Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Real Housewives of New Jersey Recap: In which Danielle does an hour-long mash-up of "Mommie Dearest" and "Gypsy."

Week two! The Deuce! Two episodes into the second season of RHONJ, and shit hyst keeps getting better. We got mother-daughter fights, mother-daughter bonding, mother projecting all her hopes, dreams, and unrealized ambitions onto daughter, and brother-brother-sister ham fights. What the eff more could you want?!

We start this week's episode with Danielle, who is showing off her dilapidated hive to her real estate agent and "good friend." Honestly, I think to qualify as one of Danielle's "good friends" you just have to have a pulse and the resolve to look her in the eyes without bursting into tears and crapping your pants. Other "good friends" of Danielle: Carlos the grocery store bag boy, Sharon at the highway toll booth, and Patches, the hobo outside Walgreens who carries his feces around with him in a mason jar.

Anyway, Danielle shows off her crumbling manse, pointing out the faulty wiring, peeling wood panels, small electrical fires, and her most prized posession: her bidet. Seriously, she was all "this is the bidet, which I think is very very important." She went on and on, and I kept barfing and barfing. Later, they sit down, and Danielle starts crying and over-sharing to the real estate agent until she winds up hanging herself with a loose electrical wire, and then Danielle just continues talking to her corpse.

Once we leave Grey Gardens 2: Franklin Lakes, it’s off to lunch with Jack√©e, Teresa, and Caroline, where they talk about how Teresa is late all the time before setting their sights on poor Jacks. The whole Danielle ex-friendship thing is still a big deal, apparently, and both push her to give up the goat (literally. Danielle is a goat). Jacquee, kind, simple soul that she is, says she's still going to be cordial, and Caroline tells her she smells like trash, or something to that effect. Poor Jacqueline. Oh, and Caroline also says that Danielle's children have had their souls stolen by their demon mother.

Once Caroline and Teresa finish devouring Jacqueline with a side of red sauce, it's off to the Manzo household for the best scene of the night. The Manzospawn Three are caught in media res playing the famed Ham Game. What is the Ham Game, you ask? Why, it's the game where people take ham out of the fridge, and fling it at each other and all over the house. There was ham on people’s faces, ham on the cabinets, ham on the walls, ham on the ham, ham EVERYWHERE. It was like the aftermath of some sort of weird porno.

So, the kids are having a grand old time hamming one-another until Caroline comes home, at which point they all freeze in terror, knowing their mother’s extreme dislike of the Ham Game. Caroline knows all there is to know about the Ham Game. There is nothing good that can come from the Ham Game, she says. Nothing. The kids try to suggest that she buy cheap ham just for throwing, but she is adamant: No ham game, so they give up the goat (what is Danielle doing at the Manzos in the first place?), and we move on. Ham Game!

Next, it’s back to Danielle’s Zerg Lair, where she has exciting news to deliver to her dead-eyed daughter Christine: IMG Models wants to siiiiign heeeeeer! Danielle goes on and on about how great this is, and the daughter is like “Oh, cool. Yeah, that sounds fun” in her zombie voice. Seriously, more dead-eyed than the Kardashians.

So, the two head off to New York City for Christine’s big fashion shoot, and it’s with Noted Fashion Photographer (and Kelly Bensimon ex) Gilles Bensimon. Christine stands in front of the camera with her deep-sea stare and Danielle watches, loudly saying how beeeeeaaautifuuuul and goooooorgeous everything is, feeling free to get her Gypsy on. At the end of the shoot she weasels herself into the shoot, being all “Oh, what? Me? Take a photo? I simply couldn’t.” before immediately finding the light and mugging for the camera.

Also there was a woman there named Brandusa, presumably the terrifying Greek patron god of healthy digestion. This fact is inconsequential, but I had to point out ahat a dumb name that is.

Not to be upstaged, Teresa and her daughter Gia head to a local Jersey PR company to try out for a fashion show. Teresa is proud of her daughter, who is uncomfortably good at the whole pageant talk thing. However, Danielle interviews that she doesn’t see Gia being a model, since she’s not even 4 feet. Which would be a valid criticism if the girl wasn’t 7 years old, you psycho.

But anyway, the audition goes well, and she winds up getting the part, hopefully setting the stage for a bitchy walk off between the daughters in the next episode.

Over at Sad Clown Hollow (aka Jacqueline’s house), she, Teresa, Dina, and Caroline are talking about babies and such. Not much of note happens, but they do talk for an uncomfortably long time about how one’s “chuckie” gets puffy during pregnancy and/or after prolonged lovemaking. They would keep talking about this fact, but Jackie’s baby starts crying and barfing, presumably from all the puffychuckies.

Meanwhile, Danielle is busily planning a congratulatory party for Christine’s success, to which neither Christine nor any of her friends are invited. Yeah, see, by congratulatory party, I meant “I’m Danielle look at me” party. Seriously, that’s pretty indefensible, right? I mean, I know there’s editing and stuff, but how is there a good angle to having a party for your daughter that she’s not invited to?

Anyway, Danielle extends an invitation to both Dina and Jacqueline, who politely decline because they aren’t particularly fond mantis cuisine. However, the next day at the party, we see that Danielle left chairs for them anyway so she has an opportunity to talk shit on them to her other “friends,” who were mainly people we had never seen and then Kim the Mantis. As custom when around other she-mantids, Danielle makes Kim and the other ladies swear their allegiance to her before they can leave. Apparently, there’s been rumors that a few of them were also friends with the dreaded Caroline Manzo. Danielle cannot abide by this, and to quell her fury, the ladies link mandibles in a circle, and their allegiance is sworn. For now.

And that was that! Until next time, friends, when Danielle jealously pushes Gia down the stairs before her fashion show, sealing Christine’s fate as the new star of “Goddess.” Can’t wait!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Real Housewives of New Jersey Recap: Danielle is Terrifying

Helloooooo! Yes, it's me, Odysseus, Back from the seas! As you've probably noticed (all 2 of you), I kinda stopped recapping RHONY. It was fun at first, but this season is kinda lackluster, and other sites recap it better way than I ever could. So, I decided to take a breaksy-waksey.

BUT! With the return of these Jersey broads, I too return. Cuz seriously, how could I not? These ladies are amazing, and have quickly become my favorite series of the franchise. I think it's because they are all so real-seeming while simultaneously being the most insane too. A good combination that the other Real Housewives lack. So anyway, let's get started!

This season's marble and onyx curtain opens on Jacqueline. Formerly sad, barren Jackywacks is now beaming and fecund, having birthed her new baby boy into the world. While we weren't privy to the actual birth like that episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians where Kourtney unenthusiastically pulls her own baby out of her body, we do get to see the afterglow. Caroline and family come to visit and coo over the baby, and the whole thing is admittedly very heartwarming. Caroline remarks that the baby has helped to heal wounds from last season's explosion. "Babies: Putting a band-aid over a much larger and more serious emotional wound since the dawn of time (TM)."

Speaking of Caroline, next it's off to the Big Apple to buy a suit for her newly small apple-sized husband. Apparently a doctor had told him that if he didn't cut back on the calzones his heart and entire torso were going to explode like that scene from Monty Python and the Meaning of Life. So, he let his new life begin, called 1-800-GET-SLIM, and got the LAP-BAND. Now he is svelte and ready to...melt? Yeah, nothing sexy rhymes with "svelte." Anyway, he looks good, and Caroline was happy. As Andy Cohen would say, mazel!

Next, it's on to Danielle. Terrifying, heart palpitation-inducing Danielle. Seriously, each time she appeared on the screen I got a bout of nervous diarrhea (although not for three weeks like she said she had last season). The evil she-mantis and her two mindblowingly normal and level-headed children go clothes shopping at some bizarre boutique called "Posche," which I thought was "Porsche" for a good half of the episode. The store, decorated like a Spirit Halloween Superstore, is staffed by another puffy lipped Jerseymantis by the name of Kim. She and Danielle excitedly say hello by rubbing their spiked forelegs together in the traditional mantis greeting and exchange pleasantries. Looks like these two have become close over the past year. So close, in fact, that when Kim's mantismother was sick, Danielle was the first to come by and bring her a heaping bowl of aphids.

Once Danielle purchases some clothes and lays a fresh ootheca in the dressing room, it's off to the salon to have her face shellacked and re-sanded! Not much happens here, other than Danielle oversharing to her other BFF/beautician about Dina and how much she hates her. Danielle casts all kinds of shade, saying that Dina used to be a beautician, "stocking shelves and doing nails." How shameful! Nothing like the ever so refined and classy way Danielle spent her youth, stripping and getting arrested. Not at all.

About that Dina! Not much happened with her this episode. She seems like she might be laying low and staying out of the fray more this season. We see her at home alone, talking to and about her cats, which I guess in retrospect was a little strange. But, girl looks GREAT. She is still my favorite, so pretty and quick with the one liners and f-bombs. She seems like she'd be fun to go to a bar with or something. In fact, she is officially invited to my fantasy dinner party with Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Pandora Boxx. Maybe I'll make red sauce...

WHICH IS WHAT TERESA WAS DOING! (Yes! Suck on that segue y'all!) The whole Giudice clan: a very pregnant Teresa, Joe, their grownup-faced children, Teresa's very very Italian parents, Joe's very Italian mother, and the Giudice babysitter all got together to make a gigantic batch of a-redda-saucea for-a da pasta. For some reason, I love how Italian Teresa is. Like, not in a make a dress out of the Italian flag and wear 6 Bumpits sort of way, but a speak Italian and make red sauce way. I dunno, the whole thing was cute. Except for the part where Teresa and her father asked the babysitter if she was having her period. That was weird and gross. Apparently according to Italian tradition, being on your period while making red sauce will spoil the tomatoes. On her blog Teresa says you can learn more about why in her cookbook, but honestly I'm good. I don't need more details. Really.

Something I would like more details about, though, is the $1000 a plate benefit Caroline threw for the sheriff at her home. Not the sheriff's office or a cause they support, but the sheriff himself. Strange, no? But anyway, Manzos one and all threw a big benefit, and everyone was invited. Everyone except for fearsome post-copulation lover-ingesting Danielle. Ms. Staub was sure to mention several times that she could "care less" whether she was invited, and didn't care at all, and didn't even want to go, and then proceeded to drive to Caroline's house, children in tow, to circle the place and throw molotov cocktails through her windows. She's all "I don't care, I really don't care at all. Not one iota. Honey, could you pass momma the pigs head from the backseat? Thanks." Ultimately, Danielle's children managed to convince her to call off her stalking mission after they basically told her she looked so crazy right now and it wasn't going to end in her favor. Again, how did these two wind up being so normal? It boggles the mind.

Meanwhile, at the party, everyone was blissfully unaware of how close they all came to being engulfed in a blazing inferno of hellfire and were making merry and getting super drunk. Naturally, the topic quickly moved to Danielle, and Kim from Posche (why was she there? Is she going to join the cast? I hope not.) and her husband join in on the fun. Both of them are like blackout-level drunk at that point and say all kinds of mean stuff about Danielle. Kim's all "Aannndyeah, shess a ssssmellybitch. And thossss aphhhhhids she gave my mom were dissssssssgustin." So much for that friendship! She better watch out. She of all people should know that mantids have no qualms eating their own kind. None at all.

So yeah, that was that for the premiere! What did you think? I LOVED IT. I really forgot how enjoyable these ladies are. Right now, I think my ranking for Real Housewives series is like this, from best to worst: NJ, OC, NY, ATL.

Really though, I can't wait for this season to unfold. The previews promise plenty of catfights, cursing, and apparently a fight between Danielle and Jacqueline. I CAN'T WAIT!

P.S. PLEASE read Danielle's blog on the Bravo site. It is INSANE. Bitch is out for blood.