Drunken chest-hair waxing, drunken dance-floor crawling, drunken cultural insensitivities–you’d be forgiven if you thought you sat on the remote and accidentally changed the channel to MTV’s Jersey Shore: Family Vacation. But instead of those fortysomething Garden State residents hoovering trays of tequila shots, we have fiftysomething Garden State residents congregating down the coast for Melissa Gorga’s “once a year adult party.”
Unfortunately, that adult party happened to be luau-themed, which means that we were subjected to such fine Polynesian traditions as prosciutto towers, vodka-cranberries, and a cigar-rolling station. (“Cigars over here, like true Hawaiians!... Wait, are cigars Cuban?”) But the Gorgas needn’t spend too much time verifying the authenticity or accuracy of their party decorations because their poorly-themed shindig, like all RHONJ get-togethers, was merely a vehicle for moving the various cast dramas along.
The first: the ongoing Teresa Giudice wedding debacle. We’ve weathered weeks of listening to the back-and-forth bitching about Teresa not inviting Joe Gorga’s in-laws to her upcoming nuptials. The Gorgas retaliated yet again by not hosting Teresa and fiancé Luis Ruelas at their vacation home for the Shore weekend (they shacked up with the Aydins, instead). And now we finally have some clarity about that guest-list snub.
“Melissa’s mom not being invited, that was an oversight?” Jennifer Fessler asked. “That’s not an oversight, we have a history,” Teresa started, expanding in a talking head: “Ten years ago, I got busy and I guess they got jealous. Melissa’s mother and sisters were writing stuff about me on social media and I know my mother would never write about anyone on social media. I kept my distance after that...I forgive but I never forget.” Someone should have notified Louie because, before Teresa could finish explaining the feud, he’d already personally apologized to Melissa’s mom, Donna Marco, and tried to extend her an invite to their one-month-away wedding. Dude just couldn’t namaste out of it, could he?
Teresa’s other main conflict of the week didn’t need a butt-in from Louie–but the Househusbands chugging hooch straight from the bottle did help to dissipate the drama. (“That’s Patterson, baby!” someone unironically yelled mid-guzzle.) After Rachel had relayed to Margaret that Teresa had warned the newcomer about Marge and her “arsenal” of gossip a few episodes prior, Margaret was on the offensive. “If we’re made up, why would you say anything negative about me?” she asked Giudice, who instead took aim at Rachel: “You’re starting trouble between me and Margaret? That’s like high school!” Rach held her own and calmly defended her transparency–“I’m just getting to know Rachel and this doesn’t really sit well with me,” said a not-pleased Teresa–but rowdy bottle-swilling from the boys led to an early truce between the wives.
And Rachel Fuda wasn’t the only cast rookie entangled in OG drama this week. Danielle Cabral’s mysterious beef with her own brother proved to be a hot topic among the women, particularly Jackie Goldschneider, who didn’t entirely buy Danielle’s Instagram explanation for her years-long estrangement from her sibling. “I think Danielle is leaving out a big piece of this story,” the former housewife told the group. “There’s something that she did where she doesn’t want to look bad.”
Melissa wanted to give Danielle the benefit of the doubt (“This is just another sad story, another brother and sister that can’t get it together”), but Margaret firmly concurred with Jackie: “Do I think she’s telling the whole story? No.” (And with the way Danielle was worrying about Marge’s CIA-level gossip clearance at the top of the episode, do we think Mrs. Josephs already has the intel on what really went down between Danielle and her brother? Only time, and TV, will tell.)
“I hate hearing my name in conversations that I’m not involved in,” Danielle stewed from the sidelines, grabbing her husband and peeling off across the deck to cool down. “It brings me back to my childhood where girls would bully me...the only difference now is I know I can throw a right hook.” (JWoww would be proud.) When Melissa came over to check on her, Danielle’s rage had hit a high: “I can’t hear anything you’re saying right now, my insides are ready to go nuclear.” Instead of fist-pumping someone’s face to the beat, however, she made the smart call to get the hula-hell out of there.
- If you took a drink every time there was a “Get Lei’d” joke this episode, you’d be half as drunk as Bill Aydin, who spent most of his screen time on the floor—literally. “Of course Bill’s wasted, how else can he stand being around Jennifer?” Marge quipped.
- Danielle wonderfully paraphrasing William Congreve: “Don’t fuck with a woman scorned.” “With what?” Rachel (and the world) asked, confused. “A woman that’s been messed with…come on, don’t make me describe things.”
- Speaking of poetry, Danielle’s chosen synonyms for genitalia are nothing short of lyrical: “cucchini,” “vagini,” “tangerini.”
- This week’s lady props have to go to Rachel Fuda’s husband John, whose official initiation into the Househusbands club involved Joe G. waxing his chest in the middle of the luau.
- “Fuda’s my boy but he came into Guys’ Night and brought diapers...payback’s a bitch, brother,” yelled Gorga. Fuda managed it whilst standing and with minimal screaming, though the wax job itself left much to be desired. “I’m guessing Joe Gorga didn’t go to cosmetology school,” Jenn F. critiqued. “I don’t care if I’m a bush woman, Joe Gorga is not coming near me with hot wax.”