The Real Housewives of New Jersey recap: Not Much to be Thankful For

Teresa and her brother Joe celebrate Thanksgiving in different homes. Which is a good thing because I don't think Teresa can ride a mechanical bull.
Ep. 04 | Aired Jun 6, 2011

Jacqueline, Teresa, Caroline, Kathy, and Melissa

Tommy Garcia/Bravo

Let’s talk about cooking. Hell, let’s talk about Thanksgiving cooking in honor of tonight’s holiday-themed episode. You know how some years you go and buy that turkey, you let it sit in juices, you shove it full of stuffing, and then it’s to-die-for-delicious. And then other years you do it all again but somehow something goes awry and it comes out pretty nasty. That’s how I feel about reality television. The ingredients of media-hungry people + tragic need to share family issues occasionally makes for incredible television. And other times, well, it makes The Real Housewives of New Jersey, season 3.

For a season that started with such a ba-da-bang at the Gorga christening, it’s been pretty tepid lately. There’s a lot of griping and gossip, but no real drama. Tonight was so lame, in fact, that it seems like even the producers couldn’t take any more. They decided to ditch the housewives for Chris and Albie Manzo. Or, worse, Chris, Albie, and Ashley. Yes, things have gotten bad.

But tonight was Thanksgiving (strange, considering that chances are it’s humid and about 3000 degrees out wherever you are today) so I will try my hardest to abandon at least some negativity.

Oops. Sorry. Can't just yet. The show opened with Melissa and Joe Gorga shopping for their holiday feast. “I’m an ass man,” non-juicy Joe announced to the staff of the supermarket, while holding up a piece of meat. Why is it that Joe feels so compelled to talk about sex every single time a camera is pointing at him? Does he think it’s funny? Or is he so insecure with his sexuality that he has to constantly talk about it? I honestly don’t know. But it’s getting really disturbing.

On the opposite end of the gross-out spectrum was Kathy, adorable while cooking her Italian treats. I don’t believe for a second that Rich didn’t know how to pronounce “tiramisu” but rather wanted something to say to justify the Bravo camera people filling up their kitchen. Kathy probably bakes by herself in the kitchen, not with family members crowding around saying things like “I just hope there’s no brawls tonight” to make for drama. And wouldn’t you know it, all the extra energy made her cute little cakes burn.

Oh, well. Things weren’t going so well for the turkeys over at the Goffle Road Poultry Farm either. Teresa and hubby Joe got a tour and nearly chose to, as one employee said, “meet it before you eat it.” But they couldn’t pull the trigger, as it were, so the bird was spared until the next hungry Thanksgiving host came a knocking. “I just felt too guilty. So I got one that was killed the day before,” Teresa said.

Meanwhile, Caroline, Albert, and Lauren went over to Vito's family's deli for a little awkward visit. I wasn't interested in Lauren's makeup artist career and I'm not particularly interested in her personal life, so this story line wasn't so exciting.  We found out that when Caroline first saw Vito the Sicilian she said “There’s your husband” to her daughter. And she likes prosciutto balls. And Albert grew up poor and feels “bad for rich people because they don’t know how to be poor.” Wise man, that Albert. And while we’re on the topic of the Manzo spawn, some things we now know about the brothers: Chris likes to wear Albie’s jeans. Chris once lived in a room with Lauren and Ashley, but not Albie because, according to Ashley, “he’s Al.” The insight that girl brings to this show is staggering.

Speaking of Ashley, she hasn’t given up on her “dream” to “be Carrie Bradshaw [insert annoying giggle here]” but thanks to the sobering advice of the brothers Manzo, she has decided to stay home rent-free and do things to not seem like such a freeloader. So tonight we got to see Ashley walk the dog! And talk about how she’d cleaned the kitchen and her room! Should we really be impressed? Sure, if Ashley were four years old.

NEXT: Cookiegate at Teresa's

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