Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Fist-Pump Gazette #3: "You Tryin' to Smoosh Me Now?"

Episode 3 is titled "Creepin" - a term Shorites use to describe aggressive/inappropriate/unwelcome flirting. So far this episode is continuing the storylines from last time, so maybe these episode titles are just in place to spread Jersey Shore vocabulary to whoever pays attention to them. (If the previous two episodes sported titles, I was not paying enough attention to notice them.) Here's how Act I plays out:

As in last week's episode, we start this one before the previous night's end, with the culmination of Angelina's fight with Pauly D. Just as things look bleakest for her future in the house, - after she's "stepped on the only toes she had" - some kind words and good advice from Snooki prompt her to go on a round of apologies. Pauly is lukewarm, preferring they go their separate ways, but the girls seem receptive at first. We'll see how things stand in the cold light of day.

Nothing could possibly go wrong in Ronnie and Sammi's dreamworld. Except when Ron gets drunk, parties too aggressively, and blows up at Sammi for not having a good time at the club. She goes home, which makes Ron think "he's allowed to creep." Which he does, in abundance. Then (deja vu, anyone?) he goes back home and gets in Sammi's bed. How can this not blow up in his face, and soon? Read on to find out.

The first thing I've noticed about the Jersey Shore Code of Ethics is that accountability is at once the most and least important trait to possess. When Ronnie creeps behind Sammi's back, his first instinct is to "deny deny deny." When Snooki tries to talk some sense into him about hooking up with other girls, he seems oblivious - "I never crossed any line. I never crossed it."

Angelina is like the reverse-poster child for a healthy sense of accountability. She denied furiously that she ever talked sh*t about any of the girls (which she later admitted, also at Snooki's suggestion). She even denied smacking Pauly D across the face, which video evidence clearly supports. Even Snooki's first reaction when she dropped episode 2's dinner all over the floor was "I didn't do it!"

The more egregious offenders use the excuse "I was drunk, I don't remember" as readily as logicians employ the reductio ad absurdum argument. It's their go-to whenever they feel uncomfortable about something or unsure how to react. Maybe it's their upbringing, maybe it's all the cameras. Maybe it is actual memory loss. It also seems way too convenient to be true all the time.

However, sometimes this excuse isn't an excuse at all, but rather just a bout of pure and simple morning-after forgetfulness. Like when Vinny wakes up and asks: "Did I bang Snooki last night? Did I do the unthinkable?" Hey, he didn't think it was so unthinkable before they went out last night, when Vinny told Snooki that she took his breath away (prompting Snooks to respond with an eyebrow-raise and the title of this week's gazette). It's examples of free love such as these that keep the show light and fun.

Meanwhile, with the Angelina drama ostensibly behind us (at least her drama with the girls), we can now focus on the mixed signals Ron is sending to Sammi. He calls her his girlfriend by day, then gets in fights with her by night. The best way I can describe their (highly produced) relationship is as two trains heading towards each other. It's all there: both the imminent collision and the inability to look away.

I don't even know why I care about these two people. Their relationship is marketed as a roller coaster ride, but in reality it feels more like a crash test. I'd much rather gawk at the guys entertaining "grenades" in the hot tub. (It's a good thing MTV got those girls to sign a release before they could hear what the guys were saying about them via voice-over.) Or empathize with Snooki about being too short to reach the gelato in the store. (That's right, they still go to work occasionally.)

Oh, look, Ronnie's totally oblivious to Sammi's feelings ONCE AGAIN, choosing to go out with the guys after promising to stay in and cuddle. They've turned this into the A-Story and they're gonna string this out as long as possible before things blow up. This is really turning me off to the show. I do appreciate the montage of Ronnie creepin around the club set to an emo ballad. It's creative decisions like these (that and my commitment to this feature) that keep me tuning in each week.