Last night’s first installment of the Real Housewives of New Jersey Reunion was a wall-to-wall Teresa bash-a-thon, and I couldn’t have loved it more. Some seasons of this show have a cast member that’s so badly in need of a public lashing that it’s disappointing when the reunion is less than that, and Teresa is one of those people. Thankfully, the reunion didn’t disappoint.

By the end of the hour, Andy Cohen seemed as exasperated with Teresa’s dim-witted double-speak as Caroline was, and the little gremlins inside of my chest where my heart is supposed to be cheered when he got snippy with her. If you were expecting Teresa to admit any kind of fault or give any sort of mea culpa, even a small one, though, you ended up disappointed. In the grand tradition of reunion recaps, let’s go over what we learned.

1. Jacqueline didn’t show up. Apparently the “incident” that bothered Jacqueline happened the night before the reunion. As we all know, the Jersey housewives are already in the midst of filming the fourth season, and it’s been widely reported that the conflict is over Teresa trying to (falsely) paint Melissa as a ex-stripper by ambushing her with her former boss in front of cameras. The former boss has given many interviews backing up Melissa’s version of her employment with him (she was a bartender and always fully clothed), but naturally, Teresa is unconcerned with objective reality as we know it.

2. Everyone still hates Teresa. Self-evident.

3. Everyone is right. Caroline and Melissa both went through a very specific list of things that they had claimed Teresa had said to them before the season started, and they all sounded like things that Teresa would say. She asked Caroline not to compliment or encourage Melissa and told Melissa that everyone would make fun of her forehead if she decided to go on the show. Those both sound like the kind of petty, anti-logical things that Teresa would come up with in an attempt to manipulate a situation, but she denied them all in her highest, screechiest voice. Apparently in Teresa’s mind, that makes her seem carefree and unconcerned, but it just hurts my ears and makes her seem tense.

4. If I were forced to socialize with Teresa, I might start a riot too. In the context of the entire season and Teresa’s shift from delightful idiot to malevolent shit-stirrer, the footage of how the christening fight went down now seems a little bit different. I’m always wary of Bravo going out of its way to paint someone as a villain, but there seems to be plenty of evidence coming from third-party sources (like New Jersey law enforcement and Teresa’s own cookbook, for example) that she and her husband are, in fact, nasty, vindictive, shady people.

5. Teresa has her own version of reality that has nothing to do with anyone else’s. No matter what anyone said about Teresa’s actions or words, Teresa simply claimed it never happened, she never said it, she didn’t know what anyone was talking about. The longer it went on, the more she started to squirm and panic, and more or less everyone else was deadpan and unimpressed by her denials. When stupid people lie, it becomes clear before long. What was going on seemed pretty obvious to me.

6. Teresa thinks that she and Melissa are in a good place. Please refer to #5.

7. Andy Cohen has lots of questions about spray-tans. I guess picked the correct group to ask.

8. Remember that whole thing about Jewish people and marriage? Teresa doesn’t see how anyone would think that was offensive, and she just said it because she has a Jewish friend, you guys. It was, however, the only thing for which Teresa apologized during the entire hour, so I guess we can mark that as something of a relative victory.

9. Teresa doesn’t know how much money she owes in bankruptcy or how long she has to pay it back. As Andy so delightfully suggested, she might want to look into that. I love it when Andy gets as frustrated with a cast member as I do – it’s a great indication that what that person is saying actually is counter-factual bullshit.

10. Teresa doesn’t think you go to jail for bankruptcy fraud. She also doesn’t think that she was being charged with bankruptcy fraud, which is an outright lie that can be proved false with a simple Google search. Not only were she and her husband charged with fraud, but they had a trial date set and everything. If you were still on the fence about whether or not Teresa has any interest in being even vaguely truthful, I hope that this easily verifiable point of fact makes you reconsider your fence-sitting.

11. Juicy Joe might go to jail anyway. He was arrested for fraudulently obtaining a driver’s license earlier this year, and if you somehow missed the details of the fracas like I did, Radar Online has the scoop. What it amounts to is this: Juicy Joe had his license suspended in the recent past because of his much-publicized arrest and conviction for drunk driving. The pending charges allege that he later went to the DMV with his brother’s birth certificate and marriage license in an attempt to use his identity to obtain a driver’s license with his brother’s name but his own picture; one would assume that such a license would help him avoid police identification should he get pulled over again while he’s prohibited from driving, since the cop would run his brother’s record and not his.

You know, just in case you were wondering exactly what kind of person Juicy Joe really is, and what kind of person Teresa is for continuing to support (and occasionally take part in) his various crimes. Her Jewish friend was right.

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Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • pg1908

    i can’t, i truly can’t with Teresa and her lying anymore. It was so obvious that she was contradicting herself in every situation that it wasn’t even funny anymore. I’m not sure if I can stick around for part 2.

    On another note, I never realized that a lot of these reunion shows are filmed while they are currently filming another season. I think that’s so telling as to why some of the reactions are what they are in these reunion shows. Not so much about the previous season, but perhaps more to do with what is currently going on. Interesting…

    • eponine03

      Actually, this is the first time a reunion show has been aired while the next season is filming. Usually, there is a gap in production time.

  • Ellz

    Watching Teresa squirm was probably the most entertaining part of the entire part 1. Her continued, “are you crazy?” comments whenever someone called her out was hilarious. Sooooo clearly lying and failing at it. I think she’s actually worse than Danielle was.

    Plus, if she says “Bring it on!” one more time I might throw my laptop. That line was popular when I was in middle school and only Gabrielle Union should ever say it.

  • S

    Teresa is an idiot and I would never choose to associate myself with someone like her, but I thought Caroline was too much. Why was she trying to expose every nasty thing Teresa said about her family? Caroline carries herself like she is too good to talk trash about other, but most of this season we witnessed her rolling her eyes and talking trash about Teresa. I don’t think it’s the cookbook that pissed Caroline off. I think Caroline is used to being the mother hen and Teresa isn too crazy to reign in. She has more suitable friends in Melissa and Kathy where there is no shortage of Caroline butt kissing. Caroline is starting to remind me of Vicki. She needs that constant affirmation from others but goes to great lengths to pretend like she doesn’t. Caroline mentioned earlier this season that she would be against anything that would tear apart a family. So what exactly was she doing when she revealed comments that Teresa had made about Joe and Melissa? I don’t doubt that Teresa made those comments in the heat of the moment, but I’m also thinking Teresa is too dumb to remember them. I just don’t get the Manzo family worship. The daughter started a salons with family money, Chris ditched his respectable plans of starting a stripper carwash in order to work at the brownstone and Albie seems directionless after being kicked out of law school. I get that the kids get along really well with each other and their parents, but are those the standards being used? I’m just baffled by how people love them so much.

    • Kathlyn

      Umph, I thought it was just me!

    • Manuela

      @S…what was it exactly that Caroline said about Teresa this season that could be construed as bashing? Apart from the season finale, I mean. I don’t intend this question to be confrontational or to imply it didn’t happen; I just really don’t remember any such thing. Did I overlook it?

      I didn’t even think anything Caroline said in the final episode was truly bashing (but the boys around the patio table did a bit bashing, for sure). I thought Caroline handled herself well in the final episode by expressing her change of relationship with Teresa without actually going into full detail as to why; hence, not bashing.

      I, too, was surprised that Caroline broke out with what Teresa had allegedly told her about Melissa in this part of the reunion. Very unlike Caroline, but since she doesn’t make a habit of it I wrote it off to reaching her BS threshhold for the moment.

      I’m not a Manzo groupie, by the way, I just feel I have to defend and commend Caroline’s behavior here as I interpreted it. Teresa tried baiting Caroline again and again last night (most temptingly when she questioned the legitimacy of the Brownstone business; oh god Teresa spare me please) and Caroline didn’t bat an eyelash at any of it. I don’t know that I could have been so cool and diplomatic.

    • I don’t think Caroline and her family are perfect, but they benefit from the reflected glow of the rest of the cast’s dysfunction. The Manzos seems relatively intelligent and honest, and they don’t mistreat others for their own entertainment. Caroline’s kids seem like nice people who treat each other and their parents well.

      I think it’s petty to criticize Albie for not finishing law school or Chris for working in the family business instead of starting a stripper car wash (which I think was a joke from the beginning, unless my understanding of Chris’s personality is off). Or Lauren for accepting help from her family, for that matter. They’re clearly more industrious and goal-oriented than most of the Real Housewives spawn, so I’m not sure that it’s fair to hold the fact that they’re not all Fulbright Scholars who own their own corporations against them. I don’t understand that line of thinking. They’re all in their early to mid 20s, right?

      • S

        To clarify, I wasn’t saying there is anything wrong with any of the Manzo kids or their careers. I was just saying I didn’t understand why they were being put on a pedestal. They seem fairly mediocre to me.

      • Kim

        It wasn’t a joke about the stripper car wash…wasn’t there even an episode during the second season where he went to talk to someone who owned a car wash (or a strip club)? I love the Manzo kids and think they will be successful in their own right, but I do think that Caroline acts a little TOO proud about their accomplishments when all three of them have gotten a generous amount of support from family to get a start on their careers. To be fair, I started to look at Caroline in a different light after the episode where she compared her family’s money to Christie Brinkley/Billy Joel. My opinion of her definitely went downhill from that point.

    • JenG

      Me too!

  • Inga

    To be quite honest, the reunion seemed a little like a public flogging then a reunion. Yes, Teresa has said some ridiculous things this season and maybe she’s not perfect but honestly neither is Caroline or Melissa or Kathy. What goes on in Teresa’s family is their business and Caroline looks childish and cheap but throwing out random things that Teresa might have said to her in anger before issues were being resolved. Stick to your own family and deal with them. The only beef that Caroline should be involved in is the situation with the cookbook other then that, keep out of it. I’m also kind of tired of Caroline’s holier than thou advice to everyone like she’s (ironically) mother teresa. The cook book set a lot of people off but that doesn’t mean that for an hour we are supposed to sit and bash the woman who’s already going through so much. Maybe if any of those women had to deal with a husband who’s been hiding financial woes for years and the whole country scrutinizing every inch of a bankrupcy, then they would be a little rude sometimes or inconciderate.

    • S

      I agree! Caroline looked so silly and petty. I really thought she was above revealing what others say to her in confidence.

  • Kathlyn

    Caroline is definitely no Mother Teresa, and she seems to have done a average job as mother Manzo, but Teresa basically got what she asked for. She’s a bully, who for so long happened to be teeing up against the likes of Danielle that we wanted to see get the smack down. But Teresa is a jealous, vindictive, delusion human being, who runs through money like it’s water, yet says in the same breath, I don’t care about material things???? Oh Okay, just those that you can’t have??

  • Engrmom

    I’m going out on a limp here because I don’t know all the fact, what I know is from what I have read from various articles and I take most of them with a grain
    of salt, but I think Caroline angered with terissa might have to do with what happened at punta Cana where allegedly terissa offended a customer at hard rock restaurant and fight ensue and caroline kids got involved. Now they are being sue by police officer who got beat up. I think mother hen is very upset that her children got in trouble because of terrisa childish behaver but of course they can’t talk about it because of lawsuit. I believe that’s the root of her anger.

  • Pia

    you Teresa haters are too much! There is NO show w out her. She is ratings gold, thats why bravo let melissa weasel her way onto the show in the first place. Without Teresa, melissa is irrelevant. As for the 4th season supposed set up of melissa, well that just goes against your whole theory that teresa is an idiot. How could she construct such a genius plan if she was so stupid? Even if she did set it up, its nothing in comparison to what Melissa has done to her. Everyone on the show is allowed to talk shi* about teresa and say its a joke but as soon as teresa puts a joke in her book everyone starts crying about it…really?

    • Setting Melissa up with someone who has said publicly and repeatedly that Melissa was not, in fact, a stripper of any kind isn’t exactly what I’d call a genius plan. It’s made Teresa look terrible and brought out a lot more sympathy for Melissa.

  • Pia

    Btw, bravo set Melissa up not Teresa. Kim G and Danielle both said that bravo contacted them asking them to come to the reunion. Bravo set her up-they do it all the time to generate publicity and it worked.

  • suz

    OMG…I just watched the show. the thing that struck me…without going into all the “she said this, she said that” was how elegant and chic Melissa looked and how restrained she and Kathy were when confronted with all the Teresa BS. Teresa seems to me to be a delusional, vindictive (and stupid) bitch who perhaps is bordering on serious mental illness. Danielle may have been crazy, but she wasn’t stupid. Theresa, I think, is a lethal combo of both.

  • mochababe73

    I hated the reunion.
    I just don’t find anything entertaining about one person being bashed by the rest of the participants including Andy Cohen. He is supposed to be an impartial facilitator.
    As much as I am not a fan of Jill, the same thing happened to her in Bethenny’s final season on RHONY. I didn’t like that either.
    Anyway, from most reports (not Teresa), Bravo set up the whole thing with the boss, Danielle, and Kim G. Teresa didn’t want to go to the fashion show when she found out that Kim G and Danielle would be there.
    Caroline was my favorite but not anymore. Teresa told her things most likely in anger, and Caroline shouldn’t have repeated it. Petty BS because she didn’t like what happened the day before. Teresa doesn’t need any help in looking bad. She can do that all by herself.
    In all honesty, I don’t find the Manzos to be the most “normal” family on the show. For me, it’s always been something off about them.
    I don’t trust Melissa. I can’t put my finger on it, but my hunches are usually right. She just does not come off sincere to me.
    As far as I’m concerned (and it pains me to say this), Kathy was the only sane one at the reunion. Her family is the only “normal” one. I didn’t like her at first, but she grew on me. I liked her even more at the reunion.
    I am pretty sure that because of legal reasons, Teresa couldn’t expound on television which is recorded for millions of people to see. As far as Christmas is concerned, I have a separate account that has money put in it every two weeks. Therefore, their Christmas comes from a separate budget. I didn’t see anything wrong with the gifts. Teresa works hard. With everything that they had been going through, why not treat the girls. Their financial situation is NO ONE”S BUSINESS.
    I hope that next week’s reunion has alot less ganging up on one person.

    • Kim

      I totally agree with you. The Teresa-bashing was a bit much. I feel like Caroline is trying to get in on the drama because she doesn’t really bring much to the show (really, did anyone care about her radio show or the fact that she bought matching $3000+ bracelets for each of her family members?). I also thought it was interesting to see Melissa, Kathy and Caroline on their high horses and extremely judgmental when all of them have money because of their husbands. Do they know the details of their husbands’ businesses? None of them strikes me as too intelligent, so I’m guessing no.

      • mochababe73

        Caroline doesn’t even have her show anymore. She even admitted on Twitter that she was wrong for telling Melissa what Teresa said about not making amends with her brother. Caroline apparently texted an apology.
        That’s pretty cowardly, if you ask me.

  • gg

    Andy is just upset with thresa over the incident at last years reunion when she threw him in his chair. LOL

  • Matthew

    To follow up on the title of this blog entry: “it’s like a storm of stupidity in here.” I’ve never laughed so hard at a reunion show before. I actually rewound it and watched that part again.

  • Purse Mommy

    Horrible women the lot of them.

  • PhotoGirl

    Wait. The “housewives” themselves are admitting that this whole thing is stupid??? Damn. If I’d known that was going to happen, I would have watched!
    Perhaps this is the beginning of the end. One can only hope…

  • Melissa

    Isn’t this show ON tv? If people don’t want their personal business dissected and scrutinized on tv, don’t put yourself and your family on tv.

  • Stephanie

    One thing I can give Teresa is that she has stayed the some over the top, obnoxious woman she was when she started the show. You know what you’re going to get when you’re friends with her. So I am baffled as to why, after all this time, Caroline and Jacqueline are mad. They know how Teresa is and now they’re mad? It baffles me. Caroline needs to look in her own house before she advises others how to fix theirs. Don’t get me wrong I like her kids but they talk more sh&t about people than anyone. Especially now that Albies new gay bestie Greg has joined. Some of the things they have said about Teresa were down right brutal. She cracks a joke in a cookbook about Chris and Momma Manzo says not MY kids. Pot meet kettle!
    As for Jacqueline( and I cannot believe I am having to say this) maybe Ashlee was right when she said her mom loves being in the middle of all the drama. Look back at past seasons and see that it’s true. And to not show up for the reunion because she’s upset? Whatever everyone else made it.
    Melissa is relevant on the show only cause she’s a thorn in Teresa’s side. I actually like her and feel sorry for her having to deal with her horn dog husband.
    Kathy and her family are the only one’s who seem normal. I would totally hang out with Richie. He’s a riot.
    One last thing, I thought it was petty and vindictive for Caroline to bring up things Teresa had told her about her brother, Melissa and Kathy in confidence. Color it any way you want to but it was wrong. Caroline showed her true colors. If your not doing what she says she becomes a vindictive bitch. Also what all the anger in the previews when Teresa brought up the fact that Caroline and Dina weren’t speaking? Is her glass house breaking?

    • Purse Mommy

      Stephanie you are absolutely right. Theresa and Caroline have known each other for over 20 yrs and you’ve just realized how she is, I’m not buying it. The Manzo kids and their gay bestie were very mean and back stabby this season. I can not stand the mean roomie uggghhhh make him go away.

  • Lorie

    I honestly don’t know what to make of it. The whole thing was so crazy with all the bickering and fighting. It made my head hurt.

    What is it that Jacqueline is so upset over? Or do we not find that out until Season 4?

    • Stephanie

      She and Teresa had a huge blowout at the posche fashion show which coincidently was the night before the reunion. I’m not on twitter but she was tweeting like crazy about how she wasn’t going to the reunion, etc,etc. Teresa or Bravo supposedly set Melissa up to make it look like she was a stripper when she really was a barmaid.

  • Mary

    While watching Teresa talk in circles I was reminded of Kelly on Scary Island. Anyway, it made me think that Bravo might get her counseling and p.r. help and she’ll be the voice of reason next season.

  • ellenbakes

    If Teresa is an evil genius, I’m a fairy princess. She’s just naturally mean, petty and vindictive enough to have created the perfect storm of unpleasantness.

    Amanda called it when she pegged her to be the “shitstirer” because she is and the “christening ruckus heard round the world” does look a lot differently now having seen T in all her glory this season.

    I may have watched this entire episode with my mouth open because I couldn’t believe how a person could persist with their bullshit in the face of being called out and exposed. (Maybe T has a career in politics ahead of her. ) And that high pitched “sing songy” voice that T does when she’s lying sets my teeth on edge every single time.

    What we got to see this season about T is a woman with an ego that knows no bounds, coupled with ignorance, jealousy and a mean streak. Who uses a cookbook as a platform to say shitty mean things about people? It’s a cookbook for chrissake! She’s a shameless attention seeker and an unskilled liar. (If she is thinking about running for office, she’ll have to work on that last part.)

    And as someone mentioned earlier, if you don’t want people to talk about or examine your personal life and behavior, don’t put yourself on a reality TV program in the first place. Period.

    Thanks for the recap, Amanda and my TiVO is set for round two!

  • Manuela

    I don’t understand how it’s ‘bashing’ or ‘ganging up’ when a castmember is called out during a reunion for consistant and egregious behavior. This kind of confrontation is nearly impossible during the regular episodes. The reunion is the only time some castmembers may have to to make a point in one continuous length of taping.

    Caroline isn’t perfect. Melissa isn’t perfect. (I think Melissa has quite a bit of unprocessed anger for Teresa in defense of her husband; I recognize myself in Melissa from a time my own husband was being unfairly treated by a family member. Later I realized my anger wasn’t helping him or anyone and was my own problem; not that the reason for the anger didn’t exist).

    But if Teresa didn’t want to be asked hard questions and then ‘forced’ to dysregulate on television, then she should have 1.admitted to the butt-holeishness of her behavior, 2.not lied about matters that are public record OR 3. stayed the F off of television in the first place.

    Thanks again, Amanda, for an exceptionally witty, sharp and sensible recap of NJ Crazy!

  • Purse Mommy

    Did anyone find it strange that when talked turned to non juicy’s and Richie’s job and no one could explain. How hard is it to say real estate investor.

    • Kim

      EXACTLY…and they don’t even know the nature of their husbands’ businesses, which I’m thinking is just as shady as juicy’s was. I loved Melissa struggling to answer Andy’s question about what non-juicy does, stammering about how Joe is such a hard worker and then finally saying, “Yeah he buys old warehouses and turns them into ‘condos’ and uh, he has built, uh, two custom houses.”

      • Manuela

        Melissa and Kathy should have said ‘Real Estate Investor’ when aked their husbands’ careers, but they didn’t because Melissa isn’t that sharp and informed and Kathy isn’t that informed. Who said they were perfect?

        I hardly think the wives’ responses in this case is indicative of the legitimacy of their husbands’ businesses.

        Respectfully Kim, I’ll have to see more evidence than some wives tripping over their words and making fools of themselves on “Bravo” before I’ll belive that non-Juicy’s and poor man’s Jeff Goldblum are embezzlers or criminals.

  • JenG

    When Danielle was on the show, did they not gain up on her. I don’t see the difference, Teresa and Carolina were seen as the favorite housewives and Danielle was considered “trash” per Carolina. Now she is not speaking with her sister Dina and her and Teresa are at odds. I know Danielle is somewhere laughing!

  • adrienne z

    Teresa looked rather like a caged animal ready to pounce an unlocked door whenever Andy glanced in her direction with a question. She was at the edge of her seat the entire episode and had prepared herself well to be in the hotseat. Her ready “OMG” answers were too obvious of a shocked reaction when somebody called her out on something she had said in the past. I think in her mind, she was too quick to “Deny Deny Deny” no matter what anybody asked. She’s obviously rationalized all of her behaviour and conflicts internally and the true guilt is not lost on anybody but herself.