There's an episode in the third season of Jersey Shore where Snooki and JWOWW have to travel to JWOWW's house in Long Island to change the locks on JWoww's house because her ex-boyfriend was stealing things (namely JWOWW's nude pictures) from the house. This modern Laverne & Shirley (in trashier clothes) couldn't figure out just how to work the simple mechanics of a door knob and we spent five hilarious minutes trying to watch the two of them try to figure it out. These two turned a moment of sad drama into one of complete slapstick comedy.
The problem is that all of that is missing from Snooki & JWOWW, their new spin-off of solo adventures (or maybe it's more like a Marvel teaming) that started on MTV last night. The show is supposed to follow their exploits while they move to "The City," which to every rational person from the tri-state area surrounding Manhattan means New York City. But for these two it means "Jersey City." So the episode revolves around whether or not the pair will move in together and their trip with two rather attractive real estate brokers to find an apartment. There's a few hijinks, but not nearly enough to make you LOL (this is MTV, so using "LOL" with a lack of irony is not only expected, but encouraged).
The beautiful thing about Jersey Shore, the greatest sociological experiment of our time, is that you never know what the eight guidos who live in that house will get up to next, whether that's a fight, hookup, or prank. Thanks to the crew's increasing fame we already know exactly what is going to happen. They're going to move to Jersey City because Hoboken didn't want them. They're going to live in an old fire house because we already saw the pictures. Oh, and Snooki is engaged and pregnant which you would know if you bothered to turn on the internet or go to a grocery store in the last three months. It's staggering to me that this show, just like JS refuses to admit these girls are famous even though it's shockingly obvious to everyone watching the show and has a direct impact on what happens. Their neighbors in the Real Housewives of New Jersey have started incorporating the tabloid covers and press coverage into the action of the show and it's only made the show more immersive. Maybe MTV should follow suit?
The idea for the show was probably initially that Snooks and Ms. WOWW live together in an apartment, go out every night, get all wasted, and hilarity ensues. Now they're both in committed relationships and Snooki can't drink because of the little bun that is cook in her over (wouldn't Snooki's uterus be more like a tanning bed?). The show is now something else entirely, which is about a former wild child turning into a wife and mother. But this is not that show. If this was that show, we'd see her moving in with her boyfriend and settling into domestic life. Seeing Snooki try to learn how to cook and clean would be a program I'd tune into, but watching her pout at a club because she can't drink just seems a little, well, sad. And the tabloids already ruined it for us without even a spoiler alert.
Their summers at the Shore have definitely been magic, but it seems that the attempt to capture that magic in the winter was a little mistimed.
Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan