[SPOILER ALERT: This post contains spoilers about Part 1 of the Season 8 reunion of The Real Housewives of New Jersey.]
When all else fails, wheel out Kim D. The first part of the Real Housewives of New Jersey Season 8 reunion served up a rehash of old feuds—boring old feuds, I might add—fake news, half-hearted equivocations, and, oh yes, a spot of taxidermy. Until the closing moments, when pot-stirrer par excellence Kim DePaola strolled out on the stage. "Don't get off that couch," Andy Cohen warns Teresa Giudice. So I guess there's hope for next week ...?
Most heartwarming use of the word sh*t: When Melissa Gorga is asked about Teresa’s rather vile putdown that she is only a Gorga “by injection,” Melissa waves it off, insisting that Teresa does see her as a sister, and adding, “I think she says really stupid sh*t sometimes.” When Teresa mildly protests—mind you, this is the woman who once tossed Andy aside like a rag doll over a previous betrayal by Melissa—Melissa says, “I say less stupid sh*t than you do.” Teresa: “I don’t keep track.” This is actually how sisters talk to each other. You know, I think these crazy kids are going to make it.
Siggy and Margaret, round one: When Margaret Josephs insists that she has apologized repeatedly to Siggy Flicker for all of her alleged sins, Siggy says, “Your apologies last one Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi, four Mississippi, five Mississippi, and then what you are doing, you are bam bam bam bam again.” Margaret: “The only genuine thing you’ve said to me this entire season is that you want to destroy me. and you’ve tried to do it this entire season.” Siggy: "Yes, I have. I’m an Israeli. You’re messing with the wrong girl.”
Ramona Singer becomes an honorary bridge and tunnel girl: In a Housewives first, a castmate from another franchise crosses over (accidentally) into another franchise’s reunion show when Real Housewives of New York star Ramona Singer rings Melissa, who hadn’t set her phone to airplane mode. Andy answers, and Ramona is mystified until he clarifies: “Because we’re in the middle of the f***ing Jersey Housewives reunion, and you have now just busted Melissa.”
Teresa comes clean: Andy confronts Teresa about telling him at the last reunion show that Melissa wasn’t banned from visiting her in prison, and then writing in her memoir that yes, she totally banned Melissa. “I was trying to be nice,” Teresa says, before admitting that she and Melissa weren’t in a great place when she left for the pokey.
So long to the most inconsequential season of 'RHONJ' yet!
Let’s milk this "Teresa is totally going to divorce Joe" storyline a little while longer: Teresa is totally not going to divorce Joe. She does admit to Andy that Joe has changed: “He watches the show. He’s like, ‘Wow, I was such an a**hole.’” So … now he’s a self-aware a**hole? Teresa claims that Joe is going to have to treat her better when he gets out of prison — or else! “You guys seen me a flip a table. You’ve seen me push you. I don’t take sh*t. If my husband didn’t treat me the right way, trust me I would not to take it.” THE LAST EIGHT SEASONS TO THE CONTRARY, TRE. Melissa is definitely biting her tongue.
Siggy and Margaret, rounds two, three and four: A viewer wonders why Margaret didn’t reach out to Siggy and Dolores Catania to invite them to the clearly pre-planned memorial service for Teresa’s mom in Boca. Margaret insists that Danielle had tried texting them, but they didn’t respond, and that she had no nefarious plan to exclude them. Siggy wonders how Margaret could find time to get an elaborate wreath but not reach out to them. Point for Team Siggy. I think that’s the first one I’ve awarded her all season.
We hit more Sig-aret milestones: the mean girls pigtail party Siggy and Dolores threw to mock Margaret, Margaret mocking Siggy for blaming her cray on her hysterectomy, and then all hell breaks loose over, of all things, their respective foyers. Apparently Siggy, upset that Margaret mocked all the framed photos of Siggy hanging in Siggy’s foyer, called out Margaret on social media for her bear taxidermy in her foyer and tagged PETA with this tweet: “Pure evil!!!! Must be stopped.” For someone whose trigger word is Hitler, Siggy has a very loose definition of pure evil. Here is a snippet of one exchange between Siggy and Margaret: “Little veal. Little veal. The bear from the love of my life.” “He shot it! Like Elmer Fudd!” “Little veal!” “I think I shot a puddy cat.” This happened, y'all.
Sex in the Bathroom: No, that is not the signature cocktail at the now-shuttered Gorga’s Homemade Pasta & Pizza. Although that might explain the less-than-stellar sanitary rating. Danielle Staub confirms that she and fiance Marty had sex in the restroom at the opening party for the Gorgas’ restaurant, but claims that Teresa gave her the okay. Siggy, of course, does not approve: “I thought it was 100 percent inappropriate and disgusting.” I've been in that bathroom. I agree.
This 'Real Housewives' list is bound to be so nasty and so rude.
Cakegate Revisited: The storyline that won’t die. Melissa calls out Siggy for taking the Season 8 premiere food fight way too personally, calling Melissa and Teresa animals and trash, and for bragging that she's smarter than the rest of them. Soggy’s excuse? “I was drunk.” Margaret claims that she was watching out for Siggy when she then told her take it down a notch, and Dolores interjects: “You’re always trying to pass things off like you were trying to be nice, but you weren’t.” Margaret: “She was embarrassing herself.” Siggy: “So what? I’m amongst friends.” Melissa: “Okay, so can you excuse that we threw a cake amongst friends?” Touche!
Siggy is then asked about how she embarrassed Melissa at her party, and she tries to pass it off as a joke. Melissa is not having it: “You wanted to shame me. You wanted everyone at your party to look me like I’m an a**hole. It was humiliating.” Siggy insists her intention was to prove a point: That throwing a $1,500 cake at a classy restaurant is inappropriate. “I just wanted you to acknowledge my feelings.” Like Melissa is wanting Siggy to acknowledge her feelings AT THIS VERY MOMENT? “Maybe it was in poor taste,” Siggy says, “and I apologize if you were embarrassed.” Margaret points out the “if,” which ticks off Siggy. “Thirsty,” she hisses at Margaret. Margaret: “Pathetic. Bellevue.” Wait, are we playing a game? Can I play? "Kitty litter. Orange. Hungry."
The Curious Case of Kim D.: Melissa wants to know why Dolores and Siggy are still friendly with Kim D. after she tried to ruin Melissa’s business and destroy Teresa’s marriage by spreading false rumors. “I’ve been friends with her through worse things,” Dolores says. “I can’t just take a side.” OMG YES YOU CAN. Siggy says she can’t stop being friends with someone just because her friend got into a fight with another friend. Wait, isn’t that Cohen’s First Law of Real Housewives? No one gets a contract renewal by being high-minded and fair, ladies.
And finally: “Let’s bring out Kim D!” Teresa: “I thought this was Real Housewives of New Jersey, not Tales from the Crypt.” Someone get Teresa’s joke writer a raise!
The Real Housewives of New Jersey, Wednesdays, 9/8c, Bravo. Part 2 of the reunion special airs Jan. 24.