Bravo
Carla Sosenko
November 15, 2017 AT 10:00 PM EST

The Real Housewives of New Jersey

type
TV Show
genre
Reality TV
run date
05/12/09
broadcaster
Bravo
seasons
8
Current Status
In Season

Melissa and Margaret meet for lunch and I’m sorry but I legitimately went brain dead after Melissa tells Margaret a story about how when Antonia was born and Joe changed her diaper for the first time, he said, “I can’t believe she has one of those,” as if a vagina is Voldemort and WE MUST NOT SPEAK OF IT. I’m going to ask you to allow me to just move on swiftly from this lunch because I CANNOT.

Day one at the retreat is your usual assemblage of fruit, danish, plastic surgeons and makeup artists to help you not be so ugly so you can feel better about yourself, along with super-empowering aphorisms such as, “You have to program yourself to be positive,” and “What other people say about you is none of your business.” I’m going to give Siggy the benefit of the doubt and assume that Bravo intentionally edited out the really profound, meaty parts of her seminar, leaving us with only the wilted husk of an IRL self-help book (and not even one of the good ones, but like, the 50-percent-off-table self-help books).

At dinner, Danielle, desperate to get more screen time restore her good name, confronts Dolores about asking if she was on drugs, and Dolores does not waver: “Are you?” she asks while eating, because Danielle Staub has already gotten between Dolores and Teresa — she’s not going to also get between Dolores and a buffalo wing. Here’s the thing: Is it pretty harsh to accuse someone of being a drug addict? Sure. But is it also harsh to accuse someone of saying that their friend of 20 years is only interested in money? Uh…duh. And yet, all the women at the table defend Danielle, branding Dolores with the dreaded “below the belt” designation. That to me is odd. And Siggy — she who has been defended by Dolores more times than I can count — is suspiciously silent. Tsk, tsk, Sigalit.

Okay, we are finally there, my friends, standing in a circle in what looks like the rock quarry where Fred Flintstone works. Why are we here, exactly? I’d try to explain it, but I can’t do better than Vikki the divorce lawyer, who is running the retreat with Siggy: “We wanted to go through every lady here, and bring up exactly what you think is wrong with one person — and then we’re going to do a role play.” Okay, so, where to begin. Just yesterday, Siggy and Vikki were “empowering” women (I refuse not to use air quotes) and telling them, more or less, that the only person whose opinion matters is their own. Today, they’re inviting them to critique and criticize one another. On what planet is this a good idea? Or even a conscionable one? They’re going to ROLE PLAY? How could that possibly be productive? And most important, why in the hell does Vikki spell her name like that??? Girl, please.

Siggy and Margaret are first, and they are wearing matching leggings. Margaret snazzes hers up with a turtleneck sweater/bolero/dickey thing that serves no purpose in terms of warmth, and no purpose in terms of fashion. She then proceeds to do a really poor impression of Siggy crying over the cake and fawning over her son, but don’t worry, IT’S THERAPEUTIC. After that the show jarringly cuts to a midseason preview of the rest of the season, as if even the producers are like, “We know, we know — but wait, it’s going to get good.” And it looks like it’s going to: There’s Kim D! And people are breaking glasses! And Danielle’s daughter appears and she is so, so pretty! And everybody is dropping F-bombs!

Only time will tell whether the women were adequately inspired by Siggy’s retreat — just kidding, they weren’t — but I am looking forward to seeing Siggy’s response to Margaret’s impression of her. Fifty bucks says she pulls her hair into two pigtails immediately.

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