If I’m not mistaken, Sunday night’s episode marked the end of Christmas on The Real Housewives of New Jersey. I never thought it would happen! However, just because it took weeks upon weeks to slog through the holidays, I have to admit that I actually kind of enjoyed all of it. I don’t think a reality show has actually captured the Holiday season quite as well as this one has, and while I tend to be something of a cold hearted fellow, even I had to admit that watching the kids open up their presents was pretty cute. Even more than that, I loved watching all the Manzos — Caroline, Cookie, Uncle whatshisface — all gathered together celebrating. It actually reminded me of Thanksgiving or Passover with my extended clan: the white folding chairs, the matriarch slaving away in the kitchen, and the Christmas tree in the foyer. Well… uh… maybe more of a menorah in my case. Nevertheless…
There was no major drama on this yuletide episode. With Kim G gone (apparently for good — more on that later), the only source of friction was between Teresa and her brother, who had previously committed to Kathy’s Christmas Eve party. Truthfully, I think Joe should have popped in to Kathy’s and then finished off with his parents (especially since Kathy’s house looked packed with guests anyway — including sister Rosie, who we need to see much more of).
That being said, I definitely could empathize with Melissa who explained that she and Joe could let down their hair at Kathy’s place as opposed to Teresa’s. Even just watching from my couch, it was clear that Kathy’s party was about ten times more fun. Teresa’s bash seemed cold and overblown. Kathy’s was warm and inviting. I’m just putting it out there: I’d like an invite for next year.
The warmest of all, of course, was at Chez Manzo where it seemed like all of Caroline’s enormous family had gathered. The only one missing was Dina, who is way overdue for a cameo. And if not her, at least her cats. I think there must have been three hundred family members crammed into that party, and all of them looked like they loved each other. Even Ashley expressed human emotions by hugging her little brother CJ. Don’t soften on her though. The brat didn’t get her mom a Christmas present. Awful.
Speaking of presents, Caroline and Albert presented their children with the bracelets they had designed. It was a lovely moment, and I was a little shocked none of them cried more. At least Lauren shed a tear, but she was probably still upset that she hadn’t been invited to the consult with the jeweler.
The next morning, we were treated to several cute scenes of kids opening up presents (and in the case of Gia, barfing). It was all cute and charming, except for Joe Giudice, who sat shirtless like a giant marshmallow and recorded his kids with a videocamera with the least amount of effort possible. He made up for it later though when he gave Teresa the awesomely boring present of… gloves. She could barely contain her disappointment. Probably the only ones more disappointed were the poor camera men and producers who had to spend their Christmas with these shmucks.
Perhaps the sweetest moment came from Casa Wakile where Kathy’s two kids read their mom an unbearably sweet and thoughtful note about her dreams of being a caterer. They then presented her with a laptop they had purchased with their allowances, and as Kathy and Rich (and kind of me) wiped away tears, we were reminded once again that the Wakiles outclass the Giudices at every corner.
The Gorgas also had a charming little Christmas morning, but quite frankly, the only thing particularly noteworthy about it (aside from the conspicuous consumption in the name of Jesus) was the sizable bag from POSCHE in the background. If only Kim D. had shown up with little ornaments on her hair fangs….
Later in the episode, the Manzos all headed into New York City to attend some sort of a charity event hosted by Alexa Ray Joel, daughter of Billy Joel (and Christie Brinkley, who was caught on camera but stayed far away from them nonetheless). Turns out that Albie has something of a crush on Alexa, and when she came over to the table, he all but clammed up, saying not a word except for some dreadful joke about milk. He’s lucky his charming personality is captured on TV because otherwise he’d be dunzo.
Anyway, Alexa soon took to the stage and crooned — or perhaps squealed — an unpleasant tune that left me thinking the girl got her mom’s looks and her dad’s… name? She wasn’t awful… but she wasn’t great either. Don’t tell that to Caroline though. She’s already preparing her son’s wedding to Alexa at the Brownstone. And don’t think for a moment that she’s not quietly bursting at the idea of having Billy Joel has her son’s father-in-law.
Bonus points go to Jacqueline, by the way, for using Alexa Ray as a vehicle to bash Ashley’s worthlessness. Merry Christmas!
“You know, CJ, it’s a shame we’re not Jewish because you have the perfect head for a yarmulke.”
“HOW COME NO ONE INVITED ME TO SHAKE JINGLE BELLS OUTSIDE IN THE DARK???”
“Don’t mind me. I’m just trying to avoid Kim G.”
Teresa without the makeup.
Rich: “Anyone else notice our wives making out for the past ten minutes?”
“I love these new shades. They’ll be great for when I’m TRAPPED IN THE BASEMENT.”
“Hey Tre. Stop blowing me. It’s Jesus’s birthday for crying out loud.”
“Mommy, why are you holding that big elastic ring?”
“Yay!!! I can’t wait to wear these to the supermarket and KICK DOWN A HUGE DISPLAY OF CANS.”
“Tre, why you wake me up so early? You know I don’t care about the girls. C’mon, open your present from Chanels and let me go back to sleep.”
“Aw jeez. I’m so tired. I’m more tired than that time I fell asleep at the wheel and then did five shots of whiskey afterwards, on account of the fatique.”
“Joe, I love it! I can’t wait to use it for a week or two before converting it to storage!”
“We want to wear makeup like Mommy!! But we don’t have a paint roller.”
“Mom. I JUST threw up. Isn’t it bad enough that you’re letting this be broadcast in front of the whole country?”
“Hey Chris. Watch me swallow my fist. Hey Chris. CHRIS!”
“I love that Alexa Ray Joel. Every time she hits a bad note, I want to just squeeze her. And that’s a lot of squeezing!”
“Oh my gosh. This music makes me want to STAB myself in the HEAD.”
“Gosh, I think I really impressed her with that milk line.”
Albie: “So… Alexa…. you like music, huh? You’re like a regular Piano Girl…. ’cause your dad… he sang… you know, Piano Man… it was a song…. is it hot in here?”
What did you think about the episode? Should Joe have stayed at Teresa’s? Which party looked more fun?