Opinion

Can RHONJ be saved after toxic Season 14?

Teresa Giudice on The Real Housewives of New Jersey.
Teresa Giudice leaving RHONJ could be its undoing. Pic credit: Bravo

The Real Housewives of New Jersey has been on the air since 2009, and despite spending countless seasons filled with very watchable drama, its luck has run out.

Five episodes into The Real Housewives of New Jersey Season 14, it’s obvious producers are no longer trying to make the show watchable.

At its core, the series offers viewers escapism by introducing them to the lives of a group of women who are part of a friend group.

Nowadays, RHONJ doesn’t offer viewers an escape from reality because the cast is so divided and going low to grasp on to relevance and secure coveted screentime.

The big problem is that the show proceeded with a divided cast this season after Teresa Giudice and Melissa Gorga’s family feud led to them cutting ties with one another.

Given how long the series has focused on their ups and downs, the only way forward was to remove one of them to avoid the show becoming what it is today: a shell of its former self.

The cast is trying to get Teresa Giudice fired

Knowing that production was halted early and a cast trip was nixed means there’s no resolution for any of the season’s conflicts.

The cast seems intent on taking down Giudice as though they’ve banded together to make the network ice out its original star. It’s a slippery slope, but it’s super obvious.

There are few storylines on the show these days, and the episodes are typically filled with everyone talking about Giudice and then avoiding her at events.

Then you have people like Margaret Josephs, who are seemingly banding together to walk off the show if they don’t get their way.

Some of the cast members believe they have sway with producers and the network, but most do not. The shows can bring in new faces to shake things up.

Without a shakeup of epic proportions, RHONJ will probably be placed on pause because the discord between the cast isn’t expected to let up any time soon.

RHONJ could be headed for a RHONY-style reboot

The recent news that the reunion has been scrapped confirms this, and the only way forward may be to do an RHONY-style reboot because Giudice and Gorga both have many fans.

While firing one or both of them would force the other women to find their own storylines, it could result in too much of a shift that would alienate diehard fans.

The deciding factor will probably be how the rest of the season performs in the ratings because the network has been known to keep shows the same for years if the numbers are strong.

Despite flatlining earlier this season, last week’s episode managed to pick up some steam. Perhaps it could start a trend, and the show could return to respectable levels without producer intervention.

It’s possible that the numbers are still strong because episodes are added to Peacock the day after their linear viewing on Bravo, so many viewers may not be watching live because the show is no longer appointment TV.

The series could be saved, but reinventing the wheel will require some big changes. Perhaps producers should call Danielle Staub and Jacqueline Laurita to see if they’d be interested in helping shift the dynamics.

The Real Housewives of New Jersey airs on Sundays at 8/7c on Bravo. Stream Seasons 1-14 on Peacock.

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Jersey Girl
Jersey Girl
9 days ago

Keep the franchise; get rid of the toxic people. Melissa Gorga and Margaret Josephs are my two leading candidates to leave the show followed closely by Rachel Fuda and Danielle Cabral. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again,: New Jersey has millions of residents. You can definitely find some interesting replacements for those nasty, toxic women!

Karen J.
Karen J.
8 days ago

I would never in a million years watch a spinoff starring Teresa, Louis, and/or any of their spoiled kids. Just sayin.