Following last night’s episode of Real Housewives of New Jersey, I got into a conversation on Twitter about whether or not Real Housewives has run its course, as possibly indicated by the string of boring episodes we’ve seen lately. And maybe it has, or maybe this is just a normal summer slump, where all television goes to die a long, unentertaining death. It’s hard to say yet.

I still think that the Beverly Hills cast has a couple more good seasons in it, at the very least, and our Jersey broads have a way of being fun to watch even when what they’re doing is boring. When I think back on last night’s episode, I remember it as being more fun than it probably seemed while I was watching it, for some reason. Anyway, let’s have a recap.

We started with Jacqueline and Ashley, and as always, Ashley knew everything. I’m not sure exactly what went on because my connection to watch the show online kept freezing, but I’m assuming that the end-of-episode party was announced, followed by Ashley lecturing Jacqueline about not getting over-involved in other people’s problems. And although she was probably right in principle, she’s Ashley and she wouldn’t know “respectful” if it poked her in the eye, so she’s wrong.

Over at the Manzo residence, the entire family plus Albie’s gay “roommate” was getting the house ready for Christmas. The gay “roommate” (don’t half of you people think that Albie is secretly gay?) was talking about feathered Christmas trees and Albie was complaining that he listens to too much Mariah, and combined, those two things made me think he would actually be the best roommate ever. Who wouldn’t want to decorate a feathered tree with her gay roomie while Mariah’s Christmas album played in the background and his little dog tried to kill an ornament on the ground? Is there something wrong with me? Because sign me up for that.

At Melissa’s house, it was time for her and Nonjuicy to meet with a team of producers that Bravo got through Central Casting who were paid to show up and tell Melissa she could sing. And Melissa is not a completely awful singer, sure. She’s not an embarrassingly delusional American Idol tryout reject. (Oh, she’s embarrassingly delusional, just not about that.) But she’s not anywhere near good enoguh to think that she can get famous in her 30s with three kids and Guido Napoleon for a husband. She’s not William Hung, but she’s definitely not Susan Boyle, either.

Despite that, the music producers did as the show producers told them to do and said she could sing, and after hearing that, Nonjuicy had a momentary panic when he considered that the rest of the Melissa-can-sing plot line might mean that she has to spend more than her allotted hour per day outside of the house. He proposed that instead of her leaving the house to record songs, he’d just build her a dungeon…err, recording studio in the basement, and upon hearing that, Melissa thanked Jesus for the bounty that he had given her. And by “bounty,” I mean her fake tan and reality show.

Over at Teresa’s, on the other hand, Juicy was fixing dinner with the Slap Chop and then he and Teresa had a romantic living room picnic with a candle and a sheet on the floor. I suspect that they had a picnic because their dining room table had been repossessed, but Teresa said that she knows the truth about the family’s business deals and Juicy’s old partner. And hey, as long as Teresa knows the truth, I guess we have to believe her. Teresa would never allow herself to be misinformed about her family’s financial affairs. Oh wait…

Meanwhile, Kathy and her husband were still talking the crazy talk about buying a restaurant. They wanted belly dancers and hookahs and a “couples” (I’m using a lot of scarequotes so far, aren’t I? This set of Housewives is particularly delusional, even relative to the others.) vibe, and for a moment, it looked as though Kathy might have understood exactly what a stupid idea it was to buy a huge restaurant space just because you like to cook. But that was a reasonable thought, and reasonable thoughts die quick, excruciating deaths on Real Housewives, so she quickly got re-excited about the whole moronic venture.

Back at Melissa’s house, Nonjuicy had set about building a recording studio with special windows so he could spy on his wife and make sure she wasn’t misbehaving or looking any other men in the eye or anything. When she came downstairs to check his progress, Melissa announced that she wanted the studio to be gold, which tells you more or less everything that you need to know about her as a person. And don’t recording studios require very specific construction standards? Aren’t there people who specialize in building studios? It’s not just average work, and I’m pretty sure that Nonjuicy has absolutely zero knowledge of acoustics. In fact, I’m pretty sure that Nonjuicy still thinks that there’s a little man who lives inside the refrigerator who turns out the light when you close the door.

Over at the Manzo Bachelor Pad, Lauren and Jacqueline had come to visit so that Lauren could whine and cry that her brothers never include her anymore. But speaking of bachelors, can we talk about the gay roommate again? It kind of surprised me, in a good way. I didn’t expect Albie and Chris to be the sort of young guys who would think it was awesome to have a gay roommate, let alone freely admit to it and include him often on television, for fear of starting gay rumors about themselves. I automatically expect all the men on this particular branch of Real Housewives to be intollerant, ignorant muscleheads with sloped foreheads who would be publicly terrified (although perhaps secretly curious) about living with a gay guy. Good on Albie and Chris for not having that reaction, and good on Caroline for raising enlightened sons.

Also, can we talk about Lauren for a second? Maybe I’m being insensitive, but her amount of emotional anguish over her brothers moving out seemed really over the top to me. Adults grow up and move out, she has a serious boyfriend who everyone thinks she’s going to marry and she certainly has friends of her own. So what if her brothers have an apartment and occasionally have a friend or two over for dinner without sending her an engraved invitation to join them? And why waste the time that you do get to spend with them complaining that you don’t spend enough time with them? Those are the friends who don’t get invited back very much. Just saying.

While I’m being unsympathetic, let’s talk about Kim G., shall we? Jacqueline went over to her house to catch up because they’re neighbors and the producers asked her to (just guessing), and when she got there, Kim G. announced that she had had a “brain tumor,” made Jacqueline feel her skull (based on Jacqueline’s facial expression, she didn’t feel anything) and then launched into some ridiculous cell phone-reading about Teresa’s finances. It’s nice to know that even through a mortal health crisis, Kim G. was still able to keep up with Teresa’s new car purchases. And if she had a brain tumor removed or cancer treatments, would they have shaved her head or she would have lost all her hair? Again, just saying.

Anyway, Jacqueline must have grown a backbone on the way over to Kim G.’s house, or maybe she found an extra one laying on the sidewalk, I don’t know. Either way, she told Kim to sit down, shut up and stop talking smack about Teresa because it didn’t concern her in the least. Jacqueline even decline to hear the rest of the dirt that Kim wanted to read to her, much to Kim’s obvious disappointment. “You don’t even want to hear the rest of it?” There was perhaps a fraction of a moment’s hesitation, but Jacqueline declined, screamed some swear words and left. Just like any good friend would do.

Elsewhere, Kathy and Rich went to visit Caroline’s husband to talk about the restaurant business and seek his advice on their possible new ventures, and his advice was thus: Don’t do it, it’ll ruin your life, you will be unhappy and probably fail. Ok, so the phrasing was mine, but that was the gist of it, right? Albert told them what we’ve all been yelling at our screens since they hatched this plan, and because they seem to be some of the more rational of the cast members, they actually seemed to believe him. Which is great, because I don’t want to have to sit through some storyline next season about how running a restaurant is, like, totally difficult and then watch them get all their centerpieces repossessed or something.

It was finally time for a party because no Real Housewives episode can exist without a party. Teresa and her husband had just come fresh from trying to start a fistfight with a lawyer in court, and Melissa and Nonjuicy were also invited to the party, so…that’s fun. There was also an eight-foot-tall dude there who was actually too tall to get his face in the same frame as everyone else’s, and I’m assuming he was there to catch the tables if Teresa were to start throwing them.

Everyone milled around and chatted while getting drunk, and things were only medium offensive. Nonjuicy referred to his wife as a “thing,” the kids talked about stripper poles, everyone dared Nonjuicy and Jacqueline to switch outfits. None of these people have anything even vaguely intellectual or timely to talk about, so these are the things they discuss when they get together. This is what happens when you can’t read, kids. Do your homework.

Nonjuicy took the bet and came out in the tights and camisole, and everyone was laughing until Lauren started talking about missing her brothers and not having sisters, which OF COURSE meant that Teresa couldn’t resist bringing up that she was really close with her brother before he got married, and afterward, she had no more brother. Teresa doesn’t have an ounce of restraint in her body (as if her outfit left any question about that) but she’s mostly seemed to be on the right side of this fight, except for this time. She was absolutely the person who started the discussion when it didn’t need to be rehashed, and good for Melissa for not dumping a glass of wine on her weave.

Instead, Melissa passive-aggressively invited everyone else at Jacqueline’s party to her party the next week while doing her best to ignore Teresa’s and Juicy’s questions about when it would be. She eventually answered them but was pretty effective at shutting them out of most of the conversation, which is exactly what you should do with people who can’t be trusted to talk. The problem is, though, that none of these people can be trusted to talk.

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  • PhotoGirl

    “…based on Jacqueline’s facial expression, she didn’t feel anything…”

    LOL! I attributed that to the fact that she seems to have OD’d on Botox. And lip implants.

    I did have to laugh when Kathy’s husband said that if the restaurant failed he could just go bankrupt like everyone else on RH, but I’m glad they decided to listen to Al’s advice. Kathy should write a cookbook. I’d buy it.

    While I’d love to believe that the culture is turning away from shows like RH, that’s just me wishing out loud. I’m old enough to remember when TV was actually entertaining, so…

    That said, I thought WWHL was great last night. Andy should just turn that show over to the guy who guest hosted. Can’t remember his name, but he did a terrific job. I’d also like to see Carson Kressley and the QE guys come back for a very special episode where they do an intervention on Simon. Now that would be must see tv!

    • Jay Mohr was fantastic on WWHL last night. So fun, and way less smarmy than Andy, even though I do have a soft spot for Andy’s smarminess.

      • Jennimer

        …without Andy there would be no Housewives franchize to mock. I believe he has to walk a fine line with the Housewives (who give us a *lot* to laugh at, even the dull DC women).

        Most of the women are delusional – I have to grit my teeth when, on his show, they refer to their “fans.” For example, I remember Carolyn Manzo saying she wasn’t rude to Danielle because she “promised my fans” she’d take the high road. And she seemed so very pleased to say she has fans. Sure, she has a solid family and her husband and kids love her, but she sounds like a mob wife (e.g. “my family is tick as teeves” and “I don’t like you before I like you”), and she does it on national TV.

        I watch the show because I’m amazed that these women are willing to bare their lives, scripted or not, for the cameras. I wouldn’t expose my family to such embarrassment for $275k a year, unless I was flat broke. They’re financially irresponsible, to say the least, and tasteless to boot. I find it hard to believe that Melissa is a college graduate. Teresa is just plain tacky, from her curly hair and her empty eyes to her furry boots. Whenever she opens her mouth, she exposes her ignorance. (And who bought her book? How did it do so well?)

        My mom watched part of a show once and said “These women all behave as though they’re in high school.” Well put, mom.

        But looping back to Andy, I think he treats all his guests with respect, even when they’re total ditzes. For example (and boy am I full of examples – this says something about the state of my television viewing – damn the invention of the DVR!), when he had Kelly Bensimon (sp?) on the show, she was incapable of behaving like an adult. She interrupted him when she laughed at his jokes (or even just his comments) with her inane chatter and talked over him, saying stuff like “Really, Andy? You’re so funny; did you hear what he just said?” She was constantly bubbling in the background. He has to work with THAT all the time. He never makes them feel bad and he never treats them like idiots (depsite that they all too frequently are). He doesn’t call them out on their conceits, except to tease in a mild way (“Are you wearing She by Sheree?”).

        I like that he’s never condescending, and I think in his own off beat way, he’s funny and charming. What I love about him is that he loves his life, and it shows. Jay Mohr has his place in this Housewive constellation, but Bravo needs Andy to do WWHL.

    • cca.

      that bankrupt comment was too funny! and so true
      And yes Simon needs an intervention!! LMAO

  • nychic1114

    The “eight-foot-tall dude” was the gay roommate! He too was at that party.

    • It was the same guy? I didn’t realize that he was so incredibly tall. I guess we’ve only seen him sitting in other scenes.

      • nychic1114

        Yep! It was him. He is fairly tall (my guess is around 6’4), but he also looks so giant because Non-Juicy is shorty in comparison it was pretty obvious when they showed them next to one another.

      • Ashley

        He’s pretty tall- he’s on the Boys to Manzo bits with Albie and Chris alot. He’s pretty funny. Also, CHris and Albie have been getting flack on twitter about the gay roomate and their response is basically f-you.

      • Just as their reaction should be! Caroline seems to have raised good, stand-up kids.

  • adrienne z

    wow – can’t believe i missed an episode. forgot all about it. will have to wait for a rerun. missed WWHL too!

  • Lisa in Oregon

    Didn’t you just love Albert’s belly laugh at Kathy and Rich when they suggested buying a restaurant? He couldn’t restrain himself. So funny.

  • Lorie

    Ok, why did Teresa and Juicy lose their furniture? Didn’t we see Teresa and Jacqueline shopping for Teresa’s furniture for the new house a couple of seasons ago? Teresa paid cash. I forget a lot of things but big wads of cash isn’t usually one of them.

    • Ashley

      They would still need to sell to raise some cash to pay off other debts, I assume.

      • Lorie

        Ah, I guess so – especially since those are things that they actually own outright. Sad.

    • mochababe73

      From what I understand, the auction was called off because the furniture wouldn’t bring in enough money. Remember this was taped like seven months ago. The furniture was deemed to be worth in the vicinity of about $60,000. The children’s toys and furniture were also included in the auction.
      Doesn’t matter anyway. Teresa has stated that they bought more furniture.

  • ellenbakes

    Bless you, Amanda, for fighting the good fight and still posting recaps. Because honey, the material you’re working with is thinner than rice paper. Great job as usual.

  • Amy

    I forgot this was on last night and I didn’t miss it… yikes

    • It’s probably not good news for Bravo that you’re the second person who said that.

      • adrienne z

        I think that these shows are starting to wear thin. I used to look forward to seeing all episodes and used to discuss them with my girlfriends, but all of a sudden, I’ve lost interest.
        I really don’t like Melissa and that may have something to do with losing interest in this show. Not crazy about NJ Joe too. I read your recap since I missed the last episode completely and was wondering if he had come out in women’s clothes as I had seen in previews and am starting to think that he wears women’s clothes alot more than we’ve seen which is weird in itself, considering he’s this “macho guy” personna on TV with a helluva lot of insecurities in real life. I don’t think I want to see him in drag anymore.
        I don’t want to hear Melissa singing either. Her voice is not bad – if she could hit the notes, she’d be OK. I’ve been cursed with perfect pitch and anytime anybody is slightly off whether sharp or flat – it goes straight to my inner nerve and drives me nuts. I have to change the channel if it drags on too long because I can’t stand listening for too long. It’s the only thing I hear and it hurts.

  • S

    I don’t care for Kathy – she seems to be a wannabe. And I think her hesitation about opening that restaurant was after she talked to Al. If you notice, most of her hesitation is during the interviews – she goes and visits all the locations with her husband.
    I can’t stand it when people live their lives caring so much about what certain people think about them. Melissa and Kathy clearly want Jacqueline and Caroline to like them, That wouldn’t bother me, if they cared half as much about mending their family relationships.

  • S

    Also I think Caroline secretly dislikes Teresa and its rubbing off on the Manzo family. Lauren was so unsympathetic to Teresa losing her brother to Melissa, but she was crying her eyes out for not being invited to every dinner her brothers have. Does she really think she’ll handle it better when her brothers are married if she can barely handle them an hr away?

    • Purse Mommy

      I don’t know if Caroline dislikes Theresa but she is Dina’s friend. So the bond my not be there. I bought the cookbook and made some tasty dishes from it. Being frivolous with money doesn’t mean the girl can’t cook. I think the show should have added Caroline’s siblings instead of Theresa’s because siblings fighting can turn sad very quickly remember Beverly Hills.

  • Ame

    I TRULY wish they would STOP filming Kim G. She just likes to start shit and it’s totally uninteresting to watch her. The whole thing with the next ep proves that. She knows full well about that Lawyer and the Teresa/Juicy thing, but she deliberately brings that Lawyer to the party? Dick move. She’s going to be what talks me out of watching this crap.

    • Misty

      Kim G is the last link to Danielle, who is much more interesting than Kathy, Ashley, or Melissa.

  • SuzieQ

    Is no one going to mention that Jay Mohr said something that rhymes with Soul Diggaz on WWHL?

    • He did? I watch online because I don’t have cable in my apartment, and my sound connection was a little wonky last night (plus I usually don’t pay much attention to WWHL).

  • Lorie

    I thought he might have slipped up once, but I wasn’t sure.

  • Carla

    While a restaurant would be a terrible idea, how awesome would an episode of Restaurant Nightmares with Kathy and Rich & Gordon Ramsay be?

    I was also surprised that in a huge mansion, J would be plagued with a pull down attic ladder. I thought only the little people (like myself) had to deal with that crap.

    • Carla

      duh. Kitchen Nightmares, rather.

  • mochababe73

    Kathy has allowed her husband to take over her idea. She wanted to either do a bakery or cater food and baked goods. The whole restaurant thing was his idea. Anyone who watches Kitchen Nightmares or Restaurant Impossible or anything of that nature should see how difficult the restaurant business is.
    I think that I know where Jacqueline is coming from by not inviting Kathy. Let’s be honest, it was enough that Melissa and Teresa were going to be in the same room. I find nothing wrong with what she did.
    Teresa looked so uncomfortable at the party. But, I’m glad that she stayed and stuck it out with NJJ and Melissa. I don’t know how she managed to stay in that room with Melissa. NJJ’s wife seems to be the root of most of why they are not close anymore.
    Lauren was being a baby. Get over it. Caroline was right in telling her to get over it.
    Melissa irks me to know end. She talks out of both sides of her mouth, and I don’t believe either side. Her sisters are horrible.
    I haven’t been able to look at Kim G the same since she got on that stripper pole with Danielle and did a show for Danny the Ex-Con. I really wish that Bravo would STOP filming this lady.

  • Samantha Sue

    In fact, I’m pretty sure that Nonjuicy still thinks that there’s a little man who lives inside the refrigerator who turns out the light when you close the door.

    ^^^^^^^ best line ever! hahaha

    • adrienne z


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