William R. Nicholas | Mahwah, NJ USA | 10/10/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"First, I live about five milles from these people, in a town called Mahwah. It is basically an old school jersey town, and I'll get more into this in a second. But if I put on my shoes, I can walk to the town the where the housewives live in about three minutes.
Now, a caveat: I realize this is a TV show, and anyone who knows anything realizes that the second you place a camara in front of someone, they change. A TV camara can alter behavior faster than any person can
So when I saw this, I wondered how much was real and how much Memorex, so just for the hell of it, I started to ask my friends at the local stores-which I won't name-this question. I am talking about a 20 person sample set for my off the cuff and completely unimperical research. I got about 70% saying this a good thumbnail sketch of who these people are, maybe about 10% saying it was all hype, and another 20% saying this material was a good impression but puffed up for TV.
Let me tell you something about Jersey, and yes, this same section of Jersey. It used to be this was a blue collar area, and to a degree, this is still true--although a lot of these people have been property taxed out of the area. Still, most of the people in this neck of the woods are hard working, down to earth, friendly people who are nice to talk to. They drive Hondas, not Benzes, wear Levi's, not Armani.
I have Cerebal Palsy, and I can't tell you how much help I have gotten changing flat tires, carrying packages, writting checks which I then sign. I have made many friends both blue collar and white collar. There are about 10 places I can go to if I have a emergancym which shows you how kind hearted and open minded folks around here are.
Now back to our show: when you buy this DVD you will see these gals, whose purpose in life seems to be buying expensive clothes, going to the solon, adjusting their expensive clothes, getting their breasts fixed, buying more expensive clothes to fit those new breasts, promoting their kids modeling careers, then going out to buy more expensive clothes.
When bored, they redo the house, and tell the workers to be careful moving the expensive new furnature into the house. Why? Because it is expensive. They don't seem to put together that the workers would know this because they work for the people who just sold them the damm furnature.
For people with so much bread, these people don't seem too content. They are constantly fighting, ripping each other apart, and seem to have no problem showing their as--s in public. From my research, they also seem to have no issue with treating the general retail populus like endentured servants.
Ummmm.....ok. For a guy like me who wakes up with musicle spasams and wors 12 hours daily all this seems a little pointless, but hey sister , do what you like.
I do have to say that Jackie, as deliniated by the show, does seem brighter, tries to avoid confrontation, likes to laugh and seems to genuinely listen to people. She does appear a humen being in the mist of snobs. Dealing with the other four, to qoute the the great Jack Nicholson in Terms of Endearment, "I'd rather stick needles in my eyes."
Again, I can't tell you how much of this is real and how much is memorex, but if we beleive the show, than think of the rest of New Jersey as the outside of a nuclear blast radius. Smart people try to steer as clear from the isolated epicenter as possible.
Please take it from a forty year old life long resident. WE ARE NOT LIKE THIS.
Get a season of the Sopranos! This is just a train wreck!
Sylviastel | 03/22/2010
(1 out of 5 stars)
"The first season of the real housewives is focused on Northern New Jersey. There are three are related to each other. Teresa's an interloper and Danielle is the troublemaker.
Caroline Laurita Manzo is Al's wife and the leader of this pack.
Dina Laurita Manzo is Caroline's younger sister and sister-in-law and Tommy's wife.
Dina and Caroline married Al and Tommy Manzo who own the Brownstone banquet hall in Paterson, New Jersey.
They are joined by Jacqueline Laurita, who is married to Dina and Caroline's brother Christopher.
Teresa is a long-time friend who aspires her daughter, Gia, to become a movie star not an actress or dancer or singer but a star.
Danielle is really the crust of this show's season. She has a sordid past in the 1980s but not now. She's divorced with two beautiful daughters living in Wayne. Dina, Caroline, and Jacqueline live in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey (former home to Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos before Kelly got the talk show gig).
Look Danielle's past is actually irrelevant, maybe she sugarcoats the truth about her past life with drugs, prostitution, stripping, etc but that was over 20 years ago. People have changed and moved on.
What the Manzo/Laurita trio don't mention until the reunion show is that Dina and Caroline's father-in-law Albert "Tiny" Manzo was killed in a mob style killing in Hillside, New Jersey before the mob families fell apart. It's Tiny Manzo who bought the Brownstone in the 1970.
Supposedly, the ratings with the table flipping and the revelations about the gossiping among the wives hits at the finale dinner upsetting it's hostess, Teresa who flips the table.
Now if I was given information about Danielle through a questionable memoir because the author still is hanging around trying to prove he's still relevant, I doubt that I would find it interesting because she's only in three pages. Her ex-husband didn't have the decency to change her name and then slipped in her mugshot. Maybe at the time of publication, she was unreachable. Unfortunately, that petty little action makes me wonder about her ex-husband's credibility as you read the amazon.com reviews.
Except for Danielle, none of the wives are really that interesting. Caroline comes off as snobby, aggressive and can scare Tony Soprano on a good day. Caroline defends Dina no matter what and her relatives but she doesn't admit that she's estranged from a couple of them. We'll find out later, I'm sure.
Dina comes across as a poor, dull version of Victoria Gotti if you ask me. She's not that interesting. She's a wedding coordinator at the Brownstone but doesn't see her husband who runs and owns the place. Something smells here.
Jacqueline comes across as nice and sweet but she has troubled relations with her teenage daughter, Ashley, who I suspect feels like an outsider in her stepfather's family. She flunks class at a private school and her stepfather buys a car. I don't think her husband listens to her. Meanwhile Jacqueline's concerned about getting pregnant again even though she already two children. It's just not enough I guess especially when I see the daughter staying in the car while she's at the fertility doctor. As somebody who works with teens, I can tell that Ashley has serious issues but this family is a complete mess.
Teresa's drive for her daughter, Gia, to become a star is misguided. She and her husband built a beautiful home in Moonachie for the family. Her husband works in construction in New Jersey (wink, wink) if you know what I mean. We see Joe as a homophobic Italian-American who would fit perfectly on the Sopranos. Teresa is also concerned about getting breast implants to please her husband.
Then there is Danielle whose life is really a soap opera. Regardless of how you feel about her personally, I just have trouble when the other wives gang up against her like in mean girls. In this case, Caroline's the leader and Dina's second in command. Jacqueline and Teresa follow their leads including having dinner with Danielle's first ex-husband recently without questioning the credibility of his book. Anyway, Danielle has married again and has two beautiful daughters. One of who signed with IMG model agency on the spot.
It's kind of ironic that Danielle was recommended by Dina for the trouble maker role in the series because she fulfilled that expectation far better than they could have imagined. Not only that, Danielle's own memoir is coming out after Teresa's cookbook. Danielle's daughter is signed by a major modeling agency and she's getting invited to places regularly.
Regardless of the little time that the wives actually spend together now, Danielle has emerged as the true star of this series. Without Danielle on the show, this series wouldn't have the legs to stand. I'm sure that the other housewives are upset that they are always asked about Danielle in interviews like on Regis & Kelly where she wasn't welcomed with the group.
Now, Danielle's past has come out and the audience doesn't really care about what she did in Miami during the Miami Vice days! She was young and stupid! It's not the past as it is what happened when the other housewives found out about it. It was like handing a loaded gun and seeing what would happen. If the wives had played their cards right out on the table and confronted Danielle about her past before she confronted them, maybe things wouldn't have erupted like a volcano."
Love Love Love It!
Pommie79 | 04/15/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I promised I would not buy this because I have seen it a million times on Bravo but of all the "Housewives" franchises, New Jersey is my favorite! Atlanta used to be but there is something more genuine and organic about the drama between this particular group of ladies. I'm anxiously waiting for Season 2 to begin next month for even more table flipping!
I love the relationship between the sisters Caroline and Dina. With their sister-in-law Jacqueline and close friend Theresa, the odd "woman" out is Danielle. You really want to root for her but there's something about her that makes that a little difficult. I don't know if her past has hardened her (which it more than likely did), but her caustic and biting tongue are a little hard to take at times.
If you haven't checked out this series, indulge just once...you may also love love love it!
Mrs. Wanda MOORE | Birmingham, AL United States | 05/18/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is everyday life, this is what we live every day, it's true no extra acting, for real, it's what is done behind most rich people closed doors, its reality"