Real Housewives of New Jersey 3.19 – Portrait of an Italian Family

"I'm not Italian? No, no, Albie, she's a big girl, let her answer. How am I not Italian? Not Italian how? Like, what, I'm Scandinavian? You lookin' at me and thinkin' of allen wrenches and birch wood? NOT ITALIAN HOW, TERESA, ya freakin' mutt, HOW AM I NOT ITALIAN?"

It’s the season finale! We’re reminded that Italians are a passionate breed, that everyone kissed and made up by the end of the last episode, and all was well. The problems of the world had been solved, French fries had no fat, and science had shown that watching reality tv could increase your life expectancy by five years. IT WAS CAMELOT.

So this should be an hour of joyful laughing and loving, right? Riiiiiight? 

Mel has a stylist at her house, helping her pick out clothes for becoming a rock star. We have no idea if there are any performances coming up, she just wants some outfits sorted just in case. Teresa calls up wanting to make sure that Melissa’s daughter doesn’t wear the same color as her daughters for the Gorga Family picture they’re planning on taking. Mel rolls with it, says she’ll take care of it, and her stylist shrinks into the hanging clothes, looking terrified.

“Oh my god, don’t tell her I’m your stylist!”

What? Oh, Teresa doesn’t like it when Melissa uses anyone she’s used in the past. But we get the strong impression that said stylist doesn’t care much for Ms. Judy-Chay And Teresa even told the stylist once to not work for Melissa. Man, the more I hear people talk about Teresa, the more I just don’t like her.

Speaking of Teresa, at her house the girls are rolling off tables onto the floor (unattended) while Juicy, who looks completely plastered, says slowly, “No…no,” after they’ve already hit the ground. She tells him about the picture they’re going to take with the Gorgas and how happy she is that they’re all getting along. And he’s going to behave himself, right? Riiiiiight?

“Eh,” he shrugs. For now.

Jacqueline throws away a bottle of wine that Chris has been looking for, and please let it be something cheap and gross, because that is offensive to me, wine throwing away-ing. It is against my religion. Chris and Caroline’s brother Jamie comes over to have a ladychat with Ashley. He’s the cool, wild-child gay uncle that maybe she’ll listen to.

She shows him her inner forearm where she got a tattoo of, wait for it, a swallow. He very wisely tells her to not show that in bars to dudes. I just… why not get “I’m desperate for a daddy, I’ll do anything it takes to get your attention!” tattooed on your arm, Ashley? You can even get it in crazy fonts so you feel all classy and shit. Jamie says, “Maybe call it a sparrow.” I think Grackle, but hey, I just want to hear her mangle that word when she’s had her eighth appletini and tries to start a fight with some college girls.

She shows the other tattoo she got on her foot and he just shakes his head. “What are we going to with you? And do you even have a job out in California, or is your Big Plan to just haul your shit across country and expect things to work out? How is just changing locations going to make things different”

She bursts into tears and runs to the bathroom. Evidently that was her big plan. Oooooh.

Jamie says to Chris, “She’s being very lazy and crying about it!” Can I just petition Bravo TV right now to have a show with Greg Bennett, Jamie Laurita, and maybe Milania and have it be “Power Bitch Wives of New Jersey?” Because I’m pretty sure everyone would watch that.

Chris sighs, and says that deep, deep, deep down Ashley is a good person, and he knows that if he just lets her know he believes in her, it’ll eventually come out. (What a push over.)

Caroline is at the radio station for another installment of “Let Me Explain Why My Children Are Successes (And You Can, Too!)” She loves how callers all relate to one another, and that goes for her, as well. We’re all a big human family, and get ovah he-yah, ya mutt! Kisses all around. Lauren and Christuhphuh show up, hang out with her as she wraps up the show, and like a true mom, she’s able to continue with her phone call while the kids cut up in the corner.

I seriously love the Laurita/Manzo clan, how can you not?

In other awesome mom-land, Kathy’s daughter Victoria is getting ready for her big formal (I’m guessing it’s Prom) with a makeup artist doing her up all fancy. I swear, if you’re looking for work, learn how to do a blow out and a smoky eye and move to Jersey, because no one does their own hair and face out there. Victoria’s best friend’s date’s cousin is taking her, but they’re just going as friends.

(Mm hmm.)

While Kathy helps her with her hair (I stand corrected! Except she got the blow out at a salon, so no, I don’t) Kathy tells the camera how she can’t help but see the little baby she was handed right after Victoria’s birth and then she promptly bursts into tears. Has there ever been a more tender mom? Kathy Wakile, you are good people. I kinda want to sit in your lap and have you smooth my hair and tell me I’m a good girl. And then feed me, because we all know you can throw down in the kitchen.

Meanwhile, the best father in reality TV (next to Beverly Hills’ Mauricio) invites his daughter’s date into the kitchen where Rich has thoughtfully set out a bowl of nuts and a nut cracker. It’s more subtle than my step father’s shotgun that he cleaned on my first date, and I like it. When my daughter is old enough, I’m making my husband take a page out of Rich Wakile’s book.

The date comes in, sweat on his brow as Rich leans in and asks why the hell he’s keeping Rich’s daughter out until 5 am. (Uh, because you and your wife are letting him?) Rich then asks him if he’s ever had cracked or broken nuts, demonstrating with a medieval torture device on some macadamia shells. Gulp.

Victoria comes down, she’s a Wakile vision, and Kathy tries to not burst into tears again. There’s a huge tent set up outside where all the kids going to the dance in this group line up for pictures before heading out. Are they coming back here? Is the tent for the parents to party once the kids are gone? Who knows. Kathy starts in on how she’s just overcome with love for her family and she’s just the sweetest mom around.

Since the theme for tonight is amazing families, it must be time for the Gorga family picture. Nonna and Papi come, with Papi looking like he could chew nails. Fun guy, Papa Gorga. Teresa’s dad evidently was at the eye doctor and had eye drops administered, so he can’t see anything. Perfect day for getting your picture, huh? Gia leads him to a sofa and hangs on him, in hopes of cheering him up.

Bro Joe and Melissa show up with their kids in their Sunday best, and the cousins all hug and kiss each other. It’s really sweet how much the kids enjoy one another. Bro Joe tells his dad that he wants a picture of all the guys together, as a reminder of their virulence. I’m surprised Teresa didn’t pop her head in the room and say “THEN ONE OF ALL THE GIRLS, BUT ONLY ME, REALLY.” It must have taken a lot of restraint.

Melissa and Teresa are getting along splendidly, and it’s getting close to the half-way mark on the show. Is my prediction of love and joy and joyness going to come true? They say they love each other, Audriana demands that Melissa holds her, and it’s a picture perfect moment of sisterly affection.

The most obnoxious family photographer in the world makes “wocka wocka!” noises and wiggles feather dusters and talks in a horrible cartoony voice to get all of the kids to look at her at the same time. Teresa says in a voice over how her whole family together makes her feel complete. All of the guys pile on the ornate gold and brown velvet sofa (good god, that’s a lot of kitsch in one place) for a picture and all I can see are massive silver crucifixes winking back at me.

Once all of the pictures have been taken, it’s a giant food-apalooza and I notice that we have never seen Ms. Cookbook cook. Not once. That’s a lot of food, and Tre clearly spent her day dressing her girls in feathered zebra puke.

Teresa insists that she’ll do anything it takes to make this family stay happy like they are right now. (And who out there knows about her “accidentally on purpose” saying that Melissa was a stripper, even though she wasn’t? Hmm.)

Bro Joe waxes philosophic about how his family being at peace and all together in one place makes him so happy. That’s all he wants, is a happy family. Then Melissa walks by and he starts mumbling about all the poison built up and he needs to tap that, scuzi.

Caroline and her kids (including Greg) have brunch on a gorgeous morning. Lauren got a copy of Tre’s book and mentions how in the introduction Teresa has a bit of a slam-fest on everyone.

Caroline looks up from her eggs with a “Huh?” face.

Lauren grabs a copy of the book from inside and Christuhphuh remarks at how “it’s always a book with these girls.” Oh, how I wish they had flashed back on Cop Without A Badge and Teresa’s table flipping, “Prostitution HO-AH!” Also, “Cop Without A Badge” sounds like the best soft-core porn ever, am I right? (Riiiight?)

Lauren gets comfortable and starts reading the introduction out loud. Teresa slams Caroline for “deep frying her meatballs,” which is inaccurate, because Caroline pan-fries them in a little olive oil. I’m from the south. If it ain’t swimming in several inches of peanut oil (saw awl) it ain’t deep fried. Somewhere Paula Deen just got a twitch in her eye and doesn’t know why.

It’s Cookbook Slam Reveal Time as we cut to Kathy, who’s cooking something – ahem, and mentions to Rich that Teresa slammed them, too. Damn, Tre. Teresa said something about how she wishes her cousin wouldn’t mock her all the time. Could be them, could be someone else, but Kathy’s not bothered. Kathy says in a voice over, “Eh, she put that in there to sell more copies. But if your recipes are good enough, you don’t need that.”

In your face Teresa Judy-Chay! For that dig at my beloved Kathy, I’m going to continue to call you Jew-Dice, just to piss you off. Kathy shrugs it off, doesn’t care, her kids are great, she loves her husband, why be upset? This is why Kathy is the best.

Melissa has her sisters over and they talk about the cookbook, because of course, Teresa got in a little dig at her, too. And just when things were going so well… Teresa has written that Melissa “copies after everything I do, from shoes to the chairs on my front porch.”

Melissa doesn’t have chairs on her front porch!? So maybe it’s not about her? Mel’s just done with the drama. Her husband is happy, she’s not going to mess that up for anything. Notice how this is a theme with everyone that’s in Teresa’s family, whatever, they’re going to look past it. I have to say, in the beginning I wasn’t sure about Jesus Spice, but I like the lady.

Teresa drags in the final portrait, tricked out in gold gilt (of course.) She’s on the phone with her book publicist who informs her that she is not on the New York Times Bestseller List this week. (I bet the Pioneer Woman was!) In the background Milania is beating up the baby, who has been left unattended.

Jacqueline comes over to look at the picture and tells Tre how beautiful it is. Teresa goes off in search of a hammer while Jacqueline talks to Gia. Gia says she hopes it stays nice with the family, but her Uncle Joe “works too much because his wife controls him.”

Oh. My. God. This is why you don’t bitch about family where your kids can hear. Also, how sad.

Teresa comes back in and apologizes to Jacqueline for not being a good friend to her while all of the drama with Ashley was going on, especially seeing as Jacqueline has always been so supportive. Noted. Jacqueline fills her in on the latest with Ashley and Teresa tries to shut this all down, as it has nothing to do with her, by saying “Chris just needs to be a strict dad and make it work.” Uh huh, he needs to be like Juicy and shout, “Shut up!” until everyone does?

Jacqueline says that the only person that can fix this is Ashley. And she’s 100% right.

Back at Caroline’s, Lauren continues, because there is more than the one dig at her, there are a few more. (Wow, why?) The book reads, “Caroline is as Italian as the Olive Garden.” Oh, snap, those are fighting words! She should have just written, “Caroline: let’s fight.”

Caroline says that Jacqueline is loyal to a fault, but she is loyal to a degree. Tre ain’t family, even though the Manzos treated her like she was. You don’t treat family or loved ones like this. Caroline’s face is getting more and more tense as Lauren keeps on. “I’m a huge fan of Caroline Manzo, even if she’s only 1/16th Italian, or whatever.”

Holy foot in mouth disease! Lauren asks how Teresa even came up with that number, and my all-time favorite housewife ever, Greg Bennett, says “Her accountant.” Ahahaha. Glorious dig at her, Greg, glorious.

There was one more slam in the book, about how a good Italian mother wouldn’t let her son try and have strippers at a car wash to make money, in reference to Christuhphuh’s business idea back in Season One. The guy was 18, give me a break. Also, it never happened. But the important thing here is that Teresa went after a Manzo Child, and Ms. Caroline is not going to put up with that. She’s gotten in people’s faces for less than that. This is gonna get ugly in the reunion special. (Oh, how I have high hopes that Kim G and her lizard tail are there!)

Jacqueline points out to Teresa that it wasn’t very nice to say those things in her book. Teresa immediately pulls out the “It was a joke!” defense, which doesn’t work because no one is taking it as a joke, and no, no you freaking didn’t.

Those weren’t jokes, this is a joke: How does Juicy Joe get into an honest business? Through the skylight. (OH!  BOOM!)

Also, Teresa claims it’s okay that she said nasty things because look at the nice picture of Caroline she put in there! And she called up Caroline to run by the things she was going to say, she called twice, and not once did Caroline call her back. Teresa has four kids and she can call people back (because she leaves her children unattended) and Caroline can’t?

Jacqueline reminds her that she’s seen Caroline since then, and never brought it up. Hmm. Teresa wants to know what Chris (Caroline’s baby brother and Jacqueline’s husband) thinks about all of this.

“Well, he doesn’t like being called 1/16th Italian!”

Teresa says that’s ridiculous, like she didn’t mean Chris was less Italian, just Caroline. But…they’re siblings? So they’d have the same heritage? Clearly Teresa is the Jew-dice’s accountant, because she has no concept of numbers. No wonder they have so much debt. Tre tells her to stop being so sensitive and now Tre is getting mad about it. Oh, screw you, Princess.

She is a piece of work, guys, just a piece of work.

We have the final credits pop up next to each of the wives, starting with Jacqueline looking pissed at Teresa. “Ashley is still at home, and she legally changed her name to WAHshley. Jacqueline sleeps in her wine cellar now.”

Teresa (telling Jacqueline that she was trying to be funny, because she’s just like Lucille Ball, you guys! Except for how you’re not, Tre. Not at all.) “Her second book spent one week on the NYT Bestseller list, when everyone realized that her recipes were essentially Olive Garden recipes, but with less ingredientses. Joe realized that the jig was up and he couldn’t file for bankruptcy because he’s a lying dirt bag. Tre has to support the family.”

Kathy (who is happy with her family around her) “Her family continues to be flawless, her food is magnificent, she and her husband, who actually has money and knows how to hang on to it, are going to start a dessert company soon. Also, Kathy makes it a point to never say the word ‘unattended’ around Teresa ever. Even thought it’s almost always applicable.”

Melissa (who is slapping Joe’s hand away from her ass) “Her song On Display shocked everyone by making it to 16 on the iTunes dance charts. Joe still releases his poison in her on a regular schedule. And when their floor-baby Joey had his first birthday, Teresa didn’t come. Ahem.”

And the best for last:

Caroline (who is channeling Joe Pesci and talking to her kids about how supportive she’s been over the years, and this is the kind of thanks she gets? This is how that stanud bimbo treats her and her children? The ones that God blessed her with? Seems that Teresa was only friends with the Manzos when it served their purpose, but Caroline is done, no more. A real Italian family is one that loves each other and is loyal to those they welcome into their home. It’s not about speaking Italian and making your own wine.)

“Caroline is hoping to take her show to the Big Apple, marry off her sons to sweet girls that can cook, that Lauren and Vito make her some beautiful grandbabies, and hopes that Teresa learns the recipe for friendship.” Oooh, burn!


We’ll do the reunion special, and then it’s time to put these ladies to bed. It’s been a loooong season.