It’s impossible to watch Jersey Shore at this point without fully acknowledging just how freaking meta it is. Watch carefully, and you will notice the huge bodyguards behind the group as they parade down the boardwalk. At the group’s “job” at The Shore Store, they’re selling “I <heart> Snooki” t-shirts and “Property of Mike” underwear. Girls crowd around the Situation at the club to take pictures of his abs, trying to out triple kiss one another to be the one to go home and make drunk decisions on TV. And isn’t it a little weird that no one is on any of the boardwalk’s carnival rides with them? I mean, are times that tough on the shore that people can’t afford coasters anymore?
Last week, when Genevieve Koski so ably covered the premiere, I was sitting at home thinking long and hard about how aware the cast is of this whole thing. I mean, when MTV panned over all Pauly’s hair product, we all know he got all that for free, right? By some company that wants to be able to say that their gel gives the hold Pauly D-sires. And correct me if I’m wrong, but was the Sitch wearing an Ed Hardy-style shirt that said “The Situation” on it a couple of times tonight? And I’ll be damned if I didn’t think, “gosh, I should see how much those cost online.”
And still with all this post modern whatever, there’s still drama — or maybe because these kids know they gotta get paid, man. The show opens on last week’s fierce J-Woww/Sammi brawl, which, let’s be honest, really looked like it hurt. (Did anyone see the When I Was 17 featuring Jenni? She talked a lot in that about she got really into MMA fighting in high school. So, in summation: Don’t fuck with her, period.)
Whatever, though, the fight breaks up with a mystery weave piece left on the ground, and everyone goes to their separate corners to bitch about each other. Snooki and Deena agree that Sammi is a mean girl, and then Snooki tries to fit into Deena’s large suitcase. Meatballs for life! Sammi once again tells Ronny that he doesn’t “get” how she “feels,” and they look bored together. (Are people not allowed to bring books if they’re on this show? At least that would pass the time if they’re not allowed phones, TV or Internet. Is Scarface available in book format?)
The next night, it’s t-shirt time, and most of the group decides to go to Karma, where they have their own little roped off corner of the club and randos take a lot of shitty cell phone pictures of them. Ultimately, Vinny and Sitch decide to bring a girl home, and it’s not entirely clear how this whole thing is going to shake out. It kind of seems like they’re aiming to tag team her, which is a little creepy even for those dudes, but ultimately, Vinny locks Sitch out of the room, and then Sitch gets incredibly huffy like he always does when he comes home alone, standing outside of the action room and bitching about “sharing.” Um, ew. I like Savage Love as much as the next person, but Sitch, show some self-respect.
Even though the show featured a riveting three minutes of Vinny, Deena, and Snooks trying to get a beach ball off the roof of the building next door, this episode was about Ronny and Sam. Ugh. Blerg. Zzz. Watching them be together is like watching grating, anti-feminist paint dry. Sammi thinks Ronny doesn’t “get” that she’s “going through so much right now.” Ronny is “taking all of Sam’s misery and making it” his. They’re the absolute worst, right? And everyone knows it, right? In some section of their brains, I think even they know it, but they’re paid to be together, it’s easy, and it’s awfully boring to gym, tan, laundry every day when you don’t even have someone to stare dead-eyed at during Sunday dinner.
That’s kind of what worries me about Jersey Shore, though. I won’t judge anyone for watching this show, because, dudes, I love it. I know about grenades, and t-shirt time, and when I eat a burger, I think “burgers for the boys!” No one can tell me that this show is ruining everything or that Snooki is a scourge on the youth of today. Hey, Vinny has a new line of anti-bullying clothes and he did a “It Gets Better” video. Things could be worse, right?
I just hope, though, that people do kind of watch this show with a critical eye, and it’s not just jaded A.V. Club readers and pissy bloggers that notice the bodyguards and the t-shirts, or think, “gosh, Sam is in a bad relationship just like I was in high school. She needs to stop creating so much drama and value herself a little more.”
But maybe people are just really into Jenni’s boobs. And that’s okay too. Because it’s Jersey Shore, bitch, and it’s really just all about having good time. Let’s all try to be a party in a body. It’s really the least we can do for humanity, no?
• Oof. Is Deena’s credits quote really “D’you like the boobs?”
• Does Pauly really not know how to pronounce filet mignon? Really?
• Two episodes next week? Whoa, MTV, going all out! If Sammi apologizes to Snooki and then Snooks gets arrested, what other dramatic events will they have left for the rest of the season. Fingers crossed Ronny and Sam breaking up is in there somewhere.
• Typing “Sammi” and “Snooki” over and over in these recaps is a lot harder than you’d think. Their parents should really have been more considerate to journalists when they named them.