You know what I love? I love how much people hate this show. All the outrage (and I'm not even going to start linking to different items illustrating it because I'll seriously never stop) has made this show television's equivalent of a douchebag in a bar that nobody can stand but is occupying everyone's time because they can't stop talking about how they can't stand him. As a portrait of eight (now seven, seven, seven, there are seven roommates, to borrow The Real World's weird numbers obsession) people who undoubtedly have been that very douchebag, this show is a perfect vehicle. The stars are aligned in this shining moment of pop culture.
(Also? The whole defames-Italians thing? Fuhgeddaboudit! I understand that some people may associate the word "guido" with degradation, but when the people on this show use the word, they are not saying, "I hate Italians," but, "I love myself." They haven't just reappropriated a slur, they have reimagined it and spent three hours so far -- and I'm guessing a big part of the rest of the season -- defining it. I think at this point, "guido," has multiple meanings and the blanket term for Italians you don't like is rapidly losing currency. The bigots are going to need a bigger slur. I wonder if people who got upset about this point were just sitting around waiting for a douchebag to come along to rail against. That's not very proactive. Get off your ass and find a bar, crybabies! Whatever, the point is that this show is entirely about a cultural subset, and not an entire people. For more on this, you should read Gabe's take on the premiere.)
Sorry to spend so much time on matters outside of the events of this episode. That was foolish of me. There's a fuckin' hot tub to tend to!
Our first lesson begins on everyone's favorite girl to either watch get punched or get mad about people liking to watch her get punched: Snickers.
- When training to be a porn star...
...it is important to start out small.
But for real, why's everyone being so gross about this? Pickles is her thing, like! Wrapping her lips around them to suck out the juices isn't any more sexual than the personal massager that is the Hitachi Magic Wand!
This incident led to my absolute favorite exchange of the episode:
Snickers: Isn't there one thing you eat everyday?
Pauly: I don't know.
From brainless to wordless in seconds -- how quickly things devolve!
- These people actually have standards.
It's pretty amazing how high the housemates' tolerance for assholes seems to be. For example, they haven't killed each other yet. Yet almost everyone interviewed about how happy they were to see Angelina go. My conclusion: she was a particularly rancid bitch. Even Pauly, who's so neutral he should call himself a "Swede-o" (because you know he's at least as confused as Jessica Alba, even if she was ultimately, but probably inadvertently, correct, which I think we're all in agreeance on), was aghast at her decision to walk off the show: "If you wanna leave, that's on you. If you're that stupid and you want to leave the Jersey shore in the summertime, I'm gonna let ya leave." That's a lesson, too: leaving the Jersey shore for whatever reason in the summertime is stupid. Don't let the hurricane hit you on the ass on your way out, stupids! Angelina's assertion that walking to work an hour late to say she wouldn't be working was "common courtesy," however, is not a lesson because unlike Jessica Alba, Angelina is not even accidentally correct. You're wrong, Angelina, and you taught us nothing worth remembering. You lose. Make sure you don't forget to pack your unnecessary drama that they don't need in your trash bags.
Well, actually, she did teach us one thing:
- Choose friends with names that are varied only in vowel sounds:
Since Angelina can be condensed to A'lina, can we also assume that there is an Alona and an Eluna in their circle, as well?
Oh, but I did kind of love that Angelina's rancid bitchiness was used to call Mike out on his age:
"Why do you have gray hair already?" she wondered. Silly girl, because he's pushing 50, that's why!
- Where T-shirts are concerned, "hilarious" is a selling point.
This was underscored by a "Please tell your boobs to stop staring at my eyes," shirt visible during the smackdown Angelina received from this singularly hilarious T-shirt shop's manager...
...as well as one donned by Ronnie:
That's funny because they're all Shore Store's Italian Bitch, not just him.
- This is the portrait of tragedy:
But as far as Jwoww (whose name always makes me think of Flavor Flav) was concerned, the tragedy was all internal, as she fretted over whether or not she'd have to tell her boyfriend that she kinda-sorted cheated on him with Pauly's pierced penis. Regarding her appearance, I'm quite sure that Jwoww considered herself good to go in the shot above.
But just to underscore how deceiving looks can be...
...later in the episode, I couldn't tell if she was en route to watch Phish play, or act in a Rob Zombie flick. But then I saw her from the front...
...and it became clear that it was the latter.
Oh, and this is fun, regarding the cheating:
-There is a thin line between the sucker and the sucked.
Says Pauly: "If Jwoww was my girl, I would break up with her in a second. Your girl shouldn't be up there dancing like that, lifting up her skirt. And I already made out with her, so I think [her boyfriend] is a sucker, if you ask me."
Pauly is a sucker for thinking that by keeping things unofficial with Jwoww, he's exempt from being played by this self-described praying mantis. At least, that's what I think if you ask me. This is so, so shortsighted. As if a bad girlfriend is going to make a great fuck buddy! She is lifting her skirt whether you are calling her "girl" or something far more derogatory! There is no hierarchy of looseness because it slips right out every time.
- In order to beat it in a dude's head that you are going out with his object of interest, you may literally have to "beat it" in front of him.
But it may also help to have said object of interest just check her birth control pills in front of the guy she isn't sharing her vagina with:
That may or may not hit home the point that she is suspending her fertility for someone else. But even if it doesn't, it at least makes for trashy imagery, and that's what really matters.
- Guidos don't cuddle...
And by "cuddle" I mean, "tell the truth." Who would admit to cuddling with a girl, for real, though? That's so gay.
- Guidos do emote:
"I like [Jwoww], to be honest with you. At first, I was all about, like, I'm not gonna shit where I sleep, but, I mean, for her, I'll roll around in my shit all day, to be honest with you. I don't even care at this point." What a beautiful thing, to compare love-making (because you know this dude makes love in lieu of fucking, and probably cries after, to boot) to shitting, and then rolling around in shit as a sign of devotion. Even his subconscious is saying, "You are a pig!" But let's not interpret. Let's revel in the beauty of his works. I believe they're adapted from Shakespeare's Sonnet Number 2.
- Like shore houses, love interests are always so full of surprises.
The best thing that ever happened to you is subject to change, however, if your girl catches you dancing with another girl and decides to give her number to the dude she's flirting with and a roommate with dubious intent informs you what your best thing just did.
But you know what the beautiful thing about this Ronnie-Sammi breakup was? As Sammi was storming out...
...Mike was making out, perhaps discovering a best thing of his own. Raise up your pet lion cubs, 'cause this truly is the circle of life.
- All guys like this:
...even the guy writing this. (You can tell, because I gif'ed it.)
And now, a few definitions:
A legitimately good time: when everyone's all bumpin' and grindin' together.
Kinda cute: not ugly, thin and petite.
Very cute: a guy who holds your hand and pays for the date.
All in the same: a good guy and a jerk-off in one. See also: what Snickers looks for in a dude. See also: Mike.
See also: this didn't turn out to be nearly the recipe for drama that I thought it would be:
See also: there's so much season left to slow-cook said recipe.
The art of seduction:
Finally, we end on a note instead of a lesson (my brain's about to give up from all the learning!): when Sammi talked about Mike's lingering crush (which now feels like it happened years ago, because these people are so emotionally transient that merely observing them feels like a journey through time), she said, "the Situation is a little jealous," and illustrated the problem with having a very generic noun as your nickname. That sentence could just as easily be read "the situation is a little jealous," so you never know if one is talking about the situation or the Situation, or the Situation's situation (see also...
...now that is a situation being handled by the Situation). Anyway, it got me wondering how confusion would work the other way, if someone used "the situation" as a common noun and was then interpreted as the proper one. Luckily, my girl Snickers, aka the Princess of Poughkeepsie/Queen of My World, illustrated this wonderfully:
You got that guys? If you're gonna come in the Situation, make sure you're single, lest you be made out to be a sucker, I think if you ask me.