Get crazy(-ish), get wild(-ish): Party’s here (again … kinda)!
Jersey Shore‘s Reunion Road Trip played out like a long overdue meet-up with all your friends from high school — only if every trace of your time together had burnt down in a fire. Though slightly less than five years have passed since the MTV juggernaut ended, the once-raging guidos and guidettes have all coupled up and Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino, touted as the biggest partier of them all, is 18 months sober. Now that‘s a Situation. (Or at least so we were told, as if mandated by Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi‘s birth control pill alarm, every 5 minutes during the 30-minute E! special.)
As ever, Snooki was the standout of this road trip (which was “planned” by Sitch and conspicuously missing Ronnie Ortiz-Magro, Vinny Guadgnino and Deena Cortese). She didn’t waste a minute putting her ex-roommate through the paces. In fact, she told her 2-year-old daughter, Giovanna, even before the trip that she was being picked up by “this guy called ‘Mr. Situation.’ He took too many, um, candy snacks and got mean and cranky.”
Seconds after climbing up into the Seaside Heights-bound SUV, the 4-ft., 8-in. Meatball Emeritus and mom of two was asking him where he used to hide his pills and if he slept with more than 1,000 women during their six-season run on the show (he had to pause to consider this question — perhaps equally due to basic arithmetic as the undeniable fact he barely remembers most of his earlier years in the spotlight). At one point, she told him bluntly, “We used to be besties until you were rude and conniving. You were like a bully. But that was your role, I guess.”
In short, the road trip was all about The Situation repenting for the misdeeds that caused his cast mates to blacklist him for the last half decade —including, according to Snooki, the fact that multiple tax fraud indictments threw his costars’ own finances into question. Or, as Pauly put it in a confessional: “Mike ‘The Situation’ went off that dark path and turned into a d—, and we distanced ourselves from him — which is kind of sad.”
Even Sitch’s hard-fought wins over these past few years — getting clean and readying for marriage and babies with longtime girlfriend Lauren Pesce, to name a few — received the kind of derision reserved only for the kind of guy who was once so out of his mind on substances that he unknowingly spent the better part of one season 5 night with his genitalia hanging out of his pants. (Yes, Snooki brought that up, too.)
It was a brief rekindling of their family bond, in part, said Sitch, because “Apparently Seaside didn’t want us back.” (At that, the cast ran through the laundry list of offenses they’d committed in the vacation spot, including arrests, brawls and public urination.)
We got updates on the others: Jenni “JWoww” Farley has a website where they do on-camera DIY lube demonstrations; Paul “DJ Pauly D” DelVecchio was, at time of filming, still in his reality TV-forged relationship with singer Aubrey O’Day, though she didn’t like all the “naked” groupies flocking to him after his gigs, and he considered it “a lot of work,” and the writing was on the wall; also, Sammi “Sweetheart” Giancola has jumped on the podcast wagon, is happily loved up with someone who doesn’t shame her “Fred Flintstone toe” and and has fully severed communications with Raaaaahn, whom she calls “not my favorite person. That door is closed and will remain shut for a long time.”
But mostly, this Reunion was about reminiscing over clips we couldn’t watch (™ MTV) and making sure The Situation feels as humble as possible before he very likely heads to prison. But hey! At least he was able to cushion some of his friends’ blows with the neck brace he scored when infamously ramming his head into a concrete wall during their inglorious return to their Italian homeland in season 4.
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After what turned out to be a very brief day trip, The Situation felt he’d achieved his goal, confronting his mistakes and reassembling the Shore house dream team. And so, in too-good-to-be-true fashion, Snooki proposed they celebrate his sobriety — with a shot.
As they all looked back on the family bond and how much they’ve changed, JWoww took stock: “We’re old. We adults now. We pay taxes! Oh s—, Mike did not.”