Everyone hates Sammi and Ronnie, including Sammi and Ronnie
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Jersey Shore Family Vacation CR: MTV
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Kids! I don’t know what’s wrong with these kids today. They’re all about sex, hair product, nightclubs that only play techno, drugs that have intensely scientific names, and fashion that makes everyone look like a French hooker from some awful Broadway musical about why France is awesome. (This is all information I have gleaned from the nonstop advertisements for MTV’s Skins.) Friends, how have we so completely failed to instill in this oncoming generation an appreciation for the simple pleasures in life? The sound of a baby’s laughter. The smell of roses freshly in bloom. The taste of a tall Sazerac on a hot Kentucky evening. The inhuman sound of Arnold Schwarzenegger screaming. Or the simplest pleasure of all: the immortal sight of two attractive women in their pajamas fighting each other like a pair of Victorian-era street orphans who are thisclose to turning cannibal.

Listen, the fight was wonderful. Sammi pulled out some of JWoww’s hair. JWoww’s hair is supposed to be impervious to any harm, so we can assume that the Oompa-Loompas who work 18-hour days at JWoww’s personal hair-manufacturing factory will go without food for the next fortnight. But am I the only one who walked away feeling a little bit bad for Sammi? All she did was laugh at Deena because Deena was being all like, “Miiike! Bleeehhh! Me Deeeeenna! Bleeehhh!” Viewers, admit it. You laughed. I laughed. We all laughed. Why should Sammi suffer for our laughter? Also, having reviewed the fight footage several times, I can confirm JWoww actually threw the first punch. And didn’t Thomas Jefferson once say, “Let she who is without sin cast the first punch?” (Man, President Jefferson was awesome. And all we gave him was the freaking two-dollar bill.)

Also, Sammi…Oh, I can’t do it, viewers. Trying to defend Sammi and Ronnie is like trying to defend the even-numbered Indiana Jones movies: impossible, and sad. The morning after the fight, Uncle Sitch tried to ease the tensions in the house. “Wake up, everyone!” he yelled. “Wake up, you Kings of Maine, you Queens of New England!” But Sam and Ron weren’t having it. “Enough with the family s—, Mike!” said Ronnie. Later in the weekend, the rest of the house was shocked, appalled, and frankly just sad that Sam-Ron skipped Sunday Dinner. Sammi: “I don’t care about family dinner. I’m not great friends with these people at this point.”

I have a theory. Well, it’s more of a daydream, really. Or perhaps it’s a delusion brought on by all the tequila shots my bosses feed me every Thursday at 9:55 PM to make sure I’m in peak recapping form. Anyhow, I think part of the reason for this show’s ungodly success is political: At a certain base level, we can all recognize that the Jersey Shore house functions on exactly the same principle as the American Senate. Consider: Like the Senate, the Shore housemates are just as concerned with seeming authentic as they are with being authentic. Like the Senate, the Shore housemates try to do as little work as possible. Like the Senate, the Shore housemates have fantastic hair and absolutely no moral code.

Next: Okay, let’s try to defend Sammi

Most importantly, the Shore housemates have figured out the first rule of politics: Compromise is everything. Everyone might hate each other, but the greater good always comes first. (This is why The Situation remains such a surprisingly charismatic figure, even though we have seen him invent entirely new forms of skuzzy human debasement: At a certain point, he always circles back around to the idea that Family Comes First. The Situation is basically the Lyndon Johnson of the Shore house, which makes Pauly D the John Kennedy. And Snooki is, I dunno, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.)

Now, listen. This is a silly TV show. It stars wannabe Chippendales, women who act like cavemen, and Xenadrine fetishists. But still, I found myself just a little bit moved by the sight of the rest of the house trying to plot some sort of peace with the Sam-Ron contingent. “We still care about this girl,” said Snooki. “No. No. No.” insisted JWoww, who has apparently finally decided to cut ties with a good ol’ Sam. “Karma is a bitch,” said she. “It’ll smack Sammi in the face. Just like that time I smacked her in the face.”

(By the way, guys, I realize that this is a reality show, but in an episode that was so heavily themed around how bad choices from the past karmically return to wreak havoc on the present, was anyone else totally freaked out that the gang went out to a club…called Karma?!?! Someday, when all the boundaries between fantasy and reality have been legally removed by the Supreme Court, we will look back at Jersey Shore and realize that it was our generation’s Great Gatsby. And then we’ll do the sensible thing and blow up the sun.)

The truth is, the boys miss hanging out with Ronnie, and Ronnie misses hanging out with the boys. Sammi gets anxious whenever Ronnie talks to anyone — there was a hilarious montage of Sam eyeing Ron in the gym. But can you really blame her? Her only real friend in the house is Uncle Sitch, who can turn instantly from a kindhearted confidante to a grabby fratboy. (He’s like a werewolf, except douchier and also 45 years old.) You could curse Sammi for being a total funkiller — Awww, she can’t enjoy herself on a roller coaster ride, what a stuck-up hussy!

But allow me to play Devil’s Advocate for a moment. It seems to me that Sammi is really trying to figure out how she reached this sad, lonely point in her Shore existence. By the end of the episode, when she tried to have a semi-serious relationship conversation with Ron – “You lied to me, for two months in Miami” – how could you not feel a little bit sorry for her? Here’s an almost-real transcript of the conversation:

Sammi: “I can’t trust you! You lied to me!”

Ronnie: “Yeah, but at least I was lying towards you, instead of lying around you, y’know?”

Sammi: “You were hooking up with other girls!”

Ronnie: “All this talk about how sad you are is making me feel sad. How come you’re the only one who’s allowed to hurt?”

Sammi: “I didn’t have sex with anybody but you!”

Ronnie: “Listen, honey, I really want to have an open conversation with you, but I think we have to at least agree on one thing: Everything I do is right, and everything you is wrong. Right?”

Next: Snooki pulls a total Berlin Wall

Much like Sammi and Ronnie, I grow weary of talking about Sammi and Ronnie. So let’s run down everything else that happened:

More Important Lessons You Learned About The American Political System This Week

— Snooki can fit herself inside of Deena’s suitcase. Did you know that, during the Cold War, some people escaped from Soviet-ville by fitting themselves into a suitcase? I like to imagine that when the customs agent said, “Anything to declare,” the escapee punched through the suitcase and screamed, “I love democracy!” Man, those Soviets were lame.

— Deena likes to play up her similarity to Snooki. “We’re the exact same size, same body shape kind of, we’re such a blast!” But as we saw last night, Deena is a little bit different. She gets up early, for one thing, and by early I mean before 4 PM tomorrow. Also, she cooks, or at least she tries to. Remember in Calvin & Hobbes when Calvin upgraded his Duplicator to include an Ethicator device? I think we’re seeing something very similar here. The question: Is Deena a Good Duplicate, or an Evil Duplicate?

— Deena and Snooki couldn’t figure out how to use a hammock. Guys, we’re making it way too easy for the robots to take over.

— Vinny: “Do you think the new girls’ boobs are real or fake? I, personally, like fake boobs. Hey, New Girl! What’s in a real boob?” Deena: “I think it’s, like, fat tissue. You only get milk in it if you’re pregnant I think.” Why are we forcing our public school teachers to teach sex-ed, when kids will learn everything they need to know about their bodies from educational programs like this?

— For the gang’s first big club outing of the season, JWoww stole Princess Jasmine’s dress from Aladdin, painted it neon pink, and then chopped off most of the fabric.

–In a rare victory for a non-housemate, the prize for line of the night goes to Jenni’s boyfriend, with his brilliant duck-phone kiss-off: “Yeah, happy anniversary to you, too!” Uh-oh!

— Vinny brought a girl home. For some reason, Sitch thought that he had participated, so he was rather miffed when Vinny closed the guest-room door without even a gentlemanly game of rock-paper-scissors. He knock-knock-knocked on the door while Vinny swapped spit with his new lady friend. “Five minutes!” Vinny said optimistically. And they say that romance is dead!

— Ronnie won Sam a giant banana, which led me to wonder: If the gang were Super Smash Brothers, who would they be? My votes: Ronnie would be Donkey Kong, Sitch would be Mario, Vinny would be Link, JWoww would be Samus, Snooki would be Kirby, and Pauly D would be StarFox. Sammi can be, I dunno, Pikmin. God, I hate Pikmin.

— I kid you not, I could have watched an entire episode just about Snooki and Deena trying to get their kickball back from the rooftop next door. I felt so proud of Vinny when his MacGyver contraption actually worked. I just feel so happy, viewers, possibly because I just kicked back an entire bottle of Xenadrine.

Viewers, are you enjoying your front-row seats to the slow corrosion of Sammi and Ronnie’s relationship? Does anyone agree with me that we have to cut Sammi some slack? Are you mentally prepared for two episodes of Jersey Shore next week?

EW’s TV INSIDERS PODCAST: This week, Dalton Ross, Adam Vary, and Mandi Bierly go inside the American Idol‘ audition room and tell you what to expect from the new judging panel. Do they actually get along? Can they survive the loss of Simon? And does Steven Tyler make one lick of sense? Plus: we break down the season premiere of The Bachelor while asking the question on everyone’s mind: Who brings a manscaping kit out on a date? Or fangs, for that matter? And listen in as Ken Tucker stops by to preview midseason TV and let you know which new programs you need to be watching — and avoiding. To join in all the fun, just click on the audio player below. Of course, we’re now on iTunes! So you can also subscribe for free right here and take the TV Insiders with you on the go. And to send a question to the TV Insiders or learn about upcoming editions, follow us on Twitter @TVInsiders!

Episode Recaps

Jersey Shore Family Vacation CR: MTV
Jersey Shore

Follow Snooki, the Situation, Pauly, Ronnie, Sammi, Jwoww, Vinny, and Deena as they party, smush, and GTL

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