I was debating the season premiere of The Real Housewives of New Jersey with a good friend of mine, who felt from a reality show standpoint the season opener was incredible TV. Do you remember when the reality TV series began? It was fun and silly, it had some drama but as the seasons got longer, for Jersey the cast dwindled and the drama and plot lines were both stretched.
Last season it was painful to watch Bravo trying to thread together Danielle Staubb and the other 3 cast members since they lived in different towns and wanted nothing to do with each other. Last week being the start of a new season which doesn’t include Staubb, a major catalyst for drama that included the phrase “You prostitution whore!” (from Teresa Giudice). In her ever delightful way, Staubb drew attention from the ‘incredible TV’ by signing a 3 year deal with strip club Scores for 3 years, then freaked out when it was instantly picked up by TMZ and said she suffers from low self-esteem. She apparently is now trying to land on Vh1’s Celebrity Rehab. Sound like a certain Salahi who tried the same thing and was removed from the cast prior to taping since she wasn’t an addict? Aiya.
I digress. Back to the season premiere last week of RHONJ. I found it to be too utterly personal. Teresa’s estranged brother and his tacky wife are part of this season’s cast. Teresa did not want them on the show but since she needs the money to pay off debts after declaring bankruptcy (but still lives in a massive McMansion in the Dirty Jers), she had to go there.
I ask you is it too much that her brother Joe told her to f’ off at his son’s christening? It led to an eruption of fists being thrown– seriously at a christening! What in the hell is wrong with these people? This isn’t fun or entertaining. It’s scary and it’s sad they had to stop other guests who were quick to jump in without even knowing the cause of the outbreak, from decking Joe *creepy that he shares the same name as Teresa’s hubbie, and Teresa’s ailing father.
The growth of the reality TV industry has just gone to a place that sometimes is heavy-hitting and sometimes scripted to draw us in (like MTV’s “The Hills”) into fake scenarios to wind up on magazine covers. Are we showcasing that domestic violence is entertainment? Bravo doesn’t have a PSA at the end of episodes which have lead to arrests and say ‘don’t do this at home housewives’ or numbers where you can get help if you are crossed by a violent outburst. This kind of behaviour in person isn’t pleasant. I find it hard it to watch. Should Bravo show some social responsibility?
Now head to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.