“The Real Housewives of New Jersey” has worked itself into a real conundrum; without Desperate Danielle stirring the pot, it’s doubtful we’d care what goes on with this particular set of Housewives. However, the Desperate Danielle drama has gotten so predictable, it’s tiresome. What, oh, what is a Real Housewives franchise to do?
We did get a little respite from the Desperate Danielle freight train when we were treated to a glimpse into the life of a stage mother, which would NOT be Teresa. Seems Gia’s modeling career is going gangbusters, while her acting career is stuck in the slow lane. While Gia’s in acting class, Teresa chats up the other parents and is startled to realize that other child actors also get to audition for movies starring Christian Slater (ultimately, Gia didn’t make the cut). As Teresa prattles on about how talented Gia is and how she’s not a stage mother, she doesn’t realize the other parents have her number. Thank you, man in the baseball cap for your well-timed eye-roll. I salute you. Later, Gia’s manager calls Teresa in to let it be known why Gia’s not booking any acting jobs; RIP Jersey accent. Teresa doesn’t seem to know what a “Jersey” accent is, yet is upset at the suggestion that Gia lose it. Pity the poor dialect coach brought in to smooth out the Jersey; I doubt she’ll get far.
Jacqueline heads to Chateau to get a pedicure and who should wind up in the massage chair next to her but Desperate Danielle’s partner in crime, (no, not Danny) but Kim G. Jacqueline plays nice, but it’s clear Kim G. wants a confidante to unload on about Desperate Danielle. Jacqueline’s not interested and tries to focus on her crying baby. Kim G. will not be deterred and laments how exhausted she is over the whole Desperate Danielle saga. While Kim G. seemed to play along with Desperate Danielle at the cancer fundraiser debacle, turns out she was wholly uncomfortable with the whole set-up, from their “escorts” to Danny’s name-calling (particularly Danny’s use of a gay slur towards Caroline’s son, Chris.) Kim G. wants to talk to Desperate Danielle woman-to-woman and Jacqueline tries to counsel the clueless woman that rational conversation with Desperate Danielle is futile because she’ll go ballistic. Jacqueline is just relieved it’s not her.
Inexplicably, Kim G. decides to throw Desperate Danielle her first “adult” birthday party. While the ladies get their makeup done, Kim G. not-so-subtly asks if Danny will be in the house. Desperate Danielle doesn’t get it and says she can give him a call, to which Kim G. says no way. Kim G. tells Danielle she didn’t like Danny’s attitude, particularly the incident with Chris. As Jacqueline predicted, Desperate Danielle flipped out. Later, Kim G. and her mother-in-law pull Desperate Danielle aside and tell her to get over her obsession with the Manzo family. Desperate Danielle weeps over how much they’ve hurt her and Kim G. tells her she cares about them too much. Back at the party, Desperate Danielle gives Kim G. one of her creepy toasts and rest assured, Kim G. is now on the enemies list.
Speaking of enemies, Jacqueline’s daughter, Ashley, has Desperate Danielle in her sights. Ashley doesn’t have time to meet with a life coach because she spends her days making “I Hate Danielle” Web pages and sending the woman nasty text messages instead. Ashley’s just not satisfied with her family’s lack of response to Desperate Danielle, so by God, she’s gonna take matters into her own hands. Jacqueline is upset when she discovers what her daughter’s been up to and warns Ashley to disengage. Afterwards, Ashley talks the situation over with her boyfriend, Derek and the age difference between them is deafening. Ashley ruminates on how she wants the whole world to hate Desperate Danielle and how it’s working because she has 3,000 Facebook supporters to Desperate Danielle’s 200. Ashley’s enjoying her revenge fantasies a little too much and Derek warns her if she does anything to Desperate Danielle, she could go to jail. Ashley doesn’t take it seriously and Derek looks at her like she’s missing a few marbles from her pouch.
Desperate Danielle decides to clean up her muscle, i.e., Danny, by taking him to buy a suit with a nice pinstripe, because you know, they’re Italian. In the middle of the fitting session, Dina calls Desperate Danielle to arrange a meeting. Desperate Danielle’s guard is up and Danny thinks maybe Dina is calling to apologize for the Brownstone disaster. A paranoid Desperate Danielle believes Dina is out to ambush her and decides to stash Danny in the parking lot for reinforcements. Dina decides to miss dinner at Caroline’s for this all-important meeting. Meanwhile, the rest of the family noshes on Veal Milanese and – what else? – talk about Desperate Danielle as events from the fundraiser to Ashley’s nonsense are discussed. The family vows to never speak of Desperate Danielle again. Ha! Right.
Dina and Desperate Danielle have their sit-down and after refusing to look at the menu, Dina gets down to brass tax. Dina lays out her case for why she no longer wants anything to do with Desperate Danielle. Desperate Danielle’s not having it and the women take turns shushing each other. Desperate Danielle brings up last year and Jacqueline and I had brief flashes of Cuckoo Kelly Bensimon and her incoherent ramblings. And just when the gettin’ gets good, we’re informed the scene is to be continued.
Next week, a Housewife departs (my money’s on Dina), sex tapes come to light and Desperate Danielle gives stripper lessons.