I think Bravo was getting ahead of themselves by making the Real Housewives of New Jersey Reunion a two-part special. Sure, there were some interesting moments last, but not nearly enough drama to entertain me for an entire hour with footage that I’ve already seen. And that’s the first time I’ve been able to say that about this show – I’ve never before been disappointed or impatient, and I started looking at the clock last night with about 20 minutes left in the hour. So stretching it out to a two-parter may have been a bit, uh, ambitious on their part. So what DID happen? You’ll have to make the jump to find out.
Well, this reunion took the same format as all the others have. For those following along at home for the first time, that means Bravo’s Andy Cohen gets his moment in the sun and reads viewer questions to the Housewives about a vast array of issues and non-issues, and then they argue amongst themselves and don’t actually answer the questions.
Somehow, Teresa managed to draw the short straw and had to sit next do Danielle for the duration of the reunion. The seating may not have been purposeful, but it probably was – rumor has it that whatever Danielle did that makes Caroline so upset in the second part of the reunion was also bad enough to make Jacqueline hate her, and therefore not be seated with her. Personally, and this is just speculation on my part, but I think Danielle may have slept with Dina’s husband. They’re heavily rumored to be separated, and what in the world could Danielle have done to the Manzos from the time of The Dinner until now that would have made Caroline as emotional as she is in the previews for the second part of the reunion?
And that’s how boring this hour of television was – I’m barely three paragraphs in and already hoping that something really juicy happens in part two.
Anyway, Teresa was questioned a lot more thoroughly than I thought she would be, and mostly about some mundane stuff. For example, about how she thinks moving into a “used” house is gross. Well, anyone that’s ever moved into an old apartment that the landlord didn’t properly clean knows that that statement is the gospel truth at times, and it’s really not that offensive or interesting. Then she made up two new words – cleansy, and its noun form, cleansiness – promised that she isn’t a stage mom, and declared that her offensive husband doesn’t really hate gay people. Actually, I still back up Danielle on this subject – grown men absolutely shouldn’t call things “gay.” Even most of the high schoolers I knew back in the day were smart enough not to. And the fact that no one but Danielle can fathom why that would be offensive gives me the only twinge of sympathy for Danielle that I’ll probably have for the rest of my life.
And then they ran a montage of every boob comment made on the entire series, and it took up a totally unnecessary amount of time. None of us REALLY care what any of these women think about their buhbbies or anyone else’s, we’re all here to see a fight. But they talked about it anyway, which lead into the discussion of Teresa’s and Jacqueline’s pregnancies (the latter has had her baby since the reunion was taped), and I’m genuinely happy that Jacqueline was finally able to take another pregnancy to term. But, again, that’s not what anyone tunes into a Real Housewives Reunion to see.
The issue of Danielle coming between Jacqueline and her family was briefly discussed as a result of the pregnancy topic, but not much was said other than that Dina and Jacqueline hadn’t been perfect friends before she came along. And that’s not really anything – friends argue, particularly when the friend happens to also be your in-law. Discussion of Danielle’s role with the family was scuttled pretty quickly, though, and it seemed clear that they intended to save that subject for later. Which was to the audience’s detriment – cut the buhbbie talk and give us the smackdown we want to see.
And then the uncomfortable Mob Issue was brought up, and Dina got all in a huff over it and how it shouldn’t be discussed, and Caroline got a bit emotional, which was surprising. She made some decent points about how her dead father-in-law didn’t sign up for the show and that his death has nothing to do with their relationships with each other now, but I have a fundamental problem believing that reality TV volunteers can be indignant over violations of their privacy. If they didn’t want their backgrounds, including mob rumors, investigated, then they shouldn’t have signed up to appear as themselves on a television series about their lives. I’m not unsympathetic to her sensitivity about the crime, but it’s not something that was unforeseeable.
And then…what else happened? Oh, Dina addressed the fact that her husband didn’t wish to appear on the show, but made absolutely no mention of the widely rumored separation. Which struck me as odd, since Real Housewives in the not-so-distant past (ahem, Countess LuAnn) have answered some awkward divorce questions during the reunion. Maybe they’re saving it all until the second part, and it’s hard to say whether or not the rumors started to pick up steam before or after the reunion was taped. And if it was afterward, then it makes sense that they weren’t addressed, but we’ll have to wait until next time to know for sure. As it stands now, Dina’s husband just didn’t want to do a show and isn’t around much anyway. But she admitted in the first reality show that she did that he cheated on her while they were dating, and I’m really wondering if Danielle’s indiscretion with the family involved him.
But do we ever get to find out what she did? That remains to be seen. It certainly wasn’t last night, although there were allusions to the terrible thing somehow involved Danielle. If we don’t ever get to find out exactly what it was, I’m going to be SERIOUSLY PISSED, and I have a bad feeling that it’s going to turn into The Thing Which Shall Not Be Named. I don’t know what it is about what I’ve seen so far, but I’ll believe it when I hear it. Either way, next time better be way better than what we got last night, because there wasn’t even much to make jokes about. If not, I’m going on Bravo Strike until Real Housewives of Atlanta comes back.
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