The Real Housewives of New Jersey: A Tale of Two Thanksgivings

It’s that time of the week again – the Real Housewives of New Jersey + Joe Gorga have blessed us with their drama and it’s my job to bring you up to speed. This week is Thanksgiving in Jersey and in true Housewives fashion, it’s time to bring out glitter tops, leopard prints, food overload, a mechanical bull AND one triumphant “Praise Jesus!” (thank you, Melissa).

We start out this week following the Gorgas on a food-shopping trip where we are re-introduced to the drama that is Joe Gorga.  When scolded for attempting to put what looked to be 12 loaves of wheat bread and 10 pies in Melissa’s already overburdened cart, he throws a small scale tempter tantrum and then questions why he even came if Melissa has the nerve to knock all his choices.  Joe always asks the important questions.  The cringe-worthy moment of the shopping trip comes when the family sees a lifelike, but completely dead piglet sitting in the meat case and one of the Gorga children asks to take it home as a pet.  Ohhh, so sad…it’s not a sleeping pig, that pig is no longer with us, kid.  Good teaching moment on life and death.

While the Gorga’s are taking the food market by storm, Teresa and Joe are are on the road to nowhere to get the perfect Thanksgiving turkey.  For the first time ever (that may be a slight overstatement, but whatever) Joe Guidice puts together a subject and predicate…out loud!  And here I thought he only grunted.  Mostly, he breaks his silence to criticize Teresa’s driving and utter lack of direction (despite having a GPS in the car).  If Joe only uses words sparingly, a good reason to dust them off is to help prod Teresa down the road. The duo hits up a poultry farm to get a live turkey, but get cold feet and take decide to take one home that was alive and well…yesterday.

Our favorite young adult, Ashley, doesn’t disappoint this week.  While visiting Albie and Christopher in their new Hoboken apartment, she tells them (with a straight face) how she needs to move into her own place in NYC because it’s the only way she will be able to get out of bed and to work on time.  When Chris and Albie explain that it takes money to get an apartment and she doesn’t have any, guess what Ashley does…wait for it….she tears up!  I know what you’re thinking – our tough as nails Ashley?  Really?!?  Nooo.  Yes!  At least this time, it wasn’t a full-fledged breakdown and she keeps the waterworks to a minimum.  If she expected any sympathy as a careless, moneyless rich kid, she came to the wrong place.  Caroline’s sons have something Ashley does not – common sense and an apartment. It appears that Albie and Christoper strike a cord with her because Ashley goes back to Jacqueline’s house full of good cheer and a new sense of appreciation for how good she’s got it.  Any bets on how long that lasts?

And now onto Cousin Kathy who is baking up a storm in preparation for the Gorga’s Thanksgiving dinner.  Apparently Kathy is the dessert queen, a job she DOES NOT take lightly.  She makes everything from small cannolis housed inside a larger cannoli to mini pumpkin pies to three types of Tiramisu.  I got nothing on Cousin Kathy’s husband this week. He may have said something but I was so mesmerized by that je ne sais quoi that is Rich Wakile, I didn’t hear.  Sorry guys.

The show ends with a couple of Thanksgiving feasts.  One hosted by the Guidices dubbed the “FriendsGiving” and the other by the Gorgas dubbed “WTF is a mechanical bull doing in the front yard?” And why do Melissa and Joe ride it in an uncomfortably sexual way in front of family, including young children?  God only knows and he doesn’t even want to know.

At the Gorga Thanksgiving, the topic du jour is Joe’s rift with his only sister Teresa.  Kudos to Melissa who really seems to want Joe to patch things up with Teresa…..primarily because she wants reclaim the title as the only catty lady in the house.

The Teresa-Joe feud is also a big topic at Friendsgiving.  At one point, Teresa pulls out a housewarming from Melissa and screeches about the nerve Melissa has to congratulate her on their “redone” home.  Teresa prefers the word “renovated.” Don’t “redone” and “renovated” generally mean the same thing?  Unlike Teresa, I don’t think Melissa meant it as some sort of dig…rather, I believe she probably wasn’t sure how to spell “renovated” so she used something easier instead.  Totally understandable.  In another strange moment, Teresa rages that Melissa brought sprinkled cookies to her home once when she should’ve brought pignoli cookies.  When Jacqueline and Caroline point out how childish this all is, Teresa nods her head defiant agreement and says “exactly.”  Petty and somewhat clueless – thy name is Teresa Guidice.

One random thought of the week – how much pressure does poor Vito probably feel to pop the question to Lauren?  The Manzos (including Lauren) really feel comfortable bringing up marriage every change they get when Vito’s in the room.  Don’t get me wrong, Lauren and Vito seem like a great couple but sheesh, can a guy eat a turkey leg around here without his future being planned out?

So, as you can see, the troubled times for the Gorgas and Guidices continue but peace maybe on the horizon for Teresa, Joe’s only sister and Joe, Teresa’s only brother.  If Ashley can grow up, they can too…right?  Until next week folks!


Season 3, Episode 4: Gobblefellas (originally aired June 6, 2011)

Tune in for more family drama Mondays 9/8 Central on Bravo.

Images courtesy of Andrei Jackamets/Bravo.

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