Join us every Thursday morning for Sarah D. Bunting's Real Housewives of New Jersey Power Rankings, wherein she ranks the RHONJ women (and their families) based on the events of last night's episode. Click here to view earlier RHONJ power rankings.
S10, E13: "Sorry Not Sorry"
The cliffhanger from last week about whether the Giudices would manage to get into the ICE facility without their IDs somehow isn't a complete waste; we get some primo eye-rolls from both Gia and Milania out of it. But of course it resolves itself after Joe Gorga sends pictures of the IDs. Also still resolved is Gia -- to keep asking her father to fight to stay in the U.S., even though apparently he looks like hell; he's losing his mind; and he continues to say horrible things to Teresa, like that he feels nothing for her and she should go find someone else. (Is it possible this is Juicy's way of selflessly urging her to move on? I mean, maybe? But 1) it's Juicy, so let's face it: no; and 2) nobody who actually knows the situation takes it that way.)
But Juicy's "I feel nothing" comment, unlike most of the crappy things he says to Teresa, takes place off-camera -- as do a number of other conversations that we're then shown in flashback, like Margaret warning Jennifer at dinner not to screw up her business's 20th-anniversary party with more fighting. Why not show us this dinner in full, instead of spending so much of the episode runtime on dullsville B-roll of cocktails at Margaret's party, flashbacks to Joey tackling Juicy in 2013, and Dolores's daughter pretending anyone cares that David won't commit?
It's like the RHONJ producers have realized we only watch for the contrived events that create the kerfuffles, so they've decided to cram the events as close together as possible. As a result, it feels like everyone's still unpacking from the Hamptons by the time Margaret's party comes around...during which Dolores announces the next booze-soaked showdown venue, the house she rented for everyone (including husbands!) down the shore.
But who will accompany Dolores herself -- David, or Frank Sr.? And will Bill Aydin consent to attend at all after Joey called him out for not giving Jennifer enough D? We'll find out soon enough; in the meantime, who's caviar and who's canned tuna? Your Episode 13 power rankings...
1. Dolores. She almost made me believe that renting a shore house and stirring the husbands into the overall pot was her idea, versus the producers needing to ensure that Jennifer kicks up to the felony notch with her tequila-fueled nonsense. She's also doing her best with a "controversy" over her seldom-seen boyfriend that even she thinks is a nothingburger season storyline. [Last week: 1]
2. Margaret. Her boobs are kind of a metaphor for the entire anniversary event: on the verge of breaking out of her dress the entire night despite the pageant tape, they never do pop out and cause a scandal. Her speech praising Marge Sr. is sweet, and her directness prior to the event about the others needing to keep their shit in check because it's a work function with buyers in attendance is refreshing. [Last week: 2]
3. Teresa. This has nothing to do with anything, really, but Tree's weave looks the best it ever has...in the car en route to the prison. Go figure. Anyway, either she's finally learned not to fly off the handle so quickly, or she's just too tired of dealing with parenting four kids by herself and managing Juicy's moods to overreact the way you'd expect, because when her brother sighs that, honestly, he's never really thought Juicy treated Teresa well enough? She snarks, "Well, thanks for telling me now." Not defensive; not argumentative; just...exhausted. Hat tip to Gia cutting her eyes to camera all "again with this?" and cancelling out any negative effects Juicy might have had on the family's ranking. [Last week: 3]
4. Jackie. I didn't expect that twist in Jackie's eating-disorder post-trauma journey, namely that her father Barry -- who had lap-band surgery after years of "yo-yo dieting," and is now fanatical about maintaining a certain weight -- is probably more empathetic to her issues than she thought. It's nice to see them speak honestly to each other, and work through their respective, but also joint, issues about eating. (Barry is a pistol, too. First of all, what the eff is the man wearing in that home-organizer scene? He looks like he escaped from a Kris Kross video. Second of all, the contents of his fridge -- "mashed potatoes and iced tea" -- are basically my husband's dream diet.) But once Jackie's out of her own story silo and back in Housewife gen pop, the wheels start to come off. I don't disagree that Jennifer blighted the Hamptons trip, or that Jennifer is continually apologizing for Cuervo Jen's antics, or that she and Jackie don't vibe as friends -- but is the middle of Jennifer's apology, in a super-loud crowd at an event, to a woman who's already on the record repeatedly as not appreciating what she feels is Jackie's lecturing tone, the time to speak these truths? Evan's bone-dry "So it went well; good!" is hilarious, but not enough to save Jackie's ranking. [Last week: 4]
5. Jennifer. She is still talking about the pizza and cake! On date night with Bill! Lady, we get it. You think grown-ups should get fancier food. Please please stop with that. ...She doesn't, but she does force herself to go over to Jackie and try to smooth things over, and it's really not her fault that it doesn't go right (yeah, she probably shouldn't have thrown in that "technically" Margaret ruined the trip by bringing up a conversation Jen thought was private, but...that's not not what happened?). Stomping straight from Jackie to Margaret, who's trying to host an event, to tattle on Jackie for not accepting her apology is not a great look, and she should have also talked to Melissa -- and, you know, not ordered any more drinks after that first one -- but she did make an effort, and Bill's evident regret at ever having agreed to do the show gets their team a pity bump this week. [Last week: 6]
6. Melissa. God bless her mom and sisters for pointing out to Melissa, in so many words, that she only wants another baby because it'll let her feel like she's still young. And Melissa actually seems to hear it, too, sighing in a talking-head interview that she needs to find contentment where she's at now. But no sooner have we (I hope!) seen the back of that snoozer storyline when Team Gorga is getting into trouble -- Melissa with a lot of big talk about Jennifer not apologizing to her, which is fair; and Joe getting in Bill's face about Bill needing to control his wife, then hollering that maybe Jennifer wouldn't act out if Bill banged her more often, which is not just off-sides but a Jurassic attitude about marriage to boot. Yes, "even for Joe Gorga." [Last week: 5]
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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!. She's also the editor-in-chief and publisher of Tomato Nation, and true-crime blog and podcast The Blotter Presents.