News that the sixth season of Jersey Shore will be its last has me pondering the nature of reality TV, or at least the kind of reality TV where no competes for anything. What is that sweet spot in our brains’ pleasure centers that revels in the combination of mockery and delight, revulsion and empathy, and how did Jersey Shore cater to it so well? How is Here Comes Honey Boo Boo currently satiating that same desire, so much so that it got better ratings than the RNC? And, most importantly, I’m not the only one who had that same amazing feeling when we saw Gay Joey throw up into the couch cushions last night, right? It’s like love, I think. You can’t control who you reality TV with. It’s outof your hands.
But I get ahead of myself. Jersey Shore might be journeying to Valinor this fall, but Snooki JWoww is still kicking, unlike the creepy, heavy plastic babies JWoww orders as a form of practice for Nicole. “I hear it’s the best thing for practicing pregnancy or abstinence. It’s a little late for that one,” JWoww declared. Whatever else I think about her, she really went to bat trying to get Snooki a tan baby doll and for that I commend her. “Some sort of off-white. Half Spanish?” she inquires. “You could probably paint your baby if you wanted to,” the customer service rep mused. This seems like a real opportunity to expand your customer base!
Once it’s inside the house, Snooki approaches the doll, with its Darth Vader respiration and startling baby wiener, with the same curious disgust you might have for, well, a fake baby. That baby ain’t right. “What is the noise? Are you alive?,” she asks it tentatively. Just like a real infant, the fake baby gives you two minutes to figure out which of its four needs must be met before it loses its shit. “It doesn’t have any facial expressions,” JWoww cringes as the twin robots start to wail. Oh, did I not mention she got one too? That night Snooki is kept awake by a screaming automaton, unable to soothe it with a fake bottle or a fake diaper change or the two other things a baby might need, I’m not the one to ask.
I wish we could have seen Snooki interact with some actual babies at some point, but I’ll settle for tiny pink-and-purple tip-dyed dogs. “They’re like Skittles,” Snooki coos as they pick up JWoww’s newly florescent pooches. I’m assuming the only reason the dogs aren’t leopard print is because it’s very difficult to paint spots on a little, squirming animal. I guess what I’m saying is, it would have been nice to see them try.
Despite the fact that they are chained to cyborg offspring for the foreseeable future, the girls invite over the three Gay Joeys for Gay Joey-palooza. You’ve got a twink, an otter and a bear. While two of the Joeys are friends of Snooki and JWoww, the otter Joey is just the guy from the dog grooming place, right? Perfection. “Oh my God, do I have to bring this thing to the gay bar?” JWoww asks. You know this is TV because none of the Joeys got drunk and stuffed the babies into their messenger bags, even after they started screaming and howling. Instead the Joeys drunkenly helped Snooki change its not-real diaper, pushing its little pointless stroller down the street even as they struggle to stay upright. “There’s nothing better than hanging out with your gay friends at a gay bar with a fake baby,” JWoww confirms. It’s like the saying goes: one Joey is silver, and the other’s gold.
Back at the ranch, the littlest Joey barfs between the back of the couch and the cushions, and then continues to hork in the sink as everyone else laughs maniacally and the babies cry on. If Jersey Shore‘s only legacy is readying the world for a 20-year-old gay male Snooki to get his own spinoff, they should consider the whole experiment a success. Oh, I guess they also made millions upon millions of dollars. You can probably consider that evidence of a success, too. I honestly laughed out loud at how little Jionni cared about Snooki’s fake baby, which makes sense, seeing as how they were busy taking her real offspring to the gyno to find out its sex, a visit which prompted this exchange:
JWoww: “Did you wash your vagina?” Snooki: “He’s not going up there.” JWoww: “Yeah, but just in case?”
You could tell Jionni wanted to slap that little plastic appliance out of Snooki’s hands, but they both melted when they found her fetus was a boy. “The wiener?” Jionni crowed as the doctor pointed to a shadow on the ultrasound. “Yeah, I think so,” the nicest doctor in the world replied. “I can say your son has a nice penis!” JWoww insisted to an adorably horrified Snooki. Knowing that they eventually named the baby Lorenzo made the fact that Snooki called the fake baby Lorenzo kind of off-putting. But who knows! When we look back on their respective careers, perhaps we’ll realize that Jersey Shore was the fake baby that came before. Maybe Snooki JWoww is the real Lorenzo. No, you’re right. I’m being an idiot. Three Gay Joeys a Baby is clearly the real Lorenzo.
Last week: The Only Thing You’re Winning at Is Losing Me