Joining the cast for the third season of Bravo's "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" comes Melissa Gorga, a longtime Toms River native who moved to North Jersey while studying at college.
Married for seven years to a real estate developer, she's the latest face to the reality TV show that began its newest season last night.
And for the third season, perhaps there’s a reason to keep it in the family. This time, though, it's not Manzo-Laurita, but Gorga-Giudice.
In a first, there will be additions, not subtractions, to the cast of Bravo’s ‘The Real Housewives of New Jersey’. Yet the new cast members, Melissa Gorga and Kathy Wakile, are both related to the existing stars, either by blood or marriage. That’s also how most of the cast was associated during the first two seasons. That is, all but Danielle Staub, former scourge of the other ladies. Gorga, of Montville, is Teresa Giudice’s sister-in-law and Wakile, of Wayne, is her first cousin.
Click here for tours of their palatial residences. They don't look too far off the mark from Teresa’s cash-only compound. Bravo has also provided previews of the new characters.
Two seasons after Teresa’s table flip both Dina Manzo and Danielle are now gone from the show. Danielle’s inquisition of Dina at the conclusion of the first season set the infamous dinner scene in motion. Yet when in the second season Dina, the accused, left the show, Danielle remained the main instigator of drama, or at least centerpiece of conversation, even when everyone else was in Italy. She was Franklin Lakes resident Caroline Manzo’s foe and by her own admission, Teresa’s main source of anger.
With the accused and accuser both gone, who will be the new centers of chaos? And if family is so important, what will such conflicts do to the families involved? Any casual viewer knows what Caroline thinks about family. And Teresa’s notion of its importance isn’t too different. There’s a reason she can now be attributed with the exclamation “prostitution whore!”
A last-episode sit-down between Caroline and Danielle ended up being pretty anticlimactic. Much of the season, except for a memorable run through the country club, remained a rehashing of the previous season’s dynamic. The true drama erupted mainly at the reunion, which ended with a weird conciliatory gesture between Jacqueline Laurita, Teresa and Danielle (though Caroline wasn't buying it). There were non-housewife casualties, too. In the process of launching into yet another Danielle-directed tirade, Teresa flicked off ‘Watch What Happens’ host Andy Cohen like he was a fly.
Some lingering questions that don’t involve Danielle:
How have the ladies (OK, Teresa) who previously boasted of inflated budgets for clothes, kids’ parties and décor adjusted their spending to deal with financial problems? What’s going to happen with Albie and his desired law career ... or has it turned into law enforcement? Has Ashley listened to her mother in terms of school and a career, or just taken to Twitter in search of more social media time? Did Chris and Albie make anything happen with their 'Millionaire Matchmaker' dates or did Caroline see to their dismissal? Has there been any change in Joe’s habits after his run-in with that pole as he drove home one night? How many more times will Andy Cohen reference that clip of Gia "giving it" on the runway?
Since Caroline is the evident matriarch of the housewives, it will be important to know the quality of her relationships with Kathy and Melissa, if they are indeed closely acquainted.
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