'Real Housewives of New Jersey' recap: The Sniff Test

new-jersey-2011-.jpgPreviously on Masterpiece Classics presents The Real Housewives of New Jersey: Albie had a girrrrrllllfriiiiiieeeeeend. Rosie wanted a girrrrrrlllllllfriiiiiiiieeeeeeeeeend. Jacqueline and Teresa were through with each other, and Teresa and Joe Gorga entered the puzzling world of brother-sister couples therapy. Basically the therapist was like, "Try being normal!" and they were like, ".....Whaaaaaaa?" Oh God, and then remember how they fought off camera and you could hear it all on their mics? Anyway, the upshot of this entire series is basically that they're all horrible, except for maybe Kathy.

We enter as preparations are underway for little Antonia's sixth birthday party. It's fluffy and pink and sugar-fueled and looks absolutely nightmarish. Melissa gets her makeup done and confirms to Joe Gorga that she got a bouncy house and also a bouncy human centipede bound to give most kids nightmares but delight small terrorist Milania. There is also a popcorn and cotton candy station. Melissa explains that Antonia's birthday parties are always lavish affairs, because that is how these idiots roll. My favorite kid birthday party story of late comes from a friend whose five year old requested a party with no other kids invited and a bouncy house all to herself. She's super little, so always gets knocked around in the typical Lord of the Flies bouncy house scenario. I thought it showed a rare kind of genius and analytical skill. In any case, Joe says that Melissa is too expensive, but of course doesn't mean it because every display of his money is designed to make us forget about his teeny tiny willie and teenier tinier amount of grey matter.

Meanwhile, Teresa and her girls get cards ready for Antonia. Joe Giudice, who is letting his orange man boobs swing free in the breeze, is totally not planning to go to the birthday party. Milania screams at him that he's so mean, which is absolutely true. She adds that he never wants to see his kids, and as a bonus calls him a big poop. Also true! Teresa is like, "Stop saying true things on camera! It is not the Giudice way!" Eventually, Juicy leaves the room to further accusations that he is a big poop.

Speaking of big poops, Caroline and Lauren check out a store that is going out of business. But they are not merely looking for excellent sales! Nay, Caroline is helping Lauren to look for a storefront for her new business. And you know, she made such a mark during that one day when she worked at the other salon. Clearly it was time for her to move on to a bigger venture. Caroline seems resigned to the fact that Lauren is going to fail, and waste a lot of her money in the process. She brags about the fact that she's a bulldog, but of course a skinny one as opposed to Lauren's rather zaftig one. Lauren tells us that she knows the makeup business -- you know, because of her one day of experience -- so Caroline needs to listen to her on certain matters. So... it's a makeup store? That also sells clothes? Or something? Lauren then starts complaining about the name that they came up with. And that name is -- wait for it -- Caface. It's a CAFÉ for your FACE. Well. Coffee does technically go IN your face. Lauren is of course right about this relentlessly stupid name, but Caroline explains that her vision is a store where you get a menu of services labeled under headers like "appetizers" or "desserts," and also there is a station with coffee and iced tea. The glamor! I would like to open a haunted house with this same theme, called "Restaurhaunt." Lauren is like, "Whatever," and rues Caroline's extra two percent stake in the business. [Note: Didn't a place once exist kind of like this and flop horribly? I think it was called Skinmarket? -- Rachel.]

Read the full recap here.