The show, which airs at 8 p.m. Sundays on Bravo, has returned with new episodes, and as this fifth season progresses, viewers will see the five women and their families work on their relationships.
Of course, the road to peace wasn't easy for Teresa Giudice, her sister-in-law Melissa Gorga, cousin Kathy Wakile, and castmates Caroline Manzo and Jacqueline Laurita.
As Manzo describes it: "One step forward, 10 steps back."
The New Jersey "Housewives" gathered recently to talk about family dynamics and relationships playing out on TV and how the show has affected them.
Wakile: Dread! (Laughs.)
Gorga: I think it's a little of both. It's crazy when it comes on because there's a lot said that you don't see that's filmed.
And then we've come so far from where we were in the beginning, so it's very hard to rewatch the beginning but you just have to remember it was before the makeup and before everything got better in all of our situations.
Manzo: There's also the social media aspect. The assumption viewers make not really knowing what's going on, not really knowing how things played out and they're not very forgiving.
We film for six months. We don't know what's gonna make it on the shows.
Laurita: It's not always our full conversations. It might be a snippet of it.
Wakile: It will be something that happened so long ago and our good feelings will get ripped apart.
Laurita: The show might be responsible for some of the fighting, but the show is also responsible for bringing us together.
When you fight they're like, 'Why can't you guys get along?'
Gorga: And when you're getting along they're like, 'Boring!'
Giudice: Sometimes they twist it and make it worse than it is.
Laurita: It's like, 'You don't know the full story.'
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