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Stop cryin’, bro.

Here’s the thing about Jersey Shore. I still like it, but it’s getting kinda tedious. Same crap, different week. Every episode arc is like: Sammy/Ronny fight + GTL + grenade dodging + Snooki doing something while wearing fuzzy slippers outside + drunken fight at Karma + night vision shots of people sloppily making out + Sunday dinner. The end.

This week was no exception. Since there were no major plot developments, besides the extremely flimsy stripper pole that they added to the house, I’m just going to tell you who I’m liking and not liking right now.

My like list:

JWoww: So, I still irrationally like JWoww, even though by all accounts she can be kinda backstabby, cheats on her boyfriend, and has the most terrifying chesticles in the world. But, what can I say, I like her and her horrible life choices.

Deena: My love affair with Deena continues to blossom. She’s unabashedly ridiculous and kind of a drunk, but hey, who isn’t, right?

Pauly D: Love him. That is all.

My dislike list:

Ronny and Sammi: I have no words for how awful and boring they are. Except “awful” and “boring.” Why did Sammi tease us with the promise that she was leaving the house this week, only to stay? Ugh. And why, when she told her mother on the phone that she had punched her boyfriend in the face, was her mom all, like, “oh well, that happens”? UGH!!! And Ronny? STOP CRYING. Honestly, dude was crying for like 60% of the episode. And never before have I heard so many usages of the word “bro” interspersed with so many sniffles.

My neutral list:

Everyone else. Even the Situation has crept up from being actively disliked by me to being tolerated.  Progress!


Snooki goes to jail

“Obviously, us together is unhealthy. But some relationships, like unhealthy makes them grow stronger. So maybe hopefully, we’re gonna make it through together.” — Ronny, referring to his relationship with Sami

Friggin’ idiots.

And that’s pretty much all I have to say about Jersey Shore this week.

Okay, that and the fact that all the girls in that house except Sami have serious drinking problems. Like, I’m scared for them. In this single episode, Deena got kicked out of the club after falling off the stage, Nicole got arrested on the beach for being drunk and disorderly, and even my girl J. Woww, who is by far the most responsible chick in the house — she’s like the Hillary Clinton of Seaside — PEED behind the bar at the club in this week’s episode. Let me just make sure that’s clear: she PEED INSIDE on the FLOOR at a BAR. In what world is that acceptable? I mean, besides the Jersey Shore, which is clearly an alien planet populated by super drunk, super tan aliens.

Speaking of this, I saw Snooki interviewed on the Today Show (she briefly got to co-host with Matt Lauer – this is how you know the sh*t has hit the fan, societally speaking, by the way) and Matt Lauer was like, “Do you have a drinking problem?” (Tough interrogative journalism! You go, Matt Lauer!) And Snooki was like, “No! I’m 23 years old!”, as if that’s an actual explanation for her behavior. Because we all know it’s impossible to be an alcoholic until you’re, like, 40. But no, come on, being 23 is really not an excuse for Snooki, especially considering that a fair number of Jersey Shore denizens probably die in their 30s of cirrhosis/hot-tub poisoning/sand-borne STDs.  23 is like 78 to them! Snooki, get help!

K, this entry is gonna be short because there’s not too much else to say about these peeps. See you next week, when Snooki’s out of jail!


Joysey Shore

Jersey Shore is back for a THIRD season and I am ALL over it, y’all.  I’ll admit, I didn’t have high hopes for this season at first. You know, the concept’s kinda played out, the original cast are all celebrities now so the “realness” is gone, Snooki’s focusing on her literary career so she probably can’t devote herself full time to getting punched in the face in bars, etc. But I have to say, the first episode of season 3 exceeded my (admittedly quite low) expectations. Part of this was thanks to the introduction of a new character, self-described “blast in a glass” Deana, Snooki’s BFF. Deana is like a more annoying, drunker clone of Snooki, but you sort of root for her anyway, because she immediately clashes with Sami, who is what I like to call a big ol’ See You Next Tuesday.*

So the central drama in the season so far is between the nice girls in the house (JWoww, Snooki and Deana) and Sami, who manages to simultaneously be a doormat for Roidface Ronny AND a huge b**** to everyone else in the house. She’s also boring and her voice KILLS me. But enough about her. Let’s talk about episode 2.

So, 14 minutes into the show, we see two girls making out (sigh) followed by Snooki saying, quite matter-of -factly, that she will “hide in a bush,” “pee in a bush” or even “poop in a bush.” And you know what? I don’t really have anything to say about that. I was wracking my brain trying to think of something witty to follow that up with, and nope. Nothin’.

Not a whole lot happens in this episode. There’s an uneventful trip to Karma, and a whole lot of angsty staring and sighing by Sami. The main drama occurs when Sami and Ronny decide to blow off Sunday/family dinner to go to a painful dinner a deux, where they sit over plates of swordfish and stare angstily at each other.  Then they come back to the house, where they’re confronted by Pauly D about why they blew off dinner. And, if I didn’t hate Sami before for being AWFUL (which I did), I’d definitely hate her after hearing her say “I could care less” about not attending family dinner. I mean, first of all, you don’t miss family dinner. You just don’t. Second of all, if you COULD care less, that means you care a little bit, you stupid cow.

So anyway. That was it. Pretty anti-climactic. These kids really need to bring it next week to make up for this dud of an episode. I mean, I’m expecting some serious dramz – either someone needs to get smushed in the hot tub or someone needs to punch someone else in the face or someone needs to get arrested on the boardwalk or SOMETHING. Half-hearted cat fights where Sami only loses one extension just aren’t gonna cut it. Don’t let me down, Jersey Shore.

* Clever phrase courtesy of my friend Yohanca.


Little Jersey Shore

Watch and love.

http://www.babelgum.com/4022027/kids-reenact-mtvs-hit-series-jersey-shore.html


Jersey Shore Reunion Bonanza!

Jersey Shore reunion show: who watched it? Oh my heavens, it’s incredible! I am just getting to it now after coming back from New York, and it’s exactly what I needed after spending four hours on a stuffy bus.

A lot of stuff went down on the show, but the only thing really worth writing about is the long overdue confrontation between Sammi and Ronnie. MTV showed “never before seen” footage where Sammi is seen admitting to The Situation that she enjoys flirting with other guys (despite being “together” with Ronnie) and that she thinks he, The Situation, is “sweet” and a “great guy.” Ronnie watched this footage on the reunion show and interpreted it to mean — correctly, in my view — that Sammi is a two-faced she-devil that can’t be trusted. DUH, Ronnie.

I mean, okay, in the great scheme of things maybe Sammi’s telling The Situation that he’s a sweet guy while he’s perched like a vulture at the end of her bed, ready to swoop in on his twitching prey, shouldn’t be a total dealbreaker for Ronnie and Sammie’s relationship, but then again, maybe it should. That interaction represents Sammi’s whole slimy M.O.: she does what she wants to do, no matter how it affects anyone else, and consequently she isn’t loyal to Ronnie if it’s not convenient or fun for her. Not great girlfriend material.  I hope she and Ronnie actually do stay broken up this time. He can do better; as my mom pointed out, he’s a “nice boy.”

The only other (traumatizing) highlight of the reunion show: Snooki and Mike hinting that they might still be hooking up. Horrible… Just horrible.


Jersey Wisdom

My favorite quote from the last episode: “I’m not trashy. Unless I drink too much.” — Snooki

Who ever said that the Jersey Shore girls don’t have self-respect?


Bananas.

So, I’m watching Jersey Shore (the episode where they go to Atlantic City) but I’m a little tired since I just spent the last hour and a half cleaning my apartment and making hummus (in preparation for a little get-together I’m having tomorrow night), so I will just make a few comments:

  • First, a question: why is everyone always apologizing to Sammi when she is always the one causing trouble?  She’s such a manipulator. This week, she got mad at Snookers for having the audacity to tell Sammi that she, Snickers, missed hanging out with Sammi and Ronnie, since they only spend time with each other and don’t party with everyone else (like at Karma and Beachcombers, the hottest spots in Seaside Heights). Anyway, Snooki’s concern somehow was interpreted as a grave offense against Sammi (as per usual) and Snicks ended up apologizing. Ugh. Sammi is intolerable. I’m glad I don’t actually know her. But in a way, I kinda do know her. Hmm.  By the way, I think I’ve finally figured out the Nicole/Snooki/Snickers/Snookers name convention, which is that you have to call her by a different name each time you refer to her.  Brilliant!
  • The gross drunk girl that Mike brought home in the beginning of the episode is representative of what I imagine to be the typical, gross drunk girl at the Jersey Shore, plus, she has the added grossness factor of knowing she’s on TV while she’s having sex with The Situation in a hot tub, which somehow makes her fundamental grossness worse.  I have to admit that when she fell down the stairs, some evil, bad part of me enjoyed it.  I know. I’m not proud of it, but there it is.
  • I like Vinnie.  And I’m glad he hooked up with Mike’s sister.
  • I also like J-Woww, despite her inexplicably creepy boobage.
  • Best quote of the episode had to be Pauly-D on Judaism: “I don’t even understand this religion, what it is; I just want to get to the business.”

A lot of food for thought this week, clearly. One observation: I think that that this show is fundamentally about artificial (and frequently alcohol-infused) relationships. It’s all about mind games, playing people, doing things within earshot or eyesight of someone else to get a reaction. It’s all about insecurity. I think that’s why this show is so compelling, because even though the Jersey Shore kids are caricatures of themselves (the hair! the accents! the tans! the muscles! the wearing of bras as shirts!), I think we can all recognize a little bit of ourselves (or, more likely, our former, high school or college selves) in at least some of their behaviors.  The mind games and sniping and hurt feelings are the result of throwing a bunch of immature, insecure, young people into a house and letting the booze flow freely.  This show is interesting because it’s a powerful combination of complete artificiality (the excessive preening and posturing) and raw insecurity, exposed thanks to the inhibition-loosening effects of alcohol.

We all like watching Jersey Shore because it’s funny and the characters say ridiculous things (see, e.g., Pauly-D’s interaction with the Israeli girl he met), but I suspect many of us also like it because it pulls at that creepy, tiny little part of ourselves that can actually relate to the outrageous, desperate behavior that these kids exhibit on a regular basis.  It’s like going to the monkey house at the zoo: everything’s fun and games until you realize that you like bananas, too.


Just curious…

Is Jwoww any relation to Shamwow?


Prime Creep Mode

I’ve learned a lot about love from Jersey Shore.  For example, you don’t EVER make fun of your significant other’s toe. That’s a personal issue and it is NOT cool. Second, if your boyfriend didn’t care about you, he’d be out on the boardwalk creeping on some other creature, okay? Third, two people who love each other can occasionally call one another “f***ing disgusting,” “lame as f***” and/or a “stumpy bastard.”  It’s called honesty. Try it some time.

Actually, I am seriously considering putting some of these Jersey Shore pearls of wisdom into practice in my own relationship, in the hopes that my boyfriend and I can be as blissfully happy as Ronnie and Sammie (see below).

Oh, Ronnie and Sammi. Theirs is a tragic love story, made all the more tragic by Ronnie’s hair. Sometimes I feel like Aeschylus was a writing consultant on this show. I keep waiting for Mike to stab Ronnie to death, Sammi to murder Ronnie’s mother (how dare she tell Sammi to “fluff up quick”), and Pauly D to throw himself onto the burning funeral pyre. But maybe they’ll just take shots, do some laundry, and things will be cool.

Back to Sammi and Ronnie. Their relationship is characterized by bouts of cuddling interspersed with fights about nothing, followed by table flipping and/or sullen, solo grilling by Ronnie.  I guess I shouldn’t say the fights are about nothing. That’s not fair. For example, in the last episode, Ronnie made a playful reference to Sammi’s “Fred Flintstone toe,” and then, obviously, everything went to hell because he had totally crossed the line. He should have known not to attack Sammi as a person like that. As Sammi explained, “it’s the worst thing [he] could possibly do.”

After Ronnie tried to convince Sammi that he cared, to no avail, Ronnie gave up and, inevitably, went into “pure creep mode” to go find some creatures on the boardwalk. Hey, he was left without options. But, once Ronnie got to Karma, he realized that he couldn’t do it. He went back to Sammi and begged for her forgiveness, saying, “I do regret what I did.” Sammi was a big enough person to forgive him.

Things soon fell apart again, though, when Ronnie and Sammi got into a confrontation the next night with some guy on the boardwalk who was harassing them about being from New York. Ronnie tried to defend Sammi’s honor, but she insisted on “Italianizing” the situation, which I think means antagonizing someone in a Long Island accent. Sammi kept engaging with the other guy and his girlfriend, while Ronnie tried to defuse the situation, and eventually Ronnie shoved her to get her to shut her mouth. Reasonable. Then Ronnie got in a pretty intense looking fight with the other guy (“Come at me, bro!”) while Sammi walked away.

After Ronnie kicked the living crap out of the other guy, Sammi then tried to weasel back into Ronnie’s good graces, and for a few brief moments, I thought Ronnie was going to come to his senses and break it off with her. Somehow, though, the world turned topsy-turvy again and the episode ended with Ronnie begging for Sammi’s forgiveness while she sobbed and told him that he had “traumatized” her.  The episode closed with moody alt-rock and this observation from Ronnie: “I have the best girl in Seaside, and I don’t wanna mess this up.”

Huh. I think a quote from Henry Louis Mencken is appropriate here: “Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.” Good luck, Ronnie.


Yello!

Hi everyone! Welcome to my new reality TV blog. I am super excited to be sharing my TV musings with you all.

Tonight’s a big night for me on the reality TV front: there’s a new Jersey Shore AND a new Real Housewives of Orange County on, at the SAME TIME. Thank God my DVR is there to prevent me from having to make the painful Sophie’s choice between the two. Crisis averted.

Since there will be a lot to write about after tonight,  I thought I’d use my first post to give you all an idea of the kind of shows I watch and love, so you’ll know what to look forward to here. In no particular order, here are just a few of my current favorites:
  1. The Bachelor: On the Wings of Love: a spectacle of human neediness, fame-whoring, and vapidity that manages to combine, improbably, awkwardness, cattiness, and romantic cliche. I don’t normally watch the Bachelor (the last full season I watched was 8 years ago, when I was 19 and watched such things in a big group of girls) but I’ve already been sucked in by this season, which involves a “commercial airline pilot”/actor named Jake who seems at once sincere, socially awkward, and dimwitted. But he’s hot, so it works. And, needless to say, the women are all awful, heinous human beings.
  2. The Real Housewives franchise: Orange County, Atlanta, New York, New Jersey: I watch ’em all. I can’t decide which cast is my favorite – they’re all so unique and wonderful in their own way. It’s kinda hard to beat the Italian, big-haired, fake-boobed, teetering-on-the-brink-of-psychosis vibe that the wives of New Jersey had, though.  Two words: table flipping.
  3. Jersey Shore: Indescribable (much like “The Situation”). “‘The Situation’ is indescribable. You can’t describe ‘The Situation.’ ” — Michael, “The Situation,” describing the situation, Episode 1. Please see http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/12/17/the-jersey-shore-handbook/?scp=2&sq=jersey%20shore&st=cs
  4. Oprah: Come on, it’s Oprah. You have to watch her. And we only have her for another year and a half, so no excuses.
  5. Parental Control: one of many ingenious MTV shows that mashes up teens, sex, and parents. MTV describes the show this way: “In each episode, concerned parents will be setting-up their precious son or daughter on two handpicked blind dates. And now, Mom and Dad will be meeting with the potential suitors at the MTV offices, where the boys and girls will do ANYTHING to impress them. If Mom and Dad have their way, one of these hot new daters will charm their kid into dumping their old boyfriends or girlfriends. And if this isn’t hard enough for the current flame to deal with, they’ll be watching every moment of these sexy and outrageous dates with the very parents who want them gone.” Trust me, it’s awesome. And, it’s completely scripted and staged, which somehow makes it more entertaining, not less.
  6. Teen Mom: This is a spin-off from the earlier, successful MTV show “16 and Pregnant,” the title of which speaks for itself. You can also probably guess what Teen Mom is about. The trials and travails of teenage mothers makes for great, if not depressing, TV.  One particularly intriguing/vile character is Farrah, a cheerleader who had a baby who she has unceremoniously dumped upon her parents so that she can be free to go out and date creepy, older foreign dudes — you know, so she can just be a “normal teen.”
  7. Secret Lives of Women: this show has first-person accounts from women from all walks of life — but mostly from bizarre walks of life. Each episode has a different, salacious theme, including husband beaters, women of erotica, mail-order brides, polygamists, cultists, child brides, and mothers of murderers. It’s very educational.
  8. The Millionaire Matchmaker: Patti Stanger, professional matchmaker and semi-professional nutjob, sets up millionaires with gold-diggers. Sparks fly.

Of course, this is just a sampling of the veritable smorgasbord of reality TV shows on the air now.  There’s a lot out there, guys. Get excited.

I’ll catch you on the flippy-flip.