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Real Housewives of New Jersey Recap: Jersey is the New Black

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What seems like the amount of time it takes for Mad Men to come back on the air, RHONJ is finally back!  And the first thing I want to know is the same as what everyone else wants to know.  Where can we get Kathy’s cannoli?  I jest.  We won’t be seeing as much of Kathy this year since a cannoli storyline can really only take you a couple of seasons.  4 seasons at best.  But here’s what I legit am amped about (are the kids still saying “amped?”).  We’re going to be forced to follow along with an actual storyline this year that’s known as a little thing called “59 counts and sentencing.”  This won’t be about “let’s more forward and be a fam-i-ly” or “Jan said that Me-lissa blew her ex in a parking lot.”  In fact, I think this won’t even involve Kim D and her never ending fright wig.  Nope.  It’s all about court cases, jail time and possible deportation.  It’s basically the Orange is the New Black reality version.  And I’m all on board.

Some scenes from the premiere episode did tug at the heart strings a bit.  Well, more like the threads that are hanging from what’s left of my blackened heart.  Gia is, unfortunately, going to be a hot mess all season…as you would expect.  I’m pretty sure she’s 12 now?  22?  Who knows.  The point is that she’s young and faced with a house full of cameras and having to deal with an extreme likelihood that her parents are actually going to be living in prison.  Although I hear Teresa may get house arrest and, let’s be honest, how nice does that sound?  As long as you can still drink beers I’d actually be ok with house arrest for a spell or two.  Imagine all the shows I could write about!?  Moreoever, Gia’s in those awkward years that should never be televised.  It would have been the worst for me.  I have two words for you:  Lip Bumper.  Google it.

Melissa and a newly wiffled Doozer are watching the media coverage (more like a DVR’d news clip that they can then watch whilst the cameras are there) and feeling terrible for Teresa and Barney Rubble.  Melissa claims she’s going to put all the petty crap behind her and just be there for Teresa because this is way more important.  I like how Melissa can read her audience and know what will come off as good and what will come off as horrific.  The More You Know.  What was still kind of odd to me was when she called up Tre to find out if what was on the news was true and Tre was like, “Yeah that today?  No, not true.”  Um, no I think it was.  Also, Melissa was so awkward on the phone and Tre barely even said “thank you.”  Poor Gia (literally) was left asking what was going on and then started to cry, to which Tre teared up and began hugging her whilst in a velour jumpsuit as any Jersey mother would.  For real, that kind of gave me a case of the sads.  Especially because if Tre goes to jail too how in the hell are we ever supposed to know how to cook sub-par Italian food again?!  Priorities.  #Fabulous

Besides the regular crew, we’re also introduced to identical twin sisters Nicole and Teresa (pronounced differently from our very own Teresa).  These two are what I would image the Olsen Twins to be had they grown up in New Jersey or, you know, the color orange.  I’m not sure yet what their deal is, but they sure know the franchise rule of creating your own drink on camera that you can then turn into a product that’s advertised in each and every episode.  One twin is married (she divorced her husband and then remarried him later) and the other twin isn’t married, but dates a guy who will most likely never marry her as no one likes spray-tan-skid-marks on their sheets every morning.  And then we get to meet Amber who used to be friends with Melissa back in the 90’s (you are a slut from the 90’s), but lost touch with her due to “the cancer.”  Amber’s husband is a wee little man (as most New Jersey males) who enjoys bringing home dead pigs and scaring his children.  Amber liked to talk loudly on the regular and by “talk loudly” I, of course, mean “yell everything like she’s the niece of Sam Kinison” and truth be told, I can’t prove she’s not.

Amber is having some party where everyone wears prom gowns (you know, like you and your friends do at house parties) and everyone is invited, including Tre, Dina and the rest of the gang.  I liked how when Dina asked Tre if she was nervous people at the party would judge her, Tre just explained that everyone is going through what she’s going through…she’s just doing it in the public eye.  Yeah I agree.  I mean, I’m only up on 29 counts but same/same.

Meanwhile at the party Melissa is finally reunited with her 90’s Jersey Shore friend for the first time in forever.  They awkwardly started to catch up, but Amber wanted to immediately let Melissa know that she was pissed at her for falling off the (horse) face of the earth.  Melissa tried to say that Amber did to, but that’s when Amber said, “well you know I had the cancer.”  The “the” was everything.  Melissa looked genuinely shocked, but then Amber said “Did you really not know?  You sent me a Facebook message!”  Melissa, without dropping a beat asked her if she kept the Facebook message.  Sadly she did not.  So who’s telling the truth?  I’m sure this will be discussed at length all season long.  Moreover, didn’t they mean Myspace?

Other fun things happened like Milania twerking and Milania calling Tre a “butt hole” and Milania cooking.  Oh, and Milania interrupting Tre’s one-on-one interview to let her know she wasn’t funny.  Per usual I could watch 60 minutes of just Milania and I don’t mean that in a way that would  require me to introduce myself to all my neighbors, legally.

But even with the fun that was Milania we all caught another case of the sads when Tre and Barney were taking an extended family portrait for Barney’s grandmother’s 80th birthday.  It legit was sad.  It was sad because Barney was giving a speech up on the balcony about how his whole family is there whenever someone gets in trouble (accomplices?), but it was also sad that they made everyone where black shirts with bright blue jeans.  Do they call them dungarees in Jersey?  Either way.  To make things worse, Gia was a crying mess again when her dad was giving his speech as she must know this will most likely be one of the last times the entire family will be together for a while.  She and Barney had a touching crying moment that made me realize I can’t make fun of any of this.  So that sucks (annnd back to me).  And you had to feel for everyone when his own dad told his son he’d always be there for him, supporting him not matter what….and then the scene faded to black with a “In Memoriam ” going across this screen since his dad just passed away.

While this show is usually a train wreck and, I’m sure, will continue to be, I feel like where’ going to see a lot more moments like this.  And whilst I don’t want to see anyone suffer, it does make it much more interesting to watch when you know what you’re seeing is real.  Plus we don’t have to see any of the Manzo kids so it’s a real win/win.  Oh crap, did I mention anything about Dina?  Well she’s back.  Hopefully she livens up later.