It's the fall of 1995. You're a 15-year-old closeted (but still slightly fabulous) gayboy who adores NBC's Thursday Must See TV lineup. Remember, apart from The Real World (which nobody had watched since the San Fran series anyway — Pedro, you taught the world to love!!), reality TV was but a nightmare that the world had yet to dream — and Must See TV was the height of televisual sophistication. So yes: you're 15, you have a latent crush on a still dark-haired George Clooney, and Friends is one of the highlights of your television weeks. Sad, but true.
Imagine your horror, then, upon discovering that the supposedly "new" Friends episode that you've been looking forward to all week is actually nothing more than that most dreaded of all TV phenomenon, a clip show. It's a well-known fact that, apart from live footage of natural and man-made disasters, clip shows are the most abhorrent thing that can be seen on television. Fact. Mindless, plotless, and full of lazy writing, clip shows have no redeeming quality, and function only to trick innocent fans into tuning in.
My friends, tonight's Jersey Shore Season 2 reunion was nothing more than a clip show. There was no real confrontation over Ron's infidelities or Sammi's irratic behavior, or any discussion of Mike's quasi-violent behavior towards women. Hell, there wasn't even an Angelina to make fun of. No, folks, this was the lightest hour of TV fluff that we've seen in a long time.
So what did we learn tonight? Besides discovering that we can drink an entire bottle of red wine while watching Jersey Shore and still manage to type coherent sentences afterward, tonight's reunion revealed very little. Let's break with tradition, and go bullet-point commando on this recap, shall we?
1. Angelina The No-Show. Oh, Angelina, grow a set. The rest of the cast may hate you for being a manipulative nutjob, but c'mon! You're not even Z-List enough to be on Dancing With The Stars. Milk those last 15 minutes of fame while you can, girlfriend.
2. Tranny Talk. The housemates, including that insufferable host (by god, she makes us wish for a speedy end), used the word "tranny" approximately 63.9 times during the entire reunion — mostly during a segment dealing with Mike's brush with an alleged male-to-female transsexual. Listen, we get that this is Jersey Shore and that, collectively, the housemates have the combined IQ of a swollen cold sore. But in the past few weeks, more than a fair share of young people have killed themselves because they'd been bullied about their sexual identities. Using a derogatory word like "tranny" just seems lame, outdated, and pretty irresponsible.
3. You Gotta Have a Gimmick. In the heyday of Must See TV, Seinfeld was king, and Cosmo Kramer was queen. Twitchy and unpredictable, Kramer would burst into Jerry's living room, and the studio audience would inexplicably burst into raucous applause and laughter — almost as if the entrance alone had simultaneously cured AIDS, cancer, and world hunger. Similarly, the MVP boys have quickly learned their fans are just as hungry for a gimmick. Pauly's "Cabs aaah heeeeyaa!" shtick killed the live studio audience; they ate that shiz out of the palm of his hand! And when all three MVPs did their "T-Shirt Time" routine, the audience nearly erupted into a Beatle-mania frenzy.
4. Snooki Hearts Vinny. Snooki admitted that she has a crush on Vinny, and Vinny admitted that he'll sleep with just about anything that shows interest. Guys, this could be the start of something really beautiful...
5. Sam + Ronnie 4-Eva. Finally, the news that we've all been waiting for! — that despite all of the (self-imposed) obstacles that have come in their way, America's favorite sweethearts are still going strong! Thankfully, everyone at the reunion (including the ding-bat hostess that makes us want to jump off of a tall building) basically told Sam that she's the most awful person ever; that she blamed her girlfriends when she should have blamed her two-timing man; and that the world would be better off without her. Way harsh, but oh so true.
Besides a few extra clips of Snooki farting, and Bowwoww bursting pimples (good work, girls — after all, those Emmys aren't going to earn themselves!), that was that. Season 2 is finally done. We're all finally, finally free — free to boldly step out into the world, and to live life as fully and responsibly as our dear, dear friends at the Jersey Shore. Until January 6th, guidos and guidettes!