Only in Jersey: 3/7/12

It’s Wednesday! We’re halfway through the week, and it’s time for another edition of Only in Jersey!

If it’s filming in Jersey, takes place in Jersey, or is about celebs from Jersey, you will find it here.

Who would've thought of West Orange as "status symbol land"?

In the wake of Davy Jones’ untimely death last week, I’ve discovered at least two connections The Monkees have to the Garden State. First, I was very surprised to learn that one of their hit songs, “Pleasant Valley Sunday,’ was written about life in West Orange, of all places. Yup, that’s right: the tune, penned by Carole King and her then-husband, Gerry Goffin, was inspired by their time living on Pleasant Valley Way in the township’s Watchung Mountains. Kinda gives new meaning to the lyrics, huh?
The local rock group down the street
Is trying hard to learn their song
Serenade the weekend squire
Who just came out to mow his lawn

Another Pleasant Valley Sunday
Charcoal burning everywhere
Rows of houses that are all the same
And no one seems to care

See Mrs. Gray
She’s proud today
Because her roses are in bloom
Mr. Green
He’s so serene
He’s got a TV in every room

Another Pleasant Valley Sunday
Here in status symbol land
Mothers complain about how hard life is
And the kids just don’t understand

Creature comfort goals
They only numb my soul and make it hard for me to see
My thoughts all seem to stray to places far away
I need a change of scenery

The second Monkees/Garden State connection, which I recall but had forgotten, is that the band filmed the video for its ’86 comeback hit, “That Was Then, This Is Now,” at Great Adventure’s arena in Jackson. The song and video only feature Monkees Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork, although apparently Davy was part of the tour.

Only in Jersey: 3/6/12

It’s Tuesday! Time for another edition of Only in Jersey!

If it’s filming in Jersey, takes place in Jersey, or is about celebs from Jersey, you will find it here.

The Vanity Fair spread includes new images of the cast (some of those last seen alive, above, and dead, below) by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz./Photo credit Vanity Fair

This year marks five years since HBO’s brilliant, Jersey-immersed series “The Sopranos” ended. And the April issue of Vanity Fair commemorates the anniversary with a look back at the show, which includes new interviews with all of the principals, including Clifton/North Caldwell-raised creator David Chase and stars James Gandolfini (Tony Soprano) of Park Ridge, Edie Falco (Carmela Soprano), Lorraine Bracco (Dr. Jennifer Melfi) and more. Among the interesting tidbits:

Steven Van Zandt (Silvio Dante) talks about the infamous (off-camera) scene in which he kills Adriana La Cerva (Drea de Matteo): “So for – whatever – six hours, you have to beat this girl up, drag her out of the car, throw her on the ground. That was really difficult. I felt so exhausted at the end of that day. I said to Drea, ‘You better win the damn Emmy after all this, you know, make it worth it.’ And she did.”

David Chase originally wanted Steven Van Zandt for the role of Tony Soprano.

Tony Sirico (Paulie “Walnuts” Gualtieri) and Frank Vincent (Phil Leotardo) auditioned for Corrado “Uncle Junior” Soprano, but Dominic Chianese got the part.

Steven Schirripa (Bobby “Bacala” Baccalieri) wore fat suits for the first two seasons of the show: “And then I guess, in Season Four, David thought I was fat enough on my own, so he let me get rid of it.”

Steven Schirripa talks about the pay dispute between James Gandolfini and HBO, which delayed filming: “After Season Four, Jim called all the regulars into his trailer and gave us $33,333 each, every single one of us… That’s like buying everybody an SUV. He said, ‘Thanks for sticking by me.'”

Michael Imperioli (Christopher Moltisanti) on the series controversial ending: “I thought it was a great ending. A lot of people hated it and thought it was a cop-out, but I thought it was the proper way. Knowing David Chase, he never liked to wrap things up neatly. I never expected it to be either a cliffhanger so people would wait for the movie or wait for another season or just some like really final thing. But I think he’s (Tony) dead, is what I think. David was trying to put us in the place of the last things you see before you die. You remember some little details and something catches your eye and that’s it. You don’t know the aftermath because you’re gone.”

You can see more of Annie Leibowitz’s images here. If you are a big “Sopranos” fan, you will definitely want to pick up Vanity Fair this month!

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Only in Jersey: 3/3/12

Thank goodness it’s Saturday! Time for another edition of Only in Jersey!

If it’s filming in Jersey, takes place in Jersey, or is about celebs from Jersey, you will find it here.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

“Real Housewives of New Jersey” husband Joe Giudice is making news once again – and this time it has nothing to do with him using his brother’s ID to get himself a driver’s license. New York’s WABC-TV reported last night that Montville’s own “Juicy Joe,” husband of Teresa Giudice, is in hot water for sticking it to tenants who live above his business, Giuseppe’s Homestyle Pizzeria, on Maple Avenue in Hillside. Five families were locked out of their apartments on Wednesday due to fire safety concerns. The power was shut off because of meter tampering, the network said, as well as the landlord’s unpaid PSE&G bill. Hillside Mayor Joseph Menza said the electric company refused to turn the power back on until Joe made good on his $53,000 debt. Joe told reporter Nina Pineda, “… there’s nothing I can do. I don’t own the building,” but it turns out he does, in fact, own it. Then he told Nina he’d tried helping his tenants by installing a generator, which the fire department subsequently shut off because it filled the apartments with deadly carbon monoxide. PSE&G eventually capitulated and turned power back on due to persistent pressure from the township’s mayor and the network. During a final inspection of the apartments, it was also discovered the fire alarms weren’t working, which was apparently because Joe never paid the alarm company. Nina Pineda says that the township plans on citing Joe for putting his tenants’ lives in danger. It sounds like Joe needs a lesson in respecting and valuing the lives of others. Perhaps a viewing of “The Super,” starring another New Jersey native son, Joe Pesci, is in order?

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Only in Jersey: 3/1/12

It’s the first of March – Bunny Bunny to you! It’s time for another edition of Only in Jersey!

If it’s filming in Jersey, takes place in Jersey, or is about celebs from Jersey, you will find it here.

"Property Virgins": Taking a bite out of Central New Jersey./Photo credit HGTV

Recent episodes of HGTV’s “Property Virgins” with new host Egypt Sherrod were filmed all over Central New Jersey last summer. This week’s episode, titled “Love at First Site,” features a newlywed couple from Staten Island who look at homes in Red Bank, Hazlet, Old Bridge, and Matawan. That episode repeats at 6:30 p.m. Monday, March 19. A second Jersey-centric episode, “Character Building,” centers on a single mom looking for a home in Dunellen. That episode repeats at 6 p.m. Monday, March 19. While I miss “Property Virgins'” original host, Sandra Rinomato, I appreciate the new season’s tri-state house searches and think Egypt does a good job hosting the show. (Unlike the mess HGTV made of my other favorite series, “Real Estate Intervention.”)

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Only in Jersey: 2/29/12

Happy Leap Day! It’s time for another edition of Only in Jersey!

If it’s filming in Jersey, takes place in Jersey, or is about celebs from Jersey, you will find it here.

Snooki and Jionni: It's beyond puppy love. /Photo credit Splash News

Contrary to prior reports and her outright denial, The New York Post says that “Jersey Shore’s” lead meatball, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, is in fact pregnant with boyfriend Jionni LaValle’s child. The newspaper says Snooki has been shopping exclusive rights to her offspring story to various tabloids, and Us Weekly won the bidding war. There is no word on when Us Weekly will go public with Snooki’s story, or how MTV plans on handling this bit of news since Snooki and Jenni “JWOWW” Farley are currently filming their untitled spinoff in Jersey City. “MTV went into crisis mode after they found out,” the Post quotes its source as saying. “They’re trying to hide it because it would greatly affect the creative direction of the show.” Will a pregnant, sober Snooki make for interesting television? That remains to be seen…

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