Michael Slezak
August 06, 2010 AT 03:50 PM EDT

Image Credit: MTVWho says they don’t make romantic comedies like they used to? Last night’s Jersey Shore gave us perhaps the most touching monologue since Julia Roberts delivered that old Notting Hill chestnut, “I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her.” Indeed, after Ronnie and Sammi presumably spent the morning listening to Mary J. Blige’s “No More Drama” on repeat, the big lug got deep and shared thusly: “If we f****** love each other, then we f****** love each other, and that’s it. F****** work on the problems and we f****** grow from it. And if we can’t f****** grow from it, then we can’t be together, and it’s that simple.” But are those words of love, soft and tender, going to be enough to win a girl’s heart when she inevitably finds out about his three-way kiss with a couple of so-called “grenades”?

Not that deep down, Sammi doesn’t already know the score. Come on now, she overheard The Situation, Vinny, and Pauly D discussing Ronnie’s out-of-control drunkenness — on a debauched night where Ronnie had previously cursed her out with some of the worst profanity imaginable — but thought that, what? The dude was only getting freaky with a bottle of Patrón? Still, even though any drama Sammi experiences with Ronnie has to be labeled “100% self-induced,” I cringed mightily when her meaty amour staggered home, boasted that he “did mad work” (AKA took more saliva samples than a CSI technician) at the club, and then declared “I’ll go sleep with my girl now.” His Partners in Guido-ism laughed along gamely, but you could see the strain on their faces: Ronnie had gone too far.

But blame it on the a-a-a-a-a-a-alcohol. Insomuch as the Jersey Shore cast members can be considered real live human beings, I get the sense that Ronnie’s exploits are more “drunken dude trying to prove his masculinity to mask his mushy heart” than “drunken dude who legitimately wants to be Chief Female Tonsil Inspector for the Greater Miami Area. As he so poetically summed it up, “It’s not Saved by the Bell: We’re not f****** Zack and Kelly.” Or in other words, love means never walking away from your man when he’s getting a tattoo on the “worst place” you can get one. (No, not there! More like along the ribcage.)

On the opposite end of the spectrum, it’s startlingly clear Snooki is not the same species as you and me — not that it can’t be amusing to spend time on her rambling, spaced-out planet. The funniest part of the hour was watching this small, orange creature peruse the merchandise in what she described as a “tranny store” — “It’s my scene,” opined JWoww. Of course. — and try to differentiate the tops from the bottoms. (I’m speaking of clothes! Sheesh!) “The glasses are pretty much all crystaled-out, all bling-bling,” Snooki said of a particularly absurd pair of shades. “If I get pulled over, I’m gonna get in trouble today ’cause, well, when you put them on, you can’t really see, so I don’t think you can drive with them because you’ll get a ticket.” Later, when she accidentally caused a giant tray of raw chicken to fall out of the fridge, she blithely wandered away from the scene of the crime, BBQ sauce splattered everywhere, and wondered aloud what she was going to have for dinner now.

Look, you know from last week’s recap that I’m not the world’s biggest Jersey Shore fan, but if I ran the show, I’d quickly get Snooki, The Situation, and Pauly D out of the insular world of their drama-loving castmates and get them interacting with everyday Americans. How could anyone suppress a chuckle when The Situation ordered take-out over the phone:

Restaurant Dude: Your name?

The Situation: Situation.

Restaurant Dude: The name?

The Situation: Yeah, The Situation. Capital S-i-t-u-a-t-i-o-n.

Restaurant Dude: Whatever, man. What’s the order?

I’m less interested in watching Angelina beg, borrow, and squeal to get airtime. At the end of the episode, you could almost see the thought process forming in a bubble above her head: “I’m the least popular cast member on this show. I need to behave more outrageously, secure more airtime for myself. I’ll get trashed, tepidly grind up against another chick — did you see that, camera crew, I was grinding up against another chick? — and then yell at Pauly D for kissing a ‘married woman,’ or at least a woman who might be about to get engaged.”

I’m sorry, but wake me when JWoww beats her ass, okay? Actually, don’t. I was just as bored by the whole Snooki-JWoww tagteam battle with the Bitch of Staten Island, or whatever it is she fancies herself. The only entertaining sound bite was JWoww quoting (in all seriousness) a person named “J420.” How futuristic! Actually, I might’ve laughed a little when Angelina said she wouldn’t “downgrade” herself by fighting, and JWoww barked “Downgrade? You’re gonna get your ass beat!”

What did you think of the episode? Should Angelina really be sleeping with one eye open, or should she simply hightail it back north? Do you prefer Sammi and Ronnie in romantic mode (“I’m always here for you. Even if we hate each other.”) or when they’re fighting? And did anyone else notice how Pauly D pronounced “from here on” as “from hair on”? File under: You know that the styling product is going to your brain when…

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