Remakes are huge lately – Dirty Dancing, Footloose, Beverly Hills 90210 – but none of those remakes offer anything super fresh. To remedy the dearth of fresh remakes, I’ve decided to use the fourteenth episode of The Real Housewives of New Jersey as inspiration for the freshest remake to date: Daughter Dearest.
Daughter Dearest is a fresh spin on the Mommie Dearest recipe, since the roles are totally reversed. It’s mainly about the relationship between a spoiled, clueless, ungrateful daughter and her long-suffering mother. It stars Ashley Holmes as the cruel, emotionally-demonic daughter and Jacqueline, as the cool, sweet, emotionally-abused mother. All I have to do is slap a fedora on it and wait for the box office numbers to climb.
Unfortunately, no one (Ashley) got slapped on this episode, but someone (Ashley) definitely should have. And I think that someone (Ashley) should have been Ashley (Ashley). Last episode’s brunch from hell resumes with Ashley’s biological father (Matt) and stepmother trying to explain to her that she’s spoiled, ungrateful, misguided, lazy, hurtful and basically the most basic of (all basic) 20-year-olds; yet she still doesn’t get it. Even Ashley’s perpetually patient stepfather, Chris Laurita, can’t get through to her.
Despite their best attempts to reason with Ashley (maybe her fedora was too dense?), Matt and Chris are unable to convince her that’s she’s culpable in the dysfunctional relationship with her mother. During this entire chat, Jacqueline remained downstairs in the restaurant, sobbing about Ashley’s total disrespect for her. Since I’m not really one to give advice on parenting, it’s best to refer to those with more experience. 2pac said it best, Jacqueline: “Baby-please don’t cry, you got to keep your head up. Even when the road is hard, never give up.”
Later on, Lauren Manzo expresses her disappointment with Ashley over Ashley’s inability to meet a deadline for the t-shirt she’s designing for Lauren’s upcoming cosmetics line. As Ashley sheds more crocodile tears, Lauren tells her that she’s “playing a little bit of the poor me card”.
Meanwhile, Kathy Wakile plans a Middle Eastern dinner party to showcase her cooking. Ya Habibi! According to Kathy, the whole evening is about “being and embracing your inner goddess”. In order to really embrace her inner-goddess, Kathy invites Zen Jen (Dina Manzo’s “energist” from last season) over to bless her home and “get the evil out”. Unfortunately, Zen Jen isn’t able to get Rich Wakile’s evil out-since he throws a dig at Teresa-saying that Kathy doesn’t have to borrow and steal recipes from her mother or mother-in-law (unlike her cousin Teresa).
On the subject of stealing, Teresa and Joe Giudice meet with their lawyer to discuss the verdict in their bankruptcy hearing. The good news is: Teresa is off the hook. The bad new is: Joe Giudice is still on the hook for a debt of $260K, since they couldn’t find sufficient evidence to indicate that he didn’t forge his business partner’s signature on a loan document. Their lawyer also threw in that “public perception is that Teresa is like Imelda Marcos”.
I can’t imagine where the public would get a perception like that? So what if the woman likes a little gold? So what if the woman likes a little bit of marble? So what if the woman likes a little bit of ornate Gucci dinnerware? The public likes to invent fictitious ideas all the time! Still, Teresa stands by her man, even with all of his current financial issues.
Attempting to make an analogy between herself and her “Jewish friends”, Teresa talks about standing by her man: “Some of my Jewish friends were like, ‘I would have left him in a second! I would have divorced him in a second!’ I’m like, Yeah? What would that have done? That’s what a marriage is all about. That’s what family is all about. We’re gonna get through this.” Well, some of my Jewish friends didn’t really care for that analogy but I’ll be sure to check in with my Christian, Muslim, Greek Orthodox, Agnostic and Atheist friends to see what their thoughts are.
Over at Kathy’s house, all of the New Jersey goddesses gather for Kathy’s big Middle Eastern dinner and Kathy gets super excited because she feels so “exotic” cooking all of the goddess food (in her kitchen in New Jersey). Dressed up in her own goddess gear (tight jeans and a fuchsia, backless blouse with silver chains forming a sexy ladder down her bare back), Melissa says she’s an “edgy goddess”, which suspiciously sounds like a stage name at Numbers. Adding her own snarky commentary, Teresa says that Melissa’s outfit is strictly (Jersey Shore) “boardwalk”, which I’m guessing means under the boardwalk. No one can deny that Melissa has a rocking body though, so she’s pretty much allowed to wear whatever she wants.
A debate ensues about Ashley’s behavior, since she also tries to do whatever she wants. When Jacqueline brings up Ashley’s desire to move to California, a discussion about the ideal geographical location to “hit rock bottom” commences. Should Ashley hit rock bottom in New Jersey or California? According to Caroline Manzo, “You don’t want to hit rock bottom in California… you want to hit rock bottom in New Jersey.” So there you have it: New Jersey is a far more ideal place for Ashley to hit rock bottom.
Ironically, as the topic of rock bottom rages on, Teresa finally shows up to Kathy’s goddess-themed dinner party – extremely tardy for the party – and the women get elated because they finally get to sample Kathy’s food. (Caroline was starving!) The topic of conversation turns to geography again as Teresa brings up the weather, specifically how it’s supposed to rain in New Jersey and how New Jersey is supposed to “get a Norwegian”. Who doesn’t confuse weather (Noreaster) and geography (Norway) occasionally?
The most confusing part of the evening happened to be Kathy’s goddess gift-giving interlude. As she hands each of the women a bracelet, she pays them a compliment. Kathy’s compliment to Teresa is my favorite: “Teresa, I feel that when things seem to be going crazy around you, you can put the smile on and just bring it!” Poor Teresa, totally confused, muses: “What is she trying to say? Like not matter what is going on, even if I’m not happy, I put a smile on my face? I just hope that was a compliment.” Let me clarify the confusion: yes, Teresa, that’s exactly what she meant and that was a special type of compliment – the backhanded compliment.
Even though Kathy planned a beautiful goddess dinner, Teresa stooped down to a very un-goddess-like level and brought up some of her gripes with Melissa and Kathy right then and there. It wasn’t the time or the place and Kathy brilliantly brought out some belly dancers to entertain the ladies (and deflect and diffuse the situation), which was very smart and very well-planned on her part. I take Ashley’s fedora off to Kathy for that brilliance.
Hurricane Ashley strikes again back at Jacqueline’s house. Bringing up her move to California again, Jacqueline loses her cool when Ashley insinuates that it was all Jacqueline’s idea. A barrage of insults are traded back and forth between Ashley and Jacqueline (and Chris and Ashley) and it’s a mess! The entire time she’s scolding Ashley, Jacqueline dons this Teen Witch-side ponytail, which makes it slightly difficult to take her completely serious… only slightly.
At the end of the episode, Jacqueline tells Chris to kick Ashley out of the house for good, “I don’t want her in this house anymore,” since she’s sick of Ashley’s excuses and disrespect. Like Sunshine Anderson, Jacqueline had “heard it all before” and it was finally time to officially shut Ashley down. Stay tuned for more drama (I’m sassily shaking my head side to side as I type this) and more hip hop-R&B dramanalogy next week!
Photo courtesy of bravotv.com