hear that you didn’t actually foot the bill.
Are we missing, something or didn’t that reduce the proceeds for cystic fibrosis? And thanks to Andy’s skillful questioning, we learned that you never transferred a cent to the blastoma baby’s struggling family, even if you “went door to door collecting over $6,000 in commitments” as you claim.
Caroline said it best, “We’re in the OK corral. Buckle up.” So what if she misquotes All About Eve? We’ve fastened our seat belts. We can’t wait for more of this bumpy ride.