Well, let’s be clear. After last week’s episode-to-end-all-episodes of Real Housewives of New York and the shocking Gossip Girl season finale (recap tomorrow) immediately before last night’s Real Housewives of New Jersey, our bridge-and-tunnel gals didn’t have a chance. They were outdone and outshone in every way, and based on the phoned-in hour of television we got, it seemed like they knew it.
Sage was burned, models walked, Dina’s cats continued to look weird and Danielle was still as deranged as ever. The more things change in New Jersey, the more they…well, scratch that. Nothing actually changed at all, except that Fashion Week happened and it gave everyone a reason to trundle over the bridges and through the tunnels to play in the big city. If they could just skip straight to the part of this season where someone gets knifed, that would be fantastic.
I have the attention span of a preschooler on crack as it is, and the whole monotony of this Danielle vs. The World storyline is beginning to wear on me, even after three episodes. We already mined this subject for a full season, do we really need to rehash the fact that Danielle is crazy and everyone hates her, but both parties have the sort of dogged, unflinching obsession with each other that they can’t just stop it already.
To start off the show, Jacqueline was having a cute moment with her kiddos, but that just couldn’t last. When Danielle arrived home and found a bouquet of congratulatory roses on her doorstep (her youngest kid had to explain that the flowers were not, in fact, for Danielle), she couldn’t help but be offended that Jacqueline had the gall to congratulate her daughter in such a way. I mean, the nerve of that one! To send a nice gift when you’ve had to miss someone’s event! How could she? That’s really just, like, beyond the pale. I mean really. Did Jacqueline think that Danielle was just going to take her roses lying down?
Of course not. Instead, Danielle got on the phone and left a passive-aggressive message thanking Jacqueline for the roses, immediately followed by another call telling Jacqueline that she’s a complete jerk for sending anything at all. In between those two calls, Danielle begged her little daughter for permission to call again like she was a love-sick teenager looking for another reason to call her crush. And really, I suppose that it was a lot like that – Danielle has a crush on the Manzos and Jacqueline in particular, but instead of it being an adorable teenage right of passage, it’s just creepy (and getting creepier by the episode).
So, now that we’ve seen Danielle, we have to see everyone else talking about Danielle. First up were Dina and Teresa, and Teresa was so pregnant in this episode that everyone was sure that a baby was going to fall out of her at any moment and for any reason, but she still managed to sit upright and summon up the sass to call Danielle a “ho bag,” which seems to be a new Housewives catch-phrase of sorts. Dina was a bit more circumspect and decided to consult an “energist” over her problems, who told her to confront Danielle face-to-face. And, no, that didn’t actually happen during this episode. If it had, this episode might have actually been sort of entertaining.
Next up on the docket to talk smack about Danielle were Jacqueline and Caroline, who got together and lamented that Jacqueline doesn’t understand why Danielle keeps inviting her to things if she knows that it creates conflicts with her husband. There’s nothing to understand – Danielle is crazy and obsessive and you can’t try to apply a rational framework to her. It was also (again) mentioned that Danielle never acknoweldged the birth of Jacqueline’s baby, even though Danielle got upset that she didn’t show up to support her daughter. But at this point, why is anyone surprised? Do these people not learn?
Finally, someone did something besides talk about Danielle, but I wouldn’t exactly call it an “improvement,” and by that, I mean it was still pretty cringe-worthy. Teresa took her kids shopping and they more or less destroyed the entire store, and while watching it, I’m pretty sure that my uterus packed up its things and went home, never to be heard from again. They knocked things over and ripped things off racks while Gia did her runway walk and exclaimed that she was getting everything. One of the poor shopgirls was left to pick up the pile of stuff on the floor, and I’m assuming that Teresa thought that her mess was ok because she spent two grand. The entire scene took me straight back to working retail in college, and I’m not gonna lie, it made me a little rage-y.
This is the time in the show where things got really slow for me – at one point, I actually forgot I was even watching it and started online shopping for new sports bras. Teresa proclaimed that she and Joe have sex every day and that Danielle should get a job, Joe threatened to put one of the kids out on the porch, Danielle met with her real estate agent. Yawn. Come to think of it, anyone have a good sports bra they can recommend?
Things stayed boring until it was time for Fashion Week. Jacqueline and Caroline went into the city to see Teresa’s daughter walk, but before everyone got there, Joe called Gia ugly a few times, you know, for fun, and made her cry. So he called her ugly once more, and then he threatened not to ever come watch her again. Parenting 101, you guys. That’s what Joe’s teaching here. He did everything except pull out the oh-so-constructive “I’ll give you something to cry about” line, which really would have completed the scene for me.
In other model news, Christine went to a walking coach at IMG in advance of her runway debut for none other than Rebecca Minkoff, and I was sort of disappointed that it wasn’t J Alexander wearing some insane hat and a pair of high heels with no pants. Christine had a hard time getting all of the elements of her walk down, so Danielle took it upon herself to get up and help like she actually has any idea of what was going on. Christine, being a teenager, decided that she was annoyed and, therefore, done with all of it. She was a bit rude to the walking coach, but Danielle is her mother and that’s the only time we’ve seen her act unreasonably, so I think she deserves a pass for the moment.
It was finally runway time, and Gia walked and looked utterly adorable. Jacqueline cried and, magically, Teresa managed not to squirt out a baby right there in Bryant Park. All went well at that fashion show, but the same was not the case over at Rebecca Minkoff. Christine walked and did fine, even if she looked a bit scared, but she nearly threw up and/or passed out while standing on the runway after the show for editors to inspect the clothes more closely. She was escorted back stage after a few dry heaves that made me deeply nervous that I was about to see puke, and seemed to perk up a bit after she got to sit down and have some water.
I suppose that the Fashion Week near-puke was supposed to be the dramatic climax of this episode, but it fell flat, particularly when we were reminded that Danielle’s daughter was only a sophomore in high school. In that context, it made the fact that she was being mined for reality show infamy by her mother kind of nauseating, but luckily, I was able to hold back my dry heaves as well.