TV RecapsJune 14, 2011 at 10:35 am

TV Recap: Parenting Skills from the RHONJ

Real Housewives of New Jersey Season 3 Episode 5

Last week’s Thanksgiving episode of the Real Housewives of New Jersey offered little in the way of drama, so hopefully the ladies will be back to their typical troublemaking antics this week. The show opens with Melissa singing “Amazing Grace” in her bedroom. Aside from her substitution of “wench” for “wretch,” she sounds halfway decent, at least by rock bottom housewife standards. If the season previews are any indication, we should be getting a dance pop tune out of her pretty soon. Whether or not it lives up to “Tardy for the Party” remains to be heard.

It’s safe to say Caroline won’t be singing anytime soon, nor should she pursue a career on the LPGA as a player or a caddy. She’s both terrible at golf and adept at complaining, which she attributes to empty nest syndrome, naturally. Her husband suggests she start doling out professional parenting advice. Doesn’t she already do that every single episode?

Jacqueline could obviously use some pointers, as she struggles with Ashley yet again. This time, Chris presents the idea of a replacement car, which Ashley promises that she’ll pay for, because she’s a “good kid.” Apparently in New Jersey, “good” is a synonym for “ungrateful and delusional.”

Over in Giudice land, Uncle Joe’s message about coming to Gia’s gymnastics meet brings both mother and daughter to tears. Hopefully, they’re finally on the road to reconciliation. Apparently this episode is the Real Housewives Guide to Parenting, as Kathy now commands the screen with her family meeting about the contracts she makes her kids sign. Far more interesting to me is the giant portrait of Kathy’s daughter in a cowboy hat in the foyer. While Victoria promises not to experiment with drugs and alcohol, little Joseph says he’ll “probably have a drink on a Friday or Saturday night,” to the strange delight of his “good cop” father. As usual, Kathy just looks on with wide-eyed surprise.

Next, Melissa and her sisters go shopping at a store that’s not Posche called “Erez,” pronunciation unconfirmed. The co-owner basically looks exactly like Kim D. with longer hair, so apparently there’s a prototype for midlevel boutique owners in Jersey. Melissa describes her songwriting process, which consists of her texting words to Kathy’s 22-year-old church musical genius church buddy, who will then turn them into an “amazing” song.

Jacqueline, Ashley and Chris head to the Jeep dealership in what looks like the middle of the night. There, Ashley eyes a brand new model, and after a little bickering, the family seals the deal. Real issues surface when Victoria talks about her brain tumor, revealing just how petty Ashley’s self-created drama is. As quickly as things turn serious, they return to ridiculous as Melissa practices with her songwriting partner. Her voice really isn’t horrible, though, and at least she seems to understand her vocal limitations, admitting that she can’t hit the high notes that the song requires.

The big gymnastics meet finally arrives, and Joe Gorga is nowhere to be found. Gia gets increasingly frustrated with her uncle’s absence, even nervously flubbing routines. In order to ramp up suspense further, the producers insert some pointless segment about Caroline starting a radio show, which will probably just be the equivalent of a voiceover of an episode minus the flame-haired visual. Joe and Melissa arrive on cue, exactly after Gia wraps up her last routine. Opening encounters are predictably awkward, as the families maintain an icy interaction, and only the kids can see past the tension. The episode ends with Melissa confronting Joe about fixing things once and for all, and next week should it all goes down, with Teresa hashing it out with both her brother and her sister-in-law. After two weeks of half-baked drama, bring it on.


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