Family Relationships Are at the Heart of 'Housewives'' Third Season

The Melissa Gorga-Teresa Giudice conflict sets the stage for new season.

An episode that starts off with a fade to black and then proceeds to run in flashback mode has to be somewhat good. Right?

The last two seasons of 'The Real Housewives of New Jersey' were all about family vs. enemy of family. Now we get family vs. family. Now that antagonist Danielle is gone, it's still not going to be all roses, not unless it's a scene with Albie and Chris shooting the breeze. Why else would Bravo have cast women who have such chilled relations with Teresa, the most visibly dramatic when she's angry? One of those women is Wayne resident Kathy Wakile.

So Teresa's brother Joe is a ball of rage and frustration, his wife Melissa is the arch-sister-in-law who name-checks Jesus with extreme vigor and Ashley interns for "the" Lizzie Grubman?

The Manzo residence is looking as bucolic as ever. Ruminating on the American South. Eating cobbler. 

As for the Gorga-Giudice war of the century, it seems that small tiffs have, as with many families, grown into seemingly irreparable resentments. Their origins are seen as patterns of behavior rather than what they actually might be: misunderstandings or a lack of communication.

And then there's Melissa "whore in the bedroom" Gorga's interesting comment:

"This crowd is not the kind of crowd you want to get into a fight with." Did she mean there was a large tough-guy contingent? What else could she have meant? Too much liquor, too little patience? Did you see Joe Gorga rumble that table? He could've gone for it. Then again we've got a whole season to go. It could happen.

What do you think about Caroline's comment that Teresa and Melissa are basically the same person? They do embrace a traditional style of keeping a home. They cater to their husbands in a similar way, from what we've seen, at least. The cooking, the cleaning, the coterie of kids, the insane parties. Except now Teresa's out working too, selling her book and by her own admission, taking care of her kids and her husband alike. Then again, there's that "work ethnic/ethic" that both Melissa and Joe confirm they share.

We finally got an admission from Teresa of being shaken by her family's financial crisis. The frankness becomes her, even if the comment about her not knowing it had gotten that bad doesn't really seem that valid considering her history of lavish spending. If it didn't work for Orange County's Lynne Curtin, it's not going to work for someone whose hobby is throwing an over-the-top party.

The question really is, why is Joe mad at his sister? Is it because her husband, the other Joe, has gotten so close to his father? Or very specifically because his father has truly bought into some idea that his son doesn't want to hang out with him? What we know: this season is going to get complicated with all the Joe Gs. Makes Kim D and G seem like cake.

The part we can be sure about: that picture of Gia — I mean Teresa — as a kid is a dead ringer for the her daughter, the model-gymnast-actress. And how sad for Gia to be so upset at the christening/fight, as she had a right to be. How sad for all of them. How must they feel seeing this episode, knowing it's such an ugly, depressing picture?

And how must Ashley feel to hear her bratty comments about — gasp — commuting to the city. Will she ever treat her mother with that respect her stepfather speaks of?

Gotta love the other new star, Kathy, for bicycling to the market. Things are still all hunky-dory with her, nothing to complain about ... yet. Not sure what to make of Rich. He's a wild card. Nice rundown of the sociology of immigrants and family bonds, though, guy.

With notions of the ham game and Cajun admiration conjuring nicer thoughts, I'll leave you with this, the line of the evening:

"(gibberish) ... Hoboken ... (gibberish)." — Christopher Manzo

Lisa May 17, 2011 at 01:21 PM
I watched the opening of Season 3 last evening. I could not pick my jaw up off the floor when I saw grown adults at an baby's christening talk with gutter mouths then get into a fight over something none of the families are clear about and then to top it off have a son screaming at his father and disrespcecting both his father and mother. I never posted to any boards before but I had to get this out of my mind. I will not be watching any of Season 3, no respect for the reason why everyone there at the party. This is not quality reality TV at all, it is exploitation of a bad situation at it's best.
Debbie May 17, 2011 at 06:29 PM
Amen to that!


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »