[We have enough real housewives of New Jersey here to get us covering Real Housewives of New Jersey–but we’re recapping with Linda Sue Strong, who’s the founder of entertainment blog TerribleTelevision.com and an occasional attorney. Her life has not yet been turned into a reality television show. Follow her at @themisslinda]
Welcome to another calm, peaceful, uneventful season of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, where blood is thicker than war-der. Ha, just kidding. They’re all ready to kill each other, or at least take a swipe at Teresa’s weave.
But first, it’s a Very Special Episode of The Real Housewives, as they each drive through the destruction from Hurricane Sandy in Seaside Heights, New Jersey. Second homes have been destroyed, people! Melissa and Joe walk into a soaking wet mess, and Teresa finds Joe cleaning up the destruction in their summer home. Sadly, all of Teresa’s tacky tchotchkes have been washed out to sea. Mention is made of the people who lost everything, and that means we’re done with the obligatory, “We’re good people, see?” portion of the show. And now, the good stuff.
Teresa emphasizes the importance of helping others to her kids, and explains that people are in dire need of glamorous clothing and shoes. In an act of kindness and compassion, Teresa’s kids are donating some of their age-inappropriate clothing to the victims of Hurricane Sandy, so that in addition to storm victims, they can also be fashion victims.
In violation of a strict Do Not Speak To The Giudices mandate, one of Melissa’s kids writes one of Teresa’s kids a letter to say that she misses her, which is cute. It’s good to use your kids as pawns in a family feud because it won’t mess them up at all. One kid calls the other, while a third shows the letter to Papa Giudice who mumbles and grumbles something about strippers. Then, Teresa takes her twelve-year-old, Gia, clothes shopping, and is told not to do that squeaky voice ever again because it’s embarrassing. Thank you, Gia. For this one fleeting moment, you are the voice of reason. Gia then dresses herself up in a skirt from The Hooker Kollection for Kidz and tells her mother, “I kind of like a guy, and the guy likes me.” Aww. They grow up so fast.
Jacqueline talks about her three-year-old’s autism. Good for her, shoving cameras and lighting in an autistic child’s face all day. That’s gotta be super duper helpful. The sad thing is, Jacqueline noticed a huge improvement in her child during the hurricane, when she and her husband were home with him all day. Um, yeah. Maybe do more of that and less of this?
Later, Jacqueline gets trapped talking about the Melissa-Teresa feud with Caroline. She says that hearing about the family drama is “right up there on my priority list with bleaching my a**hole.” So maybe there’s hope for this a**hole yet.
Caroline is “considering downsizing,” which means renting an apartment in Hoboken with her deadbeat daughter. Melissa and Joe visit and Melissa explains that she is uncomfortable dropping her kid off at Teresa’s house. She texts Teresa to tell her that she wants to take the kids out for a play date. Joe prompts Teresa to reply that she wants to take the kids out. Then Melissa replies that she wants to be the one to take the kids, and, really? This is beyond inane. Finally, someone has the bright idea for everyone to take the kids out together.
Because Caroline wasn’t done talking about the Melissa-Teresa feud with Jacqueline, she has a sit-down with Melissa’s husband, Joe. You see, Caroline “made a promise to myself not to get involved, but….”
Nobody is interested in Kathy, right? Okay, good. Moving on!
Melissa and her husband talk about The Great Giudice Battle Of 2012. Apparently it’s all Teresa’s fault, because Teresa tawks about Melissa being a stripper. Wait, I thought Jacqueline was the stripper. Huh. Okay. More strippers.
Thanks to the whining of two little children who are used to getting their way, both Melissa and Teresa take the girls out to make jewelry at a place that’s filled with beads and baubles and blings. While the kids are stringing necklaces, Teresa tries talking to Melissa, but Melissa is having none of it and spends the time staring out into space and flipping her hair. Which is probably fairly normal for Melissa, but still. Since it’s not about the kids at all, the children are whisked away in separate cars, to separate homes, never to see each other again.