With a family in legal jeopardy, Bravo’s “Real Housewives” has finally gone too far

The reality franchise documents a kid crying as she faces her parents' maybe-jail-time. Don't watch this

Topics: teresa giudice, joe giudice, Bravo, the real housewives of new jersey,

With a family in legal jeopardy, Bravo's "Real Housewives" has finally gone too farTeresa Giudice arrives at the Federal Court in Newark, New Jersey, March 4, 2014. (Credit: Reuters/Eduardo Munoz)

Bravo may have finally gone too far.

The undisputed star of its “Real Housewives of New Jersey” franchise, Teresa Giudice, has been charged with her husband of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud (among other charges). Both individuals are free on bond and potentially face jail time. And both, along with their four young children, were depicted on last night’s “Real Housewives” season premiere.

Questions of guilt or innocence are far beyond the ken of a TV review, but I mean, it’s hard not to take note of the competitive display of wealth that this series documents. Over the course of the series, her lavish lifestyle has caught the camera’s eye time and again; it seems weirdly immoral for the show to continue documenting her life — and her fancy home and wardrobe, and her ability to spend leisure time with her kids — which she’s facing potential jail time for extralegal moneymaking.

You Might Also Like

But that’s exactly what happened. On last night’s “Real Housewives of New York,” Teresa taught her children how to cook — how fun for them all! The removal of the majority of cast members with (acrimonious) history toward Giudice has smoothed the rails towards a season’s worth of framing her as a woman wronged, seeking justice.

But it’s one thing to get rid of the haters. The show frames Giudice and her husband as righteous people and good parents in a manner that ought to have given Bravo pause — by depicting their eldest daughter dissolving into tears during her father’s speech at a family function. She’d miss her parents if they went away, is the subtext here — and that all makes sense. Did we need a preteen’s tears captured on a camera hovering right in front of her face to make that point?

“New Jersey” has always been the “Real Housewives” franchise that verges on the too-real; its feuds are rooted not in seeing self-styled socialites from different parts of the city forced to hang out but in intrafamily drama that has been ongoing since long before the show started. But the current documentation of the Giudice family’s stress pre-whatever-comes-next is both far too real and completely surreal. The Bravo cameras willingly indulge a fantasy of family togetherness at the same time they document people completely coming apart. It’s subtextually rich, but pretty queasy to watch. Even if they won’t accept it, the Giudice family deserves privacy.

Daniel D'Addario is a staff reporter for Salon's entertainment section. Follow him on Twitter @DPD_

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Martyna Blaszczyk/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 1

    Pond de l'Archeveche - hundreds thousands of padlocks locked to a bridge by random couples, as a symbol of their eternal love. After another iconic Pont des Arts bridge was cleared of the padlocks in 2010 (as a safety measure), people started to place their love symbols on this one. Today both of the bridges are full of love locks again.

    Anders Andersson/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 2

    A bird's view of tulip fields near Voorhout in the Netherlands, photographed with a drone in April 2015.

    Aashit Desai/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 3

    Angalamman Festival is celebrated every year in a small town called Kaveripattinam in Tamil Nadu. Devotees, numbering in tens of thousands, converge in this town the day after Maha Shivratri to worship the deity Angalamman, meaning 'The Guardian God'. During the festival some of the worshippers paint their faces that personifies Goddess Kali. Other indulge in the ritual of piercing iron rods throughout their cheeks.

    Allan Gichigi/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 4

    Kit Mikai is a natural rock formation about 40m high found in Western Kenya. She goes up the rocks regularly to meditate. Kit Mikai, Kenya

    Chris Ludlow/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 5

    On a weekend trip to buffalo from Toronto we made a pit stop at Niagara Falls on the Canadian side. I took this shot with my nexus 5 smartphone. I was randomly shooting the falls themselves from different viewpoints when I happened to get a pretty lucky and interesting shot of this lone seagull on patrol over the falls. I didn't even realize I had captured it in the shot until I went back through the photos a few days later

    Jassen T./National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 6

    Incredibly beautiful and extremely remote. Koehn Lake, Mojave Desert, California. Aerial Image.

    Howard Singleton/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 7

    Lucky timing! The oxpecker was originally sitting on hippo's head. I could see the hippo was going into a huge yawn (threat display?) and the oxpecker had to vacate it's perch. When I snapped the pic, the oxpecker appeared on the verge of being inhaled and was perfectly positioned between the massive gaping jaws of the hippo. The oxpecker also appears to be screeching in terror and back-pedaling to avoid being a snack!

    Abrar Mohsin/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 8

    The Yetis of Nepal - The Aghoris as they are called are marked by colorful body paint and clothes

    Madeline Crowley/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 9

    Taken from a zodiac raft on a painfully cold, rainy day

    Ian Bird/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 10

    This wave is situated right near the CBD of Sydney. Some describe it as the most dangerous wave in Australia, due to it breaking on barnacle covered rocks only a few feet deep and only ten metres from the cliff face. If you fall off you could find yourself in a life and death situation. This photo was taken 300 feet directly above the wave from a helicopter, just as the surfer is pulling into the lip of the barrel.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

Loading Comments...