The Real Housewives of New Jersey
Jay-sus. What to say, what to say. Viewing The Real Housewives of New Jersey is almost a disorienting experience. When it’s over, I find myself staring at the TV, blinking and wondering what just happened to these people (and to me, and to all of us). Because in a way, these women are fairly normal. And then, in several other ways, they’re completely looneytunes. Which is, I think, exactly why we watch.

UPDATE: A link to scans from the book they mention in next week’s previews can be found after the jump. Don’t you love me?

The episode starts with painful Danielle hosting a “spa” party at her house. And by “spa,” Danielle means Botox and collagen, because who needs a massage when you can just have things put directly into your skin. For some reason, she thinks it would be a good idea to invite Dina, who hates her, to this party. Anyone with two functioning brain cells to rub together could tell you why that was not a wise choice: inviting someone who actively despises you to watch you inject poison directly into your face in your “billiards room” is inviting a certain amount of derision. Which Danielle deserves, because she’s a juvenile moron.

When Danielle gets exactly what she was asking for by inviting bored, bemused Dina to the party, she gets all pissy, natch. How does she handle that? Just like she handles everything else: like a 17-year-old girl. Which involves inviting her bestie Jacqueline over to sit on her back porch and drink Mike’s Hard Lemonade out of the bottle and talk trash. Raise your hand if the last time you had a Mike’s Hard Lemonade was before you were legally allowed to drink. Yeah, that’s what I thought. Me too.

And then there’s Dina, who’s causing Danielle all of this existential torment. I love Dina, and I wasn’t sure why, but now I know – of all of them, Dina is the one that I would get along with the best in real life. She would be a great blogger – she’s already sort of the group’s Greek Chorus, just like Bethenny is for Real Housewives of New York. Anyway, Dina also has some existential torment, hers brought on by the stress of watching after her daughter, who she clearly cares for, and also pursuing her design business. I’m not sure how legitimately busy her business is, but I think this is a conflict that tons of moms can understand (unlike Danielle’s conflict, which seems bizarre and shallow). Her fears aren’t resolved in this episode, but we do get an appearance from her fabulous gay/chef/stylist brother, and that’s enough for me.

Dina’s sister Caroline doesn’t get much of a storyline for this episode, except that her daughter is still being a brat about going to beauty school. Apparently there are certain body parts she is not willing to wax, but Caroline encourages her to get licensed in as many things as possible so that she’ll be more valuable as a business owner. Makes sense to me. Her daughter continues to whine without giving any real alternative suggestions of what she might do with her skills and education level. I’m Team Caroline on this one.

At this point in the episode, we follow Teresa and one of her bambinos in their Escalade to the Wilhelmina kiddie modeling agency in New York City to evaluate her pictures and see if she can get signed. Mean Old Modeling Lady says that they look amateur and pageant-y, and I’d like to add to that: putting make-up on a seven-year-old is disgusting. There is absolutely no reason to teach a girl of that age that she’s not beautiful just as she is. Teresa manages to scrape the makeup off the kids face and take some new pictures, some of which are slightly less horrifying, and Mean Old Modeling Lady decides to sign whichever bambino it was that Teresa was pimping.

Oh yeah. Jacqueline’s kid has to go to summer school. Not much to report there. But really, if you flunk high school and you don’t have some kind of legitimate learning disability, you’re just not trying. I remember high school. It wasn’t particularly hard. Then again, we didn’t have Facebook back when I was there (which was only about 5 years ago), and I can see how that would cut into a lot of studying time.

At some point, Danielle, Jacqueline, and Teresa all decided to get together with their respective goombas to have a nice dinner. Except that Danielle’s twenty(HAHA YEAH RIGHT)-six-year-old goomba wasn’t cooperating, so all the girls have a powwow outside and convince Danielle not break up with him right there at the table. I have two separate thoughts about this: first, what grown woman can’t restrain herself for an HOUR to wait until after dinner to break up with a guy, even if he is a shiny-faced age-maker-upper? And second, WHY DID THEY STOP HER? He probably would have punched her in the face, because he’s a classy guy, and that would have been reality TV gold.

Shortly thereafter, Danielle crashes a playdate between Jacqueline and Teresa’s children (and inexplicably brings her own kids, who are easily old enough to entertain themselves at home) and continues to act like, you guessed it, a teenage girl. She knows she wants to break up with her “boyfriend” (who Teresa says doesn’t actually like her and just shows up to have sex, which I completely believe), and she knows that she’s going to, but she has to be dramatic and have a sit-down with her girlfriends about it. Now, I do this with my girlfriends sometimes, but we’re all in our early 20s and have no children or divorces or real life experience. All we have on our schedules is working, going out, and talking about ourselves constantly. This woman, theoretically, should have bigger fish to fry. Jacqueline and Teresa seem to agree with me and therefore do the only thing that would be appropriate in this situation – they wait until Danielle leaves and speculate that her past job as a “professional dancer” may actually mean that she used to be a stripper.

It looks like this episode is just a set up for the real drama that’s going to go down involving Danielle’s checkered past. Anyone interested in the book that they’re talking about during the previews? Here it is on Amazon. The synopsis doesn’t say anything about Danielle, but if the previews are any indication, it’s worth waiting until next week to find out what the deal is.

UPDATE: And for scans from the book and Danielle’s mugshot, click here.

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Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • tasha

    this picture is peta’s nightmare.

  • renee

    This picture’s a PITA.

  • tadpolenyc

    as much as i find danielle immature and annoying, i still hate dina for being a complete biatch.

  • Otter

    They are ALL complete b*tches. I sat there and watched the entire episode (hmmmm — what does that say about me?) and was amazed at how gross these women are. Your headline did capture the best line “I’m not gonna wax anyone’s chuckie.” The govenor of NJ must be ashamed that his state and its citizens are being represented like this.

    Can’t wait for real housewives of D.C. Call Tipper Gore.

  • Sher

    Amanda Mull is a very funny lady! I love her descriptions on the show. Thanks for the link to the book. VERY INTERESTING. This Real Housewives series is the gift that keeps on giving!! Very mindless entertainment.Thanks to Purse Blog for Amanda’s take on the series.

  • amd

    Ok. Some thoughts….Danielle is just gross. She actually uses the word “P**sy” to describe what she has “waiting” for her bald boyfriend and I’m sorry, but I’ll say it….Dina’s kid is FUGLY – so bad it hurts. And she has the attitude of a nasty B**ch” to boot. Where does someone that ugly get off being that nasty, at such a young age?

    Then there’s Teresa…the “I’m not a stage mom but I sure to act like one.” She is indicative of the type of person who “Pays for what they want to hear.” She so desperately wants her kid to be in showbiz that she pays anyone she can to take ridiculous photos of her strange looking kid. No big surprise that the kid lost the role in the “Rock” movie. The kid can’t act to save her life and you DO actually have to have talent to act.

    This show is a train wreck but I keep tuning in to see what will happen next.

    Great review Amanda!

  • laurielou

    OMG. I’m so addicted to this show it makes me sick. Danielle is gross and bizarre. I can’t wait to see what happens to her. She makes herself a victim. Always crying over that ugly loser, and he is so not 26, sorry.

  • LeaD

    does anyone know where I can watch full episodes online? I do not have cable! please help, I need to be up on this drama!! ;)

  • tasha

    i don’t think they post them online but you can check out…

  • the_bagaholic

    I’ve stopped watching the show, as I now much prefer Amanda’s wonderfully witty reviews instead, LOL! Thanks Amanda – and keep it coming!!

  • Marti

    They DO post the episodes on You can watch all of them so far as well as future previews and some shots that have not been aired.

    I don’t think Dina’s daughter is ugly, come on, she is cute and very smart. Now Tersea’s kids,…..I am wondering if they are arabic??? They sure don’t look Italian to me.

    Danelle sitting on the couch and crying…saying…It’s not fair to Steve…I am 20 years older than he is…GIVE ME BREAK. This woman has the mind of a 12 year old….with a vulgar side. It is pathetic to see a grown woman act this way.

    I keep looking for the table over throw episode with Teresa, looks like Bravo has decided not to show it. I guess they figured it was too violent.
    Was suppose to air this week. Nada.

  • JenG

    Loved your commentary on the show. I must agree he can’t be 26, more like 36, 46, or even 56, choose one!

  • beacuz

    Check, they may show past episodes. It is fun to trash the adults but I really do not get off on talking about people’s minor children. I think all of the kids need to be given a break…they are not raising themselves.

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  • Mamadoll

    The term “Waxing a Chuckie” is now in the Urban Dictionary!