What We Saw This Season Was Only the Half of It

Ready or not, it's almost time for Season 6 of The Real Housewives of New Jersey to come to a close. At the end of the Oct. 12 episode of RHONJ, I nearly flipped a table over when Teresa said, "Next time on the season finale of The Real Housewives of New Jersey" right before the coming attractions for next week's episode aired. What?! So soon?! I'm afraid so. The finale will be the 14th episode of this season, making Season 6 noticeably shorter than recent previous runs of RHONJ that have had 20 to 24 episodes.

But don't fret. We've still got what's sure to be an explosive and hopefully multi-part reunion coming up next week, which was filmed just days after cast member Teresa Giudice and her husband Joe were sentenced to prison. We can only hope that Teresa took her aggression out on Andy Cohen for old time's sake.

I can only guess that Teresa and Joe's recent sentencing is the main reason why this season is super-short. The couple's legal drama has been the big elephant in the room this entire season, and the finale will flashfoward many months in time during the finale from when we last visited the Housewives, which must have been some time in March 2014. Teresa and Joe were sentenced on Oct. 2, 2014, and Bravo cameras of course captured the couple as they entered and exited the courthouse as well as reactions from her fellow Housewives on the day of the sentencing, all of which will be a part of the finale.

Bravo hasn't commented on the shortened season, but Season 6 already started later than planned reportedly because the network wanted to make Teresa and Joe's legal problems a part of it, according to The Star-Ledger. Since Teresa and Joe's first post-sentencing interview with Cohen on Watch What Happens Live on Oct. 6 snagged a total of 3.2 million viewers, Bravo is also probably trying to capitalize on all of the interest in Teresa and Joe's legal drama by getting to the juicy reunion as quickly as possible.

But a short season means some footage will never see the light of day, or for now at least. When I first heard that the Oct. 19 episode of RHONJ would be its final for this season, I immediately recalled a preview of this season on Bravo's website that showed yet another heated argument between Amber and the twins. It also showed a very interesting trip to Atlantic City with all six of the Housewives that must have taken place around Christmastime since we see a glimpse of Teresa "I can't go to Florida right now" Giudice's festively-decorated home as she gathers her luggage to join the gang for the getaway. The trip seems to include what all great Housewives holidays should have: gossip, betrayal, fights, tears, and product placements. If only we could see this vacation play out in full.

Previews of this season also looked like we were going to have another Teresa-Kathy showdown at what seemed to be a launch party for Kathy's dessert line. In one short clip, Teresa throws a cannoli and refers to Kathy as a bitch. It's not RHONJ without some good-old-fashioned family drama.

It also seems like there was more drama to be had between Melissa and Amber. When you're trying to rekindle an old friendship, there's bound to be a lot of emotional baggage that comes out of storage, right? Melissa and Amber get at each other during that fateful Atlantic City trip. There was also the plot line of Amber possibly spreading a rumor that Melissa's husband Joe was engaged when they met. Though Joe told Melissa in the season 6 teaser that he was seeing someone at the time, it didn't show whether or not Joe dispelled the allegation completely, and now we'll never know what he said.

This season was an unusually boring one coming from the RHONJ set, mostly because Teresa's well-known fiery temper had cooled as she dealt with her legal issues. I would have preferred some of the earlier, unaired footage to what we got later on, such as welcoming back Kathy and Jacqueline since their involvement this season has been dull and unnecessary. All we can do now is hope the finale and reunion episodes provide more than enough drama to make up for it.

Image: Heidi Gutman/Bravo