Saturday, June 9, 2012

Season 4--Deja' View all over again and again

Do they really expect the hard-core viewers and fans of The Real Housewives of New Jersey to be interested in arguments over magazine articles that came-out last year? Now we're re-hashing "How did Teresa's relatives get on the show?", on The View, and then in the blogs..wait-a-minute! I thought we covered all that at the beginning of LAST season, (Season 3), when we were first introduced to the Gorga's and Walkilies?
Haven't most people who follow the series already made our minds up about how we feel about that? So what is the point? And the stories circulating that the Gorga's made a video promising to destroy Teresa? I can't be the only one who remembers hearing this before. And I'm sure that I'm not the only one who recalls seeing this video or still-photos of the supposed audition-video online or somewhere, yet now the existence of this video is being questioned. And no I cannot find it anywhere although I have looked, but from what I remember I distinctly recall seeing at least a still photo of the Gorgas wearing camouflage-gear, dressed like Rambo with ammo and machine guns, illustrating a story about how "desperate"-Melissa and Joe Gorga acted very Jersey-tough and parodied The Sopranos, and asked to be put on The Real Housewives of New Jersey.Maybe it was a Halloween costume? I don't know, but the "audition-video"-story is making its way around again, and if there is a season 5, maybe we will "officially" hear that story again then, or maybe IF there is a season 4 reunion, Andy Cohen will ask Melissa if there was an audition tape?
The only difference that I can see is that Teresa is starting to throw some zingers of her own towards her cast-mates. And although I can't blame her, I think that a great deal of Teresa's appeal and popularity has been because she has not made herself dirty by playing in the mud with her "frienimies" and family.
What Teresa did say on The View, that could be considered new, was confirmation that until she is watching the show, she really did not know about all the dirty-looks, and nasty comments that her co-stars, mainly the Manzo family, were directing towards her. Teresa told us several times on The View that seeing and learning all of this now is "hurtful". (and by several times, I mean using that exact word "hurtful", which I found strange in her delivery. She used the word verbatim, almost like she was afraid to deviate from the exact words that she had been scripted/ or coached to say. How hard would it be to change-up the words so it wouldn't sound so stiff?). Personally, I thought that it would sound much more natural for Teresa to say, "My feelings have been really hurt.", instead-of, "It is hurtful." Here's a paraphrased transcript of Teresa's interview from The View:

Barbara- "Would you do another season?"
Teresa- "Its been hurtful, Barbara."
Barbara -"how does it make you feel seeing what they say behind your back?"
Teresa- "It has been...hurtful."
Barbara-"So, if they offered you a chance to come back next season, would you do it? You're planning on coming back-right, you won't turn-down an offer-would you?"
Teresa-"It has been very, uh, its been hurtful?"

Another thing that feels as recycled as an episode of House, is the winning Bravo formula of "mean girls", and picking-on the underdog. Everybody loves an underdog-right? It worked for Bethenny, why won't the same thing work for Alexis on The Real Housewives of OC, or Teresa in New Jersey? And in another of the higher-rated plots, it didn't work-out so well for Danielle, but the viewers did tune-in to watch, so it worked-out for Bravo.
Well-for one very important reason, reality is not drama. You can't have it both ways-either a show is scripted or it is NOT.  Using the scripted drama House, as an example of a show that had some success using a formula that everyone expected and enjoyed, (patient has strange illness, House almost kills them, investigate the patient's home, House takes some pills and saves the day...),  well, having some predictable familiar gimmicks is fun for a reality show, but in reality, people have a way of not doing what we expect them to do. They go "off-script"-or, improvise. Things happen that we couldn't even imagine. THAT is one of the reasons that people like to watch reality television.
And that's why when I watch an episode of House or Law & Order, I anticipate the expected formula, but I feel cheated when its served-up in my reality favorites. Because "reality" is life, and life does not play-out the way we expect it to-does it? 
Another thing that has been bothering me this season so far is the complaining about magazine "stories" being sold. I did a great deal of investigation into celebrity and gossip magazine stories when I was looking into the strange story about the little girl who's mother supposedly gave her botox©. It turned-out that the mother of the girl claimed that she had simply sold PHOTOS, and in reality those photos were allegedly posed to make it appear that the child was having her face injected. And the pictures were indeed sold for an admitted $15,000, (Good Morning America, a NEWS organization was involved in this alleged hoax. "We do NOT pay for interviews, but we DO pay to use photos"-was GMA's quote as well).link to botox hoax story
I know that has nothing to do with this,but what I learned in that instance was that publications, and even television networks, DO NOT ever like to admit for paying for stories or interviews. They WILL admit to paying for photos. So, all of this talk about Teresa "selling" her story, selling her apology...they ALL know that it doesn't work like that. Its the pictures that are being paid for. Sometimes the photos are brokered through an agent, and sometimes interviews and quotes are given, but basically, Teresa can honestly say that she has NOT been paid to "sell stories". (I'm sure that they ALL have been paid for their photos ;)). And if the people who choose the cover-photos want Teresa instead-of Caroline, THAT is who they are going to pay.
But we, the viewers of The Real Housewives of New Jersey haven't learned a thing about how that all works from watching the show, although I find it very interesting. Instead, we are being jerked back and forth between what happened, on screen and in real life/real-time last year, and Season 3/Season 4, (which we are seeing now. And they are blogging-about now, but which actually happened last year...and then just to make it MORE confusing, who knows WHAT they are Tweeting-about!). OH-and one other interesting current piece of information that was disclosed on The View, is that Teresa has not seen her relatives since the Season 3 Re Union, which was recorded last September.
-So it does at least make some sense, that Bravo had the foresight to get almost all of Season 4 done, before whatever it is that happens at the end-of Season 4 at the fashion show, and the Season 3 reunion, because Bravo must have had an inkling that they would not be able to be friendly after all of it.
I'm watching a repeat of Rosie and Kathy discussing Rosie's homosexuality right now and Kathy says to her sister Rosie, "When you came-out to me.", and it almost sounds unscripted, but not quite. Who uses such politically correct phrases with their own sister? Even-if it is a touchy subject, I'd have to imagine IF someone were to have a conversation like that in real life, that it would sound more like, "remember the first time that we talked about you being gay?", or is homosexuality such a tricky topic that sisters and close family members talk like that? (But friends and acquaintances and co-workers like Joe Giudice are graphic, insulting and crude?) .
Maybe the title of the episode should have been, "How to/How not-to talk to gay friends and relatives"? The entire topic just feels a little forced, and again-scripted. The sexy married-lady in the hot-tub party, just made me wonder if the Wakilie's didn't really know how to behave at a party, but that they've visited a few orgies with their hookah-pipe?