So Siggy Flicker apparently believes she is starring in some high-toned reality adaptation of Downton Abbey, only with access to generous amounts of lip filler and some dude named SexZ Chef filling in for Mrs. Patmore. This woman is a cast member of Real Housewives of New Jersey, and yet in the wake of a friendly food fight between Teresa Giudice and Melissa Gorga, she huffs, "I expect my friends to have a level of class when you're in a public restaurant."
Honey, no tables were thrown. No weaves were yanked. No christenings were interrupted by brawling in-laws. No one walked away from a rumble smeared with black shoe polish that had been masquerading as Joe Gorga's hair. If Emily Post had grown up in Paterson, she would have given her seal of approval to the high-spirited hijinks at Melissa birthday party in the Season 8 premiere and maybe smacked uptight Siggy upside the head.
'The Real Housewives of New Jersey' starts off Season 8 with lots of screeching, a few surprising admissions, some signature deflection and the long-awaited return of OG Danielle Staub.
Melissa, in fact, puts it best: "I am classy, but I really want to tell you to go (eff) off."
The second episode opens in Boca, or as I shall call it, Molehill Mountain, where Siggy is fuming that Teresa and Melissa humiliated her by getting into a food fight with her $1,000 — yes, you heard that right—fancy-schmancy birthday cake. The rest of the gang is put off by Siggy's histrionics—at one point, Siggy calls them "animals"—and are in no mood to apologize, except for Dolores Catania, who tries to soothe the savage Siggy. "Next time you bring your friends to my (effing) town, make sure they don't act like that," Siggy tells Dolores, who then lays down some cold hard truth: "You can't bring them then."
The next morning, Teresa, Melissa, Danielle Staub and new castmate Margaret Josephs meet up outside their hotel to take a van to the beach, but Dolores and Siggy are nowhere to be found. So they leave without them, and proceed to trash-talk Siggy the whole ride. Danielle calls Siggy a control freak (hard to argue with that) and Margaret dubs her "Soggy" Flicker for all her sobbing. Melissa thinks Siggy owes them an apology.
At the beach, we hear no fewer than three times that Teresa is now a certified yoga instructor. Mazel tov. "Doing yoga has totally changed my mind," Teresa tells us. "Without yoga, I never would have rekindled my friendship with Danielle." Um, rekindling a friendship suggests that there once had been a friendship, when in fact there were only a barrage of screeched insults and a fusillade of furniture. Teresa takes them through some flows, and Danielle shows off the flexibility that, as Melissa points out, earned her 19 proposals. Danielle takes it in stride: "That's right, baby."
On a more somber note, Margaret (read: an RHONJ producer) has arranged for an enormous wreath of white flowers to be delivered to the beach so the woman can take part in a memorial service inspired by a Hawaiian ceremony Margaret once witnessed. Teresa and Melissa seem genuinely touched, and all the women write notes to their late loved ones and read them aloud before attaching them to the wreath. They watch Teresa take it out to sea on a paddleboard. Teresa is very high on Margaret, saying she's the kind of person she wants to be around. (Unsaid: Jacqueline.)
The reality TV star made a tasteless joke while performing a standup routine.
Siggy and Dolores wind up at a juice bar, where once again Dolores has to remind her that they are all starring on a trashy reality TV show. But not in so many words. Dolores then encourages Siggy to lay down the law to the other ladies, as they are all scheduled to go visit Siggy's best friend later that day. All the women meet up at the van, and there is a significant silence. No one apologizes. In fact, this may have been the quietest episode of RHONJ ever. Except maybe the ones where Teresa is screeching so loudly that only dogs can hear her.
Dolores and Siggy become further incensed when Danielle tells them about the morning's memorial service. "How disrespectful can you be that you can plan a whole memorial and not pick up a phone and call me?" she complains to us about Margaret. "I brought you in. Where is the respect?" And just like that, Siggy now thinks she's starring in a mob movie: The Sogfather. Dolores later says that Margaret needs to learn a thing or two about loyalty. "When someone introduces you to a group of women, within two minutes you don't go against the person who brought you in." And here we thought Dolores was the one who knew she was starring in RHONJ.
Just before they go inside Siggy's pal's mansion, Siggy turns to the other women and essentially tells them to behave. Melissa and Teresa can't believe her gall but follow her in. While Siggy, Margaret and Dolores go off to play tennis, Siggy's friend Lori has arranged for a hunky lifeguard to teach Teresa how to swim, with Melissa and Danielle as her audience. "Was it hard?" Danielle asks suggestively at the end of the lesson.
Siggy pulls aside Lori to tell her of the grave injustice she suffered the previous night. Cake. On. The. Floor. "I don't know anyone in my world who operates like that," the scandalized Lori tells her.
That night, Siggy invites the women over to her Boca house for dinner. More crickets. And some crab cakes, which Teresa murmurs to Melissa are too salty. I think that's the Florida equivalent of disrespecting someone's Sunday's sauce in Jersey. Finally Siggy brings up the frosting-smeared elephant in the room, telling Melissa and Teresa that they were both incredibly rude last night, and, oh yeah, that was validated by her best friend Lori! So it must be true!
Melissa and Teresa could not give two overly-salted crab cakes about Lori, and tell her they were just having some fun. In fact, Teresa and Melissa want an apology for being called "freaking animals from Jersey." Siggy denies she ever said that. (She said something close enough.) Dolores claims she can't remember whether Siggy said that or not, and Teresa is peeved that her longtime friend is siding against her. (But of course, NamasTre doesn't get peeved anymore.)
"Why is it that I'm not allowed to have feelings?" wails Siggy. Margaret snaps back at her: "What if there was a real crisis? What reaction would you have? ... Who cries about a cake? Soggy Flicker, with all the crying." Yep, she went there. Siggy calls her an ice princess. Margaret says that's a shot below the belt.
Get to know the new Bravo star and former 'America's Next Top Model.'
These ladies seriously need to up their name-calling game. Melissa agrees with me, saying she's been called much worse — stripper, gold digger, family-wrecker. Melissa doesn't say that she was called all of those things by her now-BFF Teresa, sitting right beside her. Danielle tells Siggy that Melissa could do whatever she wanted with the cake because it was a gift. "You want to crawl up her ass right now?" Siggy snarls to Danielle.
Once again, Siggy tells everyone how humiliated she was at her restaurant in her town, and Margaret reminds her that Siggy blew into the restaurant that evening with her volume turned up to 50.
The fight comes to a head when Melissa says, "Remind me to go out with fun people the next time I got out for my birthday," and Siggy tells her, "You can continue to go out acting like trash if you want." Suddenly Melissa and Danielle are the ones clutching their pearls. OMG, did she just call us trash? This from a show that immortalized the words "Prostitution whore!!!" Danielle tells Siggy not to use that word in her presence, and Siggy yells, "Trash trash trash."
Melissa asks the question we've all been pondering: "Are you on drugs?" and then storms out. Teresa follows. "No one calls me and my sister-in-law trash!" (Unsaid: "Only I get to call my sister-in-law trash!") "I'm outta here. And I don't want your (effing) doggie bag. The crab cake was (effing) salty anyway."
Siggy: "Did she say the crab cake was salty? That was uncalled for." Oh for heaven's sake, bring it up at the Hague, Siggy.
Danielle and Margaret follow Melissa and Teresa out the door, and Siggy comes to the conclusion that they really don't care about her. And Dolores is shocked, just shocked that the addition of two new people to the gang caused so much dissension. Because she's forgotten she stars on RHONJ too.
The Real Housewives of New Jersey, Wednesdays, 9/8c, Bravo