Teresa Giudice has been the main attraction on The Real Housewives of New Jersey since its 2009 launch.
She’s been there for some of the biggest storylines, and the show even went on hiatus for the duration of her stint in prison.
Melissa Gorga, her sister-in-law, wound up on the show as a prominent cast member beginning in 2011, and the show has charted the highs and lows of their relationship since.
With their feud resurfacing on The Real Housewives of New Jersey Season 13, it felt like deja vu, and not in a good way.
Sometimes, bringing drama from years before can reignite something worth watching, but it dragged the entire series down as the ladies splintered in their quests to pick sides.
RHONJ changes will not happen while the ratings are strong
RHONJ delivers healthy viewership for Bravo, so the lack of change-up is due to the network execs worrying that too much change will send the ratings in the wrong direction.
The best way to shake up the dynamic would be to part ways with Giudice and Gorga. It’s a big, ballsy swing, but one that would force the other housewives to stop picking sides between the two women.
Could you imagine a season of RHONJ where every cast member has to clock in to secure their contract for the following season because they couldn’t use the tired rivalry as a storyline?
It would be the jolt in the right direction the series needs because if what we’ve been hearing about RHONJ Season 14 is to be believed, much of the drama is driven by this feud that shouldn’t have resurfaced in the first place.
RHONJ lacks direction because of splintering groups
The reality is that the show has run its course, with Giudice and Gorga’s storylines getting less enjoyable by the year.
Of course, they both have their fans, but they’re no longer bringing much to the table here because all of their scenes tend to be driven by their mutual disdain for one another.
Without progression, what do we have here? The show would benefit from a Real Housewives of New York-style reboot at this stage, but that won’t happen while people are still watching.
The best foot forward would be to nix Margaret Josephs, in addition to Giudice and Gorga, and demote Danielle Cabral and Rachel Fuda to friends of the housewives.
Jennifer Fessler needs to be made full-time
Jennifer Fessler made more of an impact as a friend than Cabral and Fuda combined as full-time cast members.
With so many faces reportedly in the mix for RHONJ Season 14, it sounds like producers are open to switching up the dynamic by having it focus on both Giudice and Gorga’s friendship groups.
That won’t right the show’s wrongs, but it might be the shift needed to entertain the possibility of eradicating the two longest-serving cast members if they don’t bring much to the show any longer.
Let’s face it: They’re the highest-paid housewives on the show, so their departures would free up some money.
Getting new blood that isn’t tied to either of them would help give the show an infusion of new storylines and secure its longevity.
The Real Housewives of New Jersey is currently on hiatus at Bravo. New episodes are expected to get underway in Spring 2024.