'Real Housewives of New Jersey' recap: And a Partridge in a Kim G.
Well, it’s another heated week in Lake Waynegon -- not because tempers are flaring among its bellicose denizens, but because there actually is a broiling heat wave sweeping the nation, and we poor viewers are forced to watch be-furred, egg-nogging, tree-trimming maniacs swan around their supersized McMansions while we shvitz in agony. (Since the RHONJs don’t, of course, control the weather, it seems churlish to blame the ladies for this unintentional sadism. However, one feels sure, had they known our portending agony, they would have gone ahead anyway -- perhaps even provided some nice velvet costumes for us to join Melissa’s village carolers from our couches.)
Yes, it’s another overpriced charity event "for the children." (50 G's worth!) A rejected olive branch. A surprise guest. Kim G. causing trouble. Sounds familiar, right? Except this isn’t Danielle Staub having her extensions pulled out by Ashley while Teresa hurls darts at her departing back. This is Melissa Gorga’s Christmas/For The Children party, circa Season 3, and you know what? I am TIRED of the Giudice/Gorga reenactments of the great Staub battle.
Remember how ancient Roman Emperors used the Colosseum to stage mighty battles to keep the masses focused on blood lust instead of their poverty? Bravo, I am not focused on blood lust. I am noticing the increasing skimpiness of this narrative, and soon I will take to the streets.
What makes seeing Kim G. yet again appear at a party with an interloper in tow (this time, even more improbably, the wife of the lawyer who’s suing Teresa) particularly disturbing -- even MORE disturbing than the terrifyingly gelid insta-face lift she managed before the week was out -- is that there’s real drama brewing that we only glimpse in the Guidice clan. Their bankruptcy is carefully mentioned only in passing -- you have to read December’s “Us” magazine if you want the real story. Joe Giudice’s distance from his wife’s drama increases -- he was hanging out in dad pants in front of the telly when Teresa yanked him out to go to the party, then gave a frightening kick to a punching bag in the garage before they departed, to say nothing of calling her crazy to his fellow cast members a week earlier. Listen, even Ashley has started to win my heart with her despair over her absentee dad -- and her incisive insights into her drama-queen mom.
So sure, it’s good for a startled laugh when the party planner confides to Joe and Melissa that “roly-poly people” cost more than servers “who speak correct English” (guess the housewives will never be servers!) but generating both a charity event AND a run-in seems too trumped-up even for a show that triumphs in trumping things up. Listen, if we’re going to traffic in reenactments, why not have the three wise men and a pregnant virgin hit the scene? I’m not sure where we’d find the wise men, but I’m pretty sure Joey Gorga would be happy to don a white dress to play Mary.
-- Lizzie Skurnick