Editor's Note: Hoboken-based comedienne, writer, and lifelong NJ Italian dame Eileen Budd is back with another recap of the Real Housewives. Comment below!
In the Closet
The episode opens with Joe Gorga playing with his kids while wife, Melissa, is busy singing Amazing Grace in her closet with its vast array of flamboyant outfits that resembles the wardrobe room of Priscilla Queen of the Desert. Melissa obviously thinks she’s auditioning for Medieval Times because she croons ”Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wench like me…” Uh, Melissa, the word is wretch – not wench, but good luck at that audition in Lyndhurst and stay out of the way off those jousting gents.
Then we see Caroline in a fur vest with husband Albert playing golf. Well, Albert is playing golf; Caroline mostly bitches. Between Albert’s putts, she complains, “It’s cold out,” and “It’s the stupidest game in the world.” Not any more stupid than wearing a fur vest to play it. They talk about her empty nest syndrome and Albert encourages her to take her sage parenting advice on live radio to occupy her time. God help those people who call in, because they’re going to get a new one ripped by one mean mother. Anthony Weiner has a better chance of staying in Congress than a caller has of remaining unscathed by Caroline.
Next we have the treat of seeing Ashley in two different hats while mother, Jacqueline, and stepfather, Chris, debate buying her a car and then actually doing so. While Jacqueline and Chris discuss the issue, Ashley remarks, “I love the awkward pauses.” Not as much as she loves her headpieces though.
While at the car dealers, ungrateful Ashley objects when Chris wants to keep one set of keys because he already has four cars including a Range Rover, a Bentley, and a Mercedes. I still don’t know what Chris does for a living but unless he has a professional car service for celebrities, something smells fishy. And in a state that smells to begin with, that must be a pretty strong odor.
Now we get to Teresa and her hubby, Joe, who are in bed with their kids. That guy is always either eating or in bed. I usually refer to him as a human zeppole but I realize that he’s reminding me more and more of a beached manatee. T.’s brother calls her to follow up on her letter to make amends. T. invites him to see his niece, Gia, perform in a gymnastics meet. Heartened by the call, T. starts to weep in happiness. “You’re always crying,” the manatee says. And then the baby grabs the cell phone and shrieks – because she probably knows what’s coming up in future episodes.
Speaking of always crying, we come to Kathy, the real Tiny Tears. (By the way, if you get that reference, you’re either pretty old like me or one of those creepy collectors of dolls.) It’s hard not to like her and her husband, Rich, because she seems like a genuinely kind person and he looks like Elvis Costello but talks like Don Corleone. They call their children to a meeting to renegotiate their contracts. Yes, that’s right – they make their kids sign a contract of their parental expectations from them. 12-year-old son, Joseph, says he can’t make any long term promises though because when he’s a junior or senior, he’s probably going to have a drink on a Friday night: “I’m not a goody two-shoe.” What happened to the other shoe, Joseph? I guess it just magically disappeared like the all the bottles in the clear little freezer in your family’s kitchen that said Coca-Cola on it. Am I the only one that saw that and thought it was a little strange to have an empty Coca Cola freezer under a kitchen counter? It was like a bodega in a third world country.
But good parents they seem to be, even though they differ in their approaches to parenting sometimes. When Joseph walks around with his droopy pants, Kathy gets on him for deliberately exposing his underwear. Rich, on the other hand, is more pragmatic. “Kathy,” he says, “Leave the f-----’ kid alone – let him enjoy his youth.” Yeah, Kathy, stop being such a f----drag and be a f-----role model like his f----- father.
All right, so now back to Melissa and her burgeoning singing career. Hubby buys her a piano and she thinks that’s so amazingly supportive because normally he likes her “pregnant and cooking in the kitchen.” But maybe Joe was just looking for a new surface to have sex on.
She hires a songwriter named Anthony and practices at the piano with him while she wears a vest made of feathers. Maya Angelou, sorry but you were wrong. Now we really know why the caged bird sings – so it can die and transfer its feathers and chirping talents to Melissa. Can’t you just smell another Real Housewives one-hit wonder? Oh, I forgot – it’s hard to smell it because of all the other smells coming out of New Jersey including the aforementioned fishy one.
Something’s drowning in the gene pool
So back to T. dressed in a leopard print robe, putting on her makeup in a bathroom with more marble than the Parthenon. She’s all excited because her brother is supposed to come to see Gia perform. When Gia talks to her uncle on the phone, she tells him that she’s the best in her gymnastics class. He responds by telling her she’s good “’cuz I gave you those genes.” What??? Either T.’s brother, Joe, is ignorant about genetics or that’s just plain creepy. That kind of information can mess up a kid for life. At the gymnastics meet, the poor kid keeps looking for her uncle who hasn’t shown up yet. T.’s mother makes excuses for him, saying, “He’s always working,” which makes T.’s husband so disgusted that he looks like he’s going to puke up a bad batch of zeppoles, which in his case, is like throwing up yourself. Finally, when the meet is just about over, the Gorga family arrives. Melissa is wearing, of course, a fur coat and her daughter is in a leopard print coat. What is it with these women and their obsession with wearing animals? It’s like watching The Jungle Book.
Even though T.’s husband is annoyed that Melissa never says hello to him, Gia is happy that her Zio (Italian for “uncle”) finally showed. Afterwards in the parking lot, Mama Gorga hands her son a manila envelope and says, “For your guardian angel.” It appears to be either a rosary or a bracelet. If it was a rosary, where did she get it from, Staples? What could be more fitting to hold such a religious piece than an office supply? If it was a piece of jewelry, what truck did it fall off of that it didn’t have a proper box? Wait, again I forgot – this is New Jersey.
Caroline drives down to meet with the program director at a radio station in the state’s capital, gets lost, and fears that she will be murdered in the land where “Trenton makes – the world takes.” The first time I saw that slogan over the Delaware Bridge a few years ago, I looked around at the desolation and thought, Yup, the world must’ve taken everything. Caroline tells the director that she has no idea if she can get ratings but nails a sample question she’s thrown about Facebook. “Facebook didn’t ruin your marriage,” she’d tell a potential caller. “It was ruined before Facebook.” And that kind of compassionate advice is what seals the deal for her own radio show. The expression “Caller beware” is about to take on a whole new meaning.
The episode comes to an end with Melissa crying over being a martyr much like those poor animals whose pelts she likes to wear.
In the next episode, Caroline tells Teresa, “Put your big girl’s panties on.” They’re probably leopard print too.
For recaps of previous episodes, see below. Eileen Budd can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment here. Check out more Hudson County, New Jersey news at hudsonreporter.com, the community newspaper group based in Hoboken!