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 5
The episode picks up in the chaos following the assault: Back at the house, Snooki goes to bed and cries. Hearing this, Ron comes to comfort her: “You know we fucking love you, right?” “No, I don’t,” she says, face concealed by the comforter. “We’re one big family,” he says. Ron is right, I think, without realizing it. They love each other as a family does, but like all families, they will hurt and disappoint one another, in ways intended and not, and will have to learn to incorporate those things into a relationship that will sometimes feel predestined and inescapable. The Situation gets stood up and rejection pierces his masculine bravado, if only for the moment.
Comprehension questions: When did you first realize that the people you love could disappoint you? When did you realize this about yourself?
Season 1, Episode 6
Vinny informs the roommates that he hooked up with a woman whom his boss, the villain Danny, had previously dated. He is both thrilled and fearful, eager to confess his “sin” and relive it in intimate detail. This is the appeal of the transgressive. Later, Ron gets into a fist fight on the boardwalk. Sam watches, fearful and horrified at Ron’s rage. The episode closes with the pair locked in a tearful embrace, a scene of wounded attachment that has by now become familiar to both viewer and couple.
Comprehension questions: Have you ever been trapped in a cycle of chaotic dependence? Could you name it as such in the moment, or was it hindsight that brought you clarity?
Season 1, Episode 7
The housemates are at frayed ends as the experiment draws nearer to the close. They go to Atlantic City, which is treated as a fresh start when it is just a different venue to be haunted by the same problems and resentments. At the Shore, a dumb man in a tank top charms Snooki with platitudes. She is uncertain about missing her last semester of veterinarian school in order to participate in the series that will come to define her life. “The biggest risk in life is not taking a risk,” the man tells her, uselessly. Later, the Situation fucks in the hot tub, pushing the rejection he experienced earlier in the week deeper into a place inside himself that he rarely visits.
Comprehension questions: What feelings have you tried to bury? Why?