Welcome back, my friends. If you were like me, the week off was nearly lethal. I was having major Real Housewives of New Jersey withdrawal. The symptoms of which are having the shakes while wearing a wife beater and doing diamond push-ups and the splits in the middle of Chess King. It’s official. I am addicted. They say the first step to recovery is admitting you’re powerless. Well, I am powerless over The Real Housewives of New Jersey, and I don’t ever want to be saved. I’m riding this addiction out. When I die they will find my body outside the Tick Tock Diner smothered in turkey gravy muttering, “Joe Giudice did the splits. Joe Giudice did the splits.”
It’s Christmas time in New Jersey and hopefully that means Richie dressed as Santa Claus and lots of Melissa Gorga caroling in other people’s neighborhoods. The episode opens in Jacqueline’s house where there is going to be a Christmas cocktail party with both the Giudice family and the Gorgas. Jacqueline says in her interview, “It could either be a beautiful thing or a disaster.” Someone has already gotten into the eggnog. A beautiful thing? Yes, it should be a beautiful thing for the viewers, because it will be a disaster. This cocktail party will be a bigger disaster than the Titanic. That is if the Titanic was an IROC and it sank in the Passaic River.
Am I the only one that has noticed that the RHONJ children are the cutest of all the cities? It’s not even close. Between Giuseppe, Antonia, G to the ia, and C.J., I swear there must be something in the water near Route 23, because this is a ridiculously beautiful crop of kids. C.J. is the dark horse here to run away with all time cutest. He is incredibly polite, plays Xbox 360 while wearing a suit and tie, and this week makes Christmas cookies with Grandma while wearing snowman pajamas. A-Dor-A-Ble. Jacqueline and her family are sitting around the table making Christmas decorations when Ashley questions whether or not her mother should be causing drama. Pot, meet kettle. Jacqueline jumps all over this in her interview and basically calls Ashley out for being the all-time drama starter between her and Chris. Personally I am just wondering why Ashley is dressed like a Crenshaw Mafia Blood and how much of the paste actually went in her mouth? I have the over under on paste ingestion with Ashley at four tablespoons.
At the Manzo house, Caroline tells us that Lauren is “in bitch mode.” Whatever you want to call it, stay out of Lauren’s way, because I just saw her lift a couch by herself. Next she’s going to crash through Albie and Christopher’s apartment wall like the Kool Aide guy, “OH YEAH!” While the family is setting up the Christmas decorations, they discover that someone has eaten the plastic faces off of the Santas. My money is on Ashley. I am guessing she got hopped up on glue, broke into the Manzo garage, and began gnawing on Santa’s cheeks until sunrise. Maybe it was a raccoon.
At the Gorga’s, Melissa has a meeting with some record producers at the house. The men that come over call themselves SOUL DIGGAZ. This is perfect. Who needs more soul excavating than the Gorgas? This should work out perfectly. Melissa says that SOUL DIGGAZ worked with Britney Spears. On what? Her lawn?
Soon after SOULDIGGAZ show up, the young, handsome song writer rolls in and the audition begins. The singing audition that Melissa has for SOUL DIGGAZ is a wee bit painful. At one point in the song Melissa squeaks out an “I’m sorry” between bars. Here’s a tip to all of you readers. Try to never have to apologize during a job interview. SOUL DIGGAZ (I can’t stop typing that) realize the Herculean task ahead of them and explain to Joey that his wife will probably have to practice up to fifteen hours a day. Joey Gorga says to hell with that and explains to SOUL DIGGAZ that if Melissa is going to be stuck in a studio all day, then he will build one for her. He then tells SOUL DIGGAZ, “C’mon, I’ll show you. I got a basement.” DON’T GO DOWN THERE SOUL DIGGAZ! I think that’s what the guys told Joe Pesci in Goodfellas right before he got whacked. Joey Gorga shows everybody where he will build a studio in the basement and Melissa says, “Thank you Jesus!” Then one of the Soul Diggaz also says, “Thank you Jesus!” But I think he is saying it because of the free wine.
Over at Teresa’s house, Joe Giudice is using a Slap Chop. For real, go rewind that and watch it again. I was hoping after the Slap Chop that Joe would bust out some Crazy Glue and a Shake Weight to make dessert. Joe and Teresa have a home cooked, slap-chopped meal while sitting on the floor in front of the fireplace. It all seemed very romantic.
Kathy is dressed as Diane Keaton again as she and Richie go looking for a restaurant to buy. Kathy can picture it all working out at one location. She said, “I picture the bar, the belly dancers, a few tokes on the…um…hookah.” Sure, Kathy, the hookah, yeah that’s the ticket. After watching Kathy’s excitement about smoking out of a hookah, her Halloween costume now makes sense to me.
Say what you want about Joey Gorga but the guy can build. In just a short amount of time he has the bones of what will be the recording studio in the basement. I noticed that there isn’t a SOUL DIGGAZ to be found. One structural flaw I noticed with the studio is that the actual recording booth is about the size of an empty roll of paper towels. Melissa sees it and says what may be one of my favorite sentences of the season -- “Is this my box?” Who hasn’t wondered that, ladies, am I right? No? OK then, let’s move on. Melissa stands inside and explains to Joey that it’s too small and she is going to need a bigger box. What lady hasn’t wanted a bigger box, right? Wait a minute, that’s completely wrong. Sorry. Regarding the tiny recording booth. If Verne Troyer was going to record a Christmas album, this tiny booth would be perfect. Since Verne Troyer isn’t on RHONJ, it will just be Melissa standing in that tiny booth, fifteen hours a day, being raised like veal.
Over at Albie, Christopher, and Greg’s apartment, Lauren is obsessed with not spending enough time with her brothers. The problem is she keeps complaining about not spending time with her brothers WHILE SPENDING TIME WITH HER BROTHERS. Stuff like this drives me nuts. It’s like when you go back to your hometown after being on television and the old waitress say’, “Oh, look who can’t be bothered to come in and see us anymore!” I always want to yell, “I’m here now!” And then steal her nametag and rob a blood bank.
In these scenes, Lauren is acting so much like Ashley that she doesn’t even notice that she IS spending quality time with her brothers. I know she is, because I am watching it with my eyeballs.
Somewhere in bizarre land, Jacqueline goes to Kim G.’s house. It is very, very spooky. Somehow, Kim G. is now forty. Also, I have never seen extensions in a bob haircut before, but Kim G. pulls it off. Kim G. tries to stir the doo-doo and begins to read some gossipy email aloud to Jacqueline. Jacqueline tells Kim G. that whoever sent that email can eff off and then tells Kim G. to eff off…twice. I have to say, in this episode Jacqueline looks and acts great. I thought she was adorable in her Christmas snuggle clothes, and I love that she is launching eff bombs at Kim G. while in Kim G.’s house. It’s like watching an athlete play well in an away game. The new, improved, bionic Kim G. 2.0 begins laughing like a smiling, twisted demon. Then she quickly turns thirty-nine.
The Christmas party at Jacqueline’s is in full swing. Every one that is anyone is there, well, except for Richie and Kathy. I’m not sure why they weren’t invited. Maybe they were invited but had a few too many tokes from the “hookah” to make it on time. As the rest of the gang are sipping red wine and eating holiday cookies, I picture Kathy and Richie hanging out at home laying in a Star Wars sleeping bag listening to Led Zeppelin under a black light and putting glow sticks in Richie’s glasses. Remember at the beginning of the episode, Jacqueline said the party could either be beautiful or a disaster. Well, it’s beautiful. Everyone is getting along inside the Laurita house. Fun is being had by all except for Lauren, who is no doubt pouting because she is with both of her brothers and thinks she doesn’t spend enough time with them.
Christopher Manzo begins taking pictures of Joey Gorga and asks him to do a few poses. First he asks for something sensual. Joey Gorga responds by unbuttoning his shirt and rubbing his own nipples. I love it. Then he does other emotions like surprised and angry. During angry he fake flips the table. It is at this moment that the viewer realizes that he and Teresa are going to be fine. Joey is one of the gang here and he is deliriously happy. Melissa is making the rounds with a big smile on her face. The evening couldn’t be going any better. Until Joey Gorga puts on Jacqueline’s clothing. I should stop here and assure you he didn’t kill her and steal her clothes as a disguise. What I meant was the Manzo boys dare Joey Gorga to switch clothing with Jacqueline. Joey jumps at the chance to dress in drag, and when he comes out of his changing room the party hits a new high. Jacqueline has the line of the episode when she says, “You look like you need a trapeze!” Indeed. Not only is Joey Gorga not uncomfortable in Jacqueline’s clothing, for the first time all season he seems completely free! He looks like he should be running through a field promoting Massengil telling us how he feels fresh and confident. Joey Gorga is the life of the party. It’s sad to think that Teresa could have avoided all of the drama with Joey simply by letting him try on one of her blouses.
Speaking of Teresa, I have been on her side all season, but she really tried to start a mini battle with Melissa that got defused by Caroline. Teresa seemed out of line to me. If you go back and watch their argument again, just concentrate on Teresa and Melissa’s hands. It looks like they’re both trying to get out of a spider web. Melissa invites everyone to her upcoming Christmas party. This is a huge move for Melissa. She is being very nice and very sweet. Maybe she just wants every one over to show them where SOUL DIGGAZ are buried. When Melissa is inviting the gang to her party, Teresa has a look on her face like she is going to kill everyone at the party, skin them, and put them on her next coat.
The coming attractions for next week’s episode makes me wish I had a time machine.
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God bless you guys. jj