2018 has been the year of revivals from “American Idol,” “Roseanne,’ “TRL” and more. Although I find it highly unlikely that anyone had Jersey Shore on the top of their list for revivals, the show not only returned, but was also renewed for a second season before the first season even aired. Where did the demand come from? “Jersey Shore Road Trip” was a short docu-series that aired in 2017 without Ronnie, Vinny and Deena. Shortly thereafter, reports came out that MTV and the cast were negotiating a reunion series.
For six years, the cast fist-pumped across our screens in the Jersey Shore, Miami and even Italy. This was the era of orange skin and puffed hair, and it wasn’t about Donald Trump. The cast was called trashy and Chris Christie, former governor of New Jersey, even said they did not represent the state well. Yet, they have earned millions through the show, along with product sponsorships and business ventures. They are cultural icons in their own rights. According to MTV, nearly 10 million people watched the premiere.
I was one of those 10 million viewers, as I watched the series when it originally aired. Do I consider it a guilty pleasure? Yes, but I also find the transformation of the cast members astonishing. The cast members were known for drunken behavior that included hookups, hot tub rendezvous and lots of fights. I assumed that the new season would not feature the same antics, considering the returning female cast members are all married, and two of which are moms. All four male cast members returned and two of them are in relationships. Ronnie is expecting a child, and Pauly is the only single cast member.
The episodes that have aired revealed that the women prefer wine over hard alcohol now. The night camera in the ‘smoosh room’ has yet to be used. It was an essential part of the original show. Yet, the most recent episode that aired on April 19 showed that not too much has changed. The guys brought back a bunch of women from the club, the hot tub was used and there were multiple fights. They still ‘GTL,’ which is an acronym of going to the gym, tanning and doing laundry. The duck phone is back, and so is Sammi! Well, a doll version of her, that is.
Although I do find the show entertaining like I did when it first aired, I do think that this is one of the shows that did not need to come back. But, we do crave a nostalgia for simpler times in 2018. The show is flawed, in a different way compared to when it first aired. The cast members are seen complaining about missing their spouses, significant others or their children. There is evident tension between some of the cast members. There are frequent references to the drama that took place in between the time the show finished taping and now. That being said, will I keep watching the show? Yes. Although, I think we are beyond our days of fist pumping.