So last night began our two-part journey into Andy Cohen's underworld, a place of shadows and screams, of strange rhombus coffee tables and tearing, thrashing ghouls. Andy Cohen's underworld is located at the Borgata in Atlantic City, naturally.
So, um, look. How do you really talk about people just sitting around and yelling? It's hard. She said this, then she said that, then she barked this, and she howled that. Over and over again until the end. How do you talk about this in any sort of interesting way? I just don't know. I still haven't figured it out. Generally I avoid these Reunion Specials for that express reason. There's nothing extra to be said. But this one, obviously, seemed like a bigger deal. What with all the pushing and bellowing and storming out. Plus Andy Cohen got knocked the fuck down! Do not try to tussle with the Teresa rhinoceros when she is in one of her frenzies. She will break your bones like balsa wood. I mean, that's generally what happens when you enrage children, they trash and claw and bite, because they don't really have the words or emotional intellect to do otherwise. And Teresa is a big overgrown baby. So the minute she gets upset it's just so much yelling and arm throwing and kicking and stomping. Isn't it nice to see adults acting like that? Wriggling in a TV executive's arms as he tries to stop them from bonking another adult woman on the head with their be-ringed fist. That's a nice, respectable thing to watch right there. Especially if it's an adult who is responsible for the upbringing of four children. Good example setting, Teets!
Though, to be fair, she was dealing with an infuriating person. Danielle the Bugwoman is by all accounts extremely pathetic. I love how when she goes on public appearance things — be it Andy Cohen's little gay uncle basement program or some local NY morning news show — she tries to act all poised and serious and classful. She always speaks slowly and doesn't really laugh at jokes or poke fun at herself. It's like she thinks if she goes on some stupid interview and acts like the regal-yet-obviously-tattered Queen of Albania or some place, we'll forget all about the gun-toting nonsense she pulls on the other show, which is the sole reason she's on the interview show in the first place. That's what Danielle doesn't seem quite willing to get or at least acknowledge. It's not like Andy Cohen or whoever else wants to talk to Danielle Staub, the person. No one gives two suffering farts about Danielle Staub, the person. No, people want to talk to the Danielle whose friends carry guns around to protect her and who holds up clumps of fake weave as if she's presenting us with the body of a dead child, it's that serious, and who makes ridiculous malapropisms and who is maybe-dating Carrie Fisher's dart-eyed shambles of a twin brother, Scraps. People don't want to see the cold-eyed woman who presents herself so austerely on interview couches, who tries to talk big TV-narrative terms like "I'm something of the villain, a character, on the show." Ha, no you're not. Bullshit, to quote Caroline. You're not The Villain. You're the crazy one. You're the nutbar who thinks she needs armed guards to go film a stupid basic cable reality show. You're not The Villain, because The Villain is usually somewhat likable or at least has clearly defined motivations. Danielle is just all garble and croak and gibberish. And then she tries to go on these shows and act all above-it-all. You know what would have been great to see? How above-it-all she was when she got the call saying that she wasn't going to be on the show anymore. I'll bet she calmly said "Well, thank you for your time," hung up the phone, and went about her day. I bet that's exactly what happened.
So anyway, what did these crazies talk about that got everyone so upset? Oh you know. Danielle said something about Teresa not acknowledging a nephew or something and Teresa did not like Danielle saying stuff about her family, so she jumped up from the couch in her Florida hotel wallpaper floral dress and she said "Do not break up my family!" or something like that, which seemed like kind of a leap. Anyway, Teresa has just recently learned the word "bitch", so she really likes to use it. So she did, a lot, as if just discovering it. "You know what you are? You're... a bitch! Yeah, a bitch!" Danielle eventually got up and stormed out, and Teresa tried to rage after her, but poor noodle-armed Andy tried to hold her back. She easily broke his slippery, jelly-wristed hold and she almost got where she wanted to go until Jacqueline reared up and violently shoulder-checked her and wrapped her in a bear hug. That was enough to keep Teresa mostly still, barring the occasional instinctual flail. "I'm fine, I'm fline... [wild flail toward Danielle's general direction]. No, seriously, it's OK. Anyway. [quick flail]. Really, yeah. It's no problem [one last final small flail, almost a twitch really]. OK. OK."
Meanwhile Danielle was in the break room, surrounded by bottles of pink Alize or something, and being attended to by her staff. There was her hairdresser, Baloo, her lesbian superstar friend Lori Whothefuckisthis, and some other lady. Other lady was doing her makeup and Baloo was flattening her hair and Lori was calming her down, reassuring her with mantras they'd all read on a bottle of Fruitopia in 1994. "Good things... Good things will happen..." They said this with such robotic fervor! I got a sad image of Danielle actually saying these things, in real life, not just for the camera. Driving along a wintry road and feeling a sharp pull of melancholy. Good things will happen... Looking down at the dog on the vet's table as it's put to sleep, its little old fur matted and dull. Good things will happen... Trembling in the parking lot of the supermarket after two twentysomethings walked by and laughed and called her old. Good things will happen... Ugh, Danielle! Don't make me pity you so. Please don't. Good things won't happen.
After she collected herself and made Andy promise that Teresa wouldn't get up from the couch ("Just don't cross me," Andy told to Teresa, which isn't exactly the same thing as don't get up from the couch), Danielle bravely walked back out and rejoined the girls. The convo proceeded to be bitchy, then bitchier. Normally I like her, but didn't Jacqueline come off so needlessly snippy and snide last night? All those little "He was married" and "Yes she did" and "Not true" interjections that just didn't need to be made. She should have taken a clue from Caroline, who remained mostly curt and businesslike. (To Andy after he couldn't get a straight answer from Danielle about her possible lesbianness with Lori: "This is like 20 questions. You're out of questions and you didn't figure it out. Next." Ha!) But of course when Caroline did have something substantial to say, she launched at Danielle with matriarch guns ablaze. The thing she said about Scraps or someone else being a pig or something, the one my friend said was a Welcome Back Kotter reference, was so terrific. It was just perfect. Caroline saying that Danielle's girls have no light in their eyes was painfully accurate, emphasis on painful. Those poor girls. Mostly Caroline came off pretty well. Sure it's weird that adults are doing any of this at all and it sort of means that everyone is awful, but when your opponent is Danielle, it's hard not to come off the victor.
And I don't know. Things were said about the kids and things were said about long-ago conspiracies and everyone just droned on and on and on. Were there any shocking revelations? Not really. Danielle maybe broke up Scraps' marriage. OK, sure. Who was Scraps' wife, anyway? A kerchief-wearing storybook mouse, probably, who ran back into her mouse hole and that was that. Oh the sextape, was it filmed by a third party? Sure, sure, sure it was. Is Danielle making money off of it? Yes, probably yes. OK, yeah, we knew that. These hours are rarely ever that revelatory. Mostly they're just an excuse for unbridled yelling, a chance to see how far these women are willing to go to be on a television show. "Hey, want to yell at each other in a room for eight hours?" "No! That sounds awf— Wait. Will it be a television show?" "Yeah." "Oh well then yes of course!" Ew. No one ever really wins in these things. I mean, there's a least-loser, that'd be Caroline. But no one wins.
Especially not Andy. Oh Andy. Manhandled. Foreheaded'd! Torn down by the broke-ass Giudice. (Teresa's mooing about her finances was dull and obviously mostly lies, so what's the point? Everyone just lies. It's not like they're in court. I kind of wish they were. I kind of wish they were forced.) Andy always comes off so... ugly... in these shows. I mean, he's just doing his job (that he gave himself), but what's the point? What's the point of any of this dredging? We never really get any clarity. So mostly it's Andy doing an ugly soft-shoe in one of his tight suits, the ugly furniture being ugly and too faraway. (Why have a coffee table if it's three arm-lengths away from the sofas?) I wonder if Andy does that too. Goes home. Tells himself good things will happen. Probably he just drinks. Probably he just loosens his tie and closes his eyes, pinches the bridge of his nose, wishes.
Anyway, next Monday looks more exciting, with a crazed-eyed Kim G. appearance and the gay advocate stuff coming up and the shocking bag of hair that Danielle pulls out of some mysterious place. I don't know. You're going to a brightly lit room to be yelled at by people who hate you for eight hours and you are carrying a bag of hair.
Good things will happen...?