As Episode 204 gets underway I notice that Joe Gorga always has something on his head. He is either wearing a cabbie hat or a knit hat or a do-rag or a bandana. I cannot for the life of me figure out why a grown man loves hats so much. Maybe he’s afraid that if he gets an idea it will roll out of his head onto the sidewalk so he prefers to keep all of his ideas and thoughts under wraps. We have to give credit to the Bravo producers for realizing that they have a star on their hands and deciding to open the show with Joe Gorga (oh yeah, and Melissa) at the supermarket getting ready for Thanksgiving. Joe leaves the butcher counter holding a rump roast and tells the butcher, as he slaps the meat, “I’m an ass man!” Oh, if ever there was a perfect place for a comma. One comma would have made the same sentence even more beautiful and perfect. “I’m an ass, man!”
On the way to the market we hear Melissa say, “Let’s go get a turkey.” Ordinarily I would have written, “You already have one sitting next to you in the car,” but let’s face it, Joe Gorga is no turkey. He is a bright shining Thunderbird sent to us by the television gods. My stance on the Gorgas seems to be softening the more I see of their children. Holy smokes these two make gorgeous kids. In fact, I would even go so far as to say that Antonia is one of the most beautiful children I have ever seen. I hope in the coming weeks after someone has read these blogs to Joe Gorga, he doesn’t kill me. Remember Joe, I am the one that told you how great your kids are. Now go look over there, I just saw something shiny.
Teresa and Joe are also on the hunt for Thanksgiving supplies. The big problem the Giudices are having is that they can’t get there. Somehow Teresa gets lost with both Joe telling her which way to go and GPS. Wasn’t Columbus Italian? Vasco da Gama was Italian. All the great explorers in the history of the world were Italian. Amerigo Vespucci found Florida and Teresa Giudice can’t find Pathmark. I guess that’s why Columbus did not set sail with the Nina, Pinta, Santa Maria, and the Teresa Mercedes. We’d all still be in Europe. I realize moments later that Teresa and Joe aren’t driving to buy a turkey, they are driving to kill a turkey. My bad. Teresa stop texting while driving!!! Joe and Teresa decide to pick out a turkey to kill and then go to the market and buy a Butterball as well. The logic behind this escapes me. Maybe it’s because I’m not wearing a hat. Is the butterball turkey there just to annoy the other turkey and rub it in? Teresa and Joe finally pull up to their turkey destination. It’s called something delicious like ROAD POULTRY. Road poultry? If I am going to start a business selling fresh meat I am going to try and leave visions of road kill out of it. After Road Poultry, Joe and Teresa have to make a few more stops at “Dumpster Hotdogs” “Mold on a Stick” and “Athlete’s Foot, Pudding, and Sons.”
I should pause here and let you know that I am an enormous meat eater. I believe that animals are here to be eaten. That’s why over thousands of years we have never evolved away from our incisors. We were meant to tear flesh and chew it. That is just my opinion. Animals are cute and lovely, but I also find them delicious. HOWEVER. Watching one of the Road Poultry guys chasing a bunch of turkeys around to show Joe and Teresa truly made me queasy. The guy finally grabs one and the other turkeys just nonchalantly walk away, free to live another day. None of them have any idea that they were almost in Joe Giudice’s stomach. That should make anyone run. Then I started wondering, each year, how many turkeys get away? Do they ever have turkey jail breaks? Is there turkey work release? The day after Thanksgiving, do all the turkeys move into a halfway house?I was snapped from my reverie by Teresa, who was on camera, during her interview, saying, “Chur chur cher chur!” I had to rewind this a couple times to wrap my mind around what was happening. It turns out, Teresa was doing her impression of turkeys talking to each other. Chur chur cher chur is what turkeys say to each other when they discuss the existential nature of life and the finite timeline that is existence itself and how humans, because of their opposable digits, and ability to use tools and plan ahead, are able to weld incredible power over the rest of the animal kingdom, even animals that have the gift of flight even though the grand irony of being a turkey is they can only fly 15 feet at a time. “Chur chur cher chur.” Teresa knows this because one semester in high school she took “Turkey as a second language” courses.
Finally we see a scene with Rachel Dratch -- I mean Kathy -- and Richie where they are not eating. In their first scene this week they are cooking. Kathy dominates a kitchen like Patrick Ewing dominates the paint. No one is welcome down in the blocks. Either get out of her way or get out of her way. If you want to help Kathy do something you can help by getting out of the way. Richie and his son have a nice licking-the-spatula moment (that sounded way weirder than it actually was…. It was genuine and sweet), and Kathy burns some of her desserts and has a freaking Chernyobl-sized meltdown. I predicted that Kathy was the wild card on the show weeks ago. She didn’t let me down this week. Richie asks her how to pronounce Tiramisu and Kathy responds by speaking to him in Japanese.
“Teee dah meee soo." I had no idea Kathy even spoke Japanese so Konichiwa for that. She should hook up with Teresa and speak Japanurkey. Kathy reflects in her interview about how close the Gorgas and the Giudices used to be. She speaks about the families taking vacations together and there is a nice vintage shot of Melissa and Teresa laying out by the pool on vacation before either of them had fake boobs.
Caroline, Lauren, and Al Sr. drive to upstate New York to meet Vito’s parents again. They have all spoken at parties and gatherings but never as potential in-laws. You can tell Vito’s parents are good people because they have a Jets helmet behind the family deli counter. Only real morons would have a Giants helmet. Vito by the way is a college graduate. He graduated from Fordham University and he is working at his parents’ deli, slicing ham in the woods. Fordham tuition is $22,700 a year. By my calculation, that comes out to about forty-thousand salami and cheese sandwiches a week. At Chris and Albie’s new apartment, Albie asks Chris to stop wearing his jeans. It seemed so weird to me, but I couldn’t put my finger on exactly why. Oh, now I know! It’s because seconds later in walks “Miss Personality” Ashley. Ashley is so annoying and drippy that her attitude infected a scene moments before she walked into it. It’s like smelling bread before it comes out of the oven… except with a spoiled brat instead of bread. Ashley is wearing a cross from Madonna’s “Like A Prayer” tour and the first freaking thing she says is, “I’m stressed.” Me too, Ashley. Me too. I had to commute to four different states in five days to do stand-up comedy shows. I had to wake up at 5 a.m. to do local radio to promote the gigs then find time to nap at my hotel with a newborn baby with me. Wednesday night I have to take a red-eye flight to Detroit to perform at The Motor City Casino, then Friday morning I have to get on the first flight back home to pick my eight-year-old up from school. Why are you stressed? Were the elevator buttons not bright enough? Forgot your middle name? Can’t figure out socks? (I really will be at the Motor City Casino Thursday. Please come see the show if your close by and we’ll talk a lot about the RH!) Thankfully, before she can drip too much annoyance on the screen, Chris and Albie tear into OSHLEY about her dreams of moving into Manhattan. These two boys have never had a day off of work in their lives so Ashley’s complaints are falling on deaf ears. When they tell her as much she begins to cry. Then she quickly recovers by saying, “I’m PMS-ing." Eeeww. If by PMS-ing you mean, I like to sit on my ass all day with my hand out and complain about everything,” then I totally understand.
The boys tell “Miss Personality” that she needs to put in more effort at home towards being, you know, a person. Ashley takes their advice. Chris and Jaqueline get home and discover that Ashley has cleaned her room and cleaned the kitchen. Their reactions are as if they just found out Ashley has the gift of flight.
In her interview, Ashley says, “I just want to be Carrie Bradshaw.” You mean have awesome friends, drink your way across Manhattan and have sex with Chris Noth? Hell, so do I! Carrie Bradshaw had a job, Ashley. Another thing (judging by your interview) that Carrie Bradshaw had that you don’t is conditioner. I think Ashley is more like a Terry Bradshaw.
We cut to Teresa’s “Friendsgiving.” I was disappointed at this because there was no Chandler, or Ross, or Rachel. Not even Phoebe showed up to Casa de Giudice. We watch as Teresa does all of the Thanksgiving work as Joe is hibernating upstairs. I wouldn’t want to ever have to be the person that has to wake up Joe Giudice. He is a big scary bear that has to be woken up with a jar of honey and Ed Hardy t-shirts.
At Melissa’s house, Joe Gorga and his crew are drinking beers and banging down shots. This should end very, very well considering no food is on the table yet. In all fairness, Kathy brings her desserts to the Gorga house and they look amazing. I mean AMAZING. Countdown to the Kathy Wakile's dessert cookbook starts now.
Joe Gorga comes into the kitchen where Melissa is preparing and announces, “I have a surprise for you! It’s in the driveway!” Melissa freaks out and asks, “Is it diamonds?” Not quite. It’s not diamonds and it’s not a new car in the driveway -- it’s a freaking mechanical bull with a bouncy house. What beautiful wife and mother of three doesn’t want a mechanical bull and a bouncy house in her driveway on Thanksgiving?
Joey climbs up onto the bull first and does a pretty good job staying on. Next is Richie who for some reason inexplicably takes an S&M mask out of his pocket and puts it on to ride the bull. This Kathy-Richie relationship is now starting to come into focus. Their storyline will end in either a bank robbery or a murder. Kathy gets on the bull and Richie digs deeper into his pocket and pulls out a cat o' nine tails whip and uses it on Kathy's bottom as she rides the bull. Wait, WHAT?!?! What normal couple doesn’t stop at the ole S&M shop on the way to your friends' house for Thanksgiving? Is it just me or is one of Kathy’s sisters Susan Boyle? I swear I saw her at the table eating soup. Go back and look at the game tape. I need to know I did not imagine this! Susan Boyle right there at the Gorgas' table and no one even makes a big deal out of it. Back at Teresa’s everyone starts having a great time so Ashley leaves. When the discussion turns to the battle between Joe and Teresa, we finally get a little backstory. We see Teresa introducing her baby brother to everyone at her housewarming party like he was a superstar. Joe Giudice says that Teresa always gave her brother money, even when the rest of the family didn’t.
Teresa takes out Melissa and Joe’s house warming card, which for some reason is written by a third-grader in big bubble letters. On the card they wrote, “Congratulations on your re-done house.” As a viewer I was happy to see something/anything that explains the family tension. As a man I realized that if I received the same card, it would bother me until I died. Or at least until I noticed that Melissa misspelled “home.”
In her interview here Teresa tries to explain to us the difference between “Old Teresa” and “New Teresa.” I don’t really know what she is saying here because all I can notice is that the “New Teresa” is completely orange. It looks like she sprayed herself with Pam before her interview. Chris then explains to Teresa that she has to take the high road with her brother. Great idea in theory, Chris, but we are dealing with low road people here. For Pete’s sake, these two drive across town in tunnels. We have in front of us, week after week, a battle between two moles in the center of the earth.
Back at the Gorgas', Melissa finally puts her foot down to Joey and says regarding Teresa, “Either you talk to her, or I'm gonna talk to her!” I think that is where the episode ended, but I can’t be sure. I had the television paused and was staring at it. I never realized that Joe Gorga had such beautiful eyes.