Editor’s Note: Since the Bravo reality show Real Housewives of New Jersey is so popular, Hoboken comedienne Eileen Budd has been giving us her own take on each episode. We are also open to publishing your essays about any topic here in the entertainment section, so e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org and put “Midweek essay” in the subject head.
Episode 2: ‘Mamas Know Best’
This week finds the crew focusing on their motherly duties.
Teresa (my fave) goes shopping with her young daughters (a three times-a-week habit) and one of them throws a fit in the store. Demanding an outfit, the girl screams, “I will pull my hair out.” Oh, honey – you’re a Jersey girl; that would be a lot of work!
Gia, the eldest girl, takes acting classes in preparation of her audition for a part in The Rock’s new movie. Don’t worry, Gia, you’re a shoe-in. The Rock doesn’t want to risk waking up with a horse’s head in his bed.
Caroline, epitomizing the typical Italian mother, dishes up her family a tray of sausage and potatoes along with a vat of pasta. This was no doubt just the intermezzo to cleanse the palate before she served the main entrée. Her son, Christopher, ponders the existential mysteries of life such as perception vs. reality. Holding up a red cup, he posits, “What if my red is your blue?” Deep, Christopher. Very deep. Almost as deep as that cup you’re holding.
While they feed the dog with a utensil (yes, a utensil) as it sits alongside them at the dining table, other hidden talents are uncovered. Christopher displays remarkable investing savvy. He buys stocks in a beverage company because it has a drink called “Balls.” His sister, Lauren, has a talent for doing hair and makeup. Caroline suggests that she become a hair dresser but Lauren rejects that idea because her “hands are gonna hurt.” She’s no fool. Like I said before, Jersey girl hair is a lot of work. Lauren apparently is not the brightest bulb in the pack. Her own father says she’s “not smart” and her mother calls her “stupid.” Her brother, who reveals that she likes “ugly guys,” also gleefully points out that his sister thinks Canada and Alaska are continents. Let’s not forget that Christopher is the one who wants to open a combination car wash/strip club (probably in Piscataway because he thinks it’s a sovereign principality).
Jacqueline throws a birthday party for C.J., her 6 year old son. A crate of live chickens is carried in as she announces that the party has a “carnival theme.” Chickens????? I’ve been to a few carnivals in my day but never remember chickens being a major attraction. Perhaps she’s having one of those “make your own” food bars like they do with ice cream sundaes – only this one’s with chickens. You know how kids love McNuggets – just give ‘em an axe, some bread crumbs, and a deep fryer and let ‘em go to town!
Jacqueline worries that her tramp friend, Danielle, is going to rumble with nut job sister-in-law, Dina, in front of the carnies. (They had some undisclosed beef some time ago.) But Danielle only wants to bury the hatchet (that she probably stole from the kids’ McNugget bar). She hugs Dina and compliments her on her boobs. (I don’t know what’s bigger on this show – hair or boobs.) Dina gets creeped out by Danielle’s obsession with her. “I don’t know if she wants to be me or skin me and wear me like last year’s Versace.” Oh, c’mon, Dina – stop exaggerating. No one is demented enough to wear last year’s Versace.
Cougar tramp, Danielle, gets ready to go on a date with a much younger man who supposedly is in his mid-twenties but looks like he’s a 58-year-old retired NYC homicide detective. She asks her two daughters for advice on what to wear. As she goes through a million permutations of which purse to wear with what dress and which earrings, she prides herself on her superior gender role-modeling for her girls. “They’re getting a good dose of reality of what it’s like to be a woman.” Danielle and her date go to dinner at the fancy-schmancy Highlawn Pavilion in Livingston where she gets to show off her refined dining etiquette. Leaning across the table, she suggests something not on the menu. “Want to sneak into the bathroom?” Pursing his lips, he weighs the offer before countering, “Finish eatin’.”
Dina, looking to hire a personal assistant, tortures a perfectly pleasant, slightly effeminate, young man with a litany of questions more suitable to a game of Truth or Dare than a job interview. Would he wash her car? Buy her tampons? The ultimate test comes with her scary, hairless cat sitting in her lap. “She smells a little ripe. Would you give her a bath?” He hesitates for a moment, not completely sure if she’s talking about her actual cat or a euphemism for one of her body parts. Either way, he says yes, because he really just needs a job – badly.
The episode ends with a charity event at The Brownstone, which Dina has organized. “In full bitch mode” as her family lovingly describes her, she patrols the premises making sure everyone buys a raffle whether they want to or not. According to proud sister, Caroline, the event has “all the main things women like to do – laugh, shop, and dance.” I’m sure Madeleine Albright would agree. Jacqueline, clearly afraid of her sister-in-law, Dina, nervously wrings her hands as she tries not to invoke the Wrath of Kahn. Since the event has a ‘70s disco theme, the gals don Afros (even bigger hair!) and dance the night away, making sure to convey the appropriate level of frivolity as Dina stands watch with a bullwhip.
In a nutshell: This episode was way too tame. I want to get to the upcoming dirt the previews tease us with like: Who was the former stripper? Who was involved in a drug cartel? And, most importantly, who doles out daily sexual favors to her latest twink? (I have a feeling that it’s all the same person. Can you guess who?)
C’mon Housewives – pick up the pace – I have a carnival to get to!!