Who would've thought after last season's fiery Real Housewives of New Jersey reunion that this season would offer viewers a civilized conversation between Caroline Manzo and Teresa Guidice?
"Teresa and I have a very strange relationship where we're able to battle, but also sit on a couch together with an understanding of each other," Manzo tells TVGuide.com. "I wasn't at all worried about meeting her [one-one this season] and I don't think she was at all worried about going to meet me."
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Although Season 5 of the Bravo series has just begun, the drama remains the same: It's The Gorgas vs. The Giudices. Caroline, though, has taken on a new role as mediator between the two families. But why is Melissa upset with Caroline's involvement? And will the family issues ever be resolved? Plus: Where are the Manzo kids this season? Read on to find out.
What do you think of the season so far?
Caroline Manzo: It's interesting. At this point, it's still a recap of what last year was. So, for me I look at it and I get nauseous and I just want it to go away. So, I'm excited to see it move forward.
On the last episode, Melissa said she was upset you met with her husband Joe. Are you surprised she felt that way?
Manzo: I was definitely very surprised and hurt by it because it was never addressed to me. I wish it was because I would've explained myself. She said time after time, "Don't put me in the middle of it," so I just respected her feelings. But it's not something I'm going to dwell on. She certainly has a right to feel the way she feels.
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Do you think Teresa will ever make up with Jaqueline or Kathy?
Manzo: I don't know. There's definitely movement on some parts and maybe not so much on others as the season progresses. But at the end of the day, I really can't sit here and honestly say where we're all going to be when the reunion comes.
What reactions have you gotten from this season so far?
Manzo: You're going to have those people that no matter what you do, it's not right. But that's what makes the world go round. It's no big deal. There are those that say it's very nice you put your feelings aside for Teresa and try to mend the fence. So it's definitely a mixed bag.
We haven't seen your kids as much this season. What are they up to?
Manzo: The kids are grown and out on their own doing their own thing. So, it was hard to get a handle on them. They do have a little storyline [where Albie and Chris open a restaurant]. It's very nice that the viewers have watched my kids grow up and go through ups and downs. I'm proud of them, and I would like to think the viewers look at them and think they've grown into well-adjusted young members of society.
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Were you hesitant about them getting into the restaurant industry?
Manzo: Not at all. The restaurant business is in our blood. If I had any reservations about them doing it, it's that I know how much of your life it takes up. But they're amazing partners because where one of them is weak, the other is strong. So, they never bash heads.
Anything named after you on the menu?
Manzo: They do have the Brownstone beef steak and they have stolen my meatball recipe.
And Lauren? If she and Vito get engaged will you televise the wedding?
Manzo: I don't know. There are a lot of things I keep to myself because it's important to maintain that sense of family outside of the show. It's ultimately Lauren and Vito's decision, but to not show that is kind of not fair. You'd probably see just a little of it to get a flavor of it. I think the fans deserve that.
Finally, do you think you've changed since you began shooting this current season?
Manzo: My attitude has changed, but I'm still the same person. My thought process this season was different and I have a different outlook, but I'm still me and my delivery is still the same.
The Real Housewives of New Jersey airs on Sundays at 8/7c on Bravo.
Watch a clip from the next episode: