May 16, 2011 10:04 PM by Shayla Perry
They’re back, and with two new Housewives in the mix, this season of Bravo’s Real Housewives of New Jersey is guaranteed to be more explosive than ever. Yes, even without Danielle Staub. Our first clue? The fight that breaks out in the first three minutes of the premiere episode. Get all the details on the drama here!
It’s always been about family on Bravo’s Real Housewives of New Jersey, but this season, with the addition of Teresa Giudice‘s sister-in-law/nemesis, Melissa Gorga, and her cousin Kathy Wakile, the family dynamic grows — and creates more drama than even the Housewives are used to (yeah — shocking, we know).
So, where to begin?
Perhaps the best place would be last season’s Reunion Special, when Danielle Staub mentioned Teresa’s nephew whom she “didn’t acknowledge,” sending her into a fit of rage that even Andy Cohen could not contain. Who knew she was so strong — or Andy was so weak (sorry Andy!).
Anyway, so the season premiere opens with the christening of that very nephew — the son of Teresa’s brother, Joe, and his wife, new Housewife, Melissa Gorga. After a large scuffle that began from what seemed like an innocent greeting from Teresa, the show cuts to the previous week to give us all a little background on all of the Gorga family drama — or as much as they can include in the show’s 90 minute premiere.
On the rebound from their bankruptcy, Teresa’s husband Joe is now working in the food industry, at a pizzeria, though they don’t make it clear whether he’s an owner or an employee, but we’re thinking it’s the latter. Teresa is now bringing in the bulk of the family’s income, with her book sales and other projects, which we’re sure has changed their relationship quite a bit.
Big changes are also happening for the Manzo family, with Chris and Albie having leased an apartment together, leaving a proud, but saddened Caroline at home with her daughter Lauren.
Jacqueline Laurita’s daughter, Ashley, now 19, is also taking on some new responsibilities — sort of. She’s interning with famed PR rep Lizzie Grubman, but when her mother comes to visit her at “work,” Lizzie lets her know that Ashley isn’t exactly the most reliable, and is often either coming in late or not at all (why are we not surprised?). Ashley wants her parents to pay for her to have an apartment in the city because she says that it’s tough commuting (though Lizzie points out that everyone else in the office commutes and has no problems getting there on time). When Jacqueline reminds Ashley that she worked a number of (paying) jobs and paid for her own apartment, while caring for her, Ashley starts crying and leaves the room.
Lizzie follows her and tells Ashley that she has the potential, but just needs to try harder. When her mother enters the room to check on her, Ashley tells her to leave. On her way out, Jacqueline reminds her daughter that she’s eventually going to get the things she wants in life, but she has to be patient, which Ashley doesn’t want to hear.
Later, at lunch with her husband and Ashley, Jacqueline tells Chris about Ashley’s trouble getting in to work on time, and a tearful Ashley says that it’s too hard for her to handle the routine. When Chris tells Ashley that she essentially needs to tough it out until she’s able to get a job that pays and save up for an apartment, she gets visibly annoyed, and Jacqueline gets angry that she’s being left out of the conversation and walks out. Chris tells Ashley that despite the fact that she doesn’t want to hear what her mother has to say, she’s right, and as the only person that’s been there for her throughout her life, she needs to give her mother the respect she deserves.
Wanting to chat about their family drama, Teresa and Jacqueline meet to take the little ones for a walk and Teresa explains that she and her brother used to be best of friends — until he got married. According to Teresa, she expected Melissa to be the sister she always wanted, but Melissa ignored her, and the rift between her and her brother began to grow. Again, according to Teresa.
Melissa, of course, has a different version. She also says that Joe and Teresa were extremely close growing up, in part because there’s only a 2 year age difference (Teresa is older). Melissa says that as Joe began to develop his own business, which she helped him build, Teresa became distant. And once she and Joe were married, everything became a competition between her and Teresa, like when Joe surprised his wife with plans for the 15,000 square foot home he was building for them, which Teresa never complimented them on.
With three kids, Melissa Gorga spends most of her time caring for their children and making sure that when Joe gets home, a home cooked meal is waiting for him on the table, and the kids are clean and dressed when he sees them.
The couple’s son is being christened over the weekend, which is a big to do. To help, the other new Housewife, Kathy Wakile stops by. Kathy and Melissa are very close; like sisters, according to Melissa. They’re also big on family, and feel that Teresa’s spent the last few years focusing on her “Real Housewives family,” and not them, and tends to ignore them when she invites them to events that Caroline Manzo and Jacqueline Laurita are attending. To Teresa’s brother, it’s a huge slap in the face, and he makes it very clear that he’s done with his sister.
Kathy Wakile has been married to her husband, Rich, for almost 20 years, and the two like to keep their relationship hot and spicy. They have two teenage children – a boy and a girl.
Okay, back to the drama…
It’s the day of Melissa and Joe’s son’s christening, and they are already drinking before they get to the church — not off to a good start. Teresa Giudice and her Joe are trying to get their kids dressed and out of the house, but Melissa has Teresa’s hair stylist at her house doing her hair, making her late to Teresa’s. Joe also “has the runs,” and Teresa thinks she’s getting them too, so they take their time to avoid any unnecessary accidents at the church.
Melissa and Joe arrive at the church and are not surprised at all when they see that Teresa isn’t there yet. She finally gets there, without Joe, and with 2 of her daughters, making a big scene while Melissa and Joe are trying to take pictures.
At the reception, which of course is over the top, the two families greet one another, but Melissa’s Joe gets offended when Teresa’s Joe doesn’t want to do a shot with him (not knowing about his little stomach problem).
Kathy and Teresa are not as close as they used to be, but say their hello’s as well.
Later, Kathy’s husband asks Joe about his relationship with his sister, and he says that at this point, he’s just doing to her what she does to him — ignore her. Joe is bitter and a tad jelly over Teresa’s husband’s relationship with their ailing father. Joe thinks that he’s constantly putting him down and turning his father against him, and hates that while he’s working, Joe is spending time with his father.
As the drinks continue to flow, Joe Gorga gets visibly angrier, and Teresa gets teary when she sees her brother dancing with everyone except for her. So, she and her husband get Melissa’s son to share a dance in the middle of the dance floor.
When Melissa finds out, she’s livid. Especially since neither of them showed up when the baby was born, and at Teresa’s daughter’s christening, Teresa took the baby from her when she tried to hold her.
At their table, Melissa and Joe continue to complain about Teresa and Joe. Joe Gorga, who used to be best friends with Joe Giudice, says that he’d like his wife to “react” to Teresa, but Melissa and her sister say that she’s too classy to do something like that.
Suddenly, Teresa Giudice walks over to the table and says congratulations to Melissa and Joe. They both ask her why she decided to do it then, and Joe tells her to “take a walk,” calling her “garbage.” Teresa’s daughter tries to pull her mother away as Joe continues to call her garbage, with Joe Giudice watching from a distance. When Teresa asks why they bothered to invite her if they felt that way, Melissa’s sister (whom Teresa says previously admitted to her on the phone that Melissa could be a b***h at times), says that it was a technicality.
Teresa instantly calls her out, letting everyone know that she’s playing both sides, which Melissa’s sister stands up and denies. Joe punches the table in anger (what does the Gorga family have against tables?) as Teresa walks away, which causes Joe Giudice to charge after him. Chaos ensues as the two men begin throwing punches, with everyone rushing to separate them, and knocking over the camera in the process. With Teresa’s kids in tears and all alone, Kathy rushes to get them away from all of the fighting, and yet another fight breaks out with some random individuals.
As everyone tries to calm Joe Gorga down, Teresa frantically searches for her father, who’s recently undergone two open heart surgeries.
After making sure her parents are okay, Teresa takes her children and husband outside to leave, just as her brother goes to confront his father.
Joe Gorga, fueled by his friends and family, who have also been drinking heavily, yells at his father in tears, and calls his mother “cold” while they plead with him in Italian; his father reminding him that he only has one mother.
Meanwhile, at the Manzo’s, Caroline’s family has Jacqueline and her husband over for dinner. After grilling Lauren and her boyfriend about engagement and wedding plans, Jacqueline tells Caroline & co. about their discussion with Ashley about moving out. Albie and Chris tell everyone about their own plans to move, which involve Chris no longer working at the brownstone.
Jacqueline then fills everyone in on the issue between Melissa and Teresa, and of course, Caroline says that the two need to make it work, because they’re family, and more alike than they realize.
We’re sure that won’t be happening any time soon.
Tell us, what did you think of the season premiere of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, and new cast members, Melissa Gorga and Kathy Wakile?
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Photo Credit: Bravo