I Hate Jill Zarin January 1, 2011 Happy New Year!
2010 was Bravo’s year of the housewives, airing two series at one time was a new thing for the network and they chose Monday nights to air The Real Housewives of New Jersey while The Real Housewives of DC continued to run on Thursday nights.
The Real Housewives of New Jersey
One of Bravo’s highest rated Housewives series, the New Jersey franchise was the most disappointing season in recent memory. The first season pitted four housewives against one and the reunion left many baffled as to why Caroline was so upset at Danielle. For viewers who don’t read the internet articles and see the rumors on blogs, they literally had to wait for the Season Two reunion to learn anymore about Caroline’s outburst.
Many speculated on what the series would do and how they would create storylines that really just mirrored season one, the four against one had already gotten old but surprisingly, Bravo felt that was enough to carry another season.
Caroline, Jacqueline, Dina and Teresa did nothing at all except discuss Danielle throughout the first four or five episodes. The planning and scheming as to how to get this woman out of their lives seemed to be the only thing on their minds. As far as the viewer could see, Danielle wasn’t in their lives so I, for one, was confused.
We did see one scene of Danielle driving her kids and considering driving past Caroline’s home, where a party was being held but her kids talked her down from that ledge, so crisis averted.
Best we could tell Danielle was very clear that her cast mates wanted nothing to do with her and she seemed to keep her distance. We learned that Dina made some attempts to be civil to Danielle by texting her now and then and so Danielle invited both Dina and Jacqueline to a strange luncheon to celebrate her daughter’s modeling career. Strange, because her daughter wasn’t invited but well, that’s Danielle.
When both Dina and Jacqueline turned down the invitation Danielle seemed to go a little crazy, but again, she didn’t really do anything other than maybe talk about them. We learned later that Danielle had done some filming in a salon that was owned by Dina’s ex-husband’s family and that upset Dina. I’m not sure why Dina wasn’t upset with the salon owners, who had to have given consent for the filming to take place.
Danielle attended an event at the Brownstone, owned by the Manzo family and she did create a scene, according to the Manzo’s Danielle showed up with a party of 10 people who were not expected and while Danielle and one guest had an assigned seat, the rest of her entourage did not. Chaos ensued and the gang left the event, the only good thing that was accomplished was the charity did get some added publicity and hopefully some additional donations from viewers.
This whole scenario was just too convenient to be a coincidence. Why would these people invite Danielle to the event pretending not to know that Danielle had any connection with the Manzo’s? You cannot convince me that everyone in that town didn’t already know that there was a history there and that Danielle co-stared in a television show with the Manzo’s.
Why would they single out Danielle with a personal invitation to this charity event? Bravo just didn’t have enough drama to fill the season, moving on…
The drama at the Brownstone and the filming at the salon ultimately triggered Dina to decide to cut Danielle out of her life. Was she IN her life? The over dramatic scene meant Dina insisted on meeting Danielle in person to tell her she wanted nothing to do with her was just absurd.
This was to be Dina’s exit from the show, and while everyone could see that meeting Danielle in person to basically tell her to go to hell was not going to go well, was unnecessary and really just a stupid thing to do. Who does that? Bravo’s producers had so little footage of anything interesting to air that they actually turned this ridiculous meeting between Dina and Danielle into a drawn out scene spanning over two episodes of the show. Dina was surprised that Danielle didn’t react well to her “stay out of my life” speech. The only surprising thing is that Danielle didn’t ask, “How exactly am I IN your life?” Not the sharpest knife in the drawer, are ya Dina? What made her think that meeting would go well?
And so we’re down to four New Jersey Housewives. No loss there, watching Dina walk around her house talking to her ugly cat was more like an episode of Hoarders than Housewives.
The official reason for Dina leaving the show was that she refused to appear on the show with Danielle, however, there seemed to be much more to it than that. Dina’s husband Tommy continued to refuse to be filmed with his wife and her daughter did not have permission from her father to appear on the show any longer.
We later learned that Caroline’s outburst at the Season One reunion had to do with Dina’s daughter Lexi, rumor has it that Danielle notified Dina’s ex-husband that he had the right to deny permission for his daughter to appear on the Housewives show and that Dina forged his signature on the permission form. Dina’s refusal to talk about this at the reunion, does seem to confirm these rumors, we also learned that Danielle got a gag order ensuring that Dina wouldn’t talk about Danielle’s part in what happened.
The show seemed to feature Jacqueline’s 19 year old daughter Ashley more than some of the housewives, she probably got more face time than Caroline, only because she was a spoiled, horrible brat who called her mother a bitch and showed absolutely no respect then asked if she could move back home.
Teresa’s legal problems, the bankruptcy, her husband’s stint in jail, the accusations that the couple lied about their assets, failed to file their tax returns and continued to spend irresponsibly were not caught on film.
Ashley terrorized Danielle’s 16 year old daughter Christine on Twitter by posting some horrible email and text messages about Christine and said some really nasty things about the girl. This was all eventually deleted as viewers of the show chastised Ashley for her poor choices in attacking an innocent young girl whose only crime was being Danielle’s daughter. Bravo didn’t film any of that either.
Jacqueline and Caroline also met and had dinner with Danielle’s ex-husband the ladies were privy to the results of a polygraph test that he had taken that seemingly proved Danielle was lying about her accusations of abuse against him. This wasn’t filmed either.
A whole lot of interesting things happen with these New Jersey housewives off screen, a whole lot more than we see on screen, do you suppose Bravo’s producers are just unlucky and miss filming all the good stuff?
They did catch Jacqueline’s daughter Ashley pulling Danielle’s hair at a fashion show. That entire scene seemed set up, Teresa wanted to say “hi” to Danielle? Jacqueline chasing Danielle through the country club screaming 25-year old criminal charges at her, and finally Ashley grabs Danielle’s hair and pulls it out of her head “because she’s a bitch”.
It just seemed to me that New Jersey didn’t have enough footage to air, not enough drama to show to viewers and producers told the ladies to “amp it up”, because none of it made any sense. It was more frustrating to watch because it was just so stupid! If Bravo’s cameras had been around for the really interesting moments, maybe the season would have been better.
Next season can’t possibly be worse. We know that Danielle isn’t on the show any longer and so Bravo brought in more housewives to create drama. Keeping with the “family” theme, Teresa Giudice’s sister-in-law Melissa Gorga has been added to the cast along with one of Teresa’s cousins. Rumor has it that Teresa doesn’t get along with either of these two family members, so get ready for more Teresa tantrums.…
The Real Housewives of DC
Bravo’s unlucky casting of Michaele Salahi as a DC Housewife doomed this series almost from the beginning. After filming for months with this woman and her cast mates, Michaele and her husband Tareq attend a White House dinner, uninvited. This one event made world-wide news and suddenly the network is in hot water as people question whether or not the Salahi’s were auditioning to get on the show.
Bravo’s decision to air the episodes with the Salahi’s was met with a lot of criticism. Many felt that they should not have been given a platform, more notoriety or any more publicity than they had already received for their stunt. I’m sure many people watched just out of curiosity, who was this crazy couple and why on earth would they do this? On the other hand, many boycotted the show because they were appalled at what Michaele and Tareq Salahi did and how they humiliated our government.
This couple have been caught in lie after lie, at the reunion alone their uninvited attendance at the Black Caucus dinner, Michaele’s lies about being a Reskins Cheerleader and the fact that people were terminated from their jobs due to their behavior were all revealed. Lynda’s statement that this couple don’t pay their bills was confirmed by Tareq Salahi himself. These are con artists, liars and thieves and they proved it all on this show.
Cat Ommanney met, fell in love and jetted off to the United States thousands of miles away from her friends and family in England with her two children in tow. Her back story never really came out during the series but we learned at the reunion that she was unhappy and seemed to be left alone a lot, having not met any friends in DC yet, the show seemed to give her a bit of hope for a happy life in America. But it was not to be, as her new husband Charles was unhappy with her participation in the Housewives series and preferred she keep to herself as he seemed to be a very private person. Cat never blamed the Housewives show for her ultimate divorce, but she did acknowledge that it played a part in illuminating the issues in the marriage.
Lynda Erkiletian, a southern born mother of four didn’t seem to get the air time to really get to know her well enough. I think that she is fascinating as the owner of a modeling agency but more than that, her herb burning, her interest in astrology and readings and her declaration at the reunion that she used to be a pot smoker but now takes prescribed medications along with a bit of scotch now and then. She is a little spitfire who has no problem telling it like it is and while she insists that she won’t ever marry again, she has a hot young boyfriend who seems to adore her.
As the series opened it was difficult to really like any of these ladies due to their constant criticism of Michaele Salahi, but as the episodes began to air, it became clear that each housewife had their own personal reasons for the negative feelings toward Michaele and they were all very valid.
Mary Amons possibly one of the worst offenders of Michaele bashing seemed to be criticizing the fact that Michaele was a make-up salesperson at Nordstrom prior to meeting her husband Tareq. Mary’s statement that Michaele had “improved her station in life” really made Mary sound like a snob of the highest order and she took a lot of hits for that statement. We learned later however that Mary meant no disrespect to Nordstrom or its employee’s, she was merely explaining that Michaele was thrust into DC’s society with very little knowledge of what she was getting into including the Salahi’s family scandals.
Mary explained that she met her husband Rich, fell in love, got married and had children, just not in that order. I have to give her a lot of credit for owning that, while it’s perfectly acceptable now to have a child out of wedlock, 20 years ago it may have been frowned upon, particularly in Mary’s family as she was raised in DC high society. Mary’s easy going manner, long time marriage and mother of five children, she made for the perfect Bravo Housewife. America had a fascination with Mary’s closet door lock to keep her eldest daughter, Lolly from “borrowing” her clothes. The faces that Mary made watching her daughter walk around in her clothes was hysterical resulting in Mary’s admission that she must have forgotten to lock the closet door.
Staci’s family was just as warm and loving, her husband Jason who clearly would do anything for his wife found a way to research Staci’s biological father resulting in a very heart wrenching explanation from Staci at the reunion telling viewers about her subsequent phone calls with her new found family. Bravo missed the boat again as I would have liked to see Staci’s family visiting her father in Nigeria and learning about her extended family there.
There is a lot of speculation as to whether or not Bravo will green light another season of the DC Housewives, personally I think the reunion revealed that there is definitely more to see here with the four housewives, minus Michaele Salahi and her creepy husband. Provided they don’t replace Michaele with Erika, I hope that Bravo moves forward and gives this series another chance.
I posted a new article in the series, Portrait of a Housewife, this time Jill Zarin is the focus, I hope you’ll take a look:
Portrait of a Housewife – Jill Zarin the Real Housewives of New York @ http://look.ac/gUD6kv
I want to wish everyone a very Happy New Year, hoping that you all get exactly what you deserve in 2011, health, happiness and success and I sincerely hope that all of your dreams come true.
Thank you for all the well wishes you’ve sent my way, I love reading all of your posts and hope you’ll all continue to join me for new Housewives craziness in 2011.
Until Next Time…