The new season of The Real Housewives of New Jersey kicked off last night and brought about the return of Dina Manzo. This season promises to offer insight into her relationship with husband Tommy, with whom she separated back in 2013 but continues to share a home.
"Viewers will see the ups and downs of all of that, and they might even see me go on a date or two," she tells Buzzfeed. "As of today, I will always love Tommy forever and we are taking things day by day and doing what's best for our daughter as she is getting ready to go off to school. No matter what happens, we will always be there for each other, and that's great. There's a way to be separated or go through a divorce and have it be dignified, as opposed to going at each other's throat."
Despite the personal ups and downs, Dina is going into the season with an upbeat philosophy and hopes fans get a sense of that when they watch.
"More of my sense of humor, I wasn't so uptight out of fear of upsetting family members, so I was really able to be myself. Viewers might see more of the wise ass Dina! I intend to look back and laugh at some of this, because the things that we've argued about are petty compared to big issues," she says. "There have been a lot of dramatic changes in my life, and I hope that some people out there can relate to what I¹m going through."
So what prompted Dina to come back? Well, it was none other than her pal, Teresa Giudice. "It never felt right to return in the past, and Teresa and I have been hanging out more than we had in the past few years, so I went with my gut; and decided it was time."
Like Dina, Teresa is going through her own personal drama. She and her husband, Joe, pleaded guilty to the fraud charges earlier this year.
"The first episodes starts three months before Teresa even got that news, so for the first part of the season, it was very light-hearted and fun," Dina says. "There was stuff going on with her, but Teresa does a great job of focusing on her family and keeping things in perspective and focusing on what's important in life, and I'm sure that is what has been getting her through at this time."
And Dina is her BFF through thick and thin. "I'm a friend with or without cameras rolling, and I think that is most important. I don't ask questions about the case, I'm just there to lift her spirit and that¹s what I do," she adds. "I also show her things that have helped me in hard times, and I hope that she finds solace in that."
With that in mind, Dina calls this season of the show, "Refreshing, funny and entertaining!"