I have been waiting anxiously for the premiere of season three of the Real Housewives of New Jersey. I am so glad that Danielle is no longer on the show because her full-on psycho drama was just sad and pathetic—it really made the show painful to watch.
It’s definitely been worth the wait because there’s more going on in this first episode than in all of season 2.
This season we meet Melissa, who’s married to Teresa’s brother Joe Gorga. We’re also introduced to Teresa and Joe Gorga’s cousin, Kathy Wakile.
The show opens in the midst of the christening for Melissa and Joe Gorga’s youngest son, Giuseppe, (aka Joey). Still the queen of understatement, Teresa says “Melissa is my sister in law and we’re not exactly best friends.”
At the christening, Teresa walks up to the table to congratulate her brother and sister-in-law, and Melissa looks totally confused and Teresa’s brother Joe tells her “Just walk away. Go, do what you do every day and walk the fuck away.”
“Are you kidding me?” says Teresa. Her daughter Gia tries to pull her away, and it looks like that’s not the first time she’s had to do that.
And in case it wasn’t clear how he felt, Joe Gorga calls his sister garbage. “Why’d you invite me then?” Teresa asks. “I think it was a technicality,” says Melissa’s sister Lysa With a Y.
Apparently the table turning genes run in the family because Joe just starts slamming his fists on the table. Before you know it, Joe and Joe are going at it.
Then Bravo cuts to one week earlier…
Teresa is doing a book signing at a pizzeria where Joe is now working (does he own it?). “It’s been a bittersweet for Joe and I. We went through a bankruptcy. Which, um, was, so not good. But I think Joe’s loving his new career at Guisseppi’s Homestyle Pizzerria,” says Teresa. I’m not sure what’s bittersweet about it. Personally, I would think it would suck but that’s just me. And a little dig: “He’s busting his ass but mama’s bringing home the bacon.”
Cut to Teresa at the signing and Jacqueline and Caroline are there for support. “Teresa has a lot on her plate and she feels like she hasn’t gotten the support she needs from her family—from her brother—but we’re there,” says Jacqueline, setting up what’s to come.
Next up is Caroline. I love her, but Jesus, someone give her a real story line. Her sons are moving out and she’s weepy. We get it: You raised your kids. You’re proud. Please, find a job. Or a hobby. Or a boyfriend.
Jacqueline is visiting her daughter at her (unpaid) internship for Lizzie Grubman PR (didn’t she back over someone in a rage in the Hamptons?), and Lizzie makes a point of letting Jacqueline know that Ashley has a hard time getting to work every day. Ashley decides the way to solve that problem is having her parents pay for her to move into the city. When Jacqueline tries to give her the “get off your ass and get a paid job” speech, Ashely gets all weepy because “commuting is annoying.” And she wonders why her mom “talks to me like I’m 5.” Hmm, maybe it’s that sense of entitlement you have?
Teresa and Jacqueline meet to talk about Teresa’s brother and how close they used to be until Joe married to Melissa. “I wanted my brother’s wife to be like my sister. And she’d just blow me off.” Teresa also addresses the elephant in the room—her financial issues. She said she’s spending less and “I’m done with the big parties.”
And in case you weren’t sure the real reason Teresa and Melissa don’t get along Bravo cuts to Melissa: “I tend to be very spoiled. So what. I’m living the American dream. Thank you Jesus.”
There’s a creepy scene where she asks her husband to put lotion on her legs, and then something weird happens and he’s molesting her feet. Melissa says that her husband surprised her with a 15,000-square-foot house, but “my sister-in-law never said it was beautiful. It was, crickets.” Melissa says the relationship has gotten competitive.
Then there’s a random comment from Melissa: “I can’t wait to welcome my son into God’s kingdom.”
Kathy shows up to Melissa’s and talk about whether or not Teresa is going to show up at the christening. Kathy says she’s worried about Teresa because “there’s a lot going on in her personal life.” Joe’s not so worried: “She’s got a new family. Jacqueline and Caroline. That’s her family.” Then he throws in a dramatic line: “My blood has done me wrong,” I hope the Emmys come knocking.
Kathy’s husband Rich looks like he’s going to be awesome. “Am I hot for Kathy? Sizzling. Sizzling.” He’s going to be Comic Relief Guy.
There’s a whole stupid scene with Chris talking Cajun. How did these kids get their own spin-off?
I’m already a little tired of Melissa’s shout-outs to Jesus and her compulsive crossing herself. “A christening is one of the most sacred sacraments for a Christian,” so there’s more “Thank you, Jesus'” from Melissa once she gets little Joey dressed in his christening outfit. On the way to the christening Melissa asks “Are you ready to go to Jesus’ kingdom?” Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t that only happen once you’re dead?
Can we talk about Melissa’s outfit for a second? What? The. Fuck? When is a bedazzled tangerine dress ever appropriate to wear in church? Melissa looks likes she stopped off at the church on her way home from Karma.
Teresa totally missed the christening, but Melissa knows she’ll be at the reception because “That bitch will never miss a party, especially when someone else is paying for it.”
At the reception there crosses galore. There’s the required ice sculpture cross (natch), the translucent crosses dripping from the branches in the centerpieces and the crosses on Joe Gorga and baby Joey’s necks. At one point I’m pretty sure I saw the crosses in the centerpiece change colors.
“Teresa thinks she throws better parties than me but she doesn’t throw better parties than me.” Maybe if Teresa had more crosses….
Kathy, Rich, Melissa and Joe Gorga are making small talk. Everyone’s pretending the cameras aren’t there and Kathy’s husband Rich finally remembers his lines and asks, “How’s Teresa?”
“I’ve overlooked many things she has done over the years, but excluding me and my family in her events,” Joe Gorga says. “She is competitive with my wife, and I don’t accept a lot of the things her husband does. I mean, I will work to give my family everything. And you know, Joe doesn’t like to work. Drinks a lot, hangs out with my father, saying, ‘Ah, look at your son, he’s never around, he’s always working.’ He’s poison.”
Joe starts encouraging Melissa to react to Teresa. He’s clearly drunk at the point because everyone starts talking about food and telling him he needs to eat. Who can blame him? Welcoming his son to God’s Kingdom was a big thing. The man needs a drink. Thank you, Jesus, don’t mind if I do.
Teresa and Juicy Joe (there are way to many Joe, Joey and Baby Joeys in this show) slow dance with Baby Joey like they did with their daughters at their christenings and some lady rips that baby out of their arms like she’s from CPS. Melissa is pissed because Teresa didn’t come to the hospital when he was born, so no dances with Joey for Teresa. Let’s not overlook the fact that Melissa and her husband had no idea where the baby was for a while.
Finally, we’re back where we started. Teresa is at Melissa and Joe’s table, Joe’s telling Teresa off, Juicy Joe is fuming and then he suddenly yells “You sons of bitches,” and then it’s on like Donkey Kong. The camera gets knocked to the ground as we hear someone yell, “I’ll [bleeping] kill every one of yous.”
Poor Gia. “I don’t want them to fight,” she says.
Joe Gorga is losing his shit, and everyone is going nuts. Joe Gorga is screaming, telling people to throw the Giudices out.
Melissa says that her husband feels Juicy Joe poisoned his relationship with his father. “He’s always in his ear, your son works too much, he works too much,” Melissa says. “He’s working. We have bills to pay, and we pay our bills.” Ouch.
There’s a weird scene with Joe Gorga and his parents. We hear Joe Gorga say, “Mom, you are cold, cold, so cold.” His father chides him, and Joe Gorga is screaming at his father, “I’m your son, remember that. I’m your son.” Gorga Senior says to him “And I’m proud of you.” But then he says, “Eh, you want to listen to me? Go cry to your mother! You only think a bout yourself!” Joe Gorga turns back to his father and screams: “You’re my father! You’re my father.” He’s like Fredo from The Godfather.
Somewhere in the middle of this, Caroline’s voice over says that Melissa and Teresa are the same person. True ‘dat.
And the Miami Housewives wonder why they won’t be coming back any time soon.
Did you watch? Did you love?