Jersey shore, season five


 The new season of “Jersey Shore” blew in unexpectedly; I thought our DVR was mistakenly recording old episodes from previous seasons.  Then we saw Pauly D. on a talk show, and saw clips from the new season, and thought: oh my god, we’re missing it!



As with the (rancid) cream of the reality shows – “Bridezillas,” “A List: New York,” “A List: Dallas” – you can’t look away.  It’s like that scene in “A Christmas Story” when Ralphie’s little brother plunges his face onto his plate and begins to eat like a pig at his mother’s urging, and both of them are screaming with laughter.  It’s disgusting, but you have to watch it.



We are (as of this writing) only two episodes into the new season.  I know from Internet scuttlebutt that this season did not go well; apparently there was serious dissention among the Seaside Heights Eight, and word went out that a few guidos / guidettes went home for good. 



They are, I think, mostly sick of each other.  The show took them directly from Florence (where, according to Vinnie, they did “everything you can possibly do,” ha ha, yes they certainly took advantage of the opportunity to broaden their minds) to Seaside Heights, giving them no time to spend with their families and friends in between.  This (I’m sure) was meant to ramp up the tension level on the show, and it worked like a charm.  Mike and Nicole (aka Sitch and Snooki) are at one another’s throats.  Vinnie, who used to seem a tiny bit smarter and calmer than the others, is now completely worn out, and contemplating leaving the house.  Jenny (aka JWOWW) is an exhausted den mother, trying to sort out arguments and calm everyone down while serving snacks.  (Who knew she’d be the mature one?)  The others – Ron, Sammi, Deena, Paulie – are watching quietly from the sidelines, waiting for the whole thing to implode, so they can go off and do their spinoff MTV shows and QVC jewelry hours and Xenadrine ads.



But still we cannot look away.  We look, and we see:


        Snooki drinking the juice out of the pickle jar;

        Snooki wearing panties with JIONNI (her boyfriend’s name) written on the butt;

        Situation and his friend Unit (!) spraying one another with – what? – bronzer? cologne? – in a bizarre dance-like ritual;

        Paulie getting too much exposure at the tanning salon, and ending up looking like a burnt weenie (he puts Popsicles on his face to ease the pain);

        Paulie hooking up with a girl who steals his gold-and-diamond chain, then brings it back to the house, no harm done, tee hee.  (I wonder if the show’s producers prompted her to do it?  They had the felony on tape, after all.)



Who knows what lies ahead? 



Thank goodness the world ends in December 2012.  There can’t be more than two or three more Jersey Shore series before then!



Jersey Shore: Stupidita all’italiana


Do we need to speak about this new season of Jersey Shore?



Probably not. But I can’t help it.



Stupid is as stupid does, we say. Some of the cast members are turning out not to be stupid. Who knew someone named JWOWW could be (relatively) mature and intelligent? And Vinnie – while no rocket scientist – is not a dummy. And Paulie is funny, and a natural entertainer.



But now let us speak of the others.



Deena: the less said the better. She thinks she’s fun. No, really, she does! But she is not. But most assuredly she is not. She is a dull-witted hanger-on who falls down a lot. Basta.



(Speaking of “basta”: did I mention that they’re in Italy? Doesn’t matter. They could be in Teaneck or Schenectady or Hoboken. They go out to eat a lot, and you catch glimpses of the Arno and Santa Maria Novella and the Campanile di Giotto in the background, and Snooki has discovered a taste for “Italy wine.” So much for the show being set in Italy. Let’s get on with this.)



Ron: okay, my opinion of Ronnie is skewed, because I think he’s cute. But he’s violent, and we’ve seen him beat the shit out of a couple of guys, and we’ve seen him push and hit women more than once. ‘Roid rage? Just natural meanness? Doesn’t really matter. We will be hearing more from him, probably in those TMZ moments when they update us on celebrity meltdowns.



Mike “The Situation”: his psychology is so tangled it almost defies description. He can cook, for one thing, and he’s not as absymally stupid as some of the others. But he’s desperate for attention, and he loves meddling for its own sake. He discovered the TV camera before most of the rest of them did, and it took him a couple of seasons to learn not to look directly into it before doing something especially heinous. He likes creating drama and watching people fight. It was really viscerally pleasing (for me, at least) to see the murderously serious Ronnie try to beat the life out of him not long ago.



And last, the eternal Snooki (or better, as an Italian florist called her, “Nookie”). She looks like a dirty ungroomed obese hairy parakeet. She burps. She is an ungodly shade of orange/brown. She, like Deena, thinks she’s attractive. She keeps pointing to Florentine churches and wanting to know if they’re the Vatican. There’s a grotesque close-up of her kneading pizza dough (yes, they keep pretending that they’re working real jobs) with nasty claw-like blue-sparkly fingernails.



Why oh why do I keep watching this show?



Because it is just about the funniest and saddest thing on TV, with the possible exception of “The A-List: New York.”



Next week (I hope): Snooki loses one of her fingernails in the pizza dough!



Jersey Shore: a guide for the perplexed


When I watch Joisy Shoah, I’m torn. Am I standing in front of the monkey cage at the zoo, watching the chimps jump up and down? Or am I seeing high drama?


Okay. Maybe both.


Analysis follows:


Ronnie and Sammi. I swear to God, it’s like watching George and Maggie Antrobus in “The Skin of Our Teeth.” First season: Ron & Sam get into a relationship and, as a result, aren’t much fun on the show (the ‘fun’ people on the show go to clubs and get drunk and bring home sex partners.) Sammi is very controlling, Ronnie is alternately contrite and angry. Dull, dull, dull. Second season: they reunite, after an angry breakup. This time, Ronnie is out with lots of girls, but he comes home to Sammie and has sex with her and assures her that she’s his only love. Then he goes out and cheats some more. She stays home and weeps into her pillow. Confessions, tears, reconciliations. More cheating. Repeat.


Season One Ronnie was cute and dumb and easily led. Season Two Ronnie seems determined to make poor Sammi dance to his tune, the way he danced to hers. He’s a mean little man with a boyish little face, and a very facile liar. I’m thinking Chris Meloni in “Oz.”


Sammi is a rough sketch of every woman in history who’s put up with her spouse’s misbehavior. She’s Tammie Wynette, she’s Carmela Soprano. Sammi whines, she lies in bed clutching her blanket, she twitches. But she sticks with Ronnie.


I get chills watching this.


Mike the Situation. What can I say? Archie Rice. Sammie Glick. Andy Griffith in “A Face in the Crowd.” That clownish kid in your fourth-grade class who actually succeeded in life, and who gives you the creeps every time you see him. Every zhlub in history who ever marketed himself. Every time Mike simpers into the camera, every time he says “We got us a situation here,” every time he lifts his shirt to show off his corrugated abs, he’s thinking: Money in the bank!


The crowning glory, of course, was watching him stumble and trip on “Dancing With The Stars.” Evidently fame and talent aren’t the same thing. But that’s okay: he’ll learn. Maybe.


Snooki. Oh my god her poor father.


Vinnie. Quiet and dull during Season One; livens up considerably during Season Two (probably because he realized he missed a golden opportunity to market himself. He wants to be an actor, by the way.)


Oh, and be sure to read that article. “I’m just Vinnie.” Now, I can read that two ways:

  • #1: I’m just Vinnie Guadagnino, good son / mamma’s boy from Staten Island, went to SUNY New Paltz, studied law, actually worked as a political intern for a while, smarter than most of the dullards around him. A little dull for “Jersey Shore,” but is that a bad thing?


  • #2: I’m just “Vinnie (no last name),” a character on “Jersey Shore,” the “smart guy” who’s also a “stud” and “attractive” and “sensitive.” And who fancies himself an actor.

I’m leaning toward #2.


Paulie D. He’s a fellow Vo Dilundah, I can’t say anything. But he’s a DJ, he’s been in front of a crowd before. He understands (as Mike the Situation does not) that it’s best not to look straight into the camera. Of all of the people on this show, he seems to get the joke on a deeper level. He’s also naturally witty. (I treasure the Season Two moment when, after a tense day, they all sit down to dinner. A moment of silence. Then Paulie says: “So, Nicole. How was school today?”)

JWOWW. Tough broad. Said to be modeling for Playboy soon. She’s made her choice: she’s decided to be famous for being famous. Look for her at state fairs and on game shows within ten years.

Angelina. My star, my life. She’s an instigator, a force of nature. She had the nerve to accept a Fossil watch from her new boyfriend, the little trollop. Everyone hates her. I love her.

Angelina: marry me.

Oh, wait. Angelina, listen. I’m gay. And I bruise easily. So let’s wait a while on that last thing.



%d bloggers like this: