Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Fist-Pump Gazette #13: "We're healthy, we're not hurt, and we're not handcuffed. And that's all that matters."

Well, that's one more season of Jersey Shore for the books, ladies and gentlemen. You can tell because all through episode 213, everyone kept going on about how this was their "last [insert activity] of Miami." Their last (and first) airboat tour of the Everglades. Their last time going to the club and hooking up with mad bitches. Their last romantic dinners with significant others. Their last knock-down, drag-out fight over who called who fake or who ratted who out or who said what to whom.

But as one door closes, another one opens, and in January 2011, we'll see our favorite Guidos and Guidettes once again taking the stage back at Seaside Heights, NJ. I mentioned this last time, but it seems like some of the hype has definitely died down. There's no real anticipation for new episodes because there's no mystery anymore. Anyone who has a facebook or a twitter or a google knows that Season 2 ends without incident and the Season 3 will follow fast on its heels. The only reason to tune in episode to episode is to see how the minutiae plays out and maybe to catch some memorable quotes here and there.

And maybe it's just me (I've remained blissfully unaware of the ratings this season), but I'm getting just a little tired of the schtick we see on the show week to week. It's almost like they're going through the motions - I know GTL is in itself a routine, but they used to execute it with just a little more flair.

Let's go through briefly what happened on the season finale. Sam and Ron get into a fight and make up later. Situation "does the job" on two chicks in the bathroom of the club. Later he cooks everyone breakfast. Jenni and Pauly get into a shouting match, with Snooki caught in the middle. She sulks but eventually comes around. Everyone leaves the house separately.

What exactly of those (roughly) five dramatic events have we not seen before? The Situation's girls are different from past episodes, but his method/the results are the same. Pauly's usually the level-headed one of the group, so it was new and different to see him lose his temper for once. But it's just fight, make up, fight, make up, GTL, club, fight, make up, leave. For 13 weeks in a row. I guess it's just a Jersey Thing.

Reading back through that last paragraph makes it sound like I don't enjoy The Jersey Shore, which is not at all how I feel and not what I want people to take away from this feature. It is deceptively fun to watch these crazy kids be themselves every week, it's just that when the initial period of excitement fades, it becomes very hard to find topics of meaningful analysis to write about. Like I said before, it's becoming a little formulaic.

What I enjoy most about the show is the level of freedom (and expense accounts) the stars have during the course of the show. There are certain caveats, but they forgot about the job at the gelato shop after day three, and the vast majority of activities MTV has planned for them are fun regardless. Inevitably I start thinking what I would do with that kind of free reign... and then it dawns on me that my lifestyle is not such that millions of people would want to watch me be myself on camera. Or maybe I'm just giving myself too little credit; maybe I'm on the Truman Show right now...

When season 3 of Jersey Shore comes out, I'll probably watch it. I'll mostly just check to see if they added any new gimmicks, and if so, how they improve on the format we've all grown to love. Although, if season 2 is any indicator, we'll already know every moment of season 3 through the tabloids and the internet before it airs. What I won't do next January is make the mistake of trying to formulate a wrap-up every week that's both informative and interesting. I've come to realize that Jersey Shore is somewhat sui generis: the only way to describe it is through itself, and any outside commentary is just superfluous.

Anyway, thanks for sticking with me this whole season. It's been fun watching the show and having a venue to express my thoughts, air my reactions, and vent my frustrations.

So remember to always stay real, and never stop pumping those fists.