A star is born?
Clearly the couple of focus on this week’s show, Joey and Sandra are “finalizing this s*** up” with their photographer when we meet up with them.
“I’m gorgeous! Look at that face!” coos Sandra when presented with the photographer’s work. The best wedding photographers bring out the love one has for oneself, and after all, that is the greatest love of all. Sandra should make it official!
Joey and Sandra bicker openly during this meeting. They argue about which of them should get the Bentley the day of the wedding (you’ll be shocked to know that they each want it for themselves) and Joey’s incessant cell phone use. “If that friggin’ phone rings during the wedding, Joe better hold his balls tight, ‘cause I swear to god, I will chop them off,” interviews Sandra. But then, of course, she’d be married to a eunuch! Have to start thinking of yourselves as team!
The people at this photo agency bring wine to the couple, much to Joey’s relief. Unlike the Bentley, he wants the wine for Sandra. “She needs to take the edge off, she’s being a bitch,” says Joey. It’s funny how calling a woman a “bitch” on TV immediately places the burden of aggression on the person who called her that. Sandra wins.
And then she loses.
She arrives home (technically, Joey’s parents’ house) from work already in a mood. She hates her job. She also hates veal, which she thinks is sitting out, waiting for her to cook it. She calls it “gross.” Apparently, she doesn’t find suffering delicious. Well, I never. Anyway, it’s just steak, but that still doesn’t make her want to cook it or the bok choy that’s next to it. Nonetheless, she gets to work. “This is a sneak attack and I don’t like it!” she says, wrestling with the bok choy. I get the feeling that she’s embarrassed that all of this is going down in front of cameras. Embarrassment on reality TV — how unusual!
Joey’s parents are less than pleased to listen to Sandra’s complaints.
Joey says that if she makes a habit of not cooking after work, they’re going to have some problems. Problems how? Really, I’d love to hear the specifics on that one. Joey interviews that cooking is part of a woman’s job. Sandra thinks that’s bulls***. It’s reassuring that Sandra doesn’t think that obeying is part of a woman’s job, either. Atta girl.
Sandra eventually throws the steak in the oven. His mother points out that there’s no seasoning on it. “I don’t care, he can season it himself,” counters Sandra. I thought the whole point of this scene was Joey’s inability to do just that.
They move their sparring upstairs.
Sandra’s basically like, “Fine! Fine! Fine!” Joey becomes contrarian in response, saying, “Do me a favor, actually, don’t do it. Don’t do me any favors, please.” Do me a favor and don’t do me a favor? She couldn’t obey that order if she wanted to.
In the meantime, it seems that Joey’s mom has taken over cooking duties. And then fire takes over dinner:
Hell hath no fury like steaks barely seasoned by a woman scorned.
Later, we see Joey and Sandra in bed. He tells her to turn off the lights. He’s closer to them, since she sleeps next to the wall.
He doesn’t care. And, duh, am I right? It’s a woman’s job to turn off the lights. It clearly says so in the Bible. On page 153.
Soon, we see Joey doing flooring, working at business he inherited. Sandra calls him while he is working, which he does not like. Apparently, he can only use his cell phone to avoid talking to Sandra. That’s in the Bible, too. “I tell ya every friggin’ time that you call me when I’m at work. Ya gotta stop,” he tells her and then he makes gushy, kissy noises into the phone, just to balance out the emotions. Just kidding. He doesn’t do that. Sandra is calling him to tell him that she wants to quit her job. She works in the fashion industry and hates it. She finally gets to talk about this with him when they’re both home from work, though not before he points out again how she “rudely” interrupted him while he was flooring. Sensitive. She stammers something about achieving personal goals and starting a business and to that he nods maniacally:
Nurturing. “Get to the friggin’ point!” he tells her, explaining that after his long day he’s “friggin’ tired.” (They really are going for a record with all the “friggin”s during their story line this week.) She says that she, too, had a long day. He tells her not to give him that s*** because she sits at a desk all day. Empathic. Anyway, every day is a long day when you hate your job, even if you’re lying on your back. Ask a disgruntled hooker! Joey wants Sandra to hold out on leaving her job, since their wedding is six weeks away. Too late! She already quit! Here’s his reaction to that:
She smiles. It feels like a bit of a triumph, actually. But the glee leaves the room when she says her plan is to work for him — she says she’ll take calls and book his clients. After obligatory bickering, he agrees but says it will be a lot of work. She’s ready for it. “I’m your bitch, bitch,” she tells him, which is actually a very astute and succinct summation of their dynamic.
Johnny and Megin are on the hunt for venues. They meet with one coordinator that looks like Johnny’s ex.
This gives him a weird vibe. Can’t be much weirder than a pervasive meatball odor, though. This woman babbles about their options. It’s a string of lobster purses and ice cream bars. Johnny says it sounds to him like an adult talking in a Peanuts cartoon. As if we needed help remembering that Johnny is, in fact, a big kid!
At the second venue, they meet a man Dominic. “I’m gonna help you,” he says, and it sounds entirely ominous, like he’ll be helping them into his oven. They tell him what they expect from the party: she wants good energy, he wants an open bar. Also, a roast pig wouldn’t hurt. Dominic will throw one in. He gives them an all-inclusive price of $100 per head, which while more than they’re after, still suits them.
At home, Megin sits down to figure out the wedding finances. She says it’s 9, but it’s clearly still light outside. If this were My Big Norwegian Wedding, I might be convinced.
Speaking of being convinced, Megin isn’t when Johnny tells her by phone that he can’t join her to figure this stuff out because he’s at a “heavy duty business meeting” with a guy who wants to open “basically an Italian village” that would include a spot for a Johnny Meatballs franchise. Megin inquires about numbers, Johnny has no idea and she says, “Some business meeting!” and and hangs up.
She then calls him a douchebag.
You can see her point.
Megin crunches the numbers…
…and after a while explains, “My head is about to friggin’ explode!” If only Johnny were here to help — two exploding heads, after all, are better than one.
When Johnny arrives, Megin smells the booze on him immediately.
Women’s intuition or a grasp on one’s senses? You make the call! He says they had one cocktail a piece, when in fact we saw them guzzling bottles of wine. Perhaps he’s just being selective with the information he’s putting out there (wine, after all, is not technically a cocktail). Anyway, Megin has determined that their most economical option will result in them paying $10,635 for the wedding. She seems OK with this, but he doesn’t. They don’t dwell too long on this, as Johnny begins to go on and on about the village. “We got major things in the works,” he tells her. “I’m sure you do,” she dryly responds. She asks him how much rent in this village is going to be. “Don’t matter,” he says. That kind of thinking bodes really well for informed business decisions!
We see Megin at her baby shower at Johnny’s mom’s house. She reminds us that she wants to have her kid before her wedding, as her ultimate goal is to be a hot bride. Breast-feeding could certainly put her in the fast lane toward her goal. Just saying! We meet Megin’s mom. Megin describes her this way: “My mom Joyce is like yeah, she’s just, she’s, she’s definitely out there. Right?” Johnny just laughs.
Johnny’s mom has offered the spacious yard and outdoor area for their reception.
Since Joyce is paying for the wedding, Megin hatches the scheme to hold the wedding at the house and have Joyce give her the money she was going to spend on the wedding for Johnny Meatballs. Megin receives a resounding, “NO!” in response.
Something tells me that Joyce absolutely knows what’s up.
The two main issues concerning Tyler and Alyssa this week are an ice luge they want for doing shots off of (they say “luge” approximately 5,000 times this episode — it’s their “friggin'” and sounds friggin’ fantastic sliding off their O-sound-emphatic South Jersey tongues) and Alyssa’s now crumbling relationship with her mother.
Alyssa’s mother is divorcing her husband, which is really upsetting to Alyssa as he’s the only father figure she has. Tyler asks what’s up with Marilyn and she says that Alyssa hates her guts. Alyssa corrects her, saying that she doesn’t hate her guts, she hates what Marilyn is doing. Alyssa, you see, thinks that Marilyn cheated on her husband. Marilyn doesn’t seem to deny this. However, she does want to get along with her daughter: she says she wants it to be like “how [sorry, hal] it was”: Fridays and Saturdays out, going to the beach on Sunday. That is the picture of an idyllic South Jersey existence if ever there were. But Alyssa launches into a diatribe to explain how serious this is to her:
“Any person that would steal someone’s wife, should go to Hell. I don’t care if it’s Joe Schmo across the street, I don’t care if it’s my own dad, I don’t care if it’s f***in’ God. I have no respect for that person, and if I see them I will spit in their face.” Well, at least we now have Alyssa’s answer to the eternal question, “What if God was one of us?” The fact that Alyssa is chomping on gum the entire time she’s talking about sending God to hell and spitting in his face…
…does nothing to diminish her words’ severity. Marilyn gets up and stalks out. Alyssa follows her and shouts something explicit after her, out of the sliding glass door. Yeah, that’s about right.
Her stepfather visits her soon after.
He offers to pay for the ice luge. “I think that would be cool,” says Alyssa. Cool and cold! It’s ice! It is during this meeting that Alyssa has to break it to Larry that he can’t walk her down the aisle, as originally planned.
The initial idea was that Alyssa’s mom and stepdad would both walk her down the aisle, but given the recent events, she doesn’t think it would be appropriate if he did. He seems to take it well, but god, that kind of exclusion on behalf of another party really does suck. Alyssa’s gum-chomping ire was justified.
Not a whole lot is going on with Matt and Amanda this week. She continues to drain his bank account, and he continues to complain about all the checks he’s writing. She gives him a preview into the future, saying once they’re married, she’ll be in charge of the finances and give him his money, as an allowance. When you put it like that, who wouldn’t want to get married?!?
They meet with an “invitation lady.” He attempts to impose restrictions but she thinks that spending $500 on a wedding is “insane.” It’d be easy to get her wrong in this case, so I’ll explain: she wants to spend more than that. It is apparently extremely crazy not to. The final sum turns out to be $1325. That’s steep for Matt, who’d be content to send out a mass text message with the wedding info. Matt is clearly a pragmatist. Hard not to admire the guy.
Amanda attends her dress fitting…
The dress lady beams while asking her, “You gonna change your mind? You know sometimes, you know!” Yeah, and mostly you don’t know, especially when you’re throwing down piles of cash on this thing you’re supposed to be having. Today’s pile, by the way, is $800 in alterations on top of the $3,000 to actually buy the thing. Matt’s going crazy.
But that, of course, would mean more checks needed to fix it, so he’s obviously not touching her hair. He complains about the wedding with his buddies but eventually reaches this show’s version of zen, offering a toast…
…”To the big friggin’ wedding!” You know how they do it.
It’s flowers day for Tammie. She attends with florist with her 15-year-old cousin Jo Jo and Belle in tow.
“If my dog Belle does not like something, I will not get it,” she says. It’s really hard to tell if Tammie is playing up the crazy-dog-owner thing or if she really does fancy herself a chihuahua whisperer. Tammie’s got the ambiguity thing going on that’s so perfect for reality TV. The florist presents her with a variety of options. Baby white roses are “classy” in her opinion. When he shows her some blue and purple roses, she says, “I’m a genius for putting that together!” I guess sometimes Tammie has a hard time telling the difference between herself and the florist?
They discuss a bouquet that’s more expensive than they previously talked about. Jo Jo shakes his head and says that Danny said not to spend more money. Everyone cackles at that (except for Jo Jo, but including Belle, I think). Tammie interviews, “F Danny!”
Besides, this is a no-risk situation for Tammie: Danny won’t realize that she went over her allotted amount until they’re on their honeymoon in Aruba. By then, she will be wearing a bikini and will solve any conflict with a booty pop. That’s a modern-day fairy tale right there.
The florist shows Tammie her centerpiece…
“I am so, so creative,” Tammie gushes. I’m starting to wonder if the secret of a successful flower arranger is making customer think she did the arranging. Tammie needs the full experience of this centerpiece, so she walks out of the room and back in, supposedly in the frame of mind as a guest who’s just seeing this brilliantly designed piece for the first time. This attempt to “get the feeling,” ends with her walking back in and unleashing a satisfied, matter-of-fact, “Yeah.” The scene ends with her informing us, “I have such good taste.” I find it hard to disagree: she clearly loves herself a lot and she is, in fact, pretty great.
At home, Tammie explains to Danny and his kids that Belle’s getting white flowers on her color, since she is the flower girl.
Danny thinks this is ridiculous.
Danny and Matt should hang out…in the cell phone/flowers aisle. Anyway, this begins a conversation about Tammie spending more than they originally agreed to. Danny’s daughter does a pitch-perfect impression of their debate.
And then, speaking of original agreements, Danny brings up a prenup that he wants Tammie to sign.
She is not happy about this.
Hilariously, Tammie responds to this, “My interest? How does that help me?” Very, very telling. I bet Danny feels even more justified now.
The fact of the matter is Danny’s ex took him for everything he had when they divorced. She took his snow blower to Georgia, even. That’s just spiteful. He wants to make sure that doesn’t happen again.
Tammie refuses, and he says she doesn’t have a choice: it’s prenup or they’re not getting married. He threatens that he will not show up for church.
Not to take pleasure in Tammie’s pain, but yay: cliffhanger!