First of all, I have to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who came out to our book signing in Asbury Park, NJ this weekend. We were overwhelmed by all the Jersey love ... and the boys fell in love with the pinball museum.
Loved seeing the Giudice girls play Monopoly with their Dad; that’s our boys’ favorite game and when we play, we’re ruthless with them and each other. During the game we hear that Teresa and Joe will celebrate their 10th anniversary, which is huge and congrats to them. Given everything that we’ve been hearing about the family's financial turmoil, I wondered where Joe’s conversation with Chris was going to go, and was curious as to how much Teresa knew at that point when she asked for something big. Regardless, it was a beautiful ring. Loved the helicopter ride, and did anyone think we’d suddenly switched away from basic cable when we saw the two of them on the bed? Tee hee...bet they could have fun with some of the goodies I got Bethenny and Ramona! Glad to see the spark is still there because that will carry them through what's going on now.
The Manzo kids provided comic relief as usual; I loved watching Lauren and Chris lock Albie out of the gym and fake the situps, and good for Albie for making good use of his time by seeing another side of law enforcement.
You know what? I also really appreciated Danielle’s scenes this episode – I kept wondering to myself, is it going to get uncomfortable? Is she going to do something that's inappropriate? There’s been a ridiculous amount of drama leading up to now, and of course the rest of the cast never have anything good to say about her. This week it was nice to see another side of Danielle, that she loves her daughters and wants the best for them. Of course there are going to be people who say she was being a stage mom to Jillian, and while it did seem that way with Christine and the modeling earlier, I felt the pep talk with Jillian was just that…a boost. It reminded me of my niece, who balked at practicing her reading at our wedding rehearsal but did just fine at the actual ceremony. Also happy to see that they discussed it being a charitable party and that everything was donated. That’s the thing not all viewers realize; party planners and charities themselves have access to venues, businesses and donors who can make these events come together fairly easily. Of course it was fascinating to see her ex-husband, Tom and it was nice that he and his wife agreed to appear on camera. They seemed very cordial, though I remember clips online or previews where she really slammed him in the past. Danielle's hug of Tom in gratitude for coming almost got a little too long and teary, but she broke it before he did so it didn't come off desperate. I could have done without her explanation of the engagement ring, but it was cute to see the sisters good-naturedly arguing over who'd have the bigger rock later on.