It was hard to miss the news this week that two of MTV's fattest cash cows — Vinny Guadagnino and Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino — have fled their Seaside Heights animal farm for greener pastures. And sure, both could very well be en route back to their booze-soaked beach bungalow as we speak — they might even be full-fledged cast members again by the time this little ramble hits your laptop newsstand because, let's face it: The Jersey Shore gang make up and break up with nothing less than the greatest of ease (see: Ronnie and Sammi).
Really, though, the recent departures say less about the unrelenting pressures of reality TV (cue the world's tiniest guitar as Snooki & Co. laugh all the way to the bank), and more about the cast members' states of mind. While strutting down the street the other day, a photographer wished Mike good luck, to which the infamous ab-flasher replied, "I don't need it." Ya burnt, shutterbug! In the end, Vinny and The Sitch's set-fleeing actions don't say "I'm outta here," so much as they scream "I'm outta here, because I can do better without you."
Which, ha!, is just kind of insane. (Remember Angelina? "Angelina who?" you ask. Exactly.) Sure, Vinny can hope and pray that he's cast in Season 14 of NASCAR With the Stars (coming Fall 2017, only on ABC!); and yes, The Situation just might land a coveted, uber-glam spot on Celebrity Rehab one day in the not-so-distant future. We who write about TV should be so lucky. But if these two delusionoids think that there's a bright, glittering post-Jersey Shore world out there for them, then they're sadly mistaken.
A few weeks ago, word started spreading around the interweb, faster than a dose of the Jersey Shore itchies, that MTV was keen on wiping the slate clean after Season 5, and filming with a whole new gang of over-tanned, under-qualified juiceheads. Fine! Bring it, MTV. The introduction of fan fave Deena in Season 3 proved, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the undeniable essence of the show has little to do with cast familiarity, and everything to do with our merciless appetite for watching doe-eyed, media un-savvy guidos make complete jackholes of themselves on national TV. It's crass, it's vulgar, and guess what: We love every damn minute of it.
But don't think for a second that it has anything to do with a fondness for Snooki or her out-of-control pickle habit, or the way JWOWW bravely pees where no man has peed before. Whether you like it or not, the cast are all amazingly expendable. Take a trip to any guido metropolis, like Pauly D's hometown of Johnston, RI (which — fun fact! — has the highest percentage of Italian-Americans of any municipality in the country), and you'll quickly see that the casting agents for Jersey Shore have the easiest job on the whole damn planet.
If Vinny and The Situation walk away from Season 5 for good — and, like we said before, it's anyone's guess if they'll actually keep those walking shoes on for very long — then mark our words, they've essentially thrown in the towel on their 15 minutes. Poof! Goodbye. Ultimately, Mike Sorrentino may not need luck; but he definitely needs Jersey Shore.