Time for Tacky Christmas! Who doesn’t love Christmas in July? I mean, besides Jews, Muslims, Hindus, atheists, Jehovah’s Witnesses….
Jacqueline and her dad pull out the holiday decorations from the attic, and even though he’s a retired Colonel, I’m still worried for him navigating those pull-down attic stairs with a big ol’ tree. They’re prepping for the holiday cocktail party where Teresa cornered Jacqueline into inviting Melissa and Bro Joe. This is an important distinction, in my opinion, and you’ll need to remember this for later.
Jacqueline’s son CJ stands on a stool at the stove where there are some already baked (and burned on the ends) sugar cookies cooling off on the baking sheet. And he’s cutting out shapes. Um, PROTIP: you cut the shapes out BEFORE you bake them. And my god, they’re going to ruin those baking sheets! What did they ever do to you, kid?
The rest of the family glues together some paper chains for the trees while Jacqueline fills them in on the drama that may or may not be coming down the pipe, regarding the Gorgas and Guidices. Washsley tries to shame her mom and is a total bitch, telling her that she shouldn’t be involved in this. First, your mom was forced into inviting them. Two, shut the fuck up, Ashley, you’re the worst. She is self-tanner on the neckline of a cream sweater.
Speaking of, Washley has turned the tanning booth to Oompah Loompah. Someone’s bucking for a guest spot on Jersey Shore, methinks!
Jacqueline’s voice over: “Ashley’s trying to tell me to stay out of drama? After everything she’s put me and Chris through?” Double true, mama, preach on.
Colonel Daddy says that this is the most stressful time of the year when people are spending money they don’t have. The editors showed an amazing amount of restraint in not cutting to a shot of the Guidices wondering if they have enough cash to buy a golden baby Jesus for their front porch holiday display.
The Manzos are also decorating for the holidays, and for them it involves a lot of barking from Caroline for everyone to move things here, here and there. Lauren learns at her mama’s feet and starts bossing the guys around as well. Christuhphuh tells everyone that Santa is bringing them all a little patience and a little cheer. Ha ha, I love the Manzo boys. Lauren is just being a bitch to everyone, and her mother says as much to the camera. And why is she being a bitch? Because she misses her brothers.
Who are there with her.
Whatever. The guys go to the storage room to pull out the tacky Santas that flank the front door, and half of their faces are missing. Caroline thinks a mouse did it, but mice wouldn’t eat plastic faces, would they? If so, half of Franklin Lakes is in trouble. (Boom!)
Caroline wants to get the fellas a green feather tree. You know, like Italian Jersey boys dig. Greg, their Mister (male sister), calls up a cheap-ass store that sells that crap and makes sure they still have them in stock. He tries to butch it up, but he can’t help who he is, and there isn’t a woman alive that thinks a Guido is going to clap his finger tips together, squeal “Yay! My girlfriend is going to be so fucking happy, oh my god!” and not know that’s a gay guy, come on.
Albie takes a quiet moment to lament Greg’s obsession with Mariah Carrey’s holiday CD that is on repeat. Really, Greg? No Liza? No Wham!’s “Last Christmas?” I’m surprised at you. (And the very next day, you gave it away. Hey, if I have the ear worm, you need it, too. This year, to save me from tears, I’ll give it to someone special, special.) You’d prefer “Christmas in Hollis?”
Speaking of songs you don’t want stuck in your head, Melissa “Jesus Spice” Gorga is preparing for a meeting with two producers and a PR person to make her singing career a reality. She wants to be on display, on display, on display, each and every day, every day every bring me my gun, oh my god. She puts on her best ‘a touch too classy for the Jersey Shore’ look, has some bling on the baby’s neck (no, really, little 3 year old in a La Croix silver cross) and we meet the “Soul Diggaz,” two producers who “worked with” Britney Spears and Beyonce. Oh, really. As what, chair fluffers at Capital Records?
Mel says to the camera that maybe she could be next, oh my god! And she crosses herself, except for how it’s more of a triangle, and I’m not Catholic, but I think she just confirmed herself a mathematician. Pythagoras is my Savior! Amen. Joe busts out some wine for everyone (no Hypnotiq?) and she sings for them. It’s… okay. She didn’t warm up, she didn’t prepare, she just started singing and she loses her breath a little bit and cracks a touch, but the Soul Diggaz are jamming like they’ve got the latest Xtina Aguilera number rocking out.
They do tell her that she’s going to need to practice for upwards of 15 hours a day (aha ha, read between the lines on that, folks) and Joe kinda flips out at that. She’s a mom, she has three little kids, he doesn’t want her out of the house that long. One of the Soul Diggaz says, “What chu gone do?” He’s gonna bust a cap in your ass, that’s what he’s going to- oh, no, he’s going to build her a studio there in the house, because he wants to be supportive. But you know, as far as he can control it.
He shows them his basement (I had a moment of Goodfellas fear when Paulie tries to off Karen by showing her a “sale” in a basement downtown) and it’s huge! There’s an alcove sectioned off that was to be turned into a wine cellar, but now he’s going to convert it into a studio. It’s perfect, just slap up a wall and sound proofing, maybe stick a booth on the outside for the recording equipment, boom, done.
Mel thanks Jesus for her man and her luck, and the Soul Diggaz also thank Jesus. I guess that’s some good, fortified wine.
Teresa gets gussied up in hot pants and slut boots for a date with Juicy. I have to say, for having four kids, she has a rockin’ bod. Juicy slap-chops some onions and cooks up a sauce and pasta, and I have to say that a man cooking me a meal is a thing of wonder. I love BBQ weather because my husband will take over and I can sit and drink. Win-Win.
He’s set up a little picnic in the living room with a blanket and table, and it’s sweet. They still love each other even through all of their mess, and that’s nice. (But the bitchy part of me thinks, they have no furniture in this room because they had to sell it because they’re broke. Sell your Louboutins, Tre, Christ.) Tre catches us up on all the legal issues between Joe and his ex-business partner, they’re being sued for fraud. Ouch.
Kathy and Rich continue their search for a restaurant space for Kathy. They check out a space that is huge and fairly upscale. It’s nice, but this is so beyond what Kathy originally set out looking for, which is a kitchen for a catering business. Rich is kinda going nutso, thinking big for his lady. It’s sweet, but misguided. He has it in his head that they can manage a restaurant from afar, and not have their lives affected. Um, restaurants do not work like that, Broseph. They’ll figure it out eventually.
Jesus Spice cuts up a waffle for her three year old, who tells her that he isn’t capable of feeding himself. Um, if you can speak in sentences, you can cram food in your mouth. She tells him he is not going to be babied like his daddy, as she puts a bite in his mouth. Mm hm. He looks like a mini-version of his papa, too, knit cap and all. It’s cute. Except for the baby stuff. You’re THREE. Get a job, shave.
Joe is down in the basement with a crew, speaking to them in Italian so they know what to build. I love that he actually speaks Italian, not buzzwords, but actual Italian. Tre, too. Good job, Gorga parents. Joe instructs them to build a booth. Like a phone booth. Uh… my dad had a recording studio in our house when I was growing up, and you need SPACE. You need the acoustics to not sound like you’re in a coffin, and you need room to bring in back up singers or instruments, or to bend over and stretch. Phone booth?
Mel comes down with Joe’s coffee (so much for not babying the boys) and tells him she thinks it needs to be bigger. She’s right. She also wants it to be gold. You know, because of the gold records she’s going to be making. Really? Guh-bless.
Jacqueline and Lauren head over to Hoboken to visit the Manzo boys. They have dinner and whine. Well, Lauren brought the whine. Side note, for having a “mister” in the house, it’s pretty tacky in there. Then again, Greg does dress his dog in pink bedazzled hoodies… Tiger print on the chairs? And a Louis XVI-style chair in dark wood instead of gold, which is surprising, if you think about it. The most offensive thing in there is that weetiny bowl on the table filled with massive wicker balls. Is this 1993? I bet there is something with ostrich feathers in there as well. And beveled glass. And a huge, tacky tassel on a lamp or something. Gross.
Lauren starts bitching about Greg being the replacement sister and starts crying, and how she wishes she could hang with them. She does this while hanging with them. I hate girls like this, come on, Lauren, you had spine before! This is the season where you start whining about everything instead of being Miss Sasspants like you were previously. Albie walks off while she cries and comes back with a house key for her. They were going to give it to her for Christmas, but she’s being such a titty baby now they just want to shut her up. It’s so she can come over when she wants, but you know… knock first.
Jacqueline gets out some massive wine glasses (I mean, I’m all for a Big Carl, but those are a bit redonk) and worries that maybe having people over who turn into angry drunks is maybe not the best idea. Maybe she’ll water the booze down? Or can pretend the glasses are so big that a splash is really a regular glass of wine? Ha, I love Jacqueline. She’s the most real person that isn’t Caroline. (But Caroline’s going through The Change and gets pissy at times, so Jac is my pick who I most want to hang with.)
Caroline and Lauren head back to the boys’ house with Christmas decorations, because they’re not going to decorate, they’re in their 20s. And are dudes. Lauren starts in with the “You guys don’t like me, wah wah, you never do anything with me, like right now how we’re doing stuff, and you don’t invite me to places with you, except for how you just did, but you didn’t ask right and blah blah.”
STOP IT. Which is pretty much what Caroline tells her. Shut up, you’re being unreasonable, now go back to writing out your brother’s names on their stockings with red pepper flakes. (She really does that.) The guys were fresh out of glitter and glue, which is actually a shock. I’m sure there had to be some pasties from strippers in there and enough glitter from the clubs to make it work, but then, I’m industrious like that.
But I was promised some bitchy Kim G, and I get it. Jacqueline goes over because she’s still friendly with her (they’re neighbors in a small town, I kinda get it. Kinda.) Kim shows off a horribly gaudy chandelier (I’m sorry, but their décor is out of style. She has a floral printed green carpet runner on her stairs with gold and gilt everywhere, then her sun room is French Provincial, with the yellows and reds and roosters and white bistro tables with a LACE CLOTH on it and a lamp shade with crystal dangles like my Grandma had, the tacky one that came from the dollar store. FUG.)
Kim then starts to cry and talks about how she had a brain tumor a few years back and then grabs Jacqueline’s hand and makes her feel the space in her skull where bone is missing. Woman, you don’t force that on unsuspecting folk! Especially when you have a nasty weave like that! That is disconcerting and startling. Jac plays it off and moves things along to another room.
And this is when you lose any “Oh, bless, she had a brain tumor!” sympathy for Kim G. She immediately starts in on Teresa, making fun of her and bitching about her, and Jacqueline tries to shut it down, but Kim just keeps on. “You need to hear this!”
Jacqueline then tells her to “shut the fuck up.” Twice! But Kim just keeps on. And why does Kim have such a hate-on for Teresa? Because back when they went to stripper class with Danielle, she had on too small hot pants, bent over, and you could see the crack of her ass. Teresa called it “old lady butt crack,” and word got back to Kim G. Teresa couldn’t even remember saying it (mostly because she doesn’t care and partly because she doesn’t have strong brains) and Andy Cohen, the VP of Bravo and host of the reunion shows, helpfully tells Kim “Old Lady Butt Crack. She called you that.”
Ha ha ha, that is so bitchy, Andy. Oh, but back to now, Kim keeps trying to read this fucking email out loud and Jacqueline keeps talking over her and telling her to shut up and I wonder why she doesn’t just storm out of there? Ugh, Kim is awful. Kim says, “Look at you, you’re so upset!” and then actually cackles like the bitch she is. She is terrible. She is old lady butt crack when you aren’t expecting it. Like, while you’re eating.
Teresa and Joe head to court and Tre gives us some back story on someone, Monica Chacon. She’s Juicy’s ex-partner’s lawyer’s wife. Got that? Anyway, back at the Posche (gag) fashion show, she was there, a friend of Kim G’s, and was introduced to Kathy and Melissa. Monica says that she’s suing Teresa, but doesn’t want Teresa to know who she is yet, and Kathy and Melissa have the grace to look shocked and uncomfortable. They’re still family, you know?
So Monica is suing them? Or is her husband the lawyer on the case? It’s all very convoluted to me. Tre tells the camera that she very calmly approached her in the courthouse and told her to stop talking about Teresa and Joe and walked away like a lady with her pinky out. Sure you did. And she says some famous last words, “I’m sure I’ll never have to deal with her again.”
Kathy and Rich spend the day talking with Big Al about opening a restaurant, and because Albert Manzo is a bit of a dick, he immediately starts laughing at their dreams. It’s not because it’s a bad idea, it’s because Rich has no idea how much of a life drain a restaurant is. They’re going to miss weddings, holidays, events, because that’s when people go to restaurants. His advice, let Kathy have a small and manageable catering business for her desserts like she originally wanted. Kathy likes this, and Rich comes around. He just wants to make his wife happy, he’s a good guy.
It’s the cocktail party at the Lauritas, the one where Teresa took it upon herself to invite her brother and sister in law. The Manzos get there with Greg and start having fun, and Tre and Juicy show up. Tre is wearing a hideous floor length pink-hued fur. Sorry, not a fan of fur when it’s not on the animal that grew it. Also, it’s not a pretty fur, it looks like a reject from Dynasty. (Hey. Sell your furs. Pay off your debts, knuckleheads.)
Jacqueline asks her about the lady-like conversation Tre had at court with Chacon, the one that hit the paper as a brawl. Tre sticks to her view of the story while Juicy tells the guys over some scotch that his wife is “fucking nuts. She’s fucking nuts, my wife.” Tre tells Jacqueline that she needed to silence the lamb, and I now think that English was Tre’s second language, even though she grew up in America.
The Gorgas come and they’re a hit. Everyone enjoys them because let’s face it, they’re fun. They laugh, they joke, they get a little silly. There’s a funny moment when Bro Joe meets Greg – he comes up to his tits, no lie. Either Joe Gorga is a short man (probably) or Greg is a huge one (probably.) Most importantly, they get the Caroline Manzo stamp of approval. She thinks they’re a lot of fun, likes that they’re young and energetic and goofy.
Christuhphuh takes pictures of Bro Joe playing with his nipples (really) and gets random posed shots of him being angry, goofy, and so on. Melissa tells them that they can’t dare him to do anything because he’ll do it, and the Manzo boys are not the people you should say that to, Jesus Spice. They instantly dare Bro Joe to put on Jacqueline’s sparkle outfit.
While that’s going on, Washley gives the camera a little one on one time and throws her mom under the bus. In case it’s not clear, I think Washley is a negative, lying, conniving piece of shit child that needs an ass whooping. She says her mom has the Gorgas over because she loves drama, loves to be in the thick of it. Says the girl who pulled Danielle’s weave out and started a Facebook war with an almost 50 year old. Note to Washley: your mom didn’t invite the Gorgas, Teresa did. Also, you’re the worst. And your fake tan looks like hell.
Joe prances out in his sparkle pants and tank and he is just not an attractive woman, but he’s a funny, funny guy. Teresa sits stone-faced the whole time, looking like she’s trying to understand what is happening, what language people are talking in, and how to chew and think at the same time. She kind of looks pissy when the attention is all on her brother. Hey, you said you wanted him in your life, well here he is.
Christuhphuh has a total man-crush on Joe Gorga, now. Here’s someone that will be ridiculous like him and has a hot wife, everything Christuhphuh wants to grow up and be. He’s going to throw Albie over for Bro Joe any minute, you can feel it.
Melissa and Lauren talk about siblings, and Teresa takes the opportunity to throw in Melissa’s face that she’s not nice to Teresa and it’s all so weird with Teresa using a high-pitched smiling voice with her hand out and trying to be funny but just sounding bitchy. Didn’t she say that she wanted bygones to be gone? Caroline tells her to shut up, they’re all having fun, and let’s continue to have fun. That’s why I love Caroline. God, someone stand up to Teresa and tell her to grow the hell up already.
Melissa invites everyone to her holiday party the following Saturday and a hilarious little moment where Juicy ax’d her tree times, “When’s tha party start?” and she talks to everyone but him, then tosses over her shoulder, “8pm.” But gosh, Teresa already has another party to go to, so they’ll try to come after. Melissa’s a honey badger, she doesn’t give a shit, come before, after, whenever, I’m inviting you, take it for what it is.
NEXT WEEK: The party! The FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLAR party for Jesus’ Birthday, as Mel calls it. You know, that’s What Jesus Would Do, make sure there were some goddamn fancy canapes at his birthday party. Kim G is there with Monica Chacon (you don’t think they’d say her name as often as they did without her coming back?) and Teresa starts shit with everyone. This is going to be a good one. [Wanna bet? CLICK RIGHT HERE TO FIND OUT!]