Monday, October 8, 2012

RHONJ Reunion Part 2 - No Victims, No Bullies

Well, hello, kids and welcome back. You should know that this blog will not contain grades, because, frankly, we're waaay past that point, and really, we all know this season is a FAIL. Big time. However, there were some moments of clarity in Sunday night's RHONJ Reunion Part 2. But you know I can't be 100% serious about this stuff. So, proceed with at least a shred of a sense of humor, please.

We begin where we left off, with Rosie. Now, we know from Watch What Happens Live last night that none of the ladies could hear exactly what Rosie was saying backstage, so I'm curious to know what Teresa is saying about her tongue being threatened. (I can't check her tweets because I'm blocked. Have I mentioned this?) Lauren Manzo spoke to Rosie backstage and did a great job of getting her to calm down. I was actually very impressed. Once Rosie was on the couch, she was relatively calm. She and Teresa got into it for a moment regarding Teresa's claims that Kathy was upset about Rosie's sexuality. Now, we all know Teresa isn't good with timelines, or listening, so Rosie had to reiterate a couple of times that Kathy had a problem with Rosie's girlfriend at the time, not the fact that she was gay. I wanted to know more about this wrong path Rosie's girlfriend was leading her towards, but they didn't go into it. Suffice to say, Rosie checked Teresa by saying she was projecting her own point of view onto Kathy. Teresa denied it and said even Joe Giudice invited Rosie to hang out with them, which Rosie denied. Bottom line: I think Teresa accepts Rosie, just like Kathy does. You can see that Kathy and Rosie are close, and like Rosie said, they have a bond no one can break. All in all, that segment ended on a peaceful note.  

Caroline really surprised me in a good way when she put her own problems with Teresa aside and tried to get her to stop going at it with Kathy before Rosie came on the set. She kept saying, "This is wrong!", and she was absolutely right. It had gone way too far, and it needed to stop. Even Andy said they were just trying to hurt each other at that point.

Caroline kept trying to get Teresa to listen, but then Melissa got her big line in: "I'm the victim!" Um, no you're not. No one is. Here's what bugs me. No one put a gun to any of these ladies' heads and made them get on this show. However, they signed on the dotted line and agreed to put their personal business on television because it's a platform and a way to make money. No problem. But when you know things are not good in your family (I'm looking at you, Melissa) and you decide to go on the same reality show as the sister-in-law that you're fighting with, whatever happens happens. You are not a victim. You knew that Teresa was not going to be happy about you being on the show (and it doesn't matter if you told her you were coming on or not). And Teresa, you knew it wasn't just your show. It's an ensemble cast and the producers can cast whoever they want. It's not your deal. You are the breakout star, absolutely. But if you didn't like it, you could have walked off and had your fans follow you to your next venture, which they gladly would have done. So, in my opinion, there are no victims here. I feel that Melissa and Teresa both value their place on this show and the platform it gives them way more than they value their relationship. Neither one will give up their place on the RHONJ cast willingly. And that's sad, because they both need to leave and get professional help immediately.

I don't think Teresa has as much of a problem with Kathy as she does with Melissa. She clearly doesn't get along with Kathy, but it's not an all out war like it is with Melissa. I thought it was a smart move on Kathy's part to apologize for calling Teresa's mother a liar. She knew it was wrong and apologized for it right then and there. I respect that. If you don't, hey, we can agree to disagree on that. I found it interesting how, after Kathy apologized, Teresa started to give her a hard time, then quickly decided against it and went back to the other couch, saying "this means I accept". It was a very intriguing exchange that went on there because Teresa got quiet and sat down and it looked like she had forgiven Kathy, but it wasn't long before they were bickering again.

We learned that Caroline and Dina are still not talking (which makes it a year or so, right?) and Caroline tried to show Teresa the similarities in their situations. Now, Dina was on one episode and she didn't say anything too terrible about Caroline that I can remember. Maybe it was the whole "maybe blood isn't thicker than water" line? If so, that's nothing. The Gorga/Giudice feud has lasted the entire season, plus the season before. So, it really isn't the same, but nice try, Caroline. I don't even think Dina is that angry at you. It just sounds like she doesn't want to bother with you right now. Which is hurtful, don't get me wrong. But you're not flinging insults and accusations back and forth. Be grateful it hasn't gotten that bad yet and stop talking about it. Dina will talk to you when she's good and ready.

Teresa is insisting throughout the whole episode that Melissa and Kathy came on the show to destroy her and/or hurt her. Here's my take on that. Melissa admitted she came on because it was an opportunity and I think Melissa saw it as a way to become famous. If she pisses off Teresa in the process, fine, she's ok with that because there's no love lost there. Now, with Kathy, I honestly don't think she meant to hurt anyone. She tried to make up with Teresa all last season and this entire season, and it was only on this reunion that she's openly fighting with Teresa and not holding back at all. Last reunion, she was trying to reason with Teresa but it didn't work. So now, I guess, it's game on. But, let's be honest, none of us can read minds or hearts so we just go by what we see on TV, which is a fraction of what's really going on in real life. Am I the only one that's kind of embarrassed that we care so much about a show that is literally a thin slice of people's lives that we don't know and will probably never meet or have a cup of coffee with??? ... Moving on ...

Is Caroline a bully? As I stated before, none of these ladies are victims, so the reasonable answer is no. Caroline had enough of Teresa and didn't hide it. It wasn't nice, and it wasn't fun to watch, but in my opinion, it wasn't bullying. Teresa defends herself and fights back, and also, let's not forget, has no problem telling other people off, getting in their face, grabbing their face, screaming at them, calling them names, flipping tables, talking about them behind their back, etc. It's all very unattractive, but it's not bullying. So, when Andy brings it up, Caroline asks Teresa to give her one instance where she bullied her and of course, Teresa can't come up with an answer. Because there is none. Teresa stammers and finally says, the whole season. But nothing specific. So she backtracks and says the viewers have been saying it all season. How's the view from under that bus, viewers??? Teresa then clarifies that magazines have said it, and that Caroline did bully her, but it didn't affect her. She added that Caroline has done a lot of things to her, but again, nothing specific. Teresa finally settles on the fact that Caroline didn't accept her apology. Which, come on, is not bullying. I mean, what about all the lectures and the unsolicited advice?! That's something, at least! The truth is, Caroline wanted nothing to do with Teresa and she said so to her face. Teresa said as much back to Caroline. That's a pretty fair fight. No victims, no bullies. Like I said before, Teresa gives as good as she gets, and in Napa, she and Caroline were equally matched. Teresa went to her room and called Caroline some names, which Caroline was more than happy to bring up on this episode. I did enjoy Caroline telling Teresa to stop being a brick wall and listen - because Teresa does have a wall up. And it's definitely a defense mechanism, but there's a time and a place for a defense mechanism. They're not supposed to be permanent.

Speaking of Napa, let's talk about Joe Giudice. I know, I don't want to, either. But it was a big part of the episode, so we kind of have to. Joe Giudice recited, I mean gave his explanation about who he was talking to in Napa and I still don't buy it. Even after he heard the conversation again (complete with perverted grunting and giggling) he still says it was his coworker. Bullshit. Then, in a real classy move, he thanks Andy for showing the call on TV, and says it cost him a lot. A lot, meaning jewelry for Teresa because, get this: they fought for three days about it. As opposed to ... actually taking responsibility for his actions. So, he essentially said he bought his way out of the problem and Teresa just sits there with a smile on her face. Melissa was right on when she said "and I'm the gold digger?" but I wish she would have said it louder, because Teresa needed to hear that. I'm sorry, and I am not married, but I would be completely mortified if my husband forgot he had a mic on because he was so plastered off wine and called me a C word to his mistress. No amount of diamonds in the world could fix that for me. But, according to Teresa everything is fine. Everything is not fine, Teresa. I have said this a million times. Joe Giudice is the problem. I know it doesn't fit the image you want to put out there, but he is the problem. I'll stop there.

Now, here's where Jacqueline comes in. Andy asks the ladies if they've ever heard Joe Giudice call Teresa names. So, at first, Jacqueline is hesitant but hints at it for sure. And in a classic case of opening a can of worms, Teresa says that Chris cheated on Jacqueline and that's why Jacqueline can't trust him. You can almost see the steam coming out of Jacqueline at that point. It was effective the first time, but Teresa can't help herself so she says it like eight more times. That's when Jacqueline loses it. She spills the tea about Joe cheating numerous times and here's a surprise, Danielle saying she was hanging out with Joe Giudice and he was with a stripper all night. Jeez Louise, for someone who's not on the show anymore, Danielle certainly gets her camera time. I, personally, take everything and anything Danielle says with a grain of salt, but she was right about Melissa being in contact with her, so anything is possible. But let's be real, if Teresa had said the Chris thing once and let it go, Jacqueline probably wouldn't have blown up, but I think Teresa wanted to provoke her. And provoke her, she did. So when Jacqueline started saying how Mr. and Mrs. Giudice enjoy calling each other names and punching each other, my jaw pretty much hit the floor. What the hell is going on here???

This is why I say they need a whole new cast. With this kind of history, how can we ever hope for a show where these women can interact in a social setting without bloodshed??? We can't.

I hate to do this but we have to go back to Melissa and Teresa for a second. The sing-off was one of the lighter-ish moments in this shitshow, so you know I have to talk about it. Melissa has a decent voice and Teresa wasn't terrible, but you could tell she was imitating what she thinks Melissa sounds like. Then, the cookbook scandal - who's cooking those dishes that Teresa tweets a picture of? Again, I'm blocked, so ... you know ... But I have to say I laughed out loud when Melissa said "You want me to sing the whole damn song?" Like, bitch, please! And I knew what Teresa was getting at - sing the whole song so we can hear what you really sound like. I get it. But who really cares? The singing is not the issue and neither are the tweets about meals Teresa's mom may or may not have prepared.

The issue is: Teresa and Melissa love fighting with each other. I can definitely see how much they enjoy it. When Melissa was going after Teresa for talking about her marriage while Joe Giudice was there, she and Teresa were going back and forth and all of a sudden, Melissa says "You wanna play?" in this almost evil voice and it caught my attention. I mean, who says that? I can see Melissa engaging Teresa in a fight right there. And it was totally unnecessary. Then, Teresa does her whole taunting routine where she squeals and smiles and makes herself look like a crazy person. And the "thank God" moment??? Can we talk about this??? Teresa, what were you thinking?! You have to get off this show. You're officially a stunt queen. That whole bowing down thing was odd, and slightly frightening. It wasn't funny and if you thought it was, I just feel awful for you. Because it wasn't.

We have to move on to the arm grab. Teresa was saying Melissa dated Joe Gorga's best friend, and Melissa grabbed Teresa's arm. She didn't pull it out of its socket, but Teresa was quick to say she would press charges. Of course, that prompted Kathy to remind Teresa that she grabbed her face in Napa and no charges were filed. Seriously, ladies? Teresa, you of all people have no place getting upset about someone touching you, since you're the queen of getting inappropriate when you're mad. Melissa, you should have known better than to give Teresa something to use against you. Melissa then stated that Teresa wishes she had a marriage like the Gorgas (um, no thanks). No shade, but shade. Then Danielle was brought up again, regarding when Melissa actually spoke to her. Before the Season 2 Reunion? After? Oh, who cares anymore? She talked to her, end of story. Melissa claims that Danielle did not get her on the show. Which I believe. Because Danielle getting Melissa on the show is like someone getting fired, then hiring their own replacement. But hey, stranger things have happened on Bravo.

And here we are again, the central issue. Teresa will never get over the fact that Melissa and Kathy are on the show with her. The truth is, the thrill is gone, ladies. Teresa, you have a shitload of fans that will support you in whatever you pursue. You say that if the situation were reversed, you would have found a different show to be on ... we'll never know. We just have to take your word for it. As for Kathy saying you have a little team of crazies ... I'll just say this. You have a lot of fans. 90% are lovely people who I have absolutely an awesome time chatting with on Twitter. The other 10% are the kind that will be mean to anyone who doesn't fawn all over you and agree with everything you do. I don't agree with everything you do, and I never will. So, that 10% can continue to call me names on Twitter. I can take it.

I want to briefly talk about Watch What Happens Live last night with my girl, Wendy Williams. I'll just do a lightning round for you:
1. Teresa needs to leave the show - agree
2. Joe Giudice is lying - agree
3. No one will watch Teresa's cooking show - disagree, her fans will follow her, believe that!

And a special shout out to Mustang Sally for calling in to the After Show!!!

I have to make one more point, and that is, I honestly don't think Andy has it out for Teresa at all. Some of her fans believe he's too hard on her and is purposely trying to make her look bad. I don't think this is true. It's not in Andy's best interest to alienate anyone on these shows. It's in his best interest to keep the most entertaining people on the show in order to boost ratings. The decisions regarding casting involve more people than just Andy - he is not the entire network. Don't get me wrong, I am upset with the network powers-that-be that decided to hack up the season and mish-mash it back together again. But Andy doesn't work alone. So, I'm cutting him some slack. Andy and the Bravo team saved RHONY from the brink of disaster, and I'm hoping they'll do the same with RHONJ. But if not, we can always watch something else.

One more Reunion episode to go, kids!

Let me know what you think - Tweet me!