Previously on Jersey Shore ... Sam punched Ronnie in the mouth ... Deena fell down ... Mike looked like a weird old lady ... Snooki dry-smushed an alligator ... and the gang collectively produced the most horrifying sight in MTV's 30-year history with their clogged monster toilet, which by season's end had become self-aware. Has it really been four months? Honestly, it may take us a while to get back into the punchy, poopy, scabby swing of things in these recaps. Last night, our favorite orange octet went to Italy for the season, finally completing the (until now) one-sided trade that had brought Roberto Benigni to us. Here now is the first "Sporca Dozzina" (Google translate says this means "filthy dozen") of the season:
1. PASSPORN PHOTOS
The group is getting ready for their trip, and no attempt is ever made by the cast or producers to even mention a contrived reason for going. They're just going, and the confessionals have Snooki pretending to be stupid about geography. Naturally, none of the cast has a passport, so much is made of them going to get their passport photos. Now, any of you reading this who have had their passport pictures taken know there are very strict guidelines for them: you can't wink, you can't smile, etc. So when JWOWW decides to pose for her picture by motor-boating her own tits, we're pretty sure INS will have something to say about that.
2. VINNY'S BEARD IS ...
... barely visible? Scrotum-esque? Pauly D? We couldn't decide. This season revealed Vinny to be tubbier and fuzzier, and he is now starting to look like someone who did a lot of background work on Everybody Loves Raymond. Snooki is bringing several suitcases full of underpants with her to Italy, which is odd, since from seasons one through three, her underpants consisted solely of an orange and brown blurred-out dot. The main plot point here is that Snooki's been in a committed relationship with Jionni for six months. And you know what? Good for Jionni. Everybody's got a type, and clearly, Jionni's type is a vulgar, basketball-shaped Amy Winehouse.
3. SINGLE RONNIE/SINGLE SAMMI
Will he be as violent and unstable as Boyfriend Ronnie? He thinks not. Although if they sell Xenadrine in Florence, mark our words: a priceless piece of art will have a futon thrown at it. Sammi claims that she won't "sit at home and cry" this season, but stopped short of promising that she won't constantly play with her extensions and sneer. Baby steps. After the all boy/all girl sleepovers, they're headed to the airport. For some reason the guys and girls are on separate flights. Is it for the same reason as why the president and vice-president can never travel together? Anyway, the boys are driven by Vinny's mom, whose sunglasses and hairstyle resemble Doc Brown's from Back to the Future. 'Roids? Where we're going, we don't need 'roids.
4. AND NOW A WORD FROM OUR SPONSOR. AND THAT WORD IS "SKETCHY"
Two contenders for this season's Xenadrine ads: The first was from a company called "Jamster," which claims that if you text them your gender and first name, you'll get your own Jersey Shore nickname texted back to you! Of course, we had to try it out, and our Jersey nickname was "Get 20 Downloads for 9.99 a month Jamster Plan Msg & Data Rates May Apply," which is waaaay catchier than "The Situation." The second ad featured Deena and Sammi looking in fake Italian convenience stores for "Six Hour Energy Shots" when they should have just looked inside Mike's necklace.
5. "WE CAN'T LUGGAGE ALL THAT SHIT"
... were the producers trying to tell us something as the cast dragged their suitcases through the airports? If this were my college film class, we'd be doing a semiotic analysis of the cast's bags — how they're literally and symbolically "bringing their baggage" with them to Europe. Their emotional baggage, filled with bronzers of the soul. JWOWW's bronzer explodes in her bag, leaving her only with eight cans left. That will only last ten days, she says, as will her fidelity to Roger. JWOWW's starting to look thin and gaunt, as if Ice-T's wife dressed up like Bellatrix Lestrange. Anyway, Deena has her first fall of the season, in the airport. What's Italian for "multiple open knee wounds"?
6. PREDICTION: MTV WILL NOT GET ITS SECURITY DEPOSIT BACK
The first half of the episode is about who will get to Italy first, the guys or the girls, because apparently there are huge differences between crappy twin beds. The guys get there first, and their initial reactions to Italy are predictable: Mike refers to himself as "The Situazione," which is also the name of a new dish at Sbarro cooked entirely in forehead oil. Pauly, who's been prepping for the trip by Italianizing his catchphrases, wistfully notes that Italy is "the most beautifullest country". And Vinny can instantly tell the difference between the Italian sun and the American one. When we see the house/palace they'll be living in, it lacks the charm and seediness of their Jersey house. But it does have a bidet.
7. BIDETS DAYS ARE NUMBERED ...
That poor bidet is the Star Trek redshirt of the house; as soon as you saw it, you knew it was superfucked. While nothing happened to it ... yet ... we welcome your suggestions for what awful thing will get clogged in it. We're officially guessing a mash-up of a weave/bra/giant sunglasses/empty AXE can/blood. Snooki's first words after having everyone carry her shit up the stairs? "My heart is racing and I smell like King Kong's asshole." No, King Kong's asshole probably smells like bananas and Naomi Watts. You, Snooks, smell like low self-esteem and Duty Free Pall Malls.
8. FIRST NIGHT IN FLORENCE
... wasn't this the title of Barry "Greg Brady" Williams's memoir? Anyway, as the gang prepares for their first night out in Italy, the season's central mystery is laid out. What's going on with Sammi's boobs? People are noting that they're bigger — but did she have something done? She's quite vague when Snooki suggests they get fake boobs together ... JWOWW raves about her own, 700 cc's, which is the first time we've ever heard anyone refer to their bust size not by cup, but by the amount of liquid in them. Their first night out is not spent at a club violating international law and peeing on property, but doing boring tourist stuff. Someone better get punched soon.
9. MIKE AND SNOOKI ARE AS BELIEVABLE A COUPLE AS ...
Snooki and an advanced degree. This can't be the main romantic tension of the season, can it? At least Vinny and Snooki had a cute "will they or won't they" thing happening ... Mike and Snooki give off more of a "did they really, and please God, do not let the cameras capture it if they will again" vibe. For no apparent reason, Mike shares his — feelings? — about Snooki with Ron, even though he and Ron basically hate each other. We've heard reports about a reported fistfight between the two all spring ... is it really over Snooki?
10. "GUIDO MR. MIYAGI"
A boring show gets boring-er after the gang's first day getting lost in Florence. Actually, the girls get lost, the guys work out in an empty Italian gym with a guy whom Vinny refers to as a "Guido Mr. Miyagi," which we take as an insult to both Don Novello and the late Pat Morita. When everyone gets home, a surprisingly fitness-conscious Snooki is doing "Little Snooki Workouts" — crunches and situps, etc. Vinny pretends to take a dump on her. Oh, these two!
11. WE'RE PRETTY SURE THIS BUILDING IS GOING UP IN FLAMES
Anybody else feel really anxious when they were trying to plug their hair dryers/straighteners in various combinations of outlets and voltage converters? As everyone is preparing for what we hope will be an eventful night out at a club, science and stupidity are conspiring in a way that could endanger many lives. Deena burning her own fake hair off is a bad sign. We pray we're wrong, but between the precarious electricity situation and Mike ashing on the floor, this can't end well.
They go out to a club! "Club Otel", where someone will no doubt get "erpes." Now we're talking! This place is on fire! Did Pauly D plug his hair dryer behind the bar? How scary is it, by the way, that the gang is depending on Vinny to be their interpreter? He's like a doughy C-3P0 with a patchy beard. While V-3P0 is trying to convert gibberish into Italian, Mike starts fake hug-kissing Snooki, to which everyone gets fake aghast. But actually the real shocker of the night, and the first genuinely disgusting thing we've seen all hour, is the painful make-out session between Deena and Pauly D (PaulyDeena). As they awkwardly tongue-punch each other in the face, Deena seems into it, while Pauly looks pained, like his passing a kidney boulder through his eyes, all the while chanting to himself "I'm getting 10 grand an episode ... 10 grand an episode ... 10 grand an episode".
TO SUM UP:
While it initially seemed like a good idea, so far the JS cast in Italy isn't producing as many "fish out of water" scenes to be worth the trip. We miss the Shore. We miss the Scarface sign and the skanky people and the T-shirt store. They're as much a part of what made this show great as Snooki's blurred-out vagina.