In Jersey Shore, Abridged, Jezebel planned to recap the first season, and maybe the entire series, of Jersey Shore in 3 to 5 sentences followed by viewing comprehension questions and therapeutic prompts. An editorial decision was made to jump ahead to the latest season because rewatching the entire series was bad for my brain and heart. 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 recaps of episodes 4 through 9 because I forgot to do this for a few weeks.
Season 1, Episode 11
The housemates tell Angelina that, while they are glad to have made amends, they would like to spend their remaining days in Miami without her. She accepts this, recognizing her place as an outsider. On the car ride back to the house, Angelina informs Nicole, Jenni, and Deena that she has shit her pants. “I shit my pants. I’m so sorry,” she says. “A period shit,” she clarifies to Pauly and Vinny after arriving back at the house.
Her decision to announce this turns out to be a misread of the social dynamics at play. She may have believed it would endear her further to the housemates after a long period of estrangement: “I’m disgusting like them, I’m dysfunctional like them,” she tells the camera, mistaking a superficial characterization as the foundation of a solid relationship. Instead, her confession was a painful lesson in forced, shallow intimacies. Angelina is not there yet, though wants very badly for that to be the case. Snooki could have shit her pants and received loving support from the housemates (or better withstood the teasing that the men would subject her to), but this is not the case for Angelina. She regrets her confession, and cries. Snooki, whose mothering instincts often lead her to kindness, takes Angelina by the hand and offers her the following comfort: “You’re crying over a shart. I fart, always, in my sleep.”
The episode is a lesson in contrasts about what we “deserve” from others. The Situation, whose difficult path to sobriety put him in a better position to cultivate and sustain a loving relationship, prepares to propose to his girlfriend. “I deserve happiness from all the shit I’ve been through,” he tells the camera. “There were so many obstacles for me to get here.” He has done the work, which does not always reward us with happiness, but in this case does. Angelina wants absolution and intimacy without effort or struggle. If it comes at all to any of us, which is never a sure thing, it does not come by way of shitting your pants.
Vinny’s mother arrives at the house with many bags of sausage.
Comprehension questions: Is love a reward for virtue? Consider how this might be a beautiful possibility. Now consider how this may be a violent expectation.