And here we are again, Week 11 of an interminable march toward our own demise. Real Housewives of New Jersey shows no signs of stopping at any point in the foreseeable future, and I’m afeared that might mean another 14-episode run like we saw from the New York housewives.
The only problem with that, of course, is that the New York housewives actually DID THINGS. They went on trips, had nervous breakdowns, discussed the origins of jelly beans and gave us Sonja Morgan. Our Jersey broads, on the other hand…they don’t do anything. There are only four of them now, and they just whine at each other ceaselessly. I’m running out of ways to say that Danielle is crazy, Jacqueline is too nice, Ashley is a moron and Kim G. is two-faced.
Let’s start with something a little innocent, ok? Because if we don’t, my head might explode. Joe took the girls to karate. It was actually sort of cute to see him spending time with them like that, until Teresa so helpfully pointed out that she was proud her girls knew how to fight. In light of last week’s episode, that’s possibly not as rah-rah feminist as it might normally sound (not that Teresa has had a feminist thought it her life, because she hasn’t, clearly). Still, a traditionally macho dad spending time doing a traditionally male activity with his three little daughters was nice to see.
Speaking of fighting, in a slightly less adorable gym in another part of town, Danielle (daughters in tow, but in a less warm-and-fuzzy way) strapped on some boxing gloves and learned how to beat Teresa up. You know, for next time. Naturally, Danny The Ex-Con was there as well, egging her on a little bit but mostly looking at her butt in workout tights. The very cute instructor also taught Daniellie how to defend herself against the specific sort of weavetastic onslaught that she experienced last week, just in case that exact thing should happen again. Normally that would be kind of silly, but on this show…well, you never know. At the end of her lesson, Danielle felt that she had learned enough to defend herself for the rest of her life, which probably bodes well for Jacqueline and Teresa.
Jacqueline, for her part, chose to prepare herself for battle in a way that’s generally more traditional for the housewives. She went to see Kim G., for reasons that weren’t entirely clear, and Kim mostly took the opportunity to lecture her about Teresa’s behavior. She also mentioned Ashley, and Jacqueline agreed that Ashley should be prosecuted if Danielle sees fit to press charges. Because court records don’t necessarily play along with Real Housewives narrative arcs, we know that Danielle did press charges and Ashley plead out.
Finally, we got a bit of a break: DOGGIES. Caroline’s! But only for a second. After that, it was back to the weekly non sequitur discussion of Caroline’s family life, which has nothing to do with anything that’s happening in the rest of the show. Albie’s still having a tough time dealing with his forced departure from law school, and he hasn’t received the letter that he needs in order to apply to a new school. Later in the episode, he finally got it. Good for him! Maybe now he can stop being so mopey and go back to being cute Albie with the perfect smile.
Anyway, back to the unpleasantries. Teresa went in to Posche (god, I hate writing that) to apologize to Kim D. about the scene at the fashion show, and Kim D. thought that the entire scene was absolutely fine and that Teresa was totally respectful. She went on to call Danielle pathetic for bringing up Teresa’s financial problems and generally talk a little smack until the other Kim showed up in the stupidest outfit in the history of ever. (Really, it contained a purple beret with a bow and a three-quarter-length navy fur vest. I can’t make that up. I didn’t know such things existed.) She seemed to be on Danielle’s side for a minute, but then she confessed that she only reason she’s friends with Danielle is because she pities her. Also because she’s a shameless, desperate famewhore. She didn’t actually say that part, but at this point, I don’t think she has to. It was implied by the outfit.
Next in the aftermath, we visited Ashley. She was obsessing over the weave-pulling incident with her boyfriend, and he seemed entirely bored and sick of hearing about Danielle. When he told Ashley as much, she just sighed (SHE’S SO PUT-UPON, Y’ALL) and said “whatever,” much like she did to her parents last week. Ashley needs…something. Maybe a thump between the eyes, as a commenter suggested last week. Or maybe just to work for a couple of years at a completely thankless service industry job. Same effect.
We were given a brief interlude from all of this tiresome slop to explore Joe and Teresa’s new business ventures, which include a pizzeria, an apartment building and a laundromat. Teresa took the opportunity to remind us all how beneath her it is to live in an apartment, just in case we had forgotten. Later, Joe and Teresa used the restaurant’s kitchen to make a pizza with the kids, so I guess they redeemed themselves a bit. Teresa’s kids may be poorly behaved during a lot of scenes, but at least it’s clear that both parents make it a point to spend time with them doing kid stuff.
Elsewhere, Danielle got together with Danny The Ex-Con and another of his craggy, angry-looking friends to explain exactly how terrible that she feels for Ashley and how much she used to help Ashley with things like fake-tanning. If Jersey Shore has taught us anything, it’s that fake tanning is very important for the people in this part of the country, so that’s sort of like Danielle saying that she gave Ashley a kidney. If you gave someone a kidney and then she yanked out your weave in public, you’d be upset too. But still, Danielle feels badly for her.
To show exactly how badly she felt for Ashley, Danielle then met with a couple of lawyers and a few bored housewives looking for their reality TV moment of fame to gather a case and pursue charges. Danielle claims that she was threatened with bodily harm and death, but not even the three witnesses can lie for long enough to pretend that any of that is true. Leading the charge, of course, was Kim G.
Naturally, right after that, Kim headed over to Jacqueline’s house to try to play the other side of the fence. Kim claims that she’d also go to court with Jacqueline if she asked her to, but then she let it slip that, uh, Danielle doesn’t know that they’re friends. That seems like a problem. Kim seems unclear about how this whole television thing works, since clearly Danielle will see her calling her pitiful and claiming to only support her when she begs.
Plenty of people on various seasons of Real Housewives play both sides of any number of fences, but Kim G. apparently thinks it’s an Olympic sport and, by god, she’s going for the gold. Based on everything that we’ve seen, I predict a runaway victory on her part. I wonder if we’ll get to see her eventual falling out with Danielle on camera? If we do, that might be the only thing that redeems any part of this season.