The “Jersey Shore” may have greased, tanned and buffed its stars into millionaires, but despite all they’'ve accumulated, the “Shore” denizens are strikingly unversed in international travel; the native tongue of the country they’'ll live in for 40 days; or, in fact, the approximate location of Italy.
“I have no idea where Italy is on the map,” the hobbit-sized star Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi admits during one of the show's many docu-style interviews, “but I know what shape it is and it’s, like, a boot.”
The cast mates arrive with leaning towers of luggage and immediately begin surveying their multi-leveled, luxurious Italian digs, and offering up their inappropriate lessons on how a bidet works. It's good to catch up with the old gang.
The uber-buff Ronnie Ortiz-Magro sits in a chair and almost immediately falls over as the wood, clearly not built for an American weightlifter, splinters under his weight.
Snooki, once rather portly in her club dresses, is now a slimmer workout fiend with no Italian gym membership. She's forced to get her exercise in the living room in front of her roommates. (Her moves "look like she's havin' sex with herself," remarked roommate Paul "DJ" Pauly D" DelVecchio, who scooted closer for a better look).
Jenni “J-Woww” Farley frets over the lack of “gorillas” and “juice heads” in Italy, likely sounding as if she was seeking out an odd safari character when directing the language of Jersey Shore at the good people of Florence. The only Italian-speaking castmate, Vinny Guadagnino, works at translating their slang: “no grenades, please” (non prego granate).
Beyond that, straightening irons melted Italian power outlets and aggressive birds lurked in the home's courtyard, but none of the cultural missteps culminated in the sort of forehead-slapping reality television experience viewers, no doubt, were hoping to get. Even bungled attempts to order a cab and drunken mating calls between cast mates, once so entertaining in Seaside Heights, are predictable, even forgettable plot moments now.
But there is hope for the season. Instead of an all-consuming focus on the destruction that was Sammi and Ron's relationship, a new Jersey love may be brewing. Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino hints to “getting it in” (that's ricevendo in, in Italian) with a not-single Snooki during a recent rendezvous in California. Will the two find love in Italia, or will the grenades explode? Will it be enough to keep us watching for 12 more shows? Tell us in the comments below or by using #Snookinalysis on Twitter.