Sliding into the season with the undeniably heartbreaking death of Teresa’s mother, The Real Housewives of New Jersey (RHONJ) would have had me seriously concerned if I weren’t so busy, you know, bawling in the kind of way typically reserved for episodes of Grey’s Anatomy and YouTube videos of people reuniting with their pets.
As it turns out, I had nothing to worry about.
With the re-introduction of Housewife classic (and table-flipper) Danielle Staub, Siggy’s overt displays of emotional instability, and the Erika Jayne vibes brought by newcomer Margaret, RHONJ got the wheels in motion last Wednesday for what promises to be an eventful journey. With extreme highs (Siggy’s exuberance in addressing a blank-faced crowd at a day spa, topped only by Siggy’s even more extreme exuberance greeting random restaurant patrons in Boca) paired with extreme lows (Siggy’s cake’s fate in Boca), there was more action packed into just the first episode than certain other Housewife franchises have had all season (OC, you know I love you, but how many Jimmy-and-the-baby scenes does one girl need?) Below, a look at some of the best parts of what Jersey has to offer.
Every Housewives cast has its own aesthetic (amped up or toned down, as the case may be, by the degree of plastic surgery involved). But bless the Jersey ladies for accepting their birthright and living their fullest lives through the fullest heads of hair possible. Saving their best looks for their ITMs, the ladies have left no doubt in my mind that somewhere, somehow, there’s an entire country of bald-headed people who have sacrificed their locks in the name of the Jersey hair extension industry. Worth it.
Not since the great bow-gate of Orange County’s seventh season (featuring the unlucky not-a-sugar-problem-definitely-an-alcohol-problem Sarah) has cake been the singular focus of Housewife rage this strong. And yet, separated only by a handful of years (not to mention the entire gamut of flyover states – my own included), Jersey breathed new life into the tactic that the OGs in California’s OC had long since let go stale. Only this time, they neither really ate the cake nor had it too. Mostly, they just kinda chucked it at each other.
With Siggy’s wrath already working its way through her over-extended brain, the food fight seems to have worked its way into a deeper riff between Siggy and Melissa – opening a warring world of possibilities for the season to come.
There’s nothing like a little real-life gossip to make a Housewives moment relatable. And, though Melissa’s preening over the departure of her tutu-donning business partner from clothing boutique “envy” had a bit of a beaten-dead-horse taste to it, there was something about seeing last winter’s US Weekly articles and Instagram posts brought to life that made the scene undeniably compelling. With a pair of emotional support employees dutifully displaying shock at the story they had no doubt heard countless times before, Melissa was free to gleefully drag out her triumphant tale of boutique domination as long as she liked. And, assuming her yes-women stick around, there’s no doubt their superbly silent soundboard skills will be in asset in the season to come.
With a magnanimous, mellowed-out Teresa declaring that she now has “nothing against” the woman she once flipped a table at while screaming “prostitution whore” (a scene that Bravo generously regifted via flashback), and Jacqueline Laurita proving yet again that she’s just not great television, there’s finally room for the return of early RHONJ housewife Danielle Staub. After reuniting with Teresa via their shared passion for yoga (a habit that Danielle presumably did not, unlike Teresa, pick up in prison), she somehow springboarded the reunion into some serious “friend of” (i.e., not a full-time cast member, but in enough scenes to be more than an extra) screen time – or was it the other way around?
Either way, with Danielle back in the mix, it’s only a matter of time before that yoga serenity fades into just a bunch of really pissed off, really flexible people – and I’m down to find out where their slightly more centered feuding will lead.
Ask Siggy Flicker who the most talented human being on the face of the earth is, and there’s no question what her answer will be. Hint: she will tell you without reservation that it’s her, and she’s as loud in flaunting this belief as she is in making a grand entrance into every restaurant within the Boca Raton city limits. As she’s also be quick to tell you, she doesn’t have an indoor voice.
While Siggy’s grandiose behavior has a potential to get uncomfortably weird down the line, for now, it’s just disruptive enough to get everyone else riled up – which is just the way I like her.
The Margret of it all.
Like OC’s Vicki, I’m usually a little slow to warm up to new cast members. But the second I spotted the lime green couch casually hanging out in the background of newcomer Margaret’s ITM, I knew I had nothing to worry about.
Yes, she did dedicate a little too much premiere time to her sex life and she is (to Melissa Gorga’s gleeful shock) a grown woman with pigtails. Still, if the candor with which she approached the opening episode is any indication of the season to come, we’re all in for an extraordinary treat. As Margaret would say “But, like, this is my f*****g life and you know what? Take me as I am.”
New episodes of The Real Housewives of New Jersey airs Wednesdays at 9pm ET on Bravo and are available next day on-demand.