A Very Jersey Birthday: ‘Jersey Belle’ Episode 5 Recap

September 2, 2014 | By | Comments (0)
Photo: Bravo

Photo: Bravo

Jaime kicks off the latest episode by telling us, “It’s hard to have another birthday … that means it’s one more year I’ve lived in Birmingham and not New Jersey.” It wasn’t too easy on the audience either, as that fourth baby takes a backseat to the original promise of the series: Jersey vs. Mountain Brook.

Our main plot is first cleaved before later dovetailing. The aforementioned birthday causes strife between friends, between spouses, and between Jaime and herself. Danielle’s throwing a dinner party for Jaime but doesn’t know how to make any of the Italian dishes requested by our matron of honor. Meanwhile, all Jaime wants for her birthday is to return to New Jersey. For good.

That last bomb isn’t dropped on her husband. He’s still reeling from the prospect of his vasectomy not meaning his childrearing days are over. Instead of asking for a move, she asks him to rent a house on the Jersey Shore, not for the summer but the year. Then, before she can soak in his perplexed look, she hops over to the Big Apple for a meeting with President of Global Grind Michael Skolnik.

She’s there pitching a show called Breaking and Entering, which she describes as Inside the Actor’s Studio for an urban demographic. Pretty sure that was a Chappelle’s Show skit, but Michael likes the idea, pitching Andre 3000 and Puffy as the first guests. Jaime lights up, and mentions that she’d never see such folks in Birmingham. It should be noted that Andre 3000 is from Atlanta, a stone’s throw from the Ham.

Regardless, Jaime shares with Michael her excitement at being back in the City, which leads to conversation about her progenies. “Your kids got little Southern accents?” he asks, before assuring her that “They’ll lose them” if she moves back to Jersey.

Meanwhile, the newly married Arden and William offer a subplot that reminds us all of our own personal relationship strife. They’re building a house, and Arden wants a mansion while William wants something “livable.” Arden points out the travesty of having a dinner party in a small house, and William owns up to cooking. “If people come over, I will cook for appearances,” Arden promises, a coy play to get her 8,000-square-foot house, which according to her is “a normal Mountain Brook house.”

The episode ends by proving Jaime’s better half is the shrewdest person on the show. He gives her a trip to Jersey for her and three of her friends, which will presumably scratch her itch. More importantly, it could give the series a little much-needed vitality when she mixes her Jersey friends with her Alabama friends in New Jersey itself.

 

Takeaways: 

  • Though it’s unclear how Halloween played into the episode, watching Jaime decorate her yard, children at her side, with severed heads, giant spiders, and more cobwebs than a post-Internet library was touching. I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it a thousand more times: This show is best when we see her in her element.
  • Also re Halloween, Jaime’s father passed away on Halloween when she was 17. That candid shot of Jaime crying was the most honest moment of this entire show. There should be more such moments.
  • Why did Danielle think Jaime would like silver, crystal, and sugar bowls with mini-spoons? Were we throwing a dinner party for the camera? For ourselves? Or for the honoree? One has to wonder.
  • Great establishing shot of the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth Airport sign. Great.
  • Forget cannolis! Jaime doesn’t know what grits are!

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