I haven’t written about the good people of New Jersey in a while, but it’s kind of like that riding a bicycle thing. It’s not all that hard to jump right back on and pedal away. Tonight’s episode was unavoidable, if you write about Bravo’s Housewives. You couldn’t go anywhere, and I mean anywhere – whether it was on television, on the internet or in the checkout line at the grocery store, where they place all of the tabloids – without seeing something about JuicyJoe calling his wife nasty names. Bravo seemed to revel in the story, putting a video on their website so that all of us could see and hear Juicy on his cell phone. Teresa gave an interview to InTouch Weekly magazine about her reaction to her husband’s comments and the impact on their marriage. I’m going to put a little disclaimer in here. I was forced, against my better judgment, to look at that article. I was at Kroger, in the checkout line, and had been muttering about the fact that Maxwell House had made their container smaller but was still charging me the same price – like I wouldn’t notice. To keep me quiet, my husband handed me the magazine and said, “Here, this is about one of those Housewives you watch. Maybe you could do some research.” It was enough of a distraction to get us out of the store without incident.
The article had quotes from Teresa stating that she was not happy with Juicy’s behaviors and that he would have to straighten up or she would leave. Now, we know that these episode were filmed nearly a year ago. Juicy and Teresa are still together, cavorting on beaches, smiling and laughing. She didn’t leave. I don’t know if he’s changed. There were rumors floating about that Teresa had threatened to sick her attorneys on Bravo after she saw the some of the footage. Bravo’s response was to edit even more of the now infamous phone call into the episode. Maybe I’m making more out of this than I should, but that sure sounds like very vindictive, even blackmail-like, behavior, but that’s Bravo and the contracts signed in Hell.
The premise for the trip to Napa was for the Manzo boys and Chris Laurita to explore a business opportunity with Levendi wines. Bringing along all of their cast mates made no sense at all. Napa is one of the most beautiful parts of the country. Touring wineries and enjoying wine tastings are was not things that most of the Gorga/Laurita/Manzo/Giudice gang should even be near. The argument about Kentucky Fried Chicken was more their style. They could’ve done a blind taste test between the original recipe and the extra crispy. They managed to embarrass themselves and their hosts, both at the Levendi Winery and at the Lancaster Estate. Only Baby Joey could find a sculpture of a lion and want to compare it to Tarzan. He even mounted the statue in some sort of cross species mating ritual.
There was a birthday party for Caroline and each of her children offered a toast. Juicy offered some kind of toast, too. Then he got up from the table to take that phone call. He was chatting with someone who he sounded happy to hear from. He even chuckled in some sort of odd way, as if the caller had said something that really, really pleased him. Teresa followed him, a few moments later, and Juicy began his expletive laden side of a conversation with the mystery caller. He called his wife a bitch and a c&%# to that person and then hung up. He called Teresa a retard and a pain in the ass when she asked him who he was talking to. Juicy pretended to be talking to someone about work, someone who didn’t speak English. Teresa was uncomfortable enough to shake her head at her husband and even pinch him on the arm, trying to remind him that everything they were saying and doing was being recorded for posterity by Bravo.
Then Teresa did something I found sadly desperate. She seduced, well, nearly attacked, her husband in the vineyard. While he repeatedly referred to his wife as a f%&#ing whore and tried to fend her off, his wife climbed him like one of those nearby vines. Of course, the dinner guests looked on, not that Teresa and Juicy had done much to find a more secluded location for their tryst, and gave a running commentary on their activities. At least Baby Joey looked a little ashamed to be any part of the whole scene. It was pathetic and disturbing, and I’m sure Bravo loved every minute of it. Teresa said that her husband needs to get a little every day or he gets cranky. I say that Teresa should have ripped that phone out of his fat little fingers and used it to call those attorneys of hers to get the divorce papers in the works. Now that might have made him cranky. No one should be humiliated that way. The fact that Teresa demeaned herself, in front of a crowd which wants nothing more than to see her fail, was very difficult to watch.
It was reassuring to know that Caroline hasn’t changed. Her face is still frozen in that same bitter and angry scowl, which no amount of Botox could undo at this point. She is still working on alienating everyone from Teresa. A truce between Jacqueline and Teresa has made her even more determined to bring the woman down. Cousin Kathy is the latest ally in training and Caroline is doubling her efforts on that front. During their last dinner together at Napa, Teresa offered a toast – to Jacqueline and Chris, Caroline and Albert and to her brother Joe and Melissa. She didn’t mention Kathy. I don’t know if that was intentional or an oversight. What Teresa didn’t know was that Caroline had already planted her demonic seeds of doubt, leaving Kathy with hurt feelings at what she perceived as a premeditated slight by Teresa. What Caroline gets out of this, I have no idea. What this fight is really about is anyone’s guess – and there have been plenty of guesses. If it’s all about a cookbook, then Caroline is more petty than any of us thought. If there’s something else, something more personal, then I think we, as viewers, have a right to know. These programs are all about looking into the lives of these people. We’ve seen and heard it all. I’m sure we can handle the truth, even if it comes from Caroline.