BLOGS

The Telefile
Why the <I>Real Housewives of New Jersey</I> is Such a Disappointment I had high hopes for this series, as I've grown to really love particularly the New York and OC installments (I'm getting there with Atlanta. Maybe this season I'll develop a proper obsession), but so far I pretty much hate this show. I know we're only five episodes in, but these five episodes have offered far less compelling material than the first five episodes of each of the other franchise's debut seasons. I'm definitely excited about watching them threaten to pummel each other next Tuesday, but man, what a letdown the first five episodes of this show have been. I've tried to explore the roots of the problem.

I Don't Understand Why I'm Supposed to Hate Danielle
Don't get me wrong -- I don't like the woman by any means, but she's just so sad, lonely, desperate, delusional and miserable that she's really someone you feel sorry for, not someone you hate. She doesn't even have the respect of her own daughters, she's so damn pathetic. She's been positioned as the show's villain by these women, but suffice it to say that Kelly Killoren Bensimon she is not.

There's Not Enough Conflict
They're all this close-knit family of best friends who just passionately hate Danielle because... why, exactly? Because 25 fricking years ago she was involved in some terrible things and she hooks up with a 25-year-old, who they are all friends with? I'm sure she's lying about her minimal involvement in the crimes she was charged for, and that's a very annoying thing, but I can understand why she'd lie. There's no evidence whatsoever that she's involved with crime now, or has been recently, and they're drama queening out about stuff she did when she was 20. It's not like coming clean about ancient history would shut them up. And even if this were a valid thing to fight about, it's the only thing anybody's really fighting about, which is boring and just seems produced.

They're Not Funny
They're just not. There's no Nene, no Vicki, no Jill Zarin, no Bethenny, nobody who makes me laugh. "Bubbies" is literally their best material. Fail.

Too Much Focus on the Kids
The OC has this problem too, but at least Kara is witty and outrageously conservative, Vicki's daughter is a saint we all adore, and Lauri's Josh had a lot of real-life, legit drama to add to the show. These Jersey kids, on the other hand, are even duller than their parents. They just kind of go to photoshoots a lot and tell their maids to call them "Your majesty?" Less screentime for them, STAT.

What the Hell is That Nice One Doing Here?
The OC installment could get away with the few "nice girls" they've had -- Kimberly, Tammy, to a lesser extent, and the old, pre-monster Jeana -- but that's not what this franchise is about anymore. Atlanta and New York changed everything, and Jacqueline's whole I-refuse-to-gossip and I'm-too-spineless-to-stand-up-to-my-family thing is so out of place, even is she does contradict herself by loving to listen to gossip at times. Either get into shit or get off the show, lady.

Teresa Serves No Purpose
This actually speaks to a larger problem with this show -- there's a casting redundancy happening here. I don't get anything from Teresa that I don't already get from the other girls, and while I don't expect them all to be as distinctly different as the New York or Atlanta housewives, you need to bring more to the table besides being flat-chested for four-and-a-half episodes.

They're All Related
I think it hurts potential storylines to have three members of the central cast have to automatically side with each other no matter what because of some faux-mafia family code. Jacqueline clearly thinks Dina and Caroline are bitches, because they are, and she'd never be allowed to say so for fear of being disowned or something. That's frustrating.

And this is the least of the show's problems, but the girls need a new catchphrase. The aforementioned "Bubbies" is grating on my last nerve.

What do you think? Hating the show, loving the show? Let it all out below! P.S. Here's a preview of next week's season finale.

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