"THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF NEW JERSEY"
Are you affluent or do you date men who are? Do you dress inappropriately for your age? Are you part of a group of frenemies who gossip and drink too much? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be a housewife (at least in the Bravo world).
The thing with the “Real Housewives” franchise is that it’s pretty much the same formula every time, with different backdrops and lingo. “Bubbies” and “the girls” both mean breasts apparently; just on opposite coasts.
The latest version, set in New Jersey, just aired its big finale this week. For those of your who haven’t watched this season — and you must -- allow me to give you an overview.
It basically all comes down to one word: Mafia. Um, I mean “family.” Dina and Caroline are sisters who are married to brothers. Jacqueline is married to Dina and Caroline’s brother. Got that?
Caroline, who is kind of like Tony Soprano in a dress, says things like, “We’re as thick as thieves. And we protect each other to the end." Apparently the protection of the “family” is not enough, as Caroline showed off her attack dog in the finale. “We are well known in the community,” she offers.
There’s also the sweet and very Italian Teresa, whose main story lines included building an ostentatious home that has the warmth of a mausoleum (because it’s “gross” to live in someone’s old home) and buying herself a pair of “bubbies.” Taking over the “reigns of delusion” from Atlanta “Housewives” Kim and Sheree, Teresa hopes to get her outgoing (read: spoiled) daughter, Gia, into acting. (Never mind the fact that the kid has no talent for it.)
The main conflict this first season involved a shady lady named Danielle, if that is even her real name. (It’s not.) “Danielle” is a single mother to two young girls whom she refers to as her “best friends.” And, by the way, we all know that you have to share every detail of your sex life with your “best friends.”
Jacqueline, the “peacemaker” of the group, befriended “Danielle” and was met with the disapproval of her sisters-in-law. And you know what happens to girls who disappoint the “family.”
Not to give too much away, but this season ends with the obligatory “Housewives” dinner party and catfight. (Are the blowups part of their contracts?) It involves something the girls refer to as “The Book” (the real title is “Cop Without a Badge”), presumably lots and lots of alcohol and the usually innocuous Teresa basically throwing a whole table over and freaking out all bug-eyed. (It was very David Banner/Incredible Hulk. And did I mention … hilarious?)
Trust me, if you haven’t caught this show, you must. In fact, Thursday night Bravo is airing additional footage from the crazy dinner party, and next Tuesday all five episodes will be shown followed by a reunion.
"SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE"
I am learning so much about dance! Not enough to think that I can … but much more than I knew before!
For instance, did you know that it’s common for a dance number to have a “story?” It’s OK; I didn’t know, either. In fact, in my childhood dance classes, the only drama going on was whether I’d make an ass out of myself. It usually ended up being more of a comedy at my expense.
There were all kinds of stories last night, from some guy trying to overthrow a princess’ throne (Max and Kayla) to some other guy having a shadow follow him around (Kupono and Ashley).
In my favorite department — costumes — nothing quite caught my attention the way Jason and Caitlin’s Bollywood ensemble or Kupono and Ashley’s crash test dummy outfits did last week. I have to say, though, that when Phillip and Jeanine were doing the tango, all I could look at was her costume and how very “Cell Block Tango” it was.
The most impressive couple for me was Brandon and Janette, whose genre was disco. With their high kicks and ultrafast moves, they made me wanna feather my hair and wear polyester.
The judges were very fond of Vitolio and Asuka’s waltz, which was “honest” and “sincere.” Again, words that I didn’t realize applied to dance. It was pretty good, but I’ve never seen a waltz where the guy drags his partner all across the floor like a mop.
Cat Deeley announced her first case of “Deeley Chills” after watching Karla and Jonathan do a contemporary dance to “Falling Slowly.” (Don’t worry, I think there’s a pill for that.) This one also had a “story” — something about “two strangers” and “chemistry.” Maybe I just don’t get the “contemporary” genre, but it looked to me like a lot of Karla curling into fetal position and Jonathan hoisting her all around.
We got to learn a lot of random facts about the contenders. We’ll probably get to learn lots more, but let’s hope that they didn’t lead with the most exciting stuff. Kayla likes to text! Jeanine has a teddy bear! Randi talks to her dog on speaker phone!
Makes you realize that no matter how graceful they look on the dance floor, these kids are just, well, kids. Except for the 29-year-old.
"I’M A CELEBRITY … GET ME OUT OF HERE!"
John Salley is the new sheriff in town and, boy, is he organized — like the way a dictator is organized. (They sure could’ve used him as a leader on “Kid Nation,” the most amazing reality show ever.)
Seems that without Heidi and Spencer around, the cast had to create its own drama.
They were given a camera and some props to make a cheesy slasher film, which actually ended up being pretty funny. Weird. I don’t remember them screening movies in “The Jungle Book.” They’re really roughing it.
The teams have participated in two food trials over the past couple of days, with the men winning, of course. In the “stick your hands in a pit of snake” challenge, Torrie lost to Lou by just one second. Life’s not so predictable when the WWE is not scripting your victories, is it, Torrie?
Sanjaya’s sexuality was discussed at length. Janice treats him like one of her little accessories, yet Holly can’t stop making goo goo eyes at him. In fact, she even seemed a little turned off and perplexed when he referred to himself as the “gay best friend” — only straight. (Huh?) Sanjaya also turned people off with his incessant singing. Hmmm, it seems more and more like “Idol” every day. When’s he gonna cross over to “The Hills” as the straight-gay best friend of Holly?
Lou won the immunity challenge, which guaranteed him a spot in the finals next week.
Stephen passed on the trial because he wanted the “American people” to decide his fate. John, as leader, was then given the “difficult” task of picking one other person for immunity. Without a moment’s hesitation, Salley picked … well, Salley. While Lou and John are both safe, tonight’s elimination will send two campers packing.
Janice had a disturbing dream about losing her hair and going to the river to get saved, which made Stephen Baldwin ecstatic. You know he’s just waiting to baptize someone else! The jungle must be getting to her because she broke down crying, saying that she didn’t want to be the kind of person she is.
Janice, you can’t do this to us. Who would fill the role of reality villainess on all these shows? Omarosa? I think not! Hmmm … maybe that “Danielle” chick is available.