I am a proud fan of the Real Housewives of New Jersey. Could it be because I am

I am a proud fan of the Real Housewives of New Jersey. Could it be because I am also a Jersey girl? One hundred percent. However, the Bravo franchise also stands heads above some of the network’s other series. The Garden State franchise started as a family unit drenched in feuds and loyalty.

1. Season 1

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As Maria von Trapp once sang, “Let’s start at the very beginning.” If you are starting your journey with the Garden State women, you need to watch Season 1. The premiere season got viewers like me hooked immediately. From Episode 1, it was apparent that Teresa Giudice and Joe Giudice were shady with money, Carolina Manzo was the mother hen, and Danielle Staub was the hero/villain we needed on reality TV. If you watch no other episode, it is a necessity to eye the season finale with the famed Teresa table flip. It literally put the franchise on the map.

2. Season 5

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Season 5 of the Real Housewives of New Jersey was the last time we saw Jacqueline Laurita, Kathy Wakile, and Caroline together on the screen. This was the season that the Gorga/Giudice/Wakile feud was at its darkest, which made for a very stressful but entertaining season. The main crux of this season was the Lake George trip, where Joe Gorga and Joe Giudice went head to head- literally- during a therapy session. We also saw the dramatics of Melissa Gorga as she begged for family peace on her knees.

3. Season 10

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As Margaret Josephs noted, “These women would hold a bloody knife to your back and stab you.” Season 10 was the time we saw Teresa waiting on the outcome of Joe’s trial. Thanks to yoga, Danielle returned, claiming she was calm as a cucumber. But the big storyline was Margaret’s ponytail being yanked from her head by Danielle. Marge later learned that it was at the urging of Teresa, her so-called friend. The backstabbing was horrendous, but a season not to miss.

4. Season 7

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Jacqueline came back! The original Real Housewives of New Jersey fans were thrilled, but their excitement was shortlived with the introduction of Siggy Flicker. Teresa was released from prison after 11 and a half months. The tearful reunion between her and her four daughters helped establish the OG as the hero of her own story. Season 7 also showed how badly Melissa wanted to step out of the shadow of her husband and follow her passion for fashion.

5. Season 3

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If you are just starting your deep dive into the Real Housewives of New Jersey, the last season you should make sure you watch is Season 3. Dino Manzo and Danielle departed, and Melissa and Kathy were brought on for a family dynamic angle. Teresa was not pleased with the controversial decision and thus started her plot to blame her family forever for their issues.

Avoid Season 6

RHONJ Season 6 was a one-hit wonder for the franchise. None of the rookies lasted. And Amber Marchese solidified her spot as one of the most disliked housewives of all time. Honestly, I can’t even recall what really happened that season, and I potentially just blacked out for all 18 episodes.

Avoid Season 9

Personally, Season 9 of the Real Housewives of New Jersey was one of the least enjoyable for me. We met Jennifer Aydin and Jackie Goldschneider. The only silver lining was that Siggy got the boot. The season was considered a fresh start but overall boring. Between Teresa’s bodybuilding competition, which showed her bringing a lunch box everywhere, and the trip to Oklahoma, the season is a big miss for me as it is just a filler.

Catch Season 14 of Real Housewives of New Jersey each Thursday on Bravo.


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