The Real Housewives of New Jersey

Oh My Gawd, These Woman!  Season 2 Finale, Pt. 1

You know how there are those times when you’ve skipped the gym, slept longer than you should, didn’t wash your hair, and you hit the drive through for a heart-clogging “value” meal? And supersized it? And got through all the fries only to realize they were gone and then hunted around in the empty bag looking for strays? That moment of shame – that’s how I feel when I watch The Real Housewives of New Jersey.

And yet.

Something about these women make me think they’re really like this. It’s not like the other shows where you know they’re playing a role, trying to come off polished and worthy of the millionaire’s club status the show employs. These chicks are upfront with their ratted hair, Bon Jovi loving past. Leopard print all over the house and in the closet? Hell, yeah. Ornately jeweled crosses around their neck that could choke a horse? Ya frickin’ right.

They’re loud, proud, they drink, they yell, they love each other and they eat. I think that’s ultimately why I love this iteration of the show – these women have real people bodies, they scarf down food with actual food in it, and slosh it all down with bottles of good red wine. These are my people. Kind of. I mean, I’m not gonna lie to you, I’m not a shopper, I don’t do spangles, and I like my hair in a ponytail most of the time. But they’re so much more approachable than the other housewives.

Well, with the exception of Jafar from Aladdin, also known as Danielle Staub. The only reason to approach her is to get a good look and see if there’s a 666 on her neck.

Good lord, do I hate a pot stirrer. There is nothing more banal than a person who challenges someone just so they can say, “I’m only playing the Devil’s Advocate.” Fuck you, learn how to be social and pleasant. Then you have someone that not only delights in being oppositional, but they need it to identify a personality. Even worse is when the person denies doing it and directs the argument back onto someone else for something completely different.

On some level, it’s like a crazy game of spot the lie whenever she’s on screen, because the woman just cannot keep her stories straight. But on another level, this is really a crazy person we’re watching every week, delusional at best. In her book (this lady is published and yet I languish in the slush pile…) she claims that the serach for her mother on the show is because her mother was a Sicilian teenager that was impregnated by a Priest who was then murdered, and her wealthy Italian family sent her to Pittsburgh to give her baby up for adoption.

Everything is embellished to be the most something. The most horrible, the most cruel, the most wonderful, yadda yadda yadda. Bitch, sometimes people are just people and things are just things and they aren’t the biggest, most interesting things ever. And most of us dropped the “I was a fairy princess that was lost and taken in by this croo-elle family, and one day my real parents will come for me!” story when we were nine.

What I’m saying is, I get why Ashley pulled out her nappy-ass weave.

I have to say that I feel terrible for Staub’s daughters. They look like genuinely sweet girls, they’re pretty, well-mannered, and appear to be very smart for their ages. Kids that have to raise themselves usually are. It’s like a real life Patsy Stone with Saphron split into two kids. I’m just waiting for Danielle to start air kissing and clamoring for “La Croix.”

The general consensus on the internet seems to be anti-Caroline Manzo, but I gotta say that I love that lady. I love that she’s a bulldog in regards to her family and comes out fighting. She strikes me as the quintessential Big Sister from a big family that believes she can call her brother a pig, but if she catches anyone else saying it, she’s going to nut punch them. That’s how big families are, and anyone that refers to her as a bully was probably an only child or a narcissist like Danielle.

There was a big to do about Caroline saying that Danielle’s daughters have dead eyes. As soon as she said that, I knew just what she meant and completely agreed. Those girls look like they just can’t wait to turn 18 and get away. They look like people that are putting up with shit and are helpless to do anything about it. The Manzo kids joke with each other, goof around, tease and kid one another.

The Staub girls sit and hold each other with blank faces and say things like, “Only a crazy person would go to that,” in reference to a meeting with Caroline to “put things to rest.” That was the 11 year old with those words of wisdom. And of course, Danielle went. And brought in body guards for her daughters to hug because they were “protecting Mommy.” What the ever-loving fuck? Strange men hugging your teen daughters?

Once it became clear that the show was putting a visible strain on those poor kids, I was happy to see that Bravo stopped featuring them, with a few rare exceptions. It just seemed so exploitative, and given that the whole premise of a show like this is to exploit people, that’s saying something.

If I can offer any advice to any younger, impressionable people out there it’s this: if someone is always claiming that in every aspect of life they’ve been victimized, it’s probably bullshit. Especially if they get you to pick up the tab every time. And if your natural reaction to someone’s tale of woe is, man, that is unbelievable, it probably is.

And now it’s come out that Danielle was fired from Bravo – one assumes it’s for Bat Shittery, or whatever power words corporate America uses to pretty that up – and won’t be on the show next year. The safe money is on Kim G. to take her spot, but I don’t think so. I think they’ll find some random woman in that town that is Protestant, hates wine, and has no children on purpose to make the ladies go nutty. Now that’s some soap opera drama I can get behind. And I’ll only feel like I ordered the small fries.

This show. Such crack. Totally bad for you, and you can’t help but want to see what ridiculous thing will happen the next week. Just, I don’t know, pull the blinds so the neighbors can’t see you. You know I’ll be watching, a plate of cheese and a bottle of wine at my side.

Bravo TV, check local listings.