We’re nearing the end of our vicarious Miami vacation with the Jersey Shore kids, and, like the end of a real vacation, there’s a sense of relief. Sure, we had some good times, but like any vacation with a group of people who mostly hate each other and have no higher purpose keeping them together than the desire to get drunk and punch (sometimes their fists, sometimes their private parts together) it felt forced and dishonest. And, more often than not, intolerably dull.
All the more disappointing: Tonight, as the Metropole (“not stripper pole”) residents should have been living it up on their last nights of partying in Miami, as they should have been striving toward legally insane levels of drunken debauchery to really go out with a bang, they did the opposite, and brought forth their most boring episode yet. I mean, the most interesting part of the hour was the super-embarrassing Burger King commercial in which a lady EMT attempted to rhyme about a breakfast sandwich. I used to get pissed that the Jersey Shore kids get paid so much money per episode because it is insane to pay someone that much money to get wasted and hook up. Now I’m even more pissed because it’s even more insane to pay someone that much money to sit around and cry. At least that first one was entertaining. This is just one big commercial break. I mean, honestly, NOTHING happened.
Here’s what happened (NOTHING):
No one rhymed sh*t! Instead, Snooki cried that she had a whole ‘nother week of paid vacation party time before she could go home to New Jersey (who cares). Sammi and Ronnie fought about how much they hate each other because they love each other so much (who cares). Vinny and Pauly have girlfriends but not really (who cares). The Situation is garbage who treats women who refuse to sleep with him like lesser garbage (ugh, but also who cares, because duh).
As long as the show continues to make money, there will still be Jersey Shore on MTV. But tonight’s episode was probably about the best evidence you could hope to see that the magic is gone and never coming back: It all about what could have happened, but didn’t. Mike and Pauly could have hooked up with those girls who came home and then revealed they were prude and/or engaged, but they didn’t. JWoww (in a literal stripper’s outfit, it should be noted, as that really did make me LOL) and Snooki could have spent all night at the club hitting on gorillas, but they didn’t. Because Mike could have gotten in a fight, but didn’t (barely).
You know it’s the worst when this is the best.
Sam and Ron could have either decided to say “f*** it” and have fun for once in their lives, or they could have decided to grow up and have an adult conversation about how they are both so clearly wrong for each other and make each other miserable, but they didn’t–instead, they talked in circles and said, “Really?!” a lot and stormed off, all because of a comment about someone looking Asian. They’ll be back together next week. What choice do they have?
Speaking of EMTs: The most exciting parts of the hour came when the housemates were forced to interact with the strange world of public services. (Because we all know, when I say “public service,” you think “PARTAAAY!”) People whose jobs include helping others in a civic capacity! The greater good! It was a real opportunity to remind the Jersey kids that their existence is limited, strange and small in every sense, but even those “developments” were the definition of underwhelming:
The steam off Mike’s frying pan (this is not a euphemism) set off the house fire alarm, and apparently it is in some MTV fineprint that if the Jersey Shore fire alarm goes off, no less than FIVE Miami firefighters must immediately show up and assess whether the house is up to code, all the way down to the window latches. But, like everything else tonight, this moment was a big letdown because A) nothing was actually on fire, B) none of the firemen gave safety lessons or even spoke for that matter, and C) Snooki ALREADY set the kitchen on fire a couple weeks ago, and no one showed up then. No one in the house freaked out, the firemen silently turned off the alarm and left, and then it was dinner time. No fuss, no muss, no excitement whatsoever. What is this, a live feed at my pastor’s house? (I don’t have a pastor.) But my point is: I’m not here for Sunday Dinner.
Later, in just another display of his unfailing self-satisfaction and disregard for everyone but himself (getting less amusing and more grating by the minute) The Situation got his Escalade towed when he failed to abide by the posted parking placards. “Oooh, finally, some powerful outside force has inflicted itself upon The Situation, and we shall see him struggle in a way most pleasurable!” I thought to myself (but in less douchey language). Instead, he walked a couple blocks, paid the $175 fine in cash right out of his pocket (reminding us that in his world, $100 bills grow on trees shaped like TV sets) and drove off, lesson-less and smug as ever. It’s getting harder and harder to root for him, but what choice do I have if he never gets what’s coming to him?
EXCITEMENT! INTRIGUE! PAY PHONE!
Look: I fully realize that my grumpiness has a lot to do with what we in the TV blogger business call “burnout” (oh, you’ve heard of it, too? Well, here it means that there are only so many ways I can write that Snooki is “ridiculous”), but it’s also the show’s fault. I mean, it’s mostly/totally the show’s fault. What else do you expect when you turn silly caricatures into rich celebrities (“celebrities” at least in some people’s minds, and most definitely “rich” by any measure), ship them to Miami, and then ask them to recapture their old antics … except their old antics depended upon them being poor and unknown (and IN NEW JERSEY)? Well, no matter what you expected, we all just found out what you get:
Constant napping + Too much money = Napping WITH the money
Woof. At least next week they’re going to the Everglades. It’s more scripted nonsense about people I care negative percentages about, but at least there will be gators!
PS: Did you guys watch South Park last night? Just curious.
See you next week for the finale.
(Images courtesy of MTV)