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Jersey Shore S01E07-08: A Sad Situation

Why were there two episodes of Jersey Shore on last night? This is the biggest thing to happen to MTV in years. It is an actual cultural phenomenon. So why rush through it? Weird. I’m not trying to come down to MTV’s work and slap the scheduling wipe-board out of their mouth, but it certainly seems like a bonehead move to me. If I were MTV (yes, if I were a cable network rather than a human being) I would be milking this for all it was worth. Because if there is one thing MTV has shown through this whole thing it is restraint and a hesitancy to milk Jersey Shore. (Cable television publicity strategies jokes using sarcasm!) Let’s just get to it, shall we?

Mike “The Situation” is a painfully sad man with a gaping hole in his soul that no amount of bronzer, hair gel, or protein powder could possibly fill.

Last night’s episodes witnessed a borderline mental-break from a man working desperately to prove his value along the parameters he thought his community required and respected, only to find that the members of his community ultimately placed a higher value on honesty and humanity than they did on the trappings of a sexually non-discriminating jerk. Mike’s constant need to alpha-male his housemates (“I’ve got tons of ammo on all of you”) falls flat when the reality is you’re painfully insecure. Asked Ronnie, “what dude needs to change his shirt four times before going out?” It’s true! No one could ever argue that Ronnie, Vinny, and Pauly D are not obsessively concerned with their outward appearance, so fi they find YOU to be going overboard with your preparations, something is wrong.

And last night, Mike was infuriating everyone. Because that is what insecure people do. When “the gang” took a trip to Atlantic City, Mike called Snooki fat at dinner (nice!) and then refused to take a break from making out with an impossibly drunk girl who had already made out with Vinny (nice) to help escort a sick-drunk Jwoww back to the room. Why Jwoww did not ask Pauly, who the cameras revealed to be standing right behind her, and who is obviously a more thoughtful person (unless you are Jewish?) will remain a mystery. But Mike refused, because you don’t just STOP making out with an impossibly drunk woman who barely even knows you’re there (for all she knew, he was a cotton candy dragon in an underwater city built of wishes, because blackouts are blackouts) to take care of someone who is relying on you. And so this happened:

Yikes. Those security people sure ran in the room quick! Where did they come from! Whether or not Mike deserved to get backfisted in the face is up for debate, but clearly things are getting difficult for our little Abs Monster. If anything, the conversation with Vinny is more painful than the punch, because everything that he says is true and also gross. And Mike’s response of “Obviously you didn’t taste good enough for her to stick around” falls flat/sad.

And things never get better for Mike. When they get back to Seaside, it is more confrontation. Like, serious, Intervention-style confrontation:

Oooooof. Mike’s insistence that he is a worthwhile human being because he often brings home cute girls, although sometimes they are ugly, is a sign of just how wildly he is grasping at straws to keep his sanity together, because it is built on a faulty premise. But his argument that you can never know someone in 27 days, although sort of fair, doesn’t account for the fact that knowing someone does not equal liking someone. Because that seems to be what is at issue here: no one likes Mike. Whether or not they “know” him is kind of beside the point. I’m sure they will have another late night meeting to explain that to him.

And then there was the punch.

Ronnie, come on! You have got to be kidding me! Afterward, he skipped down the street shouting “one punch, you’ve got to be kidding me!” So proud of his ability to assault someone mere days after he assaulted someone else. Just moments after the punch aired, his castmates Twittered about it? 2010. The future is here.

I swear that The Situation twittered about the punch, and that it was awful. He said something like “that’s what you get. haters go 2 sleep.” But the post has been taken down? I’m not sure what bothers me more, the completely unnecessary praise of criminal violence, or the fact that the praise is being COVERED UP. Major scandal.

I love that the cops know Ronnie’s name.

And this question seems absolutely correct in every way:

Ronnie insists that the guy assaulted him and that he was just trying to go home, which is hilarious. I’m sure that there is just no way we could ever know whether or not that is true. “It’s weird how this camera crew has been filming your every move for the past few months and has footage of you breaking away from your friends to run back down the street and knock a man unconscious for no real reason. But I suppose it is your words against the footage. You are free to go, honest, decent man.” Yuck. At least THIS WEEK Ronnie finally faces some consequences.

His fellow castmates stand around and watch this happen, completely incredulous. Really, castmates? Someone actually says “I can’t believe they’re putting Ronnie in a car right now.” You can’t believe it? Really? Fair enough. I suppose all of us have our belief systems challenged from time to time. I, for example, could not believe that Vinny was wearing a Led Zeppelin t-shirt. But he was!

Not that Ronnie didn’t have some justification for his behavior. As Sammi pointed out, the people who were harassing them were 30. 30! Although, you would think that 30-year-olds would have taunts that made more sense.

Go back to New Jersey? OH SNAP. OH HUH? Even “go back to New York” seems pretty weak, but “go back to New Jersey” is just comical.

Speaking of comical, Snooki was pushing HARD last night to get her own reality dating show. My goodness.

Every other word from her mouth was about her difficulties in finding love on the Jersey Shore. “If only there was a host, and some kind of cleverly-formatted elmination ceremony.” What will her inevitable goodbye catchphrase be? I think it should be “I’m vibing you, but no homo.”

But it was Pauly D, who has proven himself to be tied with Vinny for Most Decent and Normal and Human Somehow, who had the best line of the night when, in an argument on the duck phone (classic) with an Israeli Jew who apparently wanted to get married so that they could do it, said “I went on one ride, God bless me, it’s fucking summer.”

Poet.

Next week: the season finale? I think? that was fast.