First, a small programming note: I know I said I was going to recap the Real Housewives of Orange County Reunion, but that was before I knew that Bravo was going to run new episodes of Real Housewives of New Jersey on the same nights as both parts. As a result, I can only do one, and priority goes to Jersey because it’s still in its regular season. Also, because the reunion was boring as hell last night.

Not that Real Housewives of New Jersey was really much better. Teresa and Nonjuicy still aren’t getting along. Melissa’s still the one getting blamed. Caroline still has empty nest syndrome. Melissa wants to be a singer. Ashley is still the most loathsome spawn in the Real Housewives universe. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

We started with Melissa and Nonjuicy, who were “casually” hanging out with their kids while Melissa was hanging up some clothes and just happened to be “casually” singing “Amazing Grace” with the wrong words. Seriously. I’ve never been to church a day in my life, and even I can sing “Amazing Grace” with the right words. It’s not “wench.” No one saved any wenches. WRETCH. Grace saves wretches. Could a wench also be a wretch? Possibly; I don’t think that the two concepts are mutually exclusive. But that doesn’t mean Melissa gets to change the words. Not to mention that her singing voice is totally average and would make Simon Cowell roll his eyes. MORE ON THAT LATER.

Over at Caroline’s, she was watching her husband play golf and lamenting the loss of her kids. Wait, that makes them sound like they died – they just moved to Hoboken. Which is maybe sort of similar to dying? I don’t know, I’ve never been to Hoboken. Caroline says that because she misses the laundry and the cooking and the laughter that her sons brought to her house, she’s going to work harder on her blog instead. If I were her, I’d just order takeout and watch Party Down on Netflix Instant all day while enjoying the fact that I have to do precisely nothing except be on a silly reality TV show and make sure my husband has clean underwear. But maybe that’s just me.

Meanwhile, over at Jacqueline’s house, Ashley was getting a car. Her second care, if I remember correctly. She thought she deserved the new car so she could have a paying job in addition to her internship and because she’s never been to rehab. Are we giving out extra credit for not going to rehab now? I’ve never been to rehab. I’d settle for a free monthly MetroCard. And what happens if I make it to 30 without going to rehab? Does that mean that someone’s going to buy me an apartment? Because apparently that’s how things work in Ashley’s world, so it’s only fair if it’s the same for me. Ashley is all about fairness, after all. She says so all the time.

The next scene involved Teresa and one of her kids in some capacity, but I was too blinded by Ashley’s nearly unbounded someness to pay attention to it, so…talk amongst yourselves.

Next up was Kathy, who wanted to renegotiate her kids’ contracts. And while it seems reasonable to discuss expectations and make sure everyone’s on the same page about how the kids are supposed to act, actually writing it out and signing a contract seems like an exercise from group therapy that someone took a little too seriously. But the whole interaction was actually kind of…what’s the word…nice? Normal? Wholesome? Demonstrative of good parenting and communication skills? The kids clearly trust and respect Kathy and her husband and they seem to know their kids pretty well, which was a combination that we’ve rarely seen on Real Housewives. Plus both of the kids seem to be smart and funny. Is this some sort of parallel Housewives universe? They even managed to tackle underage drinking with a modicum of maturity and calmness. I have no snark.

We then joined Melissa and her sisters, who were going shopping for fur coats and sequined dresses because that’s apparently all that anyone in New Jersey wears, ever, if this show and Mob Wives are to be believed. And those shows are obviously gospel truth, why wouldn’t we believe them as such? Anyway, Melissa told us a little more about her ambitions to be a singer, which she really should have explored 10 years and three kids ago. I’m pretty sure she’s passed the American Idol cutoff age, but we all know that Bravo will help absolutely anyone release a single so long as it gives Andy Cohen something to talk about on Gay Uncle in the Basement, so it appears as though we’ll have to indulge Melissa for the rest of the season.

Over at Teresa’s house, an unexpected phone call came in – from Nonjuicy. He wanted to come to one of Gia’s gymnastics meets and promised he’d be there, even though Teresa told him that it wouldn’t be an appropriate place to talk, and everyone seemed cautiously optimistic and set themselves up for emotional failure. Yay! Nonjuicy was coming! Because his presence is so valued!

Our next jaunt was to the Jeep dealership to buy a spoiled rotten teenager her second new car, and she was just as ungrateful and annoying this time around. She didn’t want her parents to retain a key, despite the fact that they were paying for it, and she threatened to walk out of the dealership if they did. Naturally, her parents didn’t call her bluff and they bought the car anyway. My parents would have absolutely hauled my ass out of there, which is why I’m 25 years old, full-time employed and college educated with an apartment in Manhattan. My parents actually parented, as I’m assuming most of yours did as well. Ashley will be living at home when she’s my age. Unless her parents have rented an apartment for her by then, which they probably will have. Parenting: You’re doing it wrong.

Next up was Melissa again, who met with her songwriter to practice in a room that had gold more leaf in it than I thought was legally allowable. Melissa’s voice still was not great, but the songwriter was kind of cute in a New Jersey guido way and his voice was a tad better, so whatever. At this point in the episode that I was so bored that my snark started to falter and I was simply glad that we weren’t continuing to talk about Nonjuicy and his problems with Teresa.

Elsewhere, Caroline revealed that she would be meeting with a local radio station to see about getting a show about parenting and families. Not a half-bad idea, right? Caroline does well with talking. She’s a better talker than any of the other Real Housewives of New Jersey, certainly, and her kids are pleasant, intelligent and mostly independent. So she seems just about as qualified as anyone to be on the radio. Plus, she’s not singing. She’s not singing! So I look at this as a net win for the audience.

Before we could see her actual interview, though, we had to depart to Gia’s gymnastics tournament, where Nonjuicy was a no-show so far and Teresa and Gia were both disappointed. Juicy, for his part, didn’t seem to miss his brother-in-law (or seem to be particularly excited to be at a gymnastics meet). Would Nonjuicy come? Would he a complete no-show? No one knew! Chaos! High drama!

And we didn’t get to find out immediately, because first Caroline had to drive to Trenton for her radio interview. Trenton is apparently the middle of nowhere, and when she got there, she admitted that she had no radio experience at all and didn’t know if her show would take off. They gave her a sample question about Facebook and she gave sample advice about how Facebook can only break a marriage that’s already broken, and they seemed impressed! I would like to have a radio show too, please. I’m pretty sure I could come up with those answers.

Back at the gymnastics meet, Melissa and Nonjuicy were exceptionally late but still showed up, even though Gia already had her disappointed face on by the time they got there. Melissa didn’t care because Teresa is always late, but it seems pretty crappy to not care about disappointing your eight(ish?)-year-old niece just because you’re not a particular fan of her mother or her habits. The kid is a separate person, in case they didn’t remember, and passive-aggressively using a kid as a pawn to get back at your relatives is how your kids eventually end up on the pole. I don’t think that any of us want that for Gia. Clear heels aren’t a good look.

When Melissa and Nonjuicy got home, they had a fight about what a big baby Nonjuicy is being. Melissa rightly believes that he lets Teresa and his parents think that the split is her fault, when in fact she takes everyone’s crap and consistently encourages Nonjuicy to talk to his sister and brother-in-law and set things right. Nonjuicy seems perfectly content to let her take the heat and allow himself to look like the victim, and who knows, maybe it actually is her fault. But from everything we’ve seen, that doesn’t appear to be the case. For a man who prides himself so thoroughly on his manliness, it’s pretty cowardly to let your wife take the heat without lifting a finger.

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Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • PhotoGirl

    I love Kathy’s kids, and if she does a cookbook, I’m buying it. Oh, and her husband reminds me of the actor who played the Moe Greene character in “The Godfather.” What was his name?

    That’s all I’ve got. The Housewives are all beyond boring now. I think Bravo should trash the entire franchise except, perhaps, for Beverly Hills.

    I’m watching the Republicans debate on CNN tonight. Should be much more entertaining…

  • Lisa in Oregon

    I laughed out loud at Melissa’s “wench” versus “wretch” too! I”m so glad you caught it because you were the first thing I thought of when I heard her say it! (sing it)

    Is it just me or did both Melissa and Caroline get the staged “Oh, you should sing/give advice!” cheerleading from their respective spouses? Seemed so contrived. They both had that “Oh, shucks” look on their faces as though they hadn’t planned any of it before the cameras arrived. Like you said, they were just “casually” in the closet when she started singing. Pah-lease. Even I can sign half-way decent, but I’m smart enough to know that I shouldn’t be pretending to be a candidate for American Idol.

  • Cookie Caroline

    This recap was flippin hilarious, I can’t wait to see Ashley’s car get taken away!

    • Sue

      Yes! Ashley’s situation will not end nicely!

      • Lorie

        Oh you know that car has been long been taken away from Ashley. I wish they’d ship her off to boarding school somewhere, so she’d never show up on my tv ever again. What an ungrateful brat.

  • NCgal

    You are right as usual, Amanda: B to the O to the R-I-N-G!!! Both NJ and OC were totally mind-numbingly snores-ville. I am done with Caroline being the all-wise (albeit long-suffering) Oracle of friggin’ Delphi, done with Teresa and her hideous exploitation of her children, Jacqueline and her manipulative grandiose exceedingly average daughter, and the rest are just…meh!
    The OC women were also so predictable except for the first time, I REALLY saw how horrible Vicki is, how totally insincere and emotionally stunted she is. Plus, I think she has a lady-crush on Miss Tamara. Wait…I know she does. Don’t care, just a point of information IMHO. I think Donn has totally been given a gift, here with his new-found single-ness.

    • Single, mature, employed, stable men don’t last long on the singles scene at Donn’s age if they don’t want to – I’m sure he won’t have ANY problems finding a woman if he wants to be attached again, particularly since he doesn’t have kids of his own. And good for him, he deserves whatever he wants after hanging in with Vicki for more than a decade. I thought that his statement last night during the reunion was very adult and reasonable, whereas all Vicki could do was passive-aggressively chide her daughter for having a hard time with the divorce. I don’t say this much, but what a bitch.

      • Amy

        If you haven’t done it yet, you need to google Vicki’s new boyfriend Brooks. He looks like Donn! I’m thinking he’s just Donn with more money and maybe a job in insurance? Perfect for her!

  • CacklingHens

    “Clear heels aren’t a good look” hahahaha DWL. Poor Gia.

    That wench Melissa can not sing, that songwriter should keep the song for himself. He sounded really good to me.

    I would have kicked Trashley’s a$$ out of the dealership. She would not have gotten a car after he disgusting behaviour. As a matter of fact I would have kept both keys and lent it to her on occasions. I can’t even call her a spoiled brat anymore, she is not a kid. She is a grown a$$ woman who is codependent and bitchy.

    Jacqueline’s face looked like she had a stroke. Is it just me? Whatever she did to her face makes it look lopsided, long and stretched.

    Kathy and her family are great. Very mature, I liked the interaction between the parents and kids. For my selfish reasons, I liked the comment about “if they are curious about drinking, have one at home”. Makes sense. My parents gave me my first drink….at home.

  • Lorie

    I have to stop reading these at work because I can’t remember to not laugh out loud. ROFL!

    Jacqueline said in her blog this week that she and Ashley had cooked up the whole bad behavior at the car dealership to prank Chris – yeeeaaaah – that’s the ticket. It was ACTING! Whatever.

    I’m surprised that Non-Juicy Joe would allow Melissa to sing. Won’t that take away from his sexy time? Can we start calling him Dried-up Joe?

    • adrienne z

      Ashley is too disgusting for words. Had I been Chris, I would have picked up my stuff and LEFT HER THERE.

  • Kjon

    This episode certainly showed Kathy in a better light. Her kids seem close to their parents and, more importantly, to each other.
    I have a brother fairly close in age and I can happily relate to Victoria and Joey’s (those are their names, right?) relationship.
    Unfortunately, because we’re both in serious committed relationships, I can also relate to the sudden loss of closeness and the jealousy that occurs when a sibling in involved with someone. A brother is a partner-in-crime and, I hope this doesn’t sound sick, I actually felt possessive over him in a no-one-is-good-enough-for-him kind of way.
    It really occurred to me in this episode that NJ and T might be dealing with that in a way.
    After all that talk Melissa was spewing about “fixing” the relationship, she sure doesn’t do much to ease the tension. She treated her nieces kind of badly (for an aunt), being super late and not letting her kids plays with T’s kids. Set up the damn play date! The family might quit blaming her if she acted a little less bitter and disconnected. And give your damn nieces a hug and kiss once in a while.
    It seems she wants/needs A LOT of attention and acknowledgement. Must be hard competing with T for the spotlight, I guess. Keep twiddling your thumbs for that apology sweetheart; you look like a jack-off doing it.
    Teresa’s blog on this week really rips the stuffing out of Melissa. T makes some goods points without hitting too below the belt.
    Great recap Amanda! You’re right, the reunion was too boring to recap. Maybe part 2?

  • GLOW

    I don’t know how this happens…but the recaps are always better than the show…lol

    Sometimes I don’t watch the show and just rely on the recaps…I get more from reading in 5 mins and don’t have to be bored for one hour.

  • adrienne z

    i missed some of the show and rely on your recaps just to find out that i really missed nothing at all…., which is good.
    melissa cannot sing. who said she could? She herself? She cannot hit a note – let’s please pray that she will not EVER be invited to sing the National Anthem anywhere. I really don’t feel like throwing up.

  • Maryann

    Great recap, as usual! I am bored with this crew and ready for the Beverly Hills girls to come back!

    Just need to switch to the OC reunion for one second. Did anyone else notice how puffy Vicki’s face looked? I don’t know if she had tons of Restylane or fat injections or what.

    • Trina

      Her face was puffy, but her neck was so wrinkly and saggy

    • adrienne z

      she looked terrible, like a has-been trying to make a grandiose comeback. And her new boyfriend is “staying with Eddie”? doesn’t he have his own place to live? What’s up with that!?

  • Leanb

    Wow. grow up

  • Californiahousewife

    The OC Housewives look and act all alike, with boring to most boring as the only option. The NY Housewives are so shrill and such the pack of sharpy yellers, that’s a bore, too. I have no idea what happened in those shows and am so glad New Jersey doesn’t have camels. I *think* these last three episodes are building up to the BIG CONFRONTATION between Non-J and Teresa. I am amazed (still) Non-J still thinks everything wrong is history is Teresa’s fault. I still love the clothes, accents, gym size kitchens and animal fur. This is fun to watch—let’s hope it all turns out well. GREAT RECAP (and you’re only 25? do tell! I think I hear a reality show coming on!!)

  • adrienne z

    The yelling was getting to be a bit much. when all 5 women are talking a mile-a-minute at the Same Time – it’s not possible to hear what any one person is saying at all. Pointless.

  • suz

    Thanks, Amanda, for your usual highly amusing recap. I am not watching as much TV as usual because of the long and beautiful days….so at least I can keep up with the shenanigans and have a few chuckles. I did catch a few moments of the OC reunion and was reminded what a bunch of totally unattractive people they are….both physically and mentaly. They all need a “do-over”….or at least a new makeup artist.

  • adrienne z

    gretchen is usually pretty candid and funny, but she’s being petty with the “i told you so” attitude and how she treated Vicki when she was in the hospital was abominable!

  • Maria

    What’s with the hats Melissa and Joe wear at the dinner table?? When I saw Joe with his hat on at the Thanksgiving table, I realized they have a great deal of class – ALL LOW!!!!