The fourth season premiere ofThe Real Housewives of New Jersey (Sundays at 10 p.m. ET on Bravo) was full of drama. And everyone knows that on this show, drama means comedy. Guess what, RHONJ fans? It looks like it's going to be a hilarious season!
The first episode set the scene: It's summer, which means it's time for at least half of the ladies to pack their leopard skin bathing suits, their sex toys, their hubbies, and their kids and head for the Jersey Shore. Once there, they grill out, drink fancy drinks, and gossip about one another until the insults escalate into full-fledged fights. And while Caroline Manzo and Jacqueline Laurita remained behind, they have their own steam to let off. (You don't need a beach house to act like mean girls.)
To be fair, despite all the harsh words exchanged during the episode, there is one uniting issue: Everyone hates Teresa Giudice. The big news, as the season opens, is that the Italian-American vixen has seasoned her second cookbook, Fabulicious! with insulting remarks about several of her RHONJ costars. She has asserted that Manzo is only one-sixteenth Italian, and that her cousin Kathy Wakile should "stop with the lame jokes." And she's reserved special vitriol for her sister-in-law, Melissa Gorga.
"I see my brother, Joe Gorga, his wife Melissa, my niece Antonia and nephews Gino and Joey several times a week. I wish my baby sister-in-law didn't copy everything I do down to the shoes I wear and the chairs on my front porch. But you know what they say, you can't pick your family," says Teresa.
Her comments are a hot topic at a backyard barbeque with the Gorgas and the Wakiles. "I think we should burn the bitch on a stake," suggested Kathy Wakile's husband, Rich. And back at Laurita's house, Manzo reacts to the cookbook allegations as expected, railing on about loyalty and Teresa's lack thereof. "She's not going to take any responsibility," she says. "She's going to make up excuses, and quite frankly I'm not in the mood…I don't want to talk about it. I'm glad I could help you sell cookbooks -- what do you want me to say? Little thing called loyalty is clearly lacking."
Naturally, the conflict-baiting Manzo confronts Giudice when she and hubby Joe arrive at the Lauritas for dinner. But Giudice acts perplexed and upset by their reaction to her cookbook comments. "I think maybe you guys misread it 'cause if you really read it good, I didn't insult you. It was like a joke," she says. "That hurts me that you would even think I'd write anything bad about you or your children...If I didn't care, you think my heart would be beating like this?"
Watch the season 4 teaser here:
Giudice, of course, is a complicated villain. Sure, she insults people with abandon. But she's also a sympathetic character. It's hard not to feel sorry for her in the scenes when she tries to reason with her gruff husband (who may or may not be cheating on her, and who's been in recent trouble with the law) and disrespectful children. Her oldest, 11-year-old Gia, reads the tabloids about her possibly jail-bound dad and, in one scene, tries to take part in her parents' discussion of his cheating ways. That can't be healthy for anyone.
Speaking of unhealthy parent-daughter relations, the Lauritas are dealing with their daughter Ashley's failure to launch. This episode's solution: Send her off to live with her aunt in Las Vegas, which honestly seems like the last place on earth they should send their listless teen. But hey, no judgment!
Where is all of this leading? After watching several seasons, we can guess that tensions with Teresa will escalate. And, if things progress in the usual Housewives fashion, we can expect a final showdown, probably between matriarch Manzo and this season's instigator, Giudice. Who will come out on top? Danielle Staub could comment on this, but she's long since been pushed out of the show. Watch out, Teresa. There's nothing scarier than a Manzo scorned.
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