Last Night’s Shows, Today: Real Housewives Of New Jersey

REAL HOUSEWIVES OF NEW JERSEY “In The Name Of The Father” & “Drop Dead Gorgas” (Bravo, 9:00PM)

Last night the missus and I caught the first 90 minute episode of the new Real Housewives Of New Jersey season as well as the second ep which was new. The first one revolved around a wild Christening that lead to shouting and punching while the second revolved around Halloween and a fashion show with several of the Housewives walking. With Dina still gone (bummed about that) and Danielle kicked off the show, we’ve got Melissa and Kathy as the new Housewives and their sole responsibility seems to be talking smack about Teresa without actually trying to talk to her.

Two episodes in and this season is already starting to lose me, but in a completely different way than it was losing me last season. Last season completely revolved around the housewives reacting to Danielle’s craziness, which was seriously strange and seemingly close to dangerous (at least on a social if not legal level). Anyway, I was kind of hoping for something a little more relaxed with the third season, but that’s not the case and, in fact, Danielle’s specter still hangs over the gang in a weird way. Remember in the reunion when Danielle slyly brought up some problems between Teresa and her family? Well, the producers went out and got Teresa’s brother’s wife Melissa to be on the show as well as one of her cousins, Kathy, in a seeming effort to make these episodes all about how evil Teresa is. There’s some static between Teresa and her brother who like every other man in her life is named Joe, which makes everything super confusing. Anyway, said static is never really explained well. Brother Joe is upset because his father like’s Husband Joe and feels betrayed by seemingly everyone. Really it seems to boil down to most of these people being childish adults who can’t take any blame for anything and always lay it on the other person. Teresa blames Brother Joe and Melissa, Brother Joe blames Husband Joe and Teresa. No one wants to meet the other halfway. Brother Joe acts like such a, pardon my french, pussy throughout the first two episodes he might as well be one of the housewives. I was near tears laughing when he was screeching at his dad during the first episode’s chaotic Christening. Either man up and have a real conversation with your sister that doesn’t involve copious amounts of booze and fix things or just cut her out of your life completely. Which, for the record, would not include going on a reality show with her.

Meanwhile Caroline and Jacqueline are dealing with real problems that adults can relate to. Caroline is really feeling the empty nest as her boys Albie and Chris tell her they’re moving into their own apartment. At the same time, Jacqueline continues to struggle with her daughter who has no concept of the real world and acts like an entitled spoiled jerk who completely expects her parents to pay for an apartment in the city so she won’t have to commute to her internship that she doesn’t show up to because it’s far away. This chick needs some serious reprogramming and boils my blood, but at the same time, that’s something that anyone with a teenager deals with.

I get that family drama is something that people deal with all the time, but the way the producers clearly went about casting this season as a Teresa hatchet job is insulting and boring. It doesn’t help that there’s no discernible reason for the drama that I’ve been able to make out aside from childishness or that everyone is just so petty about it. Melissa: “Teresa thinks she throws better parties than me, but she doesn’t.” Seriously? That’s what you’re worried about in life? Man, it must be awesome to be rich and able to worry about stupid shit that doesn’t really matter. And I don’t mean to canonize Teresa here. She doesn’t seem to have done much to mend the fences herself and, like her brother, blames everything on the other person. We’re just more familiar with her, so we’re on her side. Besides, every single thing that comes out of Melissa’s mouth seems to be an attack on Teresa which is just boring and catty.

I would imagine that Caroline is by far the most popular of the Housewives, and yet, instead of the producers trying to capture more of her realness by getting women like her, instead they go the other way and go for incendiary characters. Kathy seems like she might have some of this in her, but she seems to have really mired herself in the Melissa/Teresa nonsense, taking different sides at different times and coming off as a trouble maker. It’s disappointing because of all the Housewives iterations, this one has the most potential to not only feature the Bravo norm of rich people doing fabulous things, but also the addition of actual heart and family. Would the viewership die off if the cast consisted of people who didn’t hate each other? Hey, it’s possible, I’m no Bravo expert, I just know what I like. Maybe Caroline and her family just need their own series.

I don’t think I’ll be blogging about this season on its own or take notes during it, but will probably return to it a time or two in future LNST entries.

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