In Jersey Shore, Abridged, Jezebel will be recapping the first season, and maybe the entire series, of Jersey Shore in 3 to 5 sentences followed by viewing comprehension questions and therapeutic prompts. This series is in honor of Jersey Shore: Family Vacation and me, for my decision to watch and appreciate Jersey Shore for the first time. Please enjoy.
Season 1, Episode 2
In Episode 2, we spend more time with Danny, the housemates’ employer and landlord; because of this consolidated power over the material conditions of the casts’ lives, he is the villain of the series. As ever, feelings inside the house abound: The Situation and Sammi are locked in a myopic flirtation, attraction by lazy proximity. JWoww and Pauly D are drawn together like the powerful magnets they are, and a night of grinding culminates in Pauly showing JWoww his dick piercing. “No one knows,” he tells her in a conspiratorial whisper. “I know it,” she coos back. Later, Vinny gets pink eye.
Comprehension questions: Did you notice I forgot to name Sammi in the previous post? The show’s handling of non-housemate women is deeply and consistently cruel. What is the cruelest thing you’ve ever done?
Season 1, Episode 3
It is the morning after and JWoww is conflicted and in denial about hooking up with Pauly D; her shame only grows in the presence of her boyfriend, Tommy, who is visiting from Long Island. Snooki succeeds in her search for belonging, finally finding her place among the housemates. Sammi and Ron, high on early romance, have no idea that they are embarking on a doomed relationship that will stretch, often painfully, through the next eight years. No one, of course, gets to know such things in advance. Angelina leaves.
Comprehension questions: JWoww chooses, at first, not to tell Tommy about her infidelity. Have you ever lied by omission, and how did you justify it to yourself?
Season 1, Episode 4
Tension permeates the episode, as do various manifestations of the misogyny that sits deep in our culture’s bones. The Situation and Pauly bring two women home, only to treat them with debasing cruelty when sex is taken off the table. The episode ends in a shocking act of violence followed by abrupt cuts to the chaos that follows: the men in the house, having witnessed a man punch Snooki in the face, express horror that anyone could treat a woman with such contempt. Their own contempt, gleefully articulated just an evening before, is left unexamined.
Comprehension questions: What is projection?