I don’t know about any of you other Jersey Shore fans, but the fact that we’ve reached the second half of the final season just hit me. Episode seven has aired, leaving only five more chances to watch our favorite group of idiots do what they do best: party and fight. It might sound a little silly considering the show is such a guilty pleasure, but I’m really going to miss it. Not because it was a fantastic story or because I particularly care about what happens, but simply because it’s become routine to check in with the group every Thursday night.
But I’m notoriously nostalgic, so I’ll just chalk it up to that for now. The latest episode, Great Meatballs of Fire, continues to show the group maturing, as they learn to face the consequences of their actions while also becoming people with identities, rather than blending into a crowd of young adults that do nothing but drink, smoke and fight.
Jenni and Roger’s relationship, though rocky, isn’t quite at an end yet, as neither of them are willing to end it. Compared to the fiery battles couples got into in the earlier seasons, this is a change for the better. Both people have matured beyond instantly breaking up and dragging out overly long apologies.
Snookie is still remaining off screen for most of the episode, although we do get to see her attempt to cook for Jionni. Even the original meatball, the girl whose stupid nickname has become synonymous with Jersey Shore, has learned to grow up and begin preparing for her child and future husband. Although the attempt doesn’t go too well, it’s just another sign of maturation that’s really starting to freak me out.
Pauly and Vinny are still up to no good, pulling pranks on Deena and the others. They switch out her pictures of her boyfriend Chris with photos of themselves, which are hilarious and would probably sell pretty decently on Ebay. Their bromance has never wavered, remaining one of the few constants on a show that is constantly changing the relationships of everyone involved.
Ron and Sam are in a stable relationship, which is another huge surprise for viewers who remember the fierce arguments we were forced to endure in the earlier years. These two were on-again off-again more than Ross and Rachel, but nowhere near as funny. Even Mike is in a relationship this season, but God help him if he can actually maintain it for more than a weekend. It’s only been twelve hours since he made it official with Paula, and he’s already talking about how hard it is to tough out the relationship. As Ron said, Mike’s gone through rehab, can a committed relationship be any tougher?
Apparently so, since on his first night out, he’s already grinding on faceless women and flirting like a soldier on shore leave. He’s caught multiple times by multiple friends of Paula, who all seem to forget to tell her that her new boyfriend is already rubbing his jeans against anything with legs. Maybe this will serve as a lesson for the newly caged dog?
Deena seems to be the only one who can’t grow up, however, as she returns to her meatball ways. Even though she was just imprisoned days ago for being drunk in public, she goes out and does it again two days in a row. Her mom is pissed, and as far as we know, is on her way to the Shore House to grab her daughter and take her home. Towards the end of the episode, Deena admits that maybe it is the best thing for her to take a few days off of the Shore life, and when Deena thinks something is wrong, then maybe she’s on to something.
It’s strange to watch all of these people grow into people that are almost ready to live in the world independently. There’s almost a paternal instinct to smack them when they do something wrong, and reward them for every time they make the right decisions. There might be an unfair amount of mass media bias against them, since they are the only representation given of this demographic, but aside from their celebrity, are they really any different from any of their peers? It’s just a group that likes to party, argues internally and externally, and lives for the day.
Maybe that’s too philosophical for an episode of Jersey Shore. What really matters is this: this isn’t the same group of people we’ve been watching for years. Obvious changes, such as giving Angelina the boot, worked out for the best, but it’s the changing of their character that’s really making the show a pleasure to watch. The latest episode of Jersey Shore just proved that you can teach a partying dog how to settle down, and maybe that’s what’s best for everybody involved.