Meet “The Real Housewives of New Jersey”

Finally! The highly anticipated new series (at least in my book) “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” debuts at 11 p.m. May 12.

Do any of these women look familiar to you?/Bravo

Do any of these women look familiar to you?/Bravo

As much as I’m looking forward to this series, I shudder over Bravo’s description of the show:

“Big homes. Big drama. Welcome to New Jersey: home to five fabulously wealthy best friends who like [to] do everything BIG — whether they’re decorating, dating, or just doing their hair.”

Argh! Must every reference to the Garden State include big hair? That’s so ’80s! (And I think I should know – I’m a Jersey girl!)

Don’t get any ideas from the picture above that any monkey business will be going on under the boardwalk. Oh, no. These Jersey girls – who are from Bergen County’s Franklin Lakes, evidently – may have Shore houses, but they don’t behave in such a classless manner.

Or do they?

We won’t know for certain until the series starts, but People has given us bios on each of the women, which include sisters. Here’s the rundown:

Jacqueline Laurita is a former cosmetologist (how much more Jersey can you get?). A stay-at-home mom who loves to pamper herself (who doesn’t?), Jacqueline has a teenage daughter from a previous marriage and a 6-year-old son with her husband, Chris, who owns a wholesale apparel business and is the brother of two other housewives, Caroline and Dina.

Teresa Giudice is a Jersey girl through and through. Her husband, Joe, owns a successful construction company, and they have three young daughters. Teresa is friends with Dina and Caroline and loves to shop, visit the spa and spend time at her Shore house.

Danielle Staub is a single mom with two daughters. She’s active in her church and regularly attends Mass, but she’s also proud of being one of the first women in New Jersey to be an American Express Black card member. (I’m sure God approves!) She’s friends with Jacqueline, and apparently people have strong reactions to her. “You either love me or you hate me, there is no in between,” she says.

Dina Manzo is the founder of Project Ladybug, a nonprofit organization which helps children with cancer. She’s also a mother, interior designer and event planner. She and her sister, Caroline, are best friends, and her husband, Tommy, works with his brother (who is conveniently married to Caroline) at their family’s catering business. Her brother is Chris, Jacqueline’s husband.

Caroline Manzo is a mother of three who owns a real-estate firm and a line of children’s accessories. This “feisty spitfire” is Dina’s older sister and a Project Ladybug board member. She’s married to Tommy Manzo’s brother, Albert. Her brother is Chris, Jacqueline’s husband.

Yes, this season is all about family (hopefully not in a “Sopranos” kind of way). It will be interesting to see how all of the family dynamics play out.

The show was shot between June and September of last year.

I hope Bravo at least has the presence of mind to realize that in Jersey it’s called the Shore, not the beach…

You can check out a clip from “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” by going here.

Update: A real-life Jersey girl (that would be me – metiny1 born, bred and still resides) will blog live on Facebook beginning at 11 p.m. EDT Tuesday, May 12, during the premiere of Bravo’s “Real Housewives of New Jersey.” Come join me and share your thoughts as we meet these five women. Click here or look up my handle,  TV Blogger Ava Gacser, on Facebook. I look forward to seeing you!

2 Comments

  1. anonymous said,

    June 30, 2009 at 2:13 am

    i agree with this article .. people have these stereotypes for people from NJ and they’re not true. I may be Jersey girl but i can honestly say i have never met anyone like these women in NJ and i live in chatham a wealthy town like theirs and are 20 minutes away from them.. clearly they had to putt family members on the show becuase they have no other friends that bravo would want to represent their NJ stereotype.

  2. May 7, 2009 at 11:28 am

    […] March 18, 2009 at 6:47 pm (Uncategorized) Tags: 4 my mom, ava gacser, berkeley college, bravo, brownstone, caroline manzo, danielle staub, dina manzo, facebook, franklin lakes, jacqueline laurita, opus properties, paterson, project ladybug, real housewives of new jersey, teresa giudice, the real housewives of new jersey, totowa Bravo released more details about the upcoming, sure to be trashtastic series “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” today. […]


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