‘Real Trainwreck of New Jersey’ starts tonight

I am an openly gay man who proudly admits: I do a lot of kinda gay stuff (watch the Oscars, shop at Barneys) and a lot of very gay stuff (you know, the sex part), but even I have never been gay enough to get into The Real Housewives. I have caught random episodes, and I know who NeNe is (and that she is insane), but actually paying attention, week after week, to pampered ladies obsessed with clothing bitching about each other? If I want to see that, I’ll go to JR.’s during happy hour.

Still, I do get the appeal — I really do. Everyone on the shows is so into herself, apparently ignorant of how unsympathetic and interesting she must seem to everyone who doesn’t have a chemical dependency to the botulinum toxin, that it can be perverse fun, like the circus freak show. But only in small doses.

I do watch enough of the series as part of my job to recognize that each city represents a different Bravo demographic: Orange County is rich white folks; New York is rich Jewish folks; Atlanta is rich black folks; Miami is rich Hispanic folks. And New Jersey? Well, the Italians, of course.

Of course, we already got to see this series, when it was called The Sopranos. Or Jersey Shore. The characters are the same: Blowsy women in overteased hair. Joi-see accents thick enough to hold a chunky marinara. Goombah men with shady businesses who are either fat and balding or short, muscular and balding. (Apparently, all that extra hair on the women has to come from someplace.) OK, granted, some of those goombahs are pretty hot in that drunk-guy-crashing-a-frat-party-”You think you’re better than me?” dangerous way. But how do you put up with it? (I’ve never watched soap operas, either.)

Season 3 of New Jersey begins tonight with the disappearance of one wife (Danielle), the additional of another, Melissa (sister-in-law of Teresa; Teresa’s brother, Joe — one of the hotties), and unaccountably nasty feelings among them. It’s violent, trashy, foul-mouthed and ugly. But I did enjoy it.

But every week? Well, with Joe doing drag and getting a bathing suit in future episodes, maybe. I don’t wanna have to give back the toaster oven.

Premieres tonight at 8 p.m. on Bravo

—  Arnold Wayne Jones