Originally published: December 18, 2012 5:11 PM
Photo credit: AP | “Jersey Shore” cast members, from left, Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino, Jenni “JWoww” Farley, Paul “Pauly D” Delvecchio, Deena Cortese, Vinny Guadagnino, Ronnie Ortiz-Magro, Sammi “Sweetheart” Giancola and Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi at a panel entitled “Love, Loss, (Gym, Tan) and Laundry: A Farewell to the Jersey Shore” in New York. (Oct. 24, 2012)
Some day, we’ll ask ourselves, “What were we thinking — or were we thinking?” But today’s not that day, because even dumb shows deserve a send-off, and one of the dumbest in TV history gets one right here, right now.
Ending six often squalid but rarely dull seasons Thursday (at 10 on MTV), “Jersey Shore” never pretended to be smart, clever, uplifting, wise or in any way, shape or form socially responsible — and succeeded beyond MTV‘s craziest dreams. (Nine million of us “Shore-rats” tuned in back in the day). What it had in abundance, however, was “stickiness”: That ability to create visuals and scenes so stultifying in their abject vapidity — or, yes, also so amusing — that we could never forget them.
Thanks, guys. I think.
So here, in tribute, are the 10 most memorably dumb moments on “Jersey Shore,” in order of dumbness …
10. Not a happy couple. Ronnie removes every piece of furniture — bed included — from girlfriend Sammi’s room after their umpteenth-hundredth fight and dumps everything on the street.
9. Ronnie the brawler. Ronnie is arrested toward the end of the first season, after one of those brawls that we’ve tried to expunge from our memory banks but can’t, after he decked some schlub who was hassling him.
8. Snooki vs. herself. Snooki crashes into a squad car belonging to the Polizia Italiana; she was sober at the time, we think. Snooks, of course, will forever be the most memorable cast member — deplorable at times, lovable at others. Remember that time she tried to “save” a lobster by immersing it in tap water?
7. Sammi leaves/Angelina leaves/Vinny leaves. I’ve never seen a show where so many cast members leave (who can blame them, when you stop to think about it — which we promised not to do), then return upon reading the fine print in their contracts (“no work, no pay”). Angelina was ultimately gone for good.
6. “The cab is heyaaa …” Pauly D. was so eager to have Angelina out of the house once and for all that he repeatedly yelled this phrase; a ringtone was even born.
5. “Where’s the beach?” Snooki, deep into her cups, wanders out onto the hot sand and wonders where the beach is. She is arrested shortly thereafter (for public intoxication).
4. “The Letter.” How can we ever forget that blasted letter, try as we might, because this missive from JWoww to Sammi, detailing Ron’s infidelities, led to one of many breakups, consumed a whole season and inspired Dumb Moment No. 3.
3. Sammi vs. JWoww. It’s war! Notice how many of these “sticky” moments involve violence? But this one seemed to ascend to a whole new level of dumb mayhem, as the screen filled with big hair flying and big bleeps flying, too.
2. Punching out Snooki. She gets clobbered by a drunken barfly, who turns out to be a New York City gym teacher. The dumbness of this scene — also tinged with horror — so perfectly encapsulates the quintessential dumbness of “Shore,” in that booze was so often involved in the dumbest scenes.
1. Ronnie vs. Mike. They get in a full-bore brawl, with chairs thrown, tables upturned, lightstands wasted — all this accompanied to the endless caterwauling of Deena: “Stooooppppp iiittttt!!” Sigh. The show’s crew members are forced to break it up.