How 'RHONJ' Has Changed Since Teresa's Return

When it comes to the Real Housewives of New Jersey, a lot has changed since Teresa Giudice has returned to the cast after her nearly yearlong stint in federal prison. I’m not sure what I was expecting from Giudice’s return, but it definitely wasn’t what’s been going down in Season 7. I think I expected Giudice to be different at first — prison changes people, you know? — and then quickly fall back into her old habits. But that’s not at all what has happened in Season 7 of Real Housewives of New Jersey. This season has shown a whole new side to Teresa Giudice, and that’s just one of the many things that has changed ever since she returned.

It feels like a whole new cast has signed on to represent the Garden State. Long gone are the physical fights, the in-your-face showdowns, and the blows so low you could feel them in Florida. And the new cast members might have something to do with it. With the addition of Dolores Catania and Siggy Flicker, the cast has definitely taken a turn away from drama. As a relationship expert and gym owner, these new cast members are more concerned with getting riled up by the drama than in starting any of it themselves. They’re also much more inclined to resolve conflict before it starts, trying to mend any fences that still might be broken.

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But that isn’t the only thing that is making this season feel like a completely different beast. There’s also the fact that all of the major cast members have been getting along. Can we all please take a minute to remember the trip to the spa where all the women get along the entire time? Bravo may have teased a clip where Giuduce called her Joe Giudice to ask her to come get her, but, in reality, they were playing a prank on their husbands. That kind of camaraderie has not been seen in a season of RHONJ since, like, forever.

There’s also a lot more family harmony between Giudice and her siblings. She might still be keeping her cousins Kathy Wakile and Rosie Pierri at arm’s length, but it’s a refreshing change to see her working together with her sister-in-law Melissa Gorga to improve their friendship and the closeness of their immediate family.

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It’s a whole new world since Giudice returned to the cast, and I’m happy to see this newer, friendlier side of New Jersey.