Enough already this season.
Last night’s latest RHONJ episode, “The Italian Invasion,” may have taken the ladies to a Ireland, a new location for them on a cast trip, having usually traveled to the Jersey Shore or other beach- or lakefront locales, but we’re still covering the same territory.
As hostess with the averag-est, Dolores worried to Paul (along with his brother and sister-in-law, who we meet in the first time while they are visiting Jersey) about the already factioned women fighting while in Erin, where Dolores had booked a 400-year-old castle for the ladies to stay in.
The women are almost immediately embarrassing upon arrival in DUBLIN. Danielle, who has never been to Ireland before, complains because the city itself isn’t all green. (Maybe she confused it with the Emerald City.) As they pull up to Ballinlough Castle, the women shout, “Oh, there’s staff for us,” as though it were Downton Abbey with a phalanx of butlers and maids awaiting them. (It’s just Suzie and Emma, two women in the hospitality industry, to welcome them.)
The castle itself is very nice, and while Dolores claims the nicest rooms for herself (natch) and Teresa, again the focus of the trip and the bride-to-be (of course), all of the rooms are quite lovely. There’s talk about it being haunted, so Melissa half-jokes about sleeping in Jackie’s or Marge’s room with them. (Yes! Friends-of Jackie and Jen Fessler are both on this trip as well; on the van trip from the airport to the castle, the latter tells them she studied acting, worked as a talent agent, and at some point in the ‘90s, slept with James Gandolfini, which alone should have cemented full-time RHONJ tenure for life.)
Lunchtime conversation turns to Jen Aydin’s coffee ground-reading party last episode, about which Jen admits to feeding the psychic so much information in advance. Because she is Jen Aydin, and because it was obvious, no one is surprised.
But this episode really tests one’s Jen Aydin stamina. The conversation turns to, and then hinges on, her conversation with Laura, Marge’s ex-friend. Not since the 1944 movie Laura has someone loomed so large on the action offscreen. Danielle wants to know just what Laura said, but Jen A. plays the Crystal Kung Minkoff card and says that “She said things that I would never repeat.”
This is a double whammy for Team Jeresa, as this ploy will (attempt to) hurt both Marge and Melissa. First, this makes Marge look clumsy and dumb, because they are taunting Marge in public about what Laura said, because Marge denying anything can come off guilty in front of people who don’t know that all this is is Jen conspiring with a former friend of Marge’s who tried out for the show and didn’t get cast and has an axe to grind.
And just what is the tea? Danielle can’t help herself but ask Jen A. (on-camera) privately what happened, and she can’t help but reply that that someone who worked for Marge saw Melissa in the backseat of a car with another guy and they were making out. Danielle immediately regretted prying for the information because she put herself dead in the middle of the Tre and Melissa chaos. Now that Jennifer finally brought up the Gorga cheating rumors on screen, we know it’s all going to be downhill from here. Though they seem based in nothing. What did Marge say? “I heard third-hand that someone was kissing Melissa, who’s never shown any sign of straying?”
There’s two kinds of hypocrisy going on here. First of all, Danielle is defying her own “don’t ask questions if it’s not your business” rule about her own family drama with her brother. Secondly, Jen A. is doing exactly the thing she cried foul about with Marge for the last two years – she is bringing up potential cheating rumors about a married housewife, on TV, who has children that will see and hear about it. Hypocrite! (Also, Jen A. and Teresa cry foul about people bringing up their children and hurting them constantly, but they also fling mud at the Gorga kids constantly.) I hate them.
As usual, Tre does very little and stays in the background. She speaks up a bit at the end, in full bachelorette regalia at a Dublin bar, when Jen F. asks about her bridesmaid situation, Teresa explains that Dolores and Jen have always supported her and Luis. Which would be fine if she left it there. But then says she was nervous about asking them because she didn’t want “another thing” with her brother. She also says she didn’t want another thing, “like with your mom” to Melissa. Teresa says, “I’m the coolest sister, but then you try to make me look bad. I never throw him under the bus, but he will throw me under the bus.” What? She literally threw him under the bus when she said he should have told her to invite the mother. I mean, she just did it and she doesn’t even recognize it. She then says, “This is the happiest time of my life. My brother should make this my happy time.”
Wrong. You should have invited Melissa’s mother. You should have stood up for your sister-in-law when Laura talked shit about her. You should take accountability for your actions. And Bravo should really move past this tired nonsense. What’s annoying is that we got a reset several years back with inclusions of Jackie, Jen A., and Marge. But by now, with Jackie a friend-of and Teresa hating Marge as much as Melissa, the teams have re-emerged. The newest casting has just divided among party lines. We have the same fights, the same allegiances, the same lack of learning and adult behavior, the same indifferent OG. Familiarity doesn’t breed contempt; just boredom. But let’s just see what happens in Ireland next time anyway.
See you next week!