ZOMG guys, are you dying? Real Housewives of New Jersey premieres tonight, and it's getting really good reviews. I mean, not like Wire reviews. But good for a reality show reviews.
Alessandra Stanley of the New York Times says that while the New York City iteration of Bravo's marvelous reality empire can be "dismal and joyless," the Jersey ladies are "more farcical, less phony and a lot more fun." Which sounds promising! But just who are these fun, farcical ladies? Let's take a look.
Teresa the Fashionista
Teresa isn't one of the related ones. She's a floater, but still a Jersey-bred Italian-American floater with deep ties to the community. She used to "work in fashion" in New York, as she earned a degree in "Fashion Marketing and Management" from the prestigious Berkeley College. So we can expect her to spend lots of time not paying attention to her three children (one of whom is named Milania, which is not a name, but a Nissan four door sedan) and yakking about New York and her fancy fashion smarts, while one eye stares trained at the grassy backyard, beyond which are trees, beyond which is a street, beyond which is another house and another one and another one until you get to a highway and that beyond that... the City. But, that's all beginning to feel increasingly far away these days. Sigh. Isn't it?
Jacqueline the Sad One
Jacqueline used to be a make up lady in Las Vegas until her husband came and whisked her away to leafy New Jersey. At the airport before she left she had to check one bag because she already had two carry-ons: her little stupid Coach purse or something, and a teenage daughter from a previous marriage. Oops! Now she and her mixed family have a new boy named CJ and Jacqueline spends her time being bossed around by her sisters-in-law, who are also on the show. Jacqueline will probably put on a lighthearted veneer but then spend a lot of time crying (we already know from previews that she's having trouble conceiving again) and feeling restless and broken. Mostly because she has the saddest hair of the group. Eventually she'll fill her dress up with Atlantic City casino chips and walk into the glassy waters of Cape May and that will be that, a Turnpike Mrs. Dalloway.
Dina the Bitch
This is sister-in-law number one, an interior designer and bride of the scion of a Mob family. Her husband Tommy's father was Albert "Tiny" Manzo whose 350-pound body was, according to Stanley, "found riddled with gunshot wounds, his arms and legs bound in plastic, in the trunk of his Lincoln Continental in 1983." Terrific! So mostly I am a little scared to write about Dina and her sister other than to say look they are very pretty ladies and I'm sure they are smart and have many worthwhile charitable concerns. Terrific mothers all and pious and goodly all the days of the year. Good for the Manzos, they are America. So, ha ha, bitch in a nice way!
Caroline the Short-Haired Bulldog
Caroline is married to Albert Manzo Jr., an upstanding owner of a very posh event hall in Paterson called the Brownstone. Everyone is happy to see Caroline when she comes around because she is smart and lively and pretty, and would never have anyone she knows track down a stupid TV recapper and put a (re)cap in his ass. Right?
Danielle the Outlander
A former "model" of some sort, nobody likes Danielle. She's not even Italian. A disgraceful nobody, Danielle wanders New Jersey acting like her shit don't stink when it do stink, it do stink very very much. She's beauty parlor friends with sad, sad Jacqueline but no one else thinks she's worth the time of day. And they are right. Especially Caroline and Dina, who are always right about everything. Danielle is divorced, which is a terrible sin and a violation of the sacrament of marriage, plus she has very big breasts and likes to brag about how she had her American Express black card before Madonna even did. Before Madonna! A credit card! How do you say "please help me reevaluate my life priorities" in not-Italian?
So it ought to be a fun season, if we survive it. If my bloody, battered body is found in the marshes of Bayonne or in the Meadowlands or something, tell my parents I died reporting on Iraq or the economy or something.