Film/TV

Recap: I Found My Voice in Arizona

by Eli Yudin & Carey O'Donnell
Each Monday, Eli Yudin and Carey O'Donnell, authors of the very, very funny Twitter account @NotTildaSwinton, will be recapping the Real Housewives of New Jersey for us. Below, their next installment.

Carey: There is no more desert. The cast has since fled the pretend-healing retreat Miraval and returned to their respective marble tombs in Northern New Jersey. There's a lot at stake now! The Gorgon/Giudice fam squads made a truce in Arizona, uniting over their mutual vendetta against the mysterious scarecrow rat-person, Penny. But first, they continue to show off the excruciatingly shaky peace they've made via a glutinous lunch with Mama Giudice. Teresa and Brudda join their mother, alongside Melissa for some wine and seafood at yet another vast and cold-looking restaurant. Teresa tells her mother that everything is fine now between them, to which the off-the-boat matriarch responds, "I'm-a glad-a!" I'MA GLAAAAAD. I wanted one of them to poke her in the stomach and listen to a hearty Italian giggle. Juicy Joe and his characteristic wine encrusted under-eye bags join them late. It's a nice sight: the five of them toasting with red wine and a literal prawn-adorned fountain while other restaurant customers snap pictures of them on their smart phones. Gorgon and Juicy even give each other a kiss on the cheek to demonstrate their togetherness. Awwwwwwwwwwww! Their big juicy lips smackin' on one another's oily, sweaty skin. Mmmmmmmm. Still, an extra seat at the table is left out for the mounting tension; a small crack in the glass floor they stand on, spreading out like a time lapse video of a tree sprouting from infancy and extending skeletal branches. It's only a matter of time. Penny waits somewhere nearby, panting like a dog gazing up at a slab of bloody meat dangling from a wire above. Later, Gorgon heads over to Chris and Jacqueline's with his kids, where Jacqueline talks about a speech she has to make at an upcoming charity event for autism awareness. She's nervous! She's afraid of public speaking. She's afraid of the comments she'll get on Twitter about her philanthropic endeavors. Twitter: the constant undertow running beneath the rocking life boat these people sit in. It's smart to be afraid of Twitter. Twitter is terrifying. Chris points out a parallel between Jac's fear of internet trolls and the cheatin' rumors getting flung at Melissa and Gorgon every day on social media. Autism and US Weekly go hand-in-hand. RIGHT, GUYS?! Right? Great.

Eli: I'll gloss over Carey pointing fingers at Chris, who as we all know is the MESSIAH AND IS INFALLIBLE. I have a picture of him smiling that I look at whenever life gets rocky for me. And for anybody else on Team Chris, his best moment yet is in this episode, when Teresa comes over to discuss public speaking with Jacqueline and Chris attempts to say that it's nice of Teresa to help Jacqueline with her public speaking, but CRACKS UP in the middle of it; he tries to hold it together but it's just too funny. He almost seems like a plant. Maybe he's an actor? Maybe Jacqueline's real husband has like a huge goiter on his neck or something, and as to not to scare away their viewership, they auditioned Chris and now he has to act like he's not in a whirlpool of diarrhea all the time. Meanwhile, Rosie and Juicy Joe are hangin' and by god if it's not delightful. Carey and I are in agreement, we'd watch a spin-off following Juicy Joe and Rosie's adventures in the great state of... wherever, really. Juice is cooking up some steaks, and he and Rosie chow down while discussing the lack of testosterone in Juice's offspring, because small talk does not EXIST in Rosieland. It is true that Teresa's uterus has a decidedly feminine slant to it, which makes her lucky she doesn't live in medieval times. First of all, they hadn't invented sequins yet, and second of all, she'd probably be beheaded for her inability to bear a new head of family. NO SEQUINS! We then get a simply amazing glimpse into Joe Giudice's flabbergastingly loose grip of procreation, when he asks Rosie if he has eggs. MAN EGGS. "I doesn't know what comes out of there," laments Joe, "my mudda told me it was bad juju, so I just closes my eyes until Teresa tells me I'm done, and then I sits in the corna while she cleans up."

Carey: The episode explores the two business ventures of Melissuh and Kathy. Melissa is continuing on her unnecessary, half-hearted foray into the music industry, while Kathy makes some MAJOR moves with her cannolis. Melissa and Gorgs meet the manager of Justin Timberlake and some other randos at the boorish Gansevoort in the Meatpacking district. I walked by the Gansevoort every day when I worked at another hotel in that neighborhood last year: it's strewn with neon pink lights and it always made me sad. Anyway, Melissa says this manager is "interested" in her music, and he wants to talk shop with Melissa, but NOT WIDDOUT HER HUBBY. Joe has to facilitate anything Melissa does; he sits at her side, making awkward and embarrassing jokes and statements. The manager is essentially double-checking if Melissa is actually serious about being a singer. She kind of is, I guess. "I've been doing this for two years," she says confidently. The manager sort of just nods his head. TWO YEARS! He tells her she's not living up to her music's "club vibe," being a mom and all. She also has to be okay with occasionally abandoning her family at the label's beck and call. Understandably, Melissa is wary of this prospect. He also tells her she may have to go down to Orlando to record some tracks and work with a vocal coach. You could tell she was thinking, "Oh shit." You asked for this, siren! You wanted to be on display! Scary Manager tells Melissa she needs to immediately get to work in the home studio/holding cell that Joe made for her. Meanwhile, Kathy is gearing up for a launch party for her cannolis at Dylan's Candy Bar. Rich finally decides to stop being a douche about Kathy attempting to forge a career and goes with her to meet "Candace," a PR exec who wants to work with Kathy. Candace looks like she is constantly 5 feet away from a large fire. But she knows those damn cannolis are good! She's gonna work it for Kath! During the meeting, Kathy's eyes looked past her fish-lipped hubby and the wind-burnt PR woman in front of her. If the cannoli biz doesn't work out, I hope Kathy sneaks out of her house while Rich is sleeping and moves to a bungalow somewhere in British Columbia and changes her name.

Eli: The opportunity that arises for Kathy's cannolis is that she may be able to partner with Dylan's Candy Bar, the business of Dylan Lauren. "Who?" says Rich. "Ralph Lauren's daughter," they reply, and Rich goes, "Oh." Yes, the very same Ralph Lauren whose polo shirts you purchase exclusively in teal and pink, Richy-Roo! By the way, it is Lauren, like the first name Lauren, not LO-ren as every sun-hatted twat with a Lilly Pulitzer insists -- which has become a pet peeve of mine -- but BACK TO TELEVISION DRIVEL AND NOT FASHION DRIVEL. Kathy sets up the event and invites all the people you think she's going to invite, who all end up showing up late, which, to be truthful, is quite a dick move. Also, I don't know where they were before, but I'm going to hypothesize, based on their vocal patterns, that it serves hard liquor. We also get treated to maybe the bitchiest talking-head of the season thus far, where Teresa discusses Kathy's business venture by saying "she makes cannolis, and it turns out they're edible, so good for her." Strong words for a woman who's had two cookbooks ghost-written for her. They also made me curious as to how good Kathy's cannolis actually are, which means I'll have to first get my hands on a regular cannoli, as I've never had one (always seemed a little cream-heavy) and then on one of Kathy's cannoli kits, and do a thorough review. Overall, the event seems to be a success, and I'm happy for Kathy. Rich even seems to be keeping his ego in check and is generally more pleasant. What happened? Did Joe Giudice and Rich both meet up in a cigar bar somewhere and develop more pleasant personalities together, maybe with Chris' coaching? And then, just when we thought we might make it through a single episode without any appearances from god's nectar, the ambrosia that is blk water--

Carey: YES! blk. The autism event being held at a large warehouse called "HOUSE OF SPORTS" is sponsored by blk water. The clash between pretend-businesses begins. The Laurita/Manzo clans don their blk black promo long-sleeves while Teresa VERY subtly wears her Milania Hair Care hat, also worn by company muse, Milania. It's a thunder-dome battle that no one will ever win. (Coincidentally, last night my roommate pointed out a new addition to the drinks section at the over-priced organic convenient store in my neighborhood. BLK WATER HAS ARRIVED IN BROOKLYN. Maybe it had always been there. Maybe my subconscious had simply rejected its presence. Tucked away between various iced teas and Vitamin Water knock-offs were eight-or-so bottles of blk water. After about 30 seconds of consideration, I decided to purchase it. The phrase "MINERAL INFUSED" in gigantic print assaulted my eyes as I slowly unscrewed the cap. Essentially, blk is lake water. I imagined Uncle Chris, Albie and Stripper Car Wash Chris rowing out into the middle of a lake at night, dragging wood buckets along to collect water, algae in silence. I was suddenly overcome with a sense of duty to this family; I owed them this. I thought, 'If I somehow die soon, I don't want one of my last thoughts to be, 'Oh, I never tried blk water.' So I tried it. I drank about ¼ of the tar-liquid before realizing all it did was make my bones feel cold. Right now, it's sitting on the top shelf of my refrigerator.) Even as I watched Jacqueline give her genuinely touching speech about her autistic son Nicholas, even as Kathy was frustrated at the tardiness of the other cast members at her cannoli launch party at Dylan's Candy Bar, even as Melissuh and Gorgon confronted scarecrow Penny and her horrendous hair extensions at the end of the episode, where she revealed that Teresa had put Penny and her gross husband up to spewing out the cheatin' rumaz on Twitter, all I could think about was the blk water. The opaque substance standing tirelessly in my fridge. How long will I leave it there? Does blk water go bad? I feel overcome by this terrible destiny that I have to fulfill. Maybe I'll just keep it with me for as long as I can, taking it to new apartments and new places. "This is my blk water," I'll tell friends I have over to celebrate the first home I purchase. When I am (hopefully) old and sick and my essence is being vacuumed out of my crippled body, next to me, on my nightstand, the ¼ empty bottle of blk water will stand in vigil. My tireless companion.

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