The Real Housewives of New Jersey begins with Teresa and Milania hanging out, and debating the stupidity of yoga. Melissa calls and invites Teresa to a junior fashion show, so her new bestie can bust out of the state and fake happiness for her niece and nephews. The kids are walking for Fashion Week, and Teresa promises to get permission, and put on her best forced smile. The Teresa/Melissa love train is chugging along, as we hop over to Dolores’ house. Dolores’ dog is sick, but her vet-in-training daughter, Gabby, is helpful, despite her family’s insensitive remarks. Dolores switches gears and reels off renovation demands, but her ex, Frank, is worried that opening a gym and ripping apart a house might be too much, especially for an ex-wife.
We travel to the city where the Gorga kiddies are preparing for their big night. The kids try on clothes, while Melissa spins a tale about the harrowing demands of being a working mom and mentor to three budding models. Melissa and Joe formulate a plan, agreeing to just tell Teresa to shut up, if she acts up during their children’s runway strut. We check in on Jacqueline, who greets Siggy and her daughter, listening patiently to Siggy gripe about Sophie’s social media addiction. Jac shares some rough puberty memories about Ashlee, as her young adult daughter arrives home. Ashlee shares pearls of lofty maturity with the teen, and we learn that Jac and Chris have invited the felon and her hubby over for the first bloodbath of the season.
Jacqueline checks in with Chris at work, who reiterates that they are banking on this new snack company to lift them out of debt. Chris reminds Jac to keep her cool with the Giudices when they come over, because jailbirds have problems too. We then sit through a
boring scene where Siggy whines to Jac about the challenges of having a daughter in passionate teen-love with her phone. Siggy picks up her reprobate phone abuser from school, and delivers the bad news that she is yanking away her phone until the end of time, or until dinner. Sophie requests donuts, to make the next hour more pleasant. Siggy bleats at her a few more minutes, stressing the importance of school, grades, broken rules, and Dunkin-less consequences.
It’s the night of the big fashion show, and the Giudice kids are getting the star treatment. Teresa, who is channeling Cher, along with Milania, shows up to support, and the generous visual is quite a shocker. The kiddies strut their stuff and they’re cute. The adults gush over their little beauties, before going out for a post-runway celebration. Melissa slips in that Joe works through any crippling illness, and sings the praises of her perfectly functional, always-uplifting family. What a difference a year in prison makes! Little Joey sweetly proclaims his love for his family, giving us a nice break from the sappy BS session.
We get a glimpse of Dolores’ new gym, and her top trainer, Maz. They discuss business, and Dolores’ struggle for independence, and it’s a snooze. Speaking of snoozy, a lunch with Siggy and her kids is up next. Siggy performs hard, but the cell phone saga, and her helicopter parenting are rough to watch. The kids think that their mom is a drag, and their dad is fab — so fab that no phones are necessary. Their dad rocks, especially because teen girls are allowed to hang out in a teen boy’s room. Siggy’s kids go off, airing complaints, and bring their mom to droplet dabs. Siggy doesn’t listen to her annoying kids, they don’t listen to her, and I don’t want to listen to any of them.
We hop over to the Giudices, where Joe is frolicking with the girls. Milania entertains, as Teresa gets ready for the Laurita showdown in her Taj Mahal inspired bathroom. Teresa is hoping that the couples will actually have fun — but we all know that such a dream is a long shot.
Teresa greets adorable CJ, who is growing like a weed, and sweet Nicholas. Jacqueline is touched by Teresa’s interaction with the children — so far, so good. Chris and Joe catch up, and share a few laughs about Joe’s hilarious future up the river. The girls busy themselves in the kitchen, and talk about world peace — until Teresa shares that she believes that everyone, including Melissa, ganged up on her during her last days of freedom. We flash back to the infamous 2011 porch argument, when an ominously hulking Caroline refereed a fight over tabloid prison theory. Jacqueline admits that she can’t tell when a pro-liar is lying, and Teresa blames such horrible insight on a friendship “disconnect.” Jacqueline pleads understandable ignorance, but Teresa thinks that a real friend would “just know.” Teresa throws her brother under the bus, and credits him for turning her against Jacqueline, but Jac thinks that Teresa has it twisted, and calls Joe to confirm the truth. Meanwhile, the men are having a ball, showing the gals how the concept of fun is actually accomplished.
Joe Gorga is thrilled for the phone cameo, and reassures the ladies that no one should be trusted. Teresa is peeved that Jacqueline put Joe on the spot, and busts Joe for siding with a stranger. Teresa notes that she wants to cut out all toxic people, including strangers who rain on her tabloid parade. Jacqueline doesn’t understand how flashing back five years will help them rebuild their fake friendship, but Teresa tells Jacqueline to quit playing stupid, and figure it out. Jacqueline secretly reminds herself that she would never be dumb enough to sign documents without reading them. Teresa wants to be free to sell her story to the highest bidder, and everyone else just needs to mind their own biz. Teresa snarks that the Lauritas have had their own legal woes, and that she would never dream of butting in — unless the cameras are rolling. Jacqueline responds that only the Giudices are dirty criminals, and Teresa loses it, calling the jab of truth a low-blow. Teresa orders Joe up and out, as Joe rolls his eyes at his bossy wife. Chris is annoyed that the wives can’t just laugh prison off, but Teresa won’t stand for anyone accusing her of filing fraudulent anything — including a guilty plea. Jacqueline stands up to her — nailing Teresa for taking no accountability for her actions.
Bravo editors take over at this point, and all of Jacqueline’s epic comments are never aired. Teresa storms out, but Joe embraces the couple, while wistfully eyeing the food. Teresa rushes home to make curfew, and unfairly nails Jac for starting trouble with Joe — when she is the one who dragged her brother into the mess. Bravo bounces us between couples, as they debrief the drama. Teresa rambles until a hungry Joe is badgered into admitting that Jacqueline is a bitch. Teresa runs for her yoga mat, hoping to zen away her disappointment.
Next week Melissa throws into the drama — which side does she choose? I’ll give you one guess.