The return of Jersey Shore, the most important sociological experiment of our time reminds us of a number of platitudes: You can never go home again, there are no second acts in American life, the rich are different, you can pick your friends and you can pick your nose but you can't pick your friend's nose. Oh, what a sad homecoming it was.
Yes, our eight subjects were rushed back in their containment crates from Florence, Italy, where they spent all of last season, and returned to their native habitat in Seaside Heights, New Jersey, for another round of experimental fun. Things were a little different though. Having been penned together for a month overseas, they don't do the usual song and dance when they show up the house scattershot and decide on their rooms and embrace each other and forgive each other for all the petty spats that happened last time they were in front of the cameras. No, this time they're in a van together and they decide they will have the same beds as last season. This is a problem for Sammi and Ronnie, who don't want to room with The Situation. But do you remember at the beginning of season three when Sammi insisted she and Ronnie take the three-man room even though they were a couple just to fuck with everyone in the house? Yeah, see how that worked out in the long run, sister? Exactly.
But before we can get into their sleeping arrangements, let's take a look at their language.
- I Got You: Usually this means that someone will support you or pay for something for you because you're in a bind. For the guidos this means that someone has someone else's number. They know the truth about that person and aren't afraid to share it. It is not an expression of support but of destruction.
- Make Babies: Yes, this is a traditional idiom for having sex, but it's worth noting in the guido culture because they have gone from using violent euphemisms like "smash" and the word "smush" which connotes some sort of sexual dysfunction. All their previous phrases have been problematic and they treat sex like it's recreation. Here, for the first time ever, sex was treated as procreation, most likely because it was between DJ Paulie Daddy and Ryder, who members of their little insular tribe. Only in that way can the guido conceive.
Alright, so when the guidos return they are all weak and suffering because they have been cut off from what makes them strong. Snooki is without her pickles, JWOWW is without her boyfriend, Deena is without sugary alcoholic drinks dispensed in glow-in-the-dark plastic cups, and all the boys are without their GTL. It has been scientifically proven that the guido is anatomically different than the normal human, and their ability to function has to do with the high amount of melanin in their skin. If they are not of a suitably orange color, then they tend to weaken and will eventually die. That is why it is so important that DJ Paulie Darker and the rest of the crew get in tanning beds as soon as possible. Not only does their hue enhance their ability to mate with the ladies, it also is keeping them alive.
After everyone has been returned to their utmost strength, they go see Danny, their boss at the Shore Store. He informs the crew that they will be working at the shop once again this summer. If we know anything it is that the Guidous Americanus only pretends to labor while standing around the store, evading work, and causing mischief. That is their way. He invites them all to drinks the next day. When they get there, it's not just drinks with the boss, it is a reunion with all of their family and friends. Oh, how sweet! There's Vinny's overbearing mother and JWOWW's weird invetor father. There are Snooki's parents and DJ Paulie Distanced friends and Situation's brother. There are Ryder and Unit and Jionni and, standing in the middle, like he just cut the ribbon at the opening of the new Fashion Bug at the Surf 'N Sand Shopping Senter on Route 47 is Roger, the Mayor of Seaside Heights and JWOWW's boyfriend.
The strange thing about our tribe is that they have now been together for so long that they have all mated and dated in various and assorted configurations, including with each others friends, intimates, and other family members (yes, Deena once fucked Uncle Nino in the coat closet at Nucci's, her favorite Italian restaurant and catering hall in Secaucus). That is why, when Snooki's boyfriend Jionni is there with Vinny (who she hooked up with) and The Situation (who she supposedly hooked up with) and Sitch's laughing hyena henchman The Unit (who supposedly witnessed this hookup) things are bound to get messy.
One of the consequences of their continued containment is that the same fights from the Italian season are still brewing. Sitch is still mad that Snooki told everyone he was lying when he said they hooked up, and he is going to have Unit and Ryder, the other witness to the crime, set the record straight. Now, like everyone, I initially took Snooki's side of the story because The Situation is a giant jerkface who would make up a lie like that just to stir up trouble. But the fact that his story hasn't changed but Snooki's has and her reaction to the whole affair has been so odd makes it seem that he might actually be telling the truth. However, the way he is going about it is all wrong. He's just making himself look like more of a jerk.
Sitch and The Unit are pretending to be nice to Jionni, but they're just waiting to confront him and spring a trap. Snooki knows it's coming so she's ready for a fight, and they all have a verbal confrontation. Actually, it was sort of like a wizard show down in some sort of anime cartoon. They were all saying the same incantation over and over again. Just watch above. What a crazy new way to fight. If you keep repeating things, apparently it will make it happen!
But the fight is unsuccessful and apparently Situation's repetition of "stop" seems to win out. Everyone adjourns to the house where things get a little, well, sticky.
Let's start by saying I hate myself for wanting to sleep with The Unit. He is really hot, but, man, he is such a tool. Maybe having a gay response to The Unit is what he's looking for. First of all, his name is The Unit. Secondly, he and The Situation seem to have some sort of same-sex attraction. Now, this is different from DJ Paulie DL and Vinny joke about being gay and dry-humping on their bed. This is their platonic love assimilated into romantic love, because that is the only way they have been taught to show affection, by fucking. But they don't really do it.
However, The Situation and The Unit have a similar closeness, but they never talk about it. It is the love that dare not speak its name. We only hear about The Situation's tendencies from his housemates, who view the way he feels about his male friends to be curious and possibly a cause for all of his angry and general mistreatment of people.
Speaking of gay people, Deena is very upset that DJ Paulie Diss and Ryder got it on. Yes, Ryder comes back to the house and sleeps with DJ Paulie Double-Dip, even though she's already slept with Vinny and The Unit. Man, that Ryder sure does get around! The guys don't seem to mind though, since getting it in is more important than in which order they get it in. It was kind of mean how they treated Ryder the next day, making jokes about her right to her face. These guys should love sluts, how else would they get laid?
But it wasn't as mean as what happened to Deena. While it is my continued contention that Deena is, in fact, a lesbian, she claims that she wants to sleep with DJ Paulie Deprogrammer. But then he takes off with Ryder into his room. Deena joins them and sits on the end of the bed like some sort of masochistic cutter looking for a razor blade. They sit in stony silence. Deena thinking about which in the bed she'd rather do and hanging her head and being sad. Oh the love lives of our guidos have gotten so complicated and intertwined.
It seems like not being able to pump up at the gym, sit in a tanning bed, or do his laundry has taken its toll on Vinny most of all. When he gets back, he has a severe case of "pale poisoning" and it's causing him depression, nausea, anxiety, night terrors, and otherwise discomfort. He wants to go home.
But which home is it that he wants? Does he want to go back home to Sicily where his forefathers schlepped up volcanos and farmed the land? Is that what he is homesick for? Or does he mean the dumps and stumps of Staten Island, where his mother is waiting to make baked ziti and clean his clothes and care for him day in and day out. Or does he mean Seaside Heights, where he has made his millions, found his friends, and partied with people in unmentionable ways? But it can't be there, because that is where he is. He is in his home, but it is not the same. It is all different. They're different. They're stuck together again and things aren't calming down or being happy. This isn't the usual start of the play where they meet cute in the forrest and have some hijinks. This is the start of act five and everything that has come before has lead to this moment. This time where things are going to go awfully horribly awry. Not even the guido's household god, the Duck Phone, can save him now. No, Vinny, you can never go home again. Home is always where you are right now. Right this very second. Close your eyes and then open them. That is home. Just like you are our home, and we have loved watching you all this time and we wish you the best of luck, possibly for the last time.