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.