The latest episode of "Jersey Shore" was about men behaving badly. The boys were in full-on meathead mode, driven by poor, drunken decisions and steadfast refusals to back down. It was mainly uncomfortable to watch the women having to react to the boors, their looks of horror and tears telling the story.
We enjoy "Jersey Shore" for its mindless escapism. But when Vinny — quickly pulling ahead as the most insufferable person in the house — says, "It's called tag-team, not tag-rob. It wasn't a good tag team" when referring to sharing a stumbling, wasted girl with Deena, it's only skeevy and a bit jarring. Non-chalant talking about "tag-teaming" a girl who claimed to be a virgin? It's an accurate measurement of how low-brow TV can go in 2011.
And yet ... how addictive it all is!
I watched in horror when the house bullies (Pauly D and Vinny, a combination that thinks it's funnier than it really is) shamed Deena into feeling bad for making out with a girl. They pushed her to an "anxiety attack" (her words) by pulling a stupid prank (putting someone's bed in the living room is not clever). Although Deena deserved an apology from the guys, she was coerced by Pauly into blaming herself. It was a trainwreck.
If I told you Sam and Ronnie would have a huge fight the first episode after they got back together, would you believe me? Their toxic relationship is a vacuum and it grabbed the Situation by the leg tonight, pulling it into the eye.
A synopsis: Sam threw Mike under the bus for a dumb comment he said two episodes ago. Drunken Ronnie said "I'm about to get real f---ing gully" (saw it on my Twitter timeline twice immediately afterward) and he did just that. The credits rolled as Ronnie confronted Mike for once again running his mouth and selling Ronnie out. It's all leading to the episode where Ronnie sends Mike to the hospital, and MTV is milking the violence for all it's worth. Before Sunday's Video Music Awards, a new "Jersey Shore" will air and we will see Ronnie's rage in action. The end-game is Sitch on a stretcher. A preview clip showed him post-punch-out, and he looked like a perfect candidate for anger management class.
And that's when I had flashbacks of schoolyard beef and my own friends fighting each other. Alcohol is the usual catalyst and before you know it, an unspoken tension mutates into puffed chests. There's a moment in confrontations where you know each person is all-in, refusing to dial down the ego enough to deal with it in the morning. That moment came at the end of tonight's episode, setting up Sunday's cliffhanger rather perfectly. But for tonight, we were left with muscle-on-muscle crime, not sure what to be happier about: that we're not these characters or the fact that Sunday is only three days away.