It’s truly Christmas in July, as the Real Housewives of New Jersey prepare for the winter holidays–Jersey style! Jacqueline is having a holiday cocktail party in the hopes that it will reunite the Giudices and the Gorgas. And what’s going on with Ashley? She’s looking orange, and her eyebrows are looking dark. The new Carrie Bradshaw!

Caroline’s daughter, Lauren, is upset that Chris and Albie are living a life without her. Is Caroline wearing a WWHL shirt?

Melissa is meeting some record producers to show them that she can sing. I feel so uncomfortable watching her sing in her ballroom in front of her family and these two producers. They have decided that she can sing, but she has some work ahead of her. Melissa just got herself a job! Or she might be paying for all this, I’m not sure. Joe doesn’t want Melissa working 15 hours a day, so he has decided to build Melissa her own studio. It was going to be his wine room, but he wants to keep Melissa under lock and key. Wouldn’t you? By the way–wine room!!?!

Teresa is getting ready for the holidays by wearing fringe boots and booty shorts. Joe has created her a living room picnic, so Teresa must be upset she dressed up in her cooch-bearing shorts. Over a glass of wine, Teresa and Joe agree that they are glad they don’t hate each other. They toast to navigating through a pile of financial and legal problems.

Kathy’s in her Annie Hall getup again, looking at more restaurants. I think she found the one, though! This restaurant is the loose, menswear shirt to Kathy’s Diane Keaton. Rich, for the first time in this whole venture, is concerned with the cost. He doesn’t want to go bankrupt like everyone else.

Joe Gorga telling these guys how to build the recording studio is one of my favorite things on this show (aside from Kim G.). “I want a telephone booth. Something for her to sing in.” When did Joe learn how to build a recording studio?

Jacqueline brings Lauren over to visit Chris, Albie, and Greg, since she’s been missing them. Lauren has a sitdown with the guys to tell them that she feels like Greg is replacing her. What is Greg’s deal exactly? He’s gay, right? That Mariah Carey Christmas album, the dog … anyway, Lauren burst into tears, and Greg seemed pretty uncomfortable. To appease her, Lauren’s brothers give her a key to the apartment.

Caroline, New Santa, and the green feather Christmas tree have arrived. To be fair, it really does look like The Grinch. Caroline declares it “A Very Guido Christmas.” Things have not gotten better with Lauren. She feels like they’re including her out of pity, but making a big deal about the times they haven’t included her, like a dinner they had? Caroline thinks she’s making too big a deal of it, and I agree. Poor Greg.

KIM G!! Every episode with Kim G. in it is the best episode ever. Jacqueline is visiting Kim, who got a new chandelier. Kim brings up her brain tumor that she got while she was building her house, something she “doesn’t usually talk about.” She has Jacqueline feel the part of her skull that is missing, which proves why she lives life to the fullest!

Kim G. reads an e-mail to Jacqueline, which has some gossip about Teresa in it. Jacqueline tells Kim G. to “shut the f**k up,” but she doesn’t. LONG LIVE THE QUEEN!

Kathy and Rich are meeting Caroline’s husband, Albert, at The Brownstone. The Brownstone is THE PLACE, after all. Kathy tells Albert about the idea, and Albert bursts into a fit of laughter. He LOLed at their faces. Then he talked to them about 9/11. Something within that mixed message made Kathy re-think the restaurant idea. So she will go back to catering like she wanted to in the beginning.

The cocktail party has arrived. Jacqueline hired a chef so she can manage her wild and rowdy guests. Maybe she should have brought zip ties to tie the Gorgas to their chairs, too. Joe and Teresa arrive from spending all day in court, which does not bode well for the mood at the party. The press already knows about some of the stuff, apparently. This Monica person is really causing some drama. Teresa said she had to “silence the lamb.” Do what you gotta do to silence the lamb, Teresa.

The Gorgas and the Giudices are officially in the same room. It’s awkward, but nothing a little wine can’t help. Caroline finds that she’s starting to like Melissa and Joe Gorga, and I’ll admit that I am, too. The Manzos are very good at diffusing the situation. On a dare, Joe (Gorga) agrees to switch outfits with Jacqueline. It was fun and funny, but it seemed to make Teresa upset. They get into a little tiff about sisterhood, but Melissa invites everyone to their Christmas party. It seems like it’s making Teresa a little jealous, which should make for an interesting dynamic next week!

(image courtesy of Bravo)

Carla Patton

Writer, BuddyTV

Originally from Seattle, Carla recently took a husband and moved to Austin, Texas, where she is finally using her television “problem” to her advantage. It’s sort of like Dexter, but boring and less murdering. Carla’s favorite shows include 30 RockThe Amazing RaceProject RunwayModern Family, anything with murder, and pretty much anything gross and weird (CSIThe BachelorToddlers & Tiaras, etc.). Favorite canceled shows include: Arrested DevelopmentVeronica Mars and Average Joe. In her spare time, Carla leads tours of downtown Austin on a Segway (don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it!), blogs about Netflix Instant, and visits elementary schools telling children they don’t need math to succeed (just kidding, stay in school, kids).