The Real Housewives Of New Jersey recap: Trash-talking
New and old friendships are tested as Amber and her husband, Jim, quickly become everyone's new enemies.
This week’s RHONJ tries to begin on a lighter note, with a taste-test party for Teresa’s new line of desserts, but the undercurrents of Teresa’s stress are always there. Milania Giudice might not know what anxiety means, but her mother sure has a lot of it. Add in the strained relationship of housewives Amber and Melissa, which they decide to hash out during the evening, and you have a perfect recipe for a Housewives party.
But at least the party was beneficial for viewers because we learned that Amber is an actress. And, no, I don’t just mean the facade and characterization of herself that she is portraying on Bravo weekly. (You mean you haven’t you seen her family’s mortgage commercials?) But it seems the best role Amber knows how to play is pot-stirrer, and once again she brings up the twins behavior at her harvest party. First, she had said that they had invited too many of their own friends, but now it sounds like Amber is implying that the two invited themselves. But Nicole’s boyfriend, Bobby, is Amber’s husband Jim’s best friend so that doesn’t make sense, but nothing does with this one. Out of nowhere, she tells Melissa that she heard a rumor that Nicole had broken up someone’s marriage. “I don’t want to be a gossip, but I feel like I can trust Melissa,” she says in confessional. Well what about the millions of people who just heard you say that on national television?
Back to the intended main event: the desserts. Teresa blindfolded everyone to enhance their dining experience, which is something Melissa definitely wouldn’t have trusted Teresa to do at the beginning of last season. It’s nice to see some relationships can progress. With her kids around the house, Teresa is showing everyone how strong she is being for her family in this difficult and complicated time. Amber decides to take that as an opportunity to show (fake?) her own vulnerability and compares what she went through to what Teresa was going through. Comparing cancer and mortgage fraud is a real reach and only makes Amber look worse.
Even though he still has a house to build, Joe Gorga has decided to get into the garbage business. Correction: Joe Gorga has decided to get into the “extremely important document smushing business.” Essentially, Joe invested “millions of dollars” in a large electric blue truck that disintegrates classified government documents. Melissa worries however that they will end up living in the truck instead. Amber’s husband, Jim, is also one who likes to bring his work home with him by using his family in commercials for his mortgage company. (Hmmm, mortgage—isn’t that what Teresa and Joe are being charged with fraud of?) Jim is quite possibly one of the douchiest and most hypocritical househusbands ever to be featured on the franchise. He likes to discipline his kids to an extreme that makes it uncomfortable for us viewers to watch and then suddenly goes behind his wife’s back apparently once a month and gives his children McDonald’s and non-organic ice cream.
But I guess hypocrites attract. When Amber and Melissa go out to dinner, Amber still can’t seem to get over the fact or even believe at all that Melissa was unaware of her cancer diagnosis. She brought up Melissa’s music career and then asked her if she were diagnosed with something like cancer and had to chose between singing and her family, what would she pick? Yup, she actually asked Melissa that question and then went on to say, “It never crossed my mind that you might not have known; I just thought you were a coldhearted bitch.” It takes one to know one.
NEXT: Jim v. Joes
The twins treated Teresa and Joe to dinner at Rino’s restaurant Angelo’s because they didn’t come to her dessert tasting. They all seemed to get along really well, so much in fact that Joe smiled with his teeth more than once and openly admitted that he doesn’t like meeting new people but had a good time. So Rino naturally brings up the idea of having a guy’s night out with both Joes, Nicole’s boyfriend, Bobby, and Amber’s husband, Jim. But when Bobby brings up the idea to him later, Jim says he doesn’t want to go because he thinks being in the same room as Joe Giudice would be a conflict of interest—Jim runs a mortgage bank and Joe has been indicted for mortgage fraud and he could potentially be working with the department of justice or the lawyer who is prosecuting the Giudices. Right—potentially. Like husband like wife, Jim is causing trouble just to say that he did. He is correct to say that it’s a touchy situation, but your wife probably shouldn’t have “befriended them” (a.k.a. agreed to be on the show) if this was a true conflict. So when all the guys (plus Rich and Rosie) go bowling, Bobby tries to conceal the real reason why Jim didn’t show up by claiming he didn’t want to be around both Joes because of their violent behavior in the past. Gorga, obviously wasn’t too happy with being called out like that: “He’s a prick. You would want to hang out with me—it’s an honor.”
Things get even messier when Nicole decides to tell Melissa the truth about the guys’ night out: The real reason Jim didn’t go was because of the mortgage conflict of interest. Hurt that Amber and her family would be spreading lies about her after trying to rekindle their friendship, Melissa responds to that revelation with one of her own. She tells Nicole the “broken marriage/they weren’t invited” spiel that Amber had blabbed pre-dessert party. Because Melissa has been in that situation so many times before with lies being told about her, she wanted to let Nicole know what was being said and to give her the opportunity to explain herself. I don’t think she meant like literally right then, but Nicole went from 0-60 in anger and wanted immediate confrontation with Amber. Dear Housewives of Bravo, don’t you learn anything from one another? See most recently Shannon vs. Heather in RHOC season 9 or the infamous Bethenny vs. Jill showdown in RHONYC season 3.
Either Nicole remembered the lessons of the women who came before her or she just had some cool-down time because once she got to Amber’s house, she calmed down enough to realize that it wasn’t the right time to talk things out… but next week at Bobby’s first responder’s party in front of everyone was! What’s better than a forced public apology?
And Dina, did we learn nothing from medium Allison DuBois’ appearance in Beverly Hills? I know you have a lot on your mind with Lexi being rejected to NYU (a school apparently not eager for free Bravo promotion), but bringing in yet another medium—this one in the form of a flamboyant guy with good taste in jewelry named James Van Praagh—wasn’t the best idea. She claims he has a “very comforting way of letting people know what to expect.” And maybe that’s true because the first thing he asked was about Joe’s father and their relationship. Although this was filmed at the beginning of the calendar year, this scene is airing a little over a month after Joe’s father’s tragic death and it is a little chilling. The fact that James also predicted Joe would do some time or restitution and wasn’t going to be cleared completely may also (unfortunately for the Giudices) come true.