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Jersey Shore Recap: When a Man Loves a Meatball

Well, that was uplifting. Not the episode, necessarily, but the intro where Vinny exhorted viewers to give to the Red Cross relief effort. A huge portion of the Jersey Shore has, sadly, been decimated, and while many of us heard and wondered idly about the fate of Karma, the T-shirt shop, and EJ's, many non-famous people have had their homes and business destroyed.

It was a nice reminder to us emotionally deadened viewers to give, and of the essential humanity lurking behind the network's exploitation of pregnant teenagers and disturbed misogynist pill heads. Best to the people of the Jersey Shore, I hope everybody who watches the show was moved to give generously.

Onward!

On today's installment of the Insane Brown Posse farewell tour, grown man Mike is wigged out about dating a woman after one day. Pauly and Vinny are up to their usual pranks, and Snooki tries to cook dinner for Jionni without burning the house down. We all laugh at a woman crawling on her hands and knees and crying because, hey, she's probably not really a problem drinker, right? It's summer and she's young and the world is her Wawa mug of Midori.

Let us now praise unscripted-program-famous men.

'Enry 'igginsest: Mike
He always finds a way to be the worst, doesn't he? Freaking out after a solid 24 hours of monogamy, Mike calls his girlfriend a "natural 8.2" and schemes about ways to improve her appearance. How about by pouring boiling hot chili on your stupid face, Michael? There's nothing to make a girl look hot like comparison.

Stealth Jerk: Sammi
Everybody always goes on and on about what a monster Mike is, but Sammi is kind of the undercover a-hole of the house. Deena may be a drunken wreck but she's also kind of helpless, like a pet or a small child. I think if you look in the DSM-IV, "cruelty to unstoppable party people" is listed as a strong characteristic of latent sociopathy.

Amelia Bedeliaest: Snook
The fact that anybody can get this far in life without knowing how to make spaghetti without tripping the smoke alarm is a feat in itself. Good job, Nicole. For your own safety, may you spend your days smudging your residual checks with oil from a variety of expensive cured meats and other no-cook antipasti.

Silver Medal Ball Buster: Deena's Mom
Mothers: They don't want you to be drunk in public and fall down and go to jail. Why? Because it reflects badly on them.

The Anaïs Nin Award: Deena
All her fall-down drunkenness kind of buried the lede of this episode: Deena's sexual awakening. She's having her first orgasms with Chris, and her best guy friend Ron doesn't want to hear about it? That's not friendship.

Most Improved: Roger
I will go on record as saying I'm not a Roger fan. I find his facial hair discomfiting and most of his personality seems to be steroid-based. But it was nice of him to bring Jenni's friends to the shore, particularly the little blond one who looked like a gay DJ Qualls.

The Anonymous Blurry Samaritan
Some friend of Paula's cared about her enough to tell Mike not to let women bounce on his lap (what? Is this a thing? Am I old?), and the fact that his face was blurred may indicate that he didn't do it Just to Be on Television. Paula, if you and Mike are indeed over, might I suggest you give this Phantom Gorilla of the Opera a shot. He seems like good people.

The Not Even Trying to Hide It Anymore Award: Pauly and Vinny
Typical prank antics, or excuse to almost-kiss in a photo booth? I think we all know where the originals of these pictures went. I'm guessing they're tucked lovingly in separate Vuitton monogram wallets, nearly transparent from wistful thumb-rubbing and Acqua di Gio fumes. I love these two, but they're like an Annie Proulx novella dropped in a vat of coconut oil.

Okay! We're almost done here, friends. I'll see you all next week when we choke down another chunk of the undercooked cutlet that is this show … all in the name of love.

Photo: MTV