The Rise and Fall of Teresa Giudice (and a Bird Shit Facial) on RHONJ

So I'm sorry if you're one of those crazy people who likes Teresa Giudice or whatever but the woman/or the aggregate collection of her characteristics as narrativized by reality TV is completely unhinged and this entire forthcoming season of The Real Housewives of New Jersey appears to be about her destruction, basically, praise be. Melissa is off somewhere the whole time twirling or maybe going broke. Milania is screaming. I repeat: Milania is SCREAMING.

I'm kind of lying. I'm sorry! The sixth season of RHONJ is all about lies. The Giudices are imbroglio'd in that whole fraud mess (where, to be fair to the letter of their indictment, millions of dollars were allegedly hidden/defrauded over a period of years) and we see Teresa telling Melissa that no, they have not just pleaded guilty. (The couple pleaded guilty in March.) And then here is Melissa going on about her old friend, and new cast member, Amber, who tells us in one long sing-song breath that she graduated from Columbia before fighting off breast cancer and doesn't Melissa remember her and her breast cancer? Melissa does not. Melissa is making new friends! (Melissa has no friends.)

Is this the part where we all mourn Caroline? Can we mourn her? The woman had class. She ran a business. She ran a family. Amber's old friends, identical twins Teresa (Aprea) and Nicole (Napolitano), live out somewhere so far away that they appear to have trouble getting to the Turnpike. This is a virulent kind of heresy, and it may spoil all of our fun—the houses are smaller; the husbands are all separated from their wives; and several of the kids' faces have been blurred by the force of law. Then again! The show's production approaches a kind of blended bananagram surreality. Here, in no particular order, are the juiciest soundbites from the season 6 preview special:

  • "No twerking allowed!" (Melissa)
  • "The power of prayer is phenomenal. I truly believe that you do call upon the heavens." (Amber)
  • "You should never trust anything that bleeds for five days and doesn't die." (Dina)
  • "I prefer 'Ice Queen.' Get it right." (Dina AGAIN)

There is no way to know anything about what is coming. There are no portents or metaphors sufficient. Everything is awful, drawing down somehow and getting smaller and tackier, as Teresa and Melissa and Dina lead this new generation of housewives toward one-off vacays at the casino. But know this: There is always room for scat. Camel spit and small children joking about wieners and the ladies being smeared with the dung of nightingales.

Joe Giudice, like cement poured into a sad-faced emoticon, keeps warning everyone he may be going on "vacation," while his wife peddles her spin to hungry ears. We see a shuffling deck of disapproval shots that are to make us "understand" that people are whispering about Teresa at neighborhood parties because she is a criminal instead of herself. High up in some Jersey hotel, Dina—radiant and regal, with that late-series NeNe kind of certitude that is almost blistering to behold—waits for her in a king-sized hotel bed.

Long ago, Teresa used to be the least-crazy lady on this show. Then, for several seasons, the absolute capital-c Craziest. Now she's probably the happiest, and thereby the dullest? Her daughters seem awful; her relationship with Melissa has never been better. Around them swarm the newbies, feeding on each other.

The Giudices will be sentenced in July.

[Image via Bravo]

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