Jersey Shore's fifth season came to a merciful end last night. Ratings have slipped, and with spinoffs planned for JWOWW, Snooki, and Pauly, and a surprise pregnancy throwing a wrench into a potential sixth season of coconut body shots, there's a lot of talk about doing the right thing and putting the show out of its miserable misery. When Vinny and Deena went on the Today show and insisted that the show could still be great, it was like hearing some flea-bitten promoter insisting that there was still fight left in the cauliflowered and brain-damaged prizefighter who begged him for one last bout before resigning himself to a life of working in quality control at a canned chicken plant. So let's stage a preemptive intervention in the form of drawing MTV a chilling picture of just how we think an ill-advised seventh season would unfold for each of the roommates. And in case that doesn't give MTV a reality check, we'll also foresee what might tragically happen to them if the show was milked another ten years. Consider this the Ghost of GTL Future.
Now: Snooki's been really optimistic about the way pregnancy is changing her. She's not smoking, drinking, or partying, and the way she talks about her new clean ways sounds a lot like the way the uncle who your dad stopped lending money to talks about state-mandated rehab.
Next Season: When extremely self-absorbed, totally un-self-aware individuals have a baby, the upshot is that they become totally absorbed in said baby and unaware of how unbelievably boring and annoying talk of that is. She will intersperse endless discussions of another human's poop (well, at least that's a start) with sitting for blissful mommy-baby tabloid shoots — the proceeds from which will finance a trainer to lead her through the brutal weight-loss regimen necessary to get her back into peak, post-quickie-divorce tomfoolery condition.
In Ten Years: Yeah, I said "divorce." She and Jionni will split every year amid accusations of adultery, but then get back together and get remarried in every season finale, so in 2022 they will celebrate their tenth first anniversary.
Now: Deena is the resident bumbling lonely-heart, but it's never made her mean. She seems to be protected by a magical patina of mental oblivion that has thus far kept her from turning into some kind of egomaniacal she-Mike. But at this point, her needy single shtick has gotten less “Oh, that Deena!” and more “Oh, Deena.”
Next Season: Deena actually came out and begged Vinny and Pauly to say that they loved her this season, so it’s almost scary to think of how cry-for-helpy things might get if given another one. Maybe she’ll get a Tumblr where she posts Evanescence lyrics on Instagrammed photos of antique surgical instruments.
In Ten Years: One time when I was in Mexico, I went on a day boat cruise that ended up being run by a stout older gay lady who wore a whistle and blasted that Black Eyed Peas party song to the delight of two dozen wildly inebriated gay men. I can't say what ten years of aerospace technology will bring, but if there's ever a future version of this ship, Deena will be its Captain Picard.
Now: Vinny had a rough season and almost didn’t come back. He seems okay now, if a little bit mopey and obsessed with lesbians.
Next Season: You know when adults play hide-and-seek with little kids and will just kind of pick someplace really obvious so the kid finds them? Like, "How did you find me, half-concealed behind the couch?" I feel like that's the way Vinny has been hiding from Jesus. It's inevitable that at least one member of the cast would Cat Stevens out after season after season of empty debauch: Vin's free-floating existential despair, combined with his "Let Go Let God" chest tat, make him the most likely candidate.
In Ten Years: He'll be deacon of his mega-church and financier for his retired Everything-But-Water-model wife's aromatherapy business. It's hard to say what the trashy baby name trend of the future will be, but I hope it's naming kids after brands of Italian bicycles, or maybe types of cooking rice — in which case the little Vinnys will be named Bianchi, Arborio, and Unbleached Instant.
Now: Ron's like the dirtiest YA novel in the library from that town in Footloose: Checked out for a while now.
Next Season: Pretty much the only thing Ronnie has going for him is the fact that he looks like an extra-small condom full of hazelnuts. So next year we predict a new entrepreneurial direction: Expect him to be pushing caffeinated weight-gain gum and some kind of fat-extracting panini press.
In Ten Years: People who are built like Ronnie don't generally age very well. He will look like a snowman made of chip-chop ham before Snooki's baby is out of diapers. I don’t know if he’ll still be with Sammi, given that their relationship seems to have all the heat of flan.
Now: Sammi has had all the presence of one of those pleasant, benevolent ghosts that haunt B&Bs: Oooooohhh … sometimes visitors to the Ocean Terrace report the distinctive smell of White Rain ... woooooooooh.
Next Season: I have no idea where Sammi’s story line can go, because, what story line? She’s like many a Jim Jarmusch film about sitting. If there’s another season, the producers should probably invest in an air horn to encourage her participation. “HONKKKK!” “What? What?! I’m awake. No, yeah, that rash totally looks weird.”
In Ten Years: Mother to children who will probably also be frustrated by her inability to appear in anything other than reaction shots at their soccer games.
Now: There's nothing really new to observe about Pauly’s charm (puckish), lack of self-awareness (considerable), ideas about the female body (Medieval), or hair (somebody's said flourless chocolate torte, right? I mean, flourless chocolate torte). He’s still more charismatic than anybody else in the house, but even Situation mixes it up with a star-shaped fade or something. Pauly’s absurdity has kind of plateaued.
Next Season: What Pauly really needs is a change of scene. It would have been great if his spinoff had involved moving to Seattle to pursue therapy work and tenuous relationships with his effete brother and crippled dad. But alas, his spinoff sounds ominously Entourage-y — it follows DJPD and "his boys" as they journey from small town Rhode Island to Hollywood and, hopefully, into a vat of bees.
In Ten Years: President.
Now: The Situation turned a corner from "so unlikable it's kind of sad" to "nope, just unlikable" this season. I don't even hope he finds Eckhart Tolle in between collecting checks from opening three-level sushi bars and foam clubs in Paramus. You are just so the worst, Michael. You are the Lorax movie having sex with a bottle of Skinnygirl Margarita mix.
Next Season: Mike tried all season to be the villain, but he’s such an a-hole that he couldn’t even help bungling being an a-hole. Who knows what reality archetype he’ll try for next? It would be fun to hope for “crazy from Lyme disease,“ but he’d probably just foul that up too.
In Ten Years: Eaten by Morlocks.