Editor's note: Hoboken-based comedienne Eileen Budd is back with more recaps of New Jersey’s guilty pleasure, the Real Housewives. (NOTE: Eileen is Italian and from North Jersey, so she knows of what she speaks.) Enjoy! Comment below!
Jesus’ Kingdom and Hoboken Too
The Housewives have returned for another season minus trouble maker Danielle who has moved out of their lives and on to hosting a show called “Social” on WealthTV. Maybe now she can find that rich guy she was looking for to support her hair extension addiction. In her (and Dina’s) place, we have two new family related hoity-toitys named Melissa (married to Teresa’s brother Joe) and Kathy (a cousin).
The season opener is all about the christening of Melissa’s little boy, Guiseppe, who is dressed in a white double breasted christening outfit with accompanying white puffy hat that at first had me confused I might have tuned into Hoboken’s own “Cake Boss” by mistake. Melissa has two other kids and she’s a typical, Italian wife and mother. In fact, she agrees with the Italian code that “a woman should be a cook in the kitchen, a lady in the parlor, and a whore in the bedroom.” Judging from her excessive exposure of cleavage, she must feel that a woman should be a slut in front of a camera too. In fact, Melissa sexes it up by asking her husband Joe (not to be confused with Teresa’s Barney Rubble husband Juicy Joe), to put lotion on her legs and he proceeds to kiss her feet, wanting to rub the lotion further up as he says, “on her buttocks.” (Who uses the word “buttocks” except maybe Forrest Gump?) Two minutes later, he’s telling his other pint-sized son not to clean up the mess the kid made because that job is “up to the woman.” Nice role model, Joe. This is why Italian men either live with their mothers until they’re 73 or marry an Italian girl that was brought up to buy into that crap.
Now first you must know that Melissa and her sister-in-law Teresa do not get along. Teresa was close to her brother, Joe, until he married Melissa and she started poisoning him against his sister. Melissa, who thinks her meatballs don’t stink if you get my drift, knocks Teresa every chance she can get. “Teresa thinks she throws a better party than me, but she’s a faker.” So Melissa is all hyped about the big shindig she’s having for her baby’s christening at the fancy schmancy The Manor. And she keeps mentioning that she’s all excited that at the baptism, her little boy will be going to Jesus’ kingdom. I thought people have to wait until they kick the bucket to get to God’s kingdom, but what do I know? I stopped going to church at 14 when my crush, John Abbruzzese, stopped reading the Psalms at the 9:00 a.m. mass. But Melissa is obviously super religious because she even made sure there was a cross-shaped ice sculpture at the reception reminding us that Jesus died in order for us to have the proper décor at the vodka station. Speaking of proper décor, Melissa herself was decked out in pink bedazzled mini outfit with cutouts that again had me confused that I might be watching another show. I was expecting Snookie and JWoww to grab her hand, spritz on some bronzer, and go out clubbing at the Jersey Shore.
Now before I go into more about the christening, let me just touch on Caroline and Jacqueline and what they were up to this episode. Caroline and family were cooking southern comfort food, rustling up some chile and biscuits with “nipple sauce.” (Hope that wasn’t coming courtesy of Caroline because with her ta-tas, that would be like tapping syrup from an entire grove of Maple trees.) She also made a point of saying how different American southern cooking is from Italian food and that mountain people from Arkansas just can’t make pasta fazool. Maybe not, but they sure can make a mean possum and Mountain Dew stew, Caroline. Try gumming on that with only two teeth in your mouth and you’ll realize how tender road kill can be. Since Caroline’s boys, Albie and Christopher Manzo, recently moved to Hoboken, if you think I’m going to be making fun of Caroline any more, forget it. If her boys read this blog and I say something bad about her, I’m afraid she’ll knock more crap out of me than is currently on the sidewalks of Hoboken. In fact, Caroline cries when she learns that her boys are moving into Hoboken because she’s not only losing her babies, she knows she’s gonna have to dodge all that dog crap littering the town when she comes to visit.
By the way, I did see Albie during the winter outside his apartment without his coat on. He was on his cell phone and I gotta say, he’s a cutie. (Please don’t hurt me, Caroline; I’m not a cougar.)
Jacqueline is dealing with her brat daughter, Ashley, who is interning at a PR firm owned by Lizzie Grubman. (Yes, the same Lizzie Grubman who allegedly drove her SUV into a crowd of people outside a Hamptons nightclub a while back allegedly yelling, “---- you, white trash.”) Lizzie tells Ashley that she reminds her so much of herself. So I guess that means we can expect Ashley to plow into a crowd of drunken yuppies outside Teak some day when she’s visiting the Manzo brothers. Even more self-absorbed than ever, Ashley complains that it’s too hard for her to get up early and commute to the PR firm so she wants her parents to pay for an apartment in NYC. Apparently, her parents are heartless because they insist that she get a real job to pay for the apartment herself and commute to the city in the meantime by, God forbid, a bus or train, much like the white trash she would ordinarily just drive her Jeep into. But her stepfather does say that if she ever gets married, he would pay for her wedding for as many people as McDonald’s would hold.
Joe vs. Joe
Okay, so back to the christening. Teresa and her brother Joe (with the big chains) apparently were once close but now there’s bad blood between them. Big Chain Joe thinks T’s husband Joe (with the little chain) is lazy and doesn’t work and has taken his place in the heart of his own father thereby setting up a chain of fools. Now let me just stick up for Joe Little Chain here a second. Even though he declared bankruptcy, he is working hard at his new pizzeria. I’m not sure his new role as pizzeria owner is the reason why he says, “They call me dough boy now” or if it’s because he still looks like a zeppole.
In fact, T’s husband, Joe, almost doesn’t make it to the christening because he has the runs from eating some bad fish. Well, I guess eating the fishes is better than sleeping with them. But he manages to work things out (3 times) – thanks for sharing that, Joe – and winds up going to the soiree. Too bad, because that’s when things start to go downhill. Teresa goes up to her brother and Melissa (who does not hesitate to show her disgust for her sister-in-law) to say “Congratulations.” Her brother tells her, “Take a walk.” Joe Zeppole gets into the act because that was insulting to his wife T. and the next thing we know a melee ensues. We’re talking a major brawl with guys dropping to their knees – and they weren’t praying. Men were running after each other faster than Dominique Strauss-Kahn running out of the Sofitel. As fisticuffs fly, so do the “F” bombs. That christening didn’t need a priest’s blessing; it needed an exorcism. One of the most endearing scenes of the night was when Teresa’s brother has a heartfelt conversation with his father in Italian then starts yelling at him, “You’re my “---in’ father” when his dad sides with his Dough Boy son-in-law.
The weeks ahead look like they’re chock-a-block with crass encounters including Teresa throwing away a tray of pignoli cookies Melissa brings to a holiday party. Aww, Cake Boss ain’t gonna like that. But at least it looks like upcoming episodes will show us the most important thing of all we’ve been waiting to see – Ashley is still wearing her stupid hats.
For recaps from the last two seasons, see below.
Eileen Budd can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment here.