You guys, I’m kind of irritated that last night’s episode of Real Housewives of New Jersey even happened. First of all, the Manzos are too functional and nice and happy to be degrading themselves on reality TV. Second, Teresa and Melissa are making me start to go cross-eyed, and I’m no longer certain that I can tell one from the other.

Ashley also made an appearance with more of her super-annoying whining about her stepdad and how he’s trying to buy her love, even though she has yet to explain why she didn’t decline the new car he bought her if she’s so opposed to him buying her things. It was exasperation and boredom all around last night, and that’s no way to celebrate the tiny baby Jesus’s birthday.

We started the episode just where we had left off last week – Melissa had just finished pushing some lawyer out the front door of her Christmas party at Teresa’s request. She had been given the heave-ho over the vociferous objections of Kim G, who had brought her to the party in the first place, despite being well aware that Teresa would be there filming for Real Housewives at the party and Monica was in a lawsuit with Teresa and therefore shouldn’t be in contact with her socially.

Since Melissa hadn’t read her mind and kicked Kim G out as well, Teresa and Juicy decided to leave, which involved a great deal of standing around in the front yard, for some reason. Maybe waiting for a valet? Do people outside of Los Angeles have private valets at their parties? Anyway, it was good that Teresa stuck around to see the show, because back inside, Kim G was huddled with Kathy and an unidentified third person, talking smack about Teresa loudly enough that Caroline could hear the entire thing in the neighboring group of people.

Naturally, Caroline confronted Kim G and told her that she knew she had come to cause problems and that she was a lowlife, because those are inalienable facts that we all know about Kim G. They huffed and puffed at each other for about thirty seconds about respect levels and tones of voice before both of Caroline’s sons and her husband came to throw Kim out of the house, which was in stark contrast to Juicy Joe, who likely would have grabbed some popcorn and watched from the sidelines if his wife were about to get in an altercation.

Chris tried to have a serious talk with Kim in the driveway because he and her son are still best friends, but Albie was keyed up because he was trying to protect his mother and Kim’s bodyguard (huge, nasty eye roll implied) was protesting and Teresa and Juicy were standing in the yard and giggling about sex toys like the barely evolved humans that they are. So instead of getting to make his little speech about how much his friend means to him, Christopher got enveloped in the roving circus that is a Teresa-Caroline-Kim G three-way fight.

Once Kim’s chauffer had been located and she was safely tucked into her car to be taken back to the circle of hell that she came from, all of the Manzos and Lauritas got together for an impromptu family meeting in a private room in Melissa’s house to discuss how to deal with the Kim G issue as a united front. And for some reason, I found the scene totally endearing. I want to hang out with the Manzos. I bet the food is good and they’d be a lot of fun.

We eventually left the party and momentarily joined Kathy and her mom for some reason that still is not entirely clear. They cooked and talked about her mom’s feud with her brother, who I believe is Teresa’s dad? Apparently feuds are something that this family just does? I couldn’t really figure out what the purpose of this scene was, but hey, whatever. It’s probably best not to look for any kind of purpose in Real Housewives, even if it’s merely surface-level.

Meanwhile, Caroline was doing her whole radio thing again. The subject of the chat this week was divorce, and the producers set it up so that Jacqueline’s husband would call in and ask Caroline about how to best foster a positive relationship between a stepparent and stepchild. Caroline got a little weepy and told him he was doing the best he could, which was very sweet if a bit contrived. The unfortunate thing is that the Manzos being wonderful and sweet and heart-warmingly normal doesn’t give me a whole lot of material.

After radio time was over, the holidays got going in earnest. All of the Manzos and Lauritas got together for Christmas Eve dinner at Caroline’s house, where Caroline was roasting peppers over an open gas flame in her pajamas and Chistopher was asking about the story of Santa and Mama Laurita came over with the family’s traditional olive sauce for Christmas Eve dinner. It was the picture of functional and happiness, and the kind of celebration that we’d all want to attend. Until Ashley showed up, at least.

Ashley was still (STILL.) bitching about how Chris isn’t her real dad, despite parenting her from the time that she was a little kid. Her New Year’s resolution is for Chris to like her, because apparently no one has ever explained to her that you can’t resolve for other people to do things or feel a certain way or not be irritated with you. What you can do is resolve to change your own behavior, but just like you’d expect, Ashley had a problem putting the words together in such a way that would indicate that, even in the smallest way, she might actually be the source of the problem. She might be the reason people don’t like her. What a novel idea! Never mind the fact that Chris obviously loves her and has provided for her for basically her entire life, not to mention buying her two new cars – Ashley would really like it if he’d also put up with all of her bad behavior with a wink and a smile.


At Teresa’s house, the Gorgas had arrived to celebrate and before everyone could even get all the way into the house, Teresa was already complaining that Melissa’s cocktail dress was too revealing. That wouldn’t be interesting or worthy of mention if Teresa had not been wearing the world’s shortest sequined minidress to celebrate the Baby Jesus’s birthday. Apparently Baby Jesus is ok with a lot of middle-aged lady thigh and maybe a little bit of vagina if Teresa’s not careful, but a strapless cocktail dress is beyond the pale.

Speaking of outfits, Teresa had dressed each of her daughters in forty pounds of tulle each, mostly so that they’d all just bounce off each other when Milania (the medium-sized violent one) tried to kill everybody. And as it turns out, rendering them all soft and immobile was a pretty good scheme, because I don’t think anyone cried and they all saw grandma dressed up as Santa and everyone was happy. Well, except for Milania, who knew it was grandma the entire time. The little mean one is smart, too. Mean and smart is a dangerous combination, you guys. She’ll definitely be a cast member when Bravo brings Real Housewives back as a nostalgia piece in 2050.

I’m sure there was some subtle ridiculousness that happened during the Christmas Even dinners that I didn’t notice, but I had a hell of a time concentrating on the last half of this episode. I tried three separate times to sit and watch and notice the small stuff and still…nada. The Manzos, as a family, are delightful, but that doesn’t make for great recapping material. The Gorgas and Giudices are deplorable, but they were deplorable in ways with which we’re all well-acquainted at this point in our viewership.

They made lots of seafood for the Feast of the Seven Fishes, someone at school gave Gia a ring, there were a bunch of random family members there that we had never seen before and whose names I don’t remember. Melissa told her kids that Jesus was 89 because it’s tough to explain that sort of thing to kids once you’ve told them that Christmas is Jesus’s birthday. Christmas Eve, incidentally, is my birthday. Which means nothing at all in the context of this recap, but I thought I might share anyway. There’s nothing else to talk about, after all.

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Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • carrie

    Love your recaps!! I’m with you! I totally want to hang out with the Manzos! They look like so much fun, particularly Albie’s boy, Greg (??). I need to be his BFF. I would also like to add, I secretly love Chris (Jacqueline’s husband). He doesn’t say much & I like it. I wish he would give Ashley a good swift kick in her derriere.

    • Reality Junkie

      Carrie I do so agree with you on all points!

      My opinion of Melissa and Joe is truly changing as the season progresses. It seems they have gone out of their way the last two episodes to mend the rift with Teresa and Juicy. The Guidices, on the other hand, made some very nasty comments at the Christmas Eve party at their home. Juicy was downright nasty, calling Melissa an “animal”, “witch” and “raccoon” on national TV! Teresa was only a little more tolerable in that her comments (passive aggressive as they were) were at least made to Melissa’s face.

      I cannot imagine, in my widlest dreams, what my brothers or sister could ever do to make me treat them so horribly. And yet all these people do is talk about the importance of family.

      I’m with Amanda and Carrie, on Team Manzo and Laurita!

      Amanda, please recap tonight’s NYC Reunion!

  • Stephanie

    I thought it was a let down too! I wanted Caroline to verbally rip Kim G to shreds and all we got was this! BORING….. Love the comments on Milania. She’s an adorable kid with a mean streak a mile wide. Maybe Bravo should have let her take care of Kim G!

    • cca.

      LOL!! But in the end Milania agree grandma was santa she is probably just spoiled to death than mean.

  • Cooks

    “Milania the medium sized violent one” – HA!

    I so wished that Caroline had said more to Kim G. That woman is scum. And that’s probably an insult to scum. Ugh! I felt bad that Caroline was in that position with Christopher, though. I love that family – I wonder if they would adopt me?

    • Stephanie

      I love the Manzos! Family is everything to them as it should be. I want Chris to adopt me. I would definately be more appreciative than Ashley. She needs a kick in the as@ everyday just to set her straight. Also forgot to put in my earlier post how adorable Albert was. He has his wife’s back 100% You don’t a bond like that so much anymore!
      P.S. I still think Milania could take Kim G!

  • Hannah

    First off i find it wierd and slightly annoying that I teared up twice in this episode — especially because doing anything remotely even close to that has never happened in a Real Housewive show I’ve wtched, and I’ve seen alot!! first when Chris was in the bat cave room with his family and talkign about his bestfriend and then going to get on the phone with him — his expression showed how much he loved his friend.
    The second when Ashley’s dad was on the phone talking to Caroline on the radio because his voice was so pure and endearing and you could tell just how much he adored her (he should be giving some sort of medal for putting up with her!!) and how much he wanted things to work.
    Ashley is a self conceited bitch, and I couldn’t loathe her more!!

    Moving onto the fact that I didn’t think it was possible that Albie could be any sexier — and yet him at his house in the black baseball hat proved me wrong!

    Also I love the humor of the cameracrew finding little tidbits oblivious to the cast — as in the quick shot of Teresa’s girls dressed like eskimo people sitting on some photoshop/fake ice Alaskan scene that they had framed on an easel, as well as the constant pop ups of her kids in their huge tulle dresses bopping around.

    and futhermore, let’s take a moment to send some happy thoughts to the camera crew, not being with their own family at christmas eve and instead having to film the crazies.

    • Matthew

      I hear ya, Hannah. I think the Manzos are the first family in any of the Housewives that I actually genuinely like. The rest of them have good and bad qualities, but I mostly watch because I like a good train wreck. This family actually seems real and it’s a refreshing change from the rest of the garbage going on in these shows.

      I used to dislike RHNJ, mostly because of Danielle, but based on the Manzos it’s becoming my favorite franchise. It’s definitely replacing NY for me, which went from funny (Bethenny) to boring and stupid.

  • sandy

    Pretty much agree with everyone here. Did you notice that Melisa brought her nanny too? Another person that won’t see their family on the holiday.

  • Straycat

    I too want to hang out with the Manzos. I’m starting to change my opinion Melissa, it does look like she is trying mend fences. I still think her sisters are troublemakers though. Did anyone notice that Teresa gave the little baby a silver fork? Yeah it’s always good to let a 1 yr old eat with silver ware. Also when Teresa, Non Juicy and their dad are taking pictures, take a look in the background and you’ll see Milania being dragged by either her hair or her dress….too funny!

  • Straycat

    Also loved how Teresa told Melissa her dress was inappropriate all while she squeezed into a black fruit roll up.

    • suz

      …love “black fruit roll up”…..hope you don’t mind if I borrow that……

    • Manuela

      “Fruit roll up” is certainly a metaphor I’ll use in the future when the situation allows. It’s so good I thought Amanda must’ve said it somewhere!

  • lia

    I am totally disgusted by Joe and Melissa. The only reason juicy Joe was calling Melissa all those nasty names is bc she IS nasty!! She is a cheap knockoff of Teresa. Her and her sisters LOVE to trash talk Teresa and her family so why are you up in arms about juicy Joe dishing it right back. Melissa came on the show to start trouble and air their family laundry at the expense of the Teresa and Joe. She doesnt want peace between Teresa and her brother, all she cares about is launching her “singing” career. She is such a snake.

  • Amy

    Oh, Ashley, how I would love to introduce you to my verbally abusive, alcoholic, chain smoking step-father… and I know I had it better than so, soooooo many other children in step families. She is a horrible human being.

    • D

      Amy, add my step-father to the list, he had all of the same “endearing” qualities that yours did in addition to being mostly broke and a “child-molester! Ashley has no idea how good she has it. Many years have passed since I left home the minute I graduated from high school, never to return. No money for school or uni, no car (used or new) and only my clothes on my back.

      • Manuela

        As someone with an OCD, compulsively hoarding and spending , browbeating hen of a stepmom myself, I’m also disgusted of the way Ashley treats her own stepdad. Lordy, look in that man’s eyes…he clearly loves Ashley. LOVES her. Like any bio-Dad with an a$$hole daughter, he’s deperate to see her behave with a morsel of respect or humanity. Chris isn’t trying to buy Ashley’s love…he’s trying to give a girl he considers his daughter a level of material comfort that maybe she doesn’t need or deserve.

        If Ashley is so melencholy over her bio-Dad, maybe she should schlepp her ass down to TX and see how much of this crap he’ll put up with before he schlepps it back to NJ. I believe the whole process will take about a month; two months at the most.

  • Mirna

    I think they should send Ashley to live with her real father. Does he even want her full time? I’m sure Chris has done way more for her than he has and all she can do is complain. She needs a reality check! I can’t even watch her anymore.