The other night at the restaurant one of my coworkers said to me, “Hey Rob, check out table six. It’s like Jersey Shore over there,” and I was like, “Huh? What?” and he was like, “Table six. Jersey Shore,” and I did what I always do when I don’t understand something for the second time in a row, I fake a smile, totally pretending that not only did I understand, but I really got it, and I start like nodding in approval, maybe throwing in a convincing fake laugh.
But it bugged me, not getting what he was talking about, so I took a stroll by table six and I saw them, the customers, the giant haircuts, the bronzed skin, the Ed Hardy t-shirts. And I was like, oh, Jersey Shore, GTL, cabs are here, t-shirt time, smush room, Jersey Shore. So I smiled to myself, because I got it, I got what my coworker was talking about. I always like knowing what’s going on, getting people’s jokes. But then I got really sad, because why didn’t I get that joke immediately? Are we that far removed from Jersey Shore already? Since when did Pauly D and the gang become completely irrelevant?
It feels like it was just yesterday, MTV started this new reality show that turned into a cultural phenomenon almost overnight. Everybody was talking about Snooki, about the Situation, about these seven Italian Americans sharing a small house right on the beach. The New York Times, The New Yorker, all of my favorite newspapers and magazines were printing write-ups on the show’s success, examining its impact on our culture, exploring the myriad ways in which this unique group of people liked to party and show off on TV.
They went to the gym. That was something they did. Although the Situation claimed his abs were the highlight of the group’s physical fitness, none of them were really out of shape, and Ronnie was bigger than the Incredible Hulk. They tanned. That was another thing they did. They tanned on the beach, they supplemented their natural vitamin D intake by spending time at tanning salons. They did their laundry, like every day. When they said “fresh to death,” they meant it, like I think it was kind of a threat, a way of saying, if these t-shirts aren’t fresh, we’ll kill you.
And now it’s over. It’s beyond over. The Jersey Shore sensation burnt so bright yet so fast that there’s nothing left. Which is kind of sad. Is this how life gets? You get older, things get cool, but then all of the sudden they’re not cool, and you’re stuck here on your computer, thinking about when it was cool, wondering, is it me? Am I just not getting it?
For a while I thought it was just going to be this never ending ride straight up, getting better and better each season. They went to Jersey. They went to Miami. Back to Jersey. Italy. Holy shit Italy was awesome. Remember that time Sammy punched Ronnie in the face? “Are you friends with her?” “Yes.” Punch. That wasn’t like a frustrated little slap. That was like, I’m looking for a specific answer from you, I’m also conscious of the fact that everything we say and do is being filmed, yet I cannot contain the rage boiling inside, and so I’m going to punch you in the face as hard as I can.
Man, I haven’t thought about Jersey Shore in probably close to a year now. The theme song started playing in my head, “Get crazy, get wild,” but that was it. I think I forgot the rest of the lyrics already. “If you wanna have fun we’ll do something …” was that it? Really?
Are they still technically famous? How long do you have to be out of the public eye to not be considered famous anymore? If Vinnie, or even better, if Angelina were to come into my restaurant, would anybody say anything? Would she say anything? Would she act like a celebrity? Man, that’s got to be tough, to be the focus of such intense public scrutiny, and then like two years later it’s just back to being some regular person.
They’ve got to bring it back. They should do it sooner rather than later. The whole series was never given a chance to rest and mature while it was popular. They were sent from city to city, chasing summers around the globe, unrelenting in their partying. Usually it takes like ten years for a reunion to come up, naturally, organically, but I don’t think we need that with Jersey Shore. It’s been a year, everybody forgot about them, and TV is suffering. The Jersey Shore is trying to bounce back from the hurricane, right? What better way to introduce the comeback than by getting the gang back together?
If not then, guys, does anybody want to hang out sometime? I’m down to party, you know, now that you’re not famous anymore. It’s not weird for me to ask, right? Now that you’re just regular? Let’s do it, I’ll buy some beer, I have Can Jam, that would be fun, right? Guys?