Despite the respectable ratings averaging around 1.2M viewers each week, I didn't love this season. Early on, I could see the show was once again going with the single story line formula (for the entire season). As we all know, RHOBH has been doing it for years; from PantyGate, to PuppyGate, to LesbianGate, but what works for one franchise (with a cast full of legit actresses), doesn't necessarily work for another.
So right out of the gate, we meet Teresa "Gorga's" new man, a guido named Luis Ruelas. "Louie" is a pleasant enough guy whose seemingly even temperered demeanor compliments Teresa's oftentimes not so even temperament. But before Teresa can even begin integrating Louie into the group, a not so flattering video of Louie surfaces online. It seems Louis attended some kind of cult-like retreat for men with "anger management issues". This is a red flag for Margaret in particular, and so begins a season long story line of Marge's cruel attempt to burst Teresa's "love bubble", a term I never want to hear again. In fact, it's right up there with the alleged benefits of women consuming large quantities of pineapple juice.
Meanwhile, Teresa has finally sold the hideous McMansion that Joe Giudice went to prison building for her, and Tre and Louie are moving in to a fabulous new 15,000 sq. ft. home that she and Louis built together, although on who's dollar the home was built remains a mystery.
Throughout the whopping 13 episode season, the tension between Teresa and Margaret builds, and finally, while on a trip to Nashville, TN (yes you heard correctly), Teresa finally blows and throws an entire table top of food and drinks at Margaret. Again, Teresa and a table, yeah that wasn't scripted. Teresa makes a half-assed apology, but this time Margaret doesn't accept it. Louie encourages Teresa to just walk away, while planting the seed in her tiny brain that Margaret wants to "knock Teresa out of the top spot" (on the show). The season finale concludes with Margaret telling the group (as well as the viewers) that she was right about Siggy, and was right about Danielle, and is going to be right about Louie.
Other so called highlights of the season:
Dolores finally broke up with Dr. David, moves out of her townhouse and back into her newly renovated fambly home with ex-husband Frank, Frankie Jr., and Gabrielle and her menagerie of animals.
Jackie confronted her bulimia issues.
Thanks to Margaret's big mouth, Jennifer is forced to revisit her husband, creepy Dr. Bill's decade-old affair. Jen and Marge eventually make up. Jen also makes amends with Melissa, which tells me that Jen must have thought that her only ally (Teresa) was done with the show.
Jen also revealed a botched nose job at the beginning of the season, reminscent of the classic I Love Lucy sketch when Lucy wore a rubber nose so William Holden wouldn't recognize her (after dumping a plate of spaghetti on him at the Brown Derby).
Knowing what's good for her (reality TV career), Jen also finally made amends with Melissa
Stuck between a (dumb as a) rock and a hard place, Melissa finds herself caught in the middle of Teresa and Marge's battle. She is obviously totally "team Marge", but she knows that life is going to be miserable if she goes against "fambly", meaning Teresa.
Melissa introduced the group to some chick named Traci, who is married to some former football player named Tiki Barber, probably more famous for his obnoxious overabundance of teef. They added nothing to the mix; like bland wallpaper, they were just sort of there.
That my friends, was the entire season 12 in a nutshell. They did somehow manage to get a three part reunion out of this tedium, but I'm seriously considering skipping it altogether. Other than Luis popping the question to Teresa, nothing notable has happened. Bravo has already announced that the entire cast will be back for season 13. Yippee.