The very best thing about On Display--besides the fact that it serves as the background music for my every thought--is that it's all about the downside of fame. How weary Melissa is of being photographed by the paparazzi, how unpleasing it is for her to constantly be in the spotlight. She can feel the weight of the world pushing down on her. I don't know what this is like, but I would imagine it's similar to the lung-popping sensation that Teresa feels when Joe Giudice climbs on top of her for some baby-making. Heavy doesn't even begin to describe it.
Yes, this episode of Real Housewives of New Jersey was mainly about Ashley, but who wants to talk about her? Not me! Let's break it down:
1. Photoshoot for the new cookbook at Teresa's house! It is not fabulicious AT ALL. Melania's head is spinning around, spewing marinara sauce while she screams her little head off. Gia just plain does not want any part of this bullshit.
Who can blame her? The general impossibility of getting four children to look happy at the same time and the particular impossibility of the demonically possessed Melania is making everyone grumpy, especially the photographers, who are not used to being trapped in the echoing chamber of horror and migraines that is the Giudice house.
After God knows how many hours and vats of holy water, it finally gets done. See the end result here.
2. Christopher Manzo has a new bartending job. As you know, Christopher is just a regular guy with a regular job who just happens to have a television crew with him at all times. If you were to walk into that bar right now, I am certain you would see him wiping down counters and refilling the maraschino cherries. So Albie, Lauren, underaged Ashley and her parents are there to say hi. Little does Ashley know, her real father Matt is also going to show up, having flown in from Texas to participate in an intervention of sorts.
But not before some shots!
"CHEERS to Ashley sobering up and getting her act together!"
YES! Matt suprises Ashley by sliding into the barstool next to her. Not sure what else happened in this scene because I was too preoccupied with Matt's gigantic scary scar running across the back of his bald head. What happened there?
"Like, OMG! I can't beleive you're here! Can I have some money?"
3. Kathy and Rich have a conversation in their 16 year old daughter's 1989-themed bedroom (watermelon Hubba Bubba walls, a framed cowboy hat Glamour Shot, and maybe a daisy-wheel printer in the background).
They are discussing whether Kathy should have a "talk" with Victoria because she is getting older and ???? Basically, we have no idea what they are referring to. Is it even possible they think she doesn't know about sex? Whatever the "talk" is about, Kathy is in favor of it and Rich is against it.
"Wait, I'm talking about the advantages of acid-washed jeans over stonewashed. What are you talking about?"
Later, Kathy takes Victoria shopping for a dress for her junior prom and Victoria falls in love with this va-va-voom dress, thus prompting the beginning of The Talk. I didn't really get a chance to hear what it was about because as soon as Victoria admitted that she was going to be on a party bus with no parent chaperones, my husband tried to force me into high five which I REFUSED. A short fight ensued.
4. More daughter issues, this time with Lauren Manzo. Caroline is in her closet, cleaning out her too-big clothes. Lauren starts talking about how she wants so much to lose weight, but even if she did, she still wouldn't feel attractive. Caroline starts to tear up a little, and GOD. It is time for a serious life-coaching session courtesy of yours truly.
Lauren, I'm talking to you directly here. All while you were growing up, your mom was on a diet. Am I right? Any talk of food involved denial of hunger, of being "good" and being "bad." Her closet had sizes ranging from 2 to 14, and she was always lamenting her appearance, always wishing she could lose just a few more pounds. There was never talk of being healthy, it was always about being skinny. It screwed you up in the head, girl. I'm here to tell you that you need to forget all that. You are beautiful, and I bet that everyone who knows you thinks you are too. I'm sure your boyfriend thinks you are smokin, and you need to get on board with that. You're what, 22? 23? You have so many years of hot luscious youth left. Get counseling or do something that will help your brain get on track. Don't waste these years with self-hatred.
Oaky, it's over. Maybe I should get my own radio show! (Just kidding, and Lauren, don't let that bad joke detract from my message).
There's also a Manzo gym scene.
I can't wait for the workout DVD!
5. Melissa's house. She's talking to her sisters about Teresa's less than enthusiastic reaction to Melissa's singing career. She does an admirable, if not wholly accurate, Teresa impersonation. High scores for capturing the spirit of sneering disdain.
After this, the sisters are like, "um, what else? Huh. I think we're going to paint the laundry room. Oh, and we went to a psychic and talked to dad who said you are going to be super-duper famous!!!!!"
"He also said that our hair really ages us."
Even though Melissa doesn't believe in psychics, she bawls. Probably because she realizes that the weight of the world now includes dead people.
The she does her singing with Soul Diggazzzzz and Joe, darling little pocket-sized Joe. He's watching her, bursting with pride at the musical career he has bought for his wife. To be fair, when Melissa told him to shut his mouth, it was light-hearted and deserved. Also, I do enjoy her exuberant outbursts of gratitude to Jesus.
6. Now to Ashley, the oversized earthworm who wears fedoras and thinks she is entitled to a parent-sponsored life in LA. I think that everyone in this family, especially her, will look back on these Ashley episodes with regret and embarrassment. At least we can hope.
"I'm done. DONE. Consider your vodka and dope allowance cut in half!"
I think it's safe to say that the intervention was wholly unsuccessful.
Also: Have you read Jackie's latest opinion of Teresa on her blog? An startling defection from Team Fabulous. Start on page 8. (Thanks, Mary.)