Last night marked week 14 in the interminable death march that is the second season of Real Housewives of New Jersey, and my body is starting to show signs of fatigue. My eyes are glassy; my skin, jaundiced. I can’t do anything with my hair, not even with a GHD flat iron. During commercial breaks, I vacillate wildly between crying and hysterical laughter. I think I’m developing a sinus infection. Some of the residual Jersey dust got in my nose.

The housewives, for their part, have decided to make this a two-front war and invaded Italy last night. I’m not sure how they plan to win, but I think it probably involves shaming the Italians into submission for having, at some point in the past, produced people that eventually produced all of them. Between this show and Jersey Shore, I feel kind of bad for Italians right now. And for myself. For having to watch this. Someone cue up the sad violins.

As has become traditional, the show started at Teresa’s conference center/house, but unfortunately, it was not to do cute family stuff. This time it was to mention the car accident (DUI? DUI.) that Joe had recently been in. Joe claimed that yawning caused him to hit a bunch of trees and flip his car, but whatever happened, at least no one was hurt, considering the rather gruesome accident photos. Joe also insists that alcohol became an issue in the arrest because he drank some scotch after the accident. Because he had wrecked in front of a friend’s house, and it seemed like a good time for cocktails. Right. I don’t think that’s true, but, well, if it is…he’s the dumbest person on the face of the planet. No contest. Give him the crown. Or the dunce cap. Whatever. Give him some kind of hat for dumb people.

Simultaneously Danielle and Danny The Ex-Con (Who has an iPhone. I didn’t see that coming.) had gotten together to discuss the accident and feign concern over Joe’s health. Once Danielle was done with that little charade, she called Joe disgusting and made fun of his Maserati. Love and light! And, oh yeah, she’d like to remind us all that she was richer than god back when she was married. In case we doubted or forgot. For better or for worse, this was the last of Danielle for the evening (and it was kind of for worse – this episode was tragically boring.)

Later when just Teresa, Caroline and Jacqueline met up to talk about the DUI, things got a little more real – Teresa admitted to some stress and tension in the family after the accident, and they all decided that a lavish trip to Italy was the right thing to do to celebrate Joe’s DUI and their financial problems. Caroline and Jacqueline had to work a little to convince their husbands to go, and Albert temporarily refused to participate if children were present. Apparently no one warned Teresa that leaving the kids at home was part of the rules, because at first she told her kids that they weren’t going, but when they all dissolved into crying fits she told them the truth. Apparently the joke’s on Albert.

Not only were the kids (all 42 of them) going to Italy, but so were the grandparents. Twenty people in total made the jaunt, and the thought of travelling to a different continent with that many family members made me actively nervous for the entire episode. Before the party bus to the airport even left, enormous vases were shattering and kids were crawling into furniture and I wanted to crawl under my bed and hide. I felt bad for the other people on that plane.

Somehow, though, the entire crew made it to Europe without causing an incident requiring FAA intervention, and for a little while at least, they all managed to be less disrespectful and less stereotypically American than Vicki Gunvalson when she went to Italy for Real Housewives of Orange County. Even taking into account that Jacqueline was mad because the gondoliers didn’t sing like the ones at the Venetian Hotel. Even then. Still better than Vicki.

As soon as they got off the boats, though, Teresa’s internal shopping GPS kicked in and she sprinted toward the Chanel boutique. Nevermind that Chanel is a French company with a huge flagship in Manhattan – she had to go to the one in ITALY. Luckily for Joe’s wallet, Chanel was closed for lunch and Teresa went into the nearest open boutique to buy something. ANYTHING. Green ring. Whatever. When she gets home, she’ll tell people she bought it next to Chanel in Italy.

After a day in Venice, the entire group boarded a cruise ship to…I don’t know. I don’t remember where they were going. Someplace else in Italy. Does it really matter? The cruise ship made Caroline nervous enough to talk about herself in the third person, and I have to agree. The idea of getting on a cruise ship makes me feel a little like a hamster too, so much so that I’ve never been on one despite the urgings of several friends. A cruise ship with a bunch of poorly behaved small children? Even less fun.

The first order of business on the cruise ship, of course, was making sure that Teresa and Joe could pawn off their four kids on someone so that they could have sex. Naturally they chose Caroline and Albert, who didn’t want to bring kids in the first place. How thoughtful. Apparently they had the kids for quite a while, because not only did they feed the kids breakfast, but Caroline and Albert also wandered around the ship trying to find kid-appropriate activities for what seemed like more time than was necessary. Albert was kind of cute with the kids, but Caroline was clearly not amused. I wouldn’t have been either, she already raised hers.

The next time we saw Teresa, she was boozing and eating vaguely penis-shaped chocolate with Jacqueline, and then riding the elevator up and down while Jacqueline wiggled her butt for everyone on the cruise ship to see. Drunk adults always kind of worry me. This is why. Naturally, the next morning, Jacqueline’s head was ready to explode. A hangover is bad enough, but a hangover when you have small children has to be a special kind of punishment.

Speaking of special punishments: large, sit-down dinners with lots of small children! Luckily, instead of causing havoc at Milania’s birthday dinner, they just all fell asleep. Before the cake even got there! Teresa wasn’t concerned that the kids were so tired or relieved that they weren’t yelling and screaming and standing on chairs, though, she was merely upset that she wouldn’t get to see Milania blow out her candles. Teresa’s kids have been repeatedly shown being disruptive and sometimes destructive in public, but it’s when they’re exhausted and fall asleep that she’s upset. Just, you know, pointing that you.

After all the kids were awoken, we were reminded that Jacqueline hadn’t managed to show up to dinner because she was still hung over from the night before. And then everyone at dinner said nice things about her. Well.

At that point, even the camera crew got bored and the show just ended. There wasn’t really any warning, or any resolution that normally happens at the end of a narrative arc. That’s because there wasn’t an arc – it was more of a narrative flatline the buzzed on for the entire episode and then suddenly stopped when the nurse had the good sense to unplug the machine. It looks as though we’ll be strung along for two more weeks before we’re put out of our collective misery for good, but at least the finale has been scheduled and we’re all ready to go into the light.

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Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • suz

    14 episodes with 2 more to go! No wonder it has seemed so interminable. It is! FF’d through it in less than 4 minutes and that was more than enough. Amanda, you’re a trooper to honor your recap commitment. I wouldn’t want to have a glazed donut with these people….never mind being on a cruise ship. Hell on the high seas!

    But my most pressing concern is….does anyone else think there may be some long term psychological trauma on those girls caused by always wearing outrageous large flowers or bows on their foreheads?

  • lisa

    did anyone catch theresa saying she packed an entire duffel bag full of hair accessories for the kids? and was anyone else cracking up at how pissed theresa clealry was when the vase broke but she couldnt say anything cause it was jaqueline’s mom??

  • Matthew

    I. Just. Can’t. Do. It. Anymore.

    By the way, Caroline should have told Teresa no when she asked them to watch her kids. If you don’t want to do it, say no!

    Other than that, I just don’t care.

  • Misty

    At least Danielle’s appearance was limited to the first few minutes of the show, but she was still clearly on Chris’ mind.

  • PhotoGirl

    “. . .they all decided that a lavish trip to Italy was the right thing to do to celebrate Joe’s DUI and their financial problems.”

    OMG! You are too much, Amanda! That’s hysterical. I’m so sorry you have to watch this crap, but I love reading your recaps. When does this spectacle end, anyway? We need a Jezebel-style comic confrontation between Judge Judy and Theresa.

    Bravo’s programming is pretty dreadful of late. Where’s that woman who does the hair salon makeovers? Or Jackie Warner? Or have we all been permanently consigned to housewife hell?

    • The season itself ends not next week, but the week after (with a Caroline-Danielle showdown, apparently). I don’t know how long the reunion will go on afterward, but I won’t be recapping it, so I’ve decided to believe that it’s just not happening at all.

      I would absolutely die to see one of Tracie’s Judge Judy confrontations with a Real Housewife, I miss those so much. I also miss Pot Psychology. I know she’s not liked by some people, but Tracie is my favorite Jezebel editor. If I had the time, I’d do one myself, but I can only imagine how many hours it takes to get all the perfect screenshots together.

      As far as Bravo’s other programming goes, I think some of the non-Housewives stuff is started to come back, thankfully. Jackie Warner has a new show that I’ve seen a few commercials for (Jeanna from the OC Housewives is on it!) and I think Tabatha’s Salon Takeovers has been renewed for another season. Flipping Out starts up again tonight before the new ep of Rachel Zoe Project. There’s a lot of potential!

      • JenG

        I like Flipping Out! I love to see the homes that Jeff remodels. And to see him flip out over onion being on his salad is so funny!

  • adrienne

    I wonder how much money those fur coats & hats the kids had on while riding the gondola cost. Were those the same chinchilla-type coats that caused Teresa to get feisty with Danielle at the fashion show?

    • Jo Marie


  • Amy

    I love Flipping out, ive been watching the mini marathon all day lol.

  • D

    Do you think Bravo pays for these trips or what?

    It was so like Teresa to have everyone running around (senior citizens especially) on her self centered excursions. “Let’s go to Chanel, everyone else can watch my kids…..let’s go to the top of the cruise ship, where’s Gabriella?”

    But the all time most self centered thing I’ve seen her do thus far, is put herself before Milania’s birthday party, what a disgusting pig. How could she make her poor kid wait to attend a dinner that was clearly way past the kid’s regular meal time and probably bed time for that matter. Even CJ was sacked out on the bed, incapable of making it to the dinner. Would it have killed her to have a cake for girl and her sisters at lunch time?

    Really, gross…all of them. This show has really sailed off to oblivion because there really is no story line to any of them any longer and I’m certain that neither of the Kims can bring any more life to it.

    Thank goodness Flipping Out is back tonight!

  • mochababe73

    The reunion show was filmed last week. Teresa stated that it the series goes on until the end of August.
    As much as I love the Jersey girls, this episode was pretty boring. I was a little ticked off at Caroline for enabling Teresa. I wouldn’t have babysat her children. She bitched and complained about Albert not taking off from work to spend time with her. The minute he does, she decides to babysit. How romantic.
    I am soooooo glad that we only saw about 2 minutes of Danielle and ex-con, 1970s John Travolta look-alike Danny. I wonder how warm that iPhone is?
    That trip was insane. There is no way that I would have ever gone on a massive trip overseas like that. A cruise would have been for my husband and me unless it was a Disney cruise. My kids would have been with someone else. They should have taken a trip to Florida.
    Was I the only one that noticed Joe’s reluctance to go? All types of red flags have gone up for the last few weeks that they had money problems. We only see about 5% of what happens in their lives. Now, if I picked up on it why didn’t she? Is my favorite housewife that oblivious?
    The best part is that Jacqueline made Ashley stay home! Woo Hoo! I don’t care what Jacqueline says. She finally grew a pair of tatas this season.

    • MiMi

      “Grew a pair of tatas!” That REALLY made me laugh! Thanks!

  • adrienne

    PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SPARE US the Extravaganzas that these people vomit on a daily basis! I can’t even afford SCHOOL SUPPLIES for my 2 boys in the next two weeks. I am SO Ready to EXPLODE in RAGE about what all of these celeb & celeb types can throw away in two minutes that it takes the majority to earn in ONE YEAR! DISGUSTED AGAIN! Where is my bullet?

  • Jennifer

    Ok Amanda, I’m finally commenting after WEEKS of faithfully reading your recaps (I’ve also gone back and read every RH posts written before I found your blog). You CRACK me up!!! And I have to say the more boring the show the funnier you become. I guffawed loudly (several times) reading this and my boyfriend was like, “What was THAT laugh that came out of your mouth??” I only WISH you’d write about The Bachelor/ ette too!!! That would be fabulous!!! Maybe next season?????

    • Awww thanks so much for finally commenting! Bloggers love comments. They’re like crack to us. So please continue to comment!

      I have to stick for tangentially fashion-related shows on this blog (although the whole Housewives thing has gotten so beyond ridiculous that it probably doesn’t fit that description any longer), but if we ever decide to go in a non-fashion direction, the Bacherlor/ette will definitely be on my list. I imagine there’s a lot of material there, although I confess that I’ve only seen one episode, and that was probably about six years ago (in my freshman dorm room in college, haha). Although Megs watches it and keeps me up-to-date. It seems like a freakin’ circus, which is right up my alley.

  • Jo Marie

    Are we so saturated with Daniels distorted vision that we don’t viscerally react to her hateful attitudes anymore? Did no one else hear Joe say “when we hit”? Who else was in the car? Drinking in plain view of witnesses after a stop or accident is an obvious ploy to nullify an alcohol test. These people are so amoral it’s frightening. AND how could Teresa foist her brats on a whole dining room of paying passengers and then continually irritate them into loud obnoxiousness. OK, within the deliberate vulgarity of the ship and it’s purpose, perhaps the crassness of this particular group goes unremarked by the crew etc., but the Manzos with the exception of Jac, know better. I hope we see a little deliberate distancing in the wind down of the season. Or am I getting too emotionally involved?