The Danielle Staub drama remains offstage in Part 2 of RHONJ's 10th-season reunion...literally: as the other Housewives scuffle over kids' parties and sperm counts, Danielle bustles into the venue with her entourage (including Marty, and her tiny dog Fendi in a baby stroller) and starts making "demand[s]" about sitting next to Andy Cohen when it's her turn in front of the cameras.
But while a veritable army of hair and makeup people attend to Danielle's under-eye bags, overly assertive collagen injections, and paranoid delusions, the full-time 'wives get into it with each other about, well, mostly Jennifer-related offenses -- the video of her imitating Jackie; her various insincere apology tours; her ongoing defensiveness when other people don't parent the same way she does -- with a side of matchmaking for Teresa now that Joe is decidedly out of the romantic picture.
We've all seen the previews; we all know Andy has to go backstage and "drag" Danielle out in the finale. If you're waiting until next week to tag back in to this nonsense, what do you need to know you missed? Without further ado, your six takeaways from the middle segment of the reunion...
If Jennifer wants to position herself as a villain, Andy is on board with making that happen. He reads a number of viewer questions that pigeonhole Jennifer's various flare-ups in Season 10. He points out that Jennifer trying to split the "I didn't throw the plate and knife AT Melissa, I threw it TOWARDS her" hair is horseshit. When Jennifer is trying to explain the relative infrequency of her and Bill having sex -- which she shouldn't have to do in any case -- by saying she has so many kids, she can barely get any bathroom time, never mind private sexy time, Andy snidely asks, "Which bathroom?" Her "...Which kid?" comeback is well played, but Andy seems pretty determined to keep her in the villain lane she's chosen. (If it's primarily an effort to stop her from interrupting the other cast members, it isn't working.)
Teresa seems content to let the "Caroline Manzo is the rat" thing die. She may still believe it, and they aren't going to hang out or anything, but they did a Super Bowl ad together, and Dolores feels free to assert that Caroline isn't responsible for "what happened to" Teresa and Juicy Joe...which is progress, of a sort. Real progress, of course, would involve not using phrasing like "what happened to" and taking responsibility for their actions with phrasing like "what we did" or "our crimes," but: baby steps.
Juicy is NOT going to let the "participating in the show got us sent to jail" thing die. Okay, he does say that doing the show got them caught, versus blaming the show for their troubles entirely, but...enough, seriously. Yes, the government made an example of the Giudices, but maybe if they'd ever just admitted guilt without rationalizing, the government wouldn't have felt the need? But denial is the family business now (see: Teresa claiming blithely that her children "don't look on the internet" about their case, the cheating rumors, etc.).
Now that Joe Giudice is off the show for real, some truth is coming out. Teresa's defense of her estranged husband is halfer-hearted than usual, but she does try to claim that he only acted like a gloomy jerk in front of the cameras...at which time Melissa and Dolores both cut their eyes downward, then disagree. RHONJ is still going to position Teresa as its crown jewel going forward, like it or not, but it's heartening to see castmates standing up to her fake-news version of events more frequently.
Bill Aydin performed all of his wife's cosmetic procedures. If that's allowed, it shouldn't be, and it's still a big yikes.
Most of the 'wives could "take or leave" receiving oral sex. I meeeeean...I don't want to tell anyone how to live or what they like, but I have to feel like it's actually that the husbands are bad at it?
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Sarah D. Bunting co-founded Television Without Pity, and her work has appeared in Glamour and New York, and on MSNBC, NPR's Monkey See blog, MLB.com, and Yahoo!. Find her at her true-crime newsletter, Best Evidence, and on TV podcasts Extra Hot Great and Again With This.