Jersey Shore returns for its third season tonight. In its first two seasons the show became a pop culture phenomenon, scoring millions of viewers every episode and gracing late-night talk show monologues on a nightly basis.
“And Boehner responds ‘We got a Situation!’”
Some people criticize it as offensive, juvenile, contrived, and misogynistic. It’s hard to refute those claims, but the show is great entertainment nevertheless. It isn’t just the guilty pleasure aspect of watching this fascinating subset of American culture, and laughing “at” rather than “with” them. We like it because, secretly, we see a little bit of ourselves and our friends in these individuals. We all know the guy who is so over-the-top arrogant that you both love and hate to be around him. The friends who invent an inside joke, run it into the ground, and then run it into the ground for so long that it becomes funny again. The girl in a miserable relationship who does nothing about it. The guy who is an out of control maniac when single and a boring Debbie Downer when he’s in a relationship. The pumpkin-shaped disaster of a human being who causes you to question your long-held beliefs in a higher power (and the theory of natural selection) and will do more to draw attention to the need for education reform than Waiting for Superman. We laugh at them on TV or scoff that they are so highly compensated per fist pump, but we love them in real life.
Here is what I think we can expect this season:
–Deena will wear on our nerves
Based on the promos and previews, MTV seems to be hyping new housemate Deena as a major wild card. It looks like she gets in a fight with Sammi and tries hooking up with one (or all) of the guys as early as the first episode. With that kind of beginning we can only expect big things from her this season, right? Well, I think the novelty of having a her in the house will wear off quickly. After the initial excitement we will realize that a louder, sluttier version of Snooki isn’t a good thing. The other housemates will ostracize her (expect a “we’re a family, and she isn’t part of the family yet!” or “she has to earn this!” confessional) and she’ll calm down.
–Sammi will spend an average of 15-20 minutes in bed each episode
Seriously. Think about last season. She NEVER LEFT THE BEDROOM. And I don’t mean that in a sexy way. I mean she was always in bed. Whether she was arguing with Ronnie, trying to decipher the hidden meanings of the infamous Jwoww-Snooki note, or arguing with Ronnie, Sammi was always in bed. I think that we can expect more of the same this season as her case of Epstein-Barr syndrome continues untreated.
–We won’t get enough Single Ronnie
Ronnie, when single, is an untapped gold mine of entertainment. He drinks to excess. He goes after women with reckless abandon. He gets in fights. He dances.
But if there’s been a problem with Jersey Shore so far, it is that we haven’t gotten enough of single Ronnie. Early in Season 1 he settled down with major wet blanket Sammi and rarely left the bedroom. Again, not a sexual thing, it’s just to spend time with her he has to stay within fifteen feet of the bed. Season 2 brought us the promise of single Ronnie as he had split from Sammi in the offseason. But, alas, they were back together before you could say “CABS ARE HERE.” I think we’ll get a similar tease of single Ronnie this season—he and Sammi will inevitably fight and break-up. Yet again, though, we’ll never get to see Single Ronnie’s full potential as he will answer the siren call of Sammi’s bedroom [still not sexual].
–Snooki settles down
It has been tough going romantically for Snooki. She’s had a guy throw up on her, her boyfriend call to seemingly brag about infidelity, and ran into her ex-boyfriend while performing a mating dance on the boardwalk. She did share a romantic evening with Vinny, but we all know he won’t depart M.V.P. any time soon. I think this season Snooki will find the gorilla juicehead guido she’s been looking for. I’m not sure how it will happen and it may not last, but I think it will be an even mix of touching and hilarious.