Another week, another series of moral and ethical dilemmas on Jersey Shore. Jionni, as it turns out, hasn’t really left and is, instead, at the train station waiting to go to Rome to catch a flight back to the states. (Are there no airplanes in Florence? Why have all the Jersey kids had to do this?) Snooki, a mere two sheets to the wind after spending the afternoon drinking Coronas and yelling at strangers, goes to find him and they hug it out. They missed each other! How could he leave?!? If only his mom hadn’t paid to change his flight, he would still be in the Smush Room with her, sleeping off a bender.
Alas, his mom’s money is law and Jionni must leave. Snooki’s crushed, blah blah. Fast forward a day or two and it’s time for another gut-wrenching phone conversation between the star-crossed lovers, in which Snooki claims he’s keeping her from being herself, and he retorts, “What do you mean you’re not being yourself? You’re drunk seven days a week, hooking up with girls, and dancing in your underwear. That’s not you?” Low blow, Jionni, but fair enough. Of course, Snooki doesn’t see it this way and now she’s seriously considering breaking up with him.
Here’s the thing, though: Are we supposed to sympathize with Snooki here? It seems like the producers are framing the show to make it seem like Jionni’s this horrible person who controls Snooki. That might be true to some extent because he does seem to not love her dancing on banquettes, but at the same time, does Snooki have any right to get worked up over what she claims this kid’s doing to her? If he’s doing anything, really, it’s forcing her to think about things when she’s so far removed from having to actually think about anything. On the show, Snooki sleeps, drinks, dances, smokes, gets dressed up, and sometimes has to go stand in a pizza shop for a few hours. That’s it, the end. The idea that suddenly Snooki’s this martyr who’s going to have to be forced to break up with this “mean” guy is just laughable. They were desperately in love last episode and she was going to have his guido babies.
If anything, it speaks to the impulsive nature of Snooki, and to most of the cast, really. Deena misses a period, is “emotional,” and gets hot in the car and she thinks she’s pregnant. She freaks out and has to take a test in the middle of the night. She’s worried her family’s going to think she’s a whore and that, if she is really pregnant, she’s been drinking and smoking the whole time. Level-headed Jenni, always the best friend a girl can have, gets her the test, sits her down to pee on it, and does a nice “I told you so” stare when she turns up non-preggers. And, of course, that doesn’t stop Deena from trying to smush Pauly the very next night.
If this all seems morally reprehensible, that’s because it probably is. Pauly, Vinny, and Jenni all seem to have fairly solid heads on their shoulders most of the time, but The Situation’s a shithead for telling the world he got it into Snooki while she watched her friend sleep with another dude, whether that’s true or not. He’s a total dirtbag for claiming to love Snooki in a romantic way when we all know that Mike’s probably not even capable of feeling more love for someone than he feels for himself. And, depending on how you look at it, Snooki is pretty despicable for fooling around with Vinny while she’s still technically dating Jionni. (Vinny doesn’t get a free pass here, for the record. His levelheaded thinking was clearly somewhere else that night.)
Every week, a lot of commenters give Genevieve Koski and myself shit for watching Jersey Shore, and that’s fine, we get it. It’s not a show for everyone, but we like it all the same. It’s certainly not ruining civilization, as most people watch the show and, like so many other shows on TV, think “God, the people on this are insane.” Despite the commercials for feather hair extensions that air during Jersey Shore, people aren’t really fully emulating these eight characters. They might put a poof in their hair or wear stupid lace sunglasses, but no sane person who was raised well and who has a personality of their own has watched this show and thought, “I want to be exactly like XYZ.” It’s entertainment, pure and simple, and sometimes that entertainment’s no deeper than watching Deena get stuck under a settee or marveling at Pauly’s blinged-out laptop. Provided viewers can separate that entertainment from reality, Jersey Shore’s no big deal, pregnancy scares and all. All of this drama might be big news in the lives of these eight people, but to us, the viewers, it’s just water under some bridge in Florence.
- All this being said, I still detest myself for knowing the correct spelling of “Jionni.” That's taking up space in my brain that could be used for something valuable.
- The Karma scene was pretty funny, particularly the shot of Ronnie as the bouncer letting people in.
- Mike: “Why don’t you just break up with your boyfriend and let me rock your world?”
- Jenni: “Ewwwwww.”
- “I see the blanket moving up and down, I see Snooki’s head popping up for air. We all know what’s going on.”