“The Real Housewives Of New Jersey” Reunion Part 1: A Study In Subtext

I finally got to watch “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” reunion, part one. Holy crap! I still can’t believe there’s more to come. No wonder Teresa is allegedly demanding that producers double her salary. Being on that show is like going into a war zone.

There’s so much to discuss! Like, for starters, why were they talking in secret NJ code the whole time? It was a full hour of trying to decipher the many meanings of the word “bitch,” the tenor of each raised eyebrow and the shade of angry behind each guttural growl. After the jump, we investigate the meaning behind Danielle’s comment about Teresa’s “nephew” and all the Dina drama.What prompted Teresa Giudice to growl, get up off the couch, and get in Danielle’s face, pushing host Andy Cohen in the process? (I still can’t believe she took him down.) A mention of Teresa’s nephew by Danielle Staub.

“Did you acknowledge your nephew? Did you?” Danielle asked.

“Yeah, of course I did,” Teresa replied, confused at first.

Then we saw a light bulb go on, the crazy flip switch, and her eyes glaze over. And then came the meltdown. Why would Teresa go bonkers over a mention of her nephew? Well, there’s a rumor circulating that “nephew” was actually code for “love child.” As in, an illegitimate baby boy that Joe Giudice had with his mistress, a young blonde named Tara G. None of this is confirmed, of course, but that would explain Teresa screaming at Danielle not to break up her family. Since the episode aired, Teresa claims that there is no hidden meaning behind the nephew comment, that she flipped out because she gets very protective about her family, and that she was there for the birth of her nephew last April. OK, sure Teresa. Not buying it.

The other really puzzling business was the rehashing of the Dina Manzo drama, which if you remember, was the big secret in the season one reunion show. It was what Caroline cried over and what prompted her to call Danielle “garbage” (for the first time). Consider the mystery sort of solved. All we know is that Danielle somehow tried to have Dina’s daughter Lexi taken away from her for being an unfit parent. I think at some point they hinted at the fact that Danielle accused her of forging her ex-husband’s signature on some legal documents. I’m not sure if these events are related in any way. But what we didn’t know is that Danielle had a legal gag order put on Dina to prevent her from talking about the incident. Dina Manzo, unfit parent? I think Danielle may be trying to distract from her own bad parenting skills.

P.S. I loved when Andy Cohen mentioned that Staub was voted as the housewife viewers would NOT want as a mother. Ha!

Anyway, no wonder Dina left the show. In fact, after the reunion, I’m wondering why any of them would sign on for season three, even if they do get double in salary. It’s entertaining for us, but what’s the payoff for them? Someone explain.