Sometimes, when watching the most important sociological experiment of our time, there are certain lessons and observations we can glean from the main action of the show. Other times, it is the small details that really get the imagination humming. Last night, the most recent footage of our eight apes in the wild was definitely one where we focused on the details. Nothing really major happened other than trying to hide Snooki's baby shower from her and The Situation dealing with his ex-wife Paula (who looked smokin') at the club. Yeah, that was, well, it was something. But there are more important things to talk about, like Trash Bags.
But first, there is one term that we need to learn so we can discuss all the details of the guido lifestyle.
Nani: A euphemism for a vagina. Actually it is a term of disgust for a vagina that is filled up with spiders. This is a fear that is indigenous to most guido women because they are raised to fear sleeping in the nude and being nude in general. They believe that their naked state makes them vulnerable to spider attacks in their lady parts and that a spider will crawl inside, lay her eggs, and fill the guidette up with a bunch of babies. This is actually a story that guidette mothers tell their daughters to convince them that they should wear garments when sleeping with a man and to frighten them about the prospect of having anything in their womb, even a child. This is why it is so difficult for guidettes to cope with the idea of motherhood. They are raised thinking that, at any moment, their innards can be split open by a spider brigade if they expose them at the wrong time. That is nasty. So when there is a baby inside, the guidettes liken it to an infestation and it makes them uncomfortable. This story is the world's worst form of birth control.
The worlds best form of birth control however is the dark sea creature known as Trash Bags. One of my favorite things about the continued filming in Seaside Heights is that you get these weird side characters (Danielle Agent of Mossad, DJ Paulie D's stalker, Paula) who pop back into the action just to make things crazy. Last night, it was Trash Bags, the deposed alpha female of our merry little band of guido misfits.
The crew goes to a club called Merge! Ultralounge, and I felt a little gypped. Well, first of all I think an Ultralounge should be someplace that is so loungey that the patrons can barely get off the couch. You know, sort of like an opium den. Instead it's a regular old club. But in three years of going to Seaside, of going to Karma and Bamboo and Aztec, of going to the Beachcomber and Jenkss and Steaks Unlimited, how have we never heard of Merge!? How is this the first time that we have even bothered to go there?
I know why. That is because in the Great Guido Treaty of 2010, Merge! was the one club that was ceded to Trash Bags, an evil anemone that will infect you with her toxic black ink. Yes, our eight guidos knew that they had to coexist in the same town as the one girl they kicked out of this little experiment, so they told her that she would be allowed to go to Seaside, if only she stuck to Merge!, the worst of all the major clubs. She was not allowed at any of the other hotspots so they wouldn't have to run into her. She stuck to the deal so that she would not be cast out into exile in one of the lesser shore towns.
Considering that the guido memory span lasts about as long as the salt on the lip of a margarita glass, they have since put aside the Great Guido Treaty of 2010 and forgotten that they weren't going to Merge! so that they wouldn't have to slog through the toxic waste dump known as Trash Bags. While sitting around at home, DJ Paulie D scratched his head and thought, "Why aren't we going to Merge?! We haven't been there in two years. I feel like there was a reason, and now I can't remember." The reason was so that they wouldn't be poisoned.
When they arrive at the club, they are all shocked to see Trash Bags there, because they have all forgotten that this is her cage, that this club is her prison where she must live out her days in utter torture. It is just like that piece of glass sailing through the cosmos with the villains from Krypton that are trapped in that plate of glass and eventually rupture out to be the villains of Superman II. When she sees the crew, Trash Bags thinks, "Finally, my outsider days are at an end! It is time for me to make reparations." She goes up and apologizes to each of the guys, one by one in her fashion, telling each that she is sorry for what she ever did to them and has grown up a lot and wants to make things better. She thinks if she can get them to like her again, she will be able to go to Bamboo with impunity. Trash Bags wants to repair her Karma.
But since she is a spore for the Pacific garbage island, she can't even apologize correctly. She just stands there, lingering around, looking for something else to say to make it all better, and it just drives the guys crazy, it drives them right out of Merge! and back home. As they're walking toward their house, DJ Paulie D snaps his fingers and points up in the air, "That's why we don't go to Merge!"
The other awesome thing that happened at the club has to do with JWOWW and girl code. We know in guido society that the only time male and female can mix is if they are smushing. Otherwise the girls look out for the girls (as our guidettes did for Paula at the club this week) and the guys look out for the guys. That is how things work. Now they are not only supportive of their own gender, but also competitive against it, since they are ultimately competing with each other to cross those gender lines and pull in a little bit of genital rubbing action at the end of the night. This is why JWOWW is upset when she sees a lousy gogo dancer at Karma. This thing was dressed in Day-Glo lingerie and just sort of rocking back and forth on a box. JWOWW, much more experienced at luring men in with her dance moves, is pissed that this girl is so lazy. She is giving all women a bad name by not being as sexually desirable as she could be by showing off her pelvic undulations to the ogling horde. She gets up on the block and shows (snap) her (snap) how (snap) this (snap) shit (snap) is (snap) done. You better work, JWOWW.
Then, when she goes to Merge! she thinks that she can put on another show and impress a man. This time it's Jesse, a friend of her boyfriend Mayor Roger. She thinks she can take down his obviously superior dance moves with her own. Since he can break dance and windmill and centipede like no other, she does the one move that is reserved for women: dropping it. This move is when a women rapidly lowers her hind quarters toward the floor and then throws them back up into the air again just as rapidly. It is meant to simulate a position known as "cowboy" and is rather sexual in nature. While trying to show off her prowess, however, JWOWW splits her pants down the back and is embarrassed. That is what she gets for trying to take on a member of the opposite gender. This is why girls stick with girls and why guys stick with guys. Also hilarious is that, with a giant rip up the back of her pants exposing her ass to everyone at the club, everyone thinks it's intentional. No one even comments on her pants because why wouldn't JWOWW be wearing a pair of trousers that show off her thong? She probably has three pairs of the exact same pants at home.
Speaking of three, Vinny almost had a threeway, but one of the girls bailed. This seems like the unattainable for him and I feel like our little experiment here would not be complete until he reaches it.
Finally, the thing that we must discuss is Ronnie's new-found penchant for donning a gorilla suit and waking people up with it. As we learned from Snooki and her experiments with transitional animal totems, the guidos take on the the persona of an animal when they want to act out a part of their personality that they feel is laying dormant. This is the same with Ronnie. We learn this not by his first prank, when he wakes up JWOWW, but his second prank when he wakes up her boyfriend Roger, the Mayor of Seaside Heights. Ronnie and Roger, both juiced-up "gorillas" in the guido parlance, have always had a strange relationship, one of mutual admiration and affection. Ronnie goes to wake Roger up with the gorilla suit after Roger has had sex with his girlfriend and is lying in bed in only his boxers. Ronnie sneaks in and get to admire Roger's body as long as he would like. Then to wake him up, instead of making a noise, he caresses Roger's flank, letting his hand linger on Roger's warm flesh. Roger wakes up, is startled and then they all laugh at the joke.
This is Ronnie's personality acting out through his animal counterpart. He wants to be able to touch Roger, to be the gorilla that enters into his bed, but the thought of being attracted to another man scares them both, which is why Ronnie assumes this frightening face and tries to scare Roger. He at once gets to act out his fantasy, the thing that he can not have, and to push it away at the same time. He also tries to scare away JWOWW, the rival to his romantic affections. This gorilla is the true manifestation of his feelings, but only by pretending can Ronnie feel comfortable with reality. But Ronnie has to eventually take off the suit and lie in bed next to Sammi. While she shifts around in the bed next to him, he lies on his wide back and stares up at the ceiling, uncomfortable stiff in his nether regions, and slowly brushing his hand, the hand that rubbed Roger, gently against his face.
Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan
[Photo Credit: MTV]
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The first and most important thing you should know about Paramount Pictures’ Thor is that it’s not a laughably corny comic book adaptation. Though you might find it hokey to hear a bunch of muscled heroes talk like British royalty while walking around the American Southwest in LARP garb director Kenneth Branagh has condensed vast Marvel mythology to make an accessible straightforward fantasy epic. Like most films of its ilk I’ve got some issues with its internal logic aesthetic and dialogue but the flaws didn’t keep me from having fun with this extra dimensional adventure.
Taking notes from fellow Avenger Iron Man the story begins with an enthralling event that takes place in a remote desert but quickly jumps back in time to tell the prologue which introduces the audience to the shining kingdom of Asgard and its various champions. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) son of Odin is heir to the throne but is an arrogant overeager and ill-tempered rogue whose aggressive antics threaten a shaky truce between his people and the frost giants of Jotunheim one of the universe’s many realms. Odin (played with aristocratic boldness by Anthony Hopkins) enraged by his son’s blatant disregard of his orders to forgo an assault on their enemies after they attempt to reclaim a powerful artifact banishes the boy to a life among the mortals of Earth leaving Asgard defenseless against the treachery of Loki his mischievous “other son” who’s always felt inferior to Thor. Powerless and confused the disgraced Prince finds unlikely allies in a trio of scientists (Natalie Portman Stellan Skarsgard and Kat Dennings) who help him reclaim his former glory and defend our world from total destruction.
Individually the make-up visual effects CGI production design and art direction are all wondrous to behold but when fused together to create larger-than-life set pieces and action sequences the collaborative result is often unharmonious. I’m not knocking the 3D presentation; unlike 2010’s genre counterpart Clash of the Titans the filmmakers had plenty of time to perfect the third dimension and there are only a few moments that make the decision to convert look like it was a bad one. It’s the unavoidable overload of visual trickery that’s to blame for the frost giants’ icy weaponized constructs and other hybrids of the production looking noticeably artificial. Though there’s some imagery to nitpick the same can’t be said of Thor’s thunderous sound design which is amped with enough wattage to power The Avengers’ headquarters for a century.
Chock full of nods to the comics the screenplay is both a strength and weakness for the film. The story is well sequenced giving the audience enough time between action scenes to grasp the characters motivations and the plot but there are tangential narrative threads that disrupt the focus of the film. Chief amongst them is the frost giants’ fore mentioned relic which is given lots of attention in the first act but has little effect on the outcome. In addition I felt that S.H.I.E.L.D. was nearly irrelevant this time around; other than introducing Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye the secret security faction just gets in the way of the movie’s momentum.
While most of the comedy crashes and burns there are a few laughs to be found in the film. Most come from star Hemsworth’s charismatic portrayal of the God of Thunder. He plays up the stranger-in-a-strange-land aspect of the story with his cavalier but charming attitude and by breaking all rules of diner etiquette in a particularly funny scene with the scientists whose respective roles as love interest (Portman) friendly father figure (Skarsgaard) and POV character (Dennings) are ripped right out of a screenwriters handbook.
Though he handles the humorous moments without a problem Hemsworth struggles with some of the more dramatic scenes in the movie; the result of over-acting and too much time spent on the Australian soap opera Home and Away. Luckily he’s surrounded by a stellar supporting cast that fills the void. Most impressive is Tom Hiddleston who gives a truly humanistic performance as the jealous Loki. His arc steeped in Shakespearean tragedy (like Thor’s) drums up genuine sympathy that one rarely has for a comic book movie villain.
My grievances with the technical aspects of the production aside Branagh has succeeded in further exploring the Marvel Universe with a film that works both as a standalone superhero flick and as the next chapter in the story of The Avengers. Thor is very much a comic book film and doesn’t hide from the reputation that its predecessors have given the sub-genre or the tropes that define it. Balanced pretty evenly between “serious” and “silly ” its scope is large enough to please fans well versed in the source material but its tone is light enough to make it a mainstream hit.