The drama crossed state lines last night as The Real Housewives of New Jersey made its hotly anticipated debut. And two minutes into the premiere, this season’s catchphrase emerged: “bubbies,” as in, to quote Teresa, “My husband, he’s more of an a– guy, but be loves my bubbies.”
That didn’t stop Teresa from declaring her desire for breast implants. This stage mom in denial also fixated on the appearance of her three tiny daughters — her “little divas” — and her dream home, dropping more than six figures on furniture to outfit her sprawling, onyx and marble-adorned custom built mansion (“I don’t want to live in someone else’s house,” she explained. “It’s gross.”), for which she paid cash because she “heard the economy is crashing.”
Next up was Dina, a blonde with a steely edge beneath her soft-spoken, airbrushed exterior. Dina told a rags to riches tale: She was shunned by other women in the Franklin Lakes community when she arrived as a divorc e and single mom — but that was before she got her hands on her new husband’s Ferrari. And Dina did seem to have a genuinely good relationship with her 12-year-old daughter, Lexi, who whipped her in tennis. “Mommy’s boobs are too big for tennis,” she explained at the country club.
Dina’s sister Caroline, 12 years her senior, correctly pegged herself as a throwback to an old-school housewife and she played the part with passion. She’s mother hen to her 10 siblings but also to her three kids: Christopher, 19, (who aspires to open a chain of strip clubs and car washes), 20-year-old Lauren (the self-proclaimed “bride’s b—-” at her parents’ catering facility) and the golden boy Albie, who is headed to law school. Caroline was so nurturing and warm to her family — if icily distrustful of outsiders — she told the camera there are some very high end strip clubs in the area, “So let’s run a strip club mommy can be proud of.”
Jacqueline, sister-in-law to Caroline and Dina, admitted she initially thought Jersey “was the armpit of the earth” when she moved from Las Vegas. But she’s shaping up to be a neutral Switzerland as she refused to enter the fray as resident villainess Danielle mounts her attack on Dina.
But even though Dina claimed life is too short for enemies, she will prove a formidable foe for Danielle. Her first counterstrike after Danielle showed up unannounced at the beauty salon as Dina and her entourage prepared for a girl’s night out in the city? To switch locations and go to the Meatpacking District instead of the original destination, asking her girls, “Should we take the bridge or the tunnel?” into Manhattan.
You couldn’t blame Dina for being suspicious of Danielle, a 45-year-old mother of two, who gets stood up at a bar awaiting a stranger, known online as Gucci Model, with whom she’s been engaging in phone sex for over two years but has never met. Then, there were her pronouncements about 19 marriage proposals, black American Express cards, her Ford modeling past, a blatant desire to marry a guy with a private jet and the conspiring to drive a wedge between Jacqueline and her sisters-in-law. As Danielle says, “Either you love me or you hate me. There is no in between.” — Suzanne Zuckerman
Tell us: Who is your favorite New Jersey Housewife? Whose side are you on, Danielle’s or Dina’s?Virginia Sherwood/Bravo