The fourth season premiere of The Real Housewives of New Jersey was about as chronologically complex as a Christopher Nolan movie. At the very beginning, we flashed back to the future to last season’s fiery reunion (oh dear, I’ve gone cross-eyed), where former “fambly” members Caroline Manzo and Teresa Giudice fought like sworn enemies, and Jacqueline Laurita didn’t even show up because she couldn’t bear to face her former bestie Teresa. For tonight’s premiere, we’re starting with events that occurred four months before the taping of last year’s reunion. Confused? Don’t be, just take a page from Teresa and don’t think.
The Gorgas and the Wakiles gathered for a back yard barbecue to talk about, of course, their prodigal sister Teresa. This whole scene felt particularly staged, especially because everyone was pretending they hadn’t already read Fabulicious, when you know they all sweatily scanned the book for any mention of themselves the moment it hit shelves. In the book, Teresa claimed that her sister-in-law Melissa Gorga copied everything she does, and that got everyone all hot and bothered. Kathy Wakile’s husband Rich took things too far (as usual) by saying, “I think we should burn the bitch on a stake.” On the other hand Joe Gorga, who’s gotten way veinier since the last time we saw him, didn’t want to “re-hatch” their problems with his sister. (By the way, it’s Joe’s mission in life to rehash his problems with Teresa on television… over and over again). But I’m all for re-hatching Teresa — she could use a little more time to incubate. (Sidenote: I’m so happy that Kathy’s sister Rosie, who was mostly silent all last season, has found her voice. I’m entertained by her super-aggressive energy and her ’90s-inspired outfits).
We took a break from the hopped up Gorgas and Wakiles and cut to the comparatively demure and pale Jerseyite Caroline as she visited Jacqueline. And ugh, we were subjected to more Ashlee drama, which is literally my least favorite part of this show. Anyone who chooses to change the spelling of her name from Ashley to Ashlee has all kinds of issues, and we learned that she hasn’t changed since last season — she’s still consuming a disproportionate amount of the world’s resources, in the form of liquor and blond hair coloring, while contributing nothing in return. Jacqueline and Chris were so frustrated with their jobless daughter that they threatened to ship her off to Las Vegas. Hmm, that sounds like a great idea. I mean, there are so many wonderful career opportunities that await a dimwitted bottle blond named Ashlee in Las Vegas.
NEXT: Relations between Teresa and Caroline have gotten so icy, not even Caroline’s hot flashes can melt them