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Recap: Jersey Shore Season 3 Episode 1

January 12, 2011 Leave a comment

Confession:
I have a guilty pleasure.  That guilty pleasure is trashy reality tv in general, but the Jersey Shore more specifically.  I watched the first season out of sheer curiosity, because I actually spent a summer on the Jersey Shore in undergrad.  I had an internship at Sandy Hook with the NPS, which is just up the coast a bit from Seaside Heights where the cast spends their summers.  I have seen this culture of which they speak.  In fact, I may have participated in it a wee bit, albeit as a pasty white nerdy girl.  In any case, I quickly realized that watching this show is like watching a train wreck, and I can’t keep my eyes off of it.  Season 2 in Miami was not as good, mainly because there was no New Jersey in it.  To my foreign readers who don’t know, New Jersey is referred to as the armpit of America for a reason.  In any case, this season is back in New Jersey, and honestly, I’m going to be streaming it every week on mtv.com anyway.  I may as well offer my snarky recap for you all.  Just…..avert your eyes if you can’t handle the trainwreck.

Recap and Snark:
The season opened as they always do with showing the cast members are home prepping for the SHORE BITCH.  We start off with Snooki, because the producers are not idiots and know that she is the break-out star of the bunch.  This is when we get the SURPRISE that there’s a new member of the cast, Deena, who we all already knew was a new member of the cast, because have you seen these people?  They can barely remember where their hair gel is, let alone how to keep a secret.

Deena and Snooki rant with a lot of oh my gawd’s that they are like totally the best friends ever, oh my gawd, they are like, clones of each other.  Beyond them both being short and stupid and not really realizing the latter, I’m not quite seeing it.  Snooki became an accidental star.  Deena is clearly jumping on the bandwagon.  Ok, maybe she’s a wee bit smarter than Snooki.

One of the more interesting things that Deena announces is that she and Snooki frequently go, “Guy shopping.”  Is that a thing?  Why isn’t there a guy store in my mall?  Can I get in on that?

Snooki, being as obliviously brutally honest as usual, announces, “I am so excited to hook up with my roommates!!”  Yes, Snooki dear.  We all know that’s the main appeal of the house.  Hot gorilla sex.

Everyone else’s intros are not very interesting.  DJ Pauly D apparently still lives with his mother. LOL  JWOWW has a boyfriend yet again who she is not getting along well with and can’t wait to ditch him for the Shore.  The Situation, holy shit, people, has more jewelery than I do.  Wow.  He has it all laid out on his bed, and I suddenly understand where all of his money has gone to.  Also, we discover that Sammi is from Hazlet, which suddenly explains why she is such a raging bitch.  Hazlet is not exactly a town that is known for its nice people.

Also!  We find out that Sammi and Ronnie got back together, and they are like so totes in love.  *eye-roll*  These people make me as irritated as Bella and Edward.  They are the non-pasty white trashy east coast version of the pasty white vampires of the west coast.  Gag me.

So then we have two successive blatantly obvious meddling of the producers moments.  First, everyone pretends like they like omg had no idea Deena was coming and Angelina was out.  Second, that it just so happens that Situation lands in a  room with Ronnie and Sammi.  Producers.  I don’t care how stupid these people are, there is no way that a couple would arrive first and choose a three person bedroom.  No way.  Stop messing with my Shore crew.  They do stupid enough shit on their own without you meddling.  Seriously.  Just sit back and let them be.  They’ll take care of the rest.

By far the most exciting return of the first episode is that of the duck phone!  I freaking love the duck phone; you have no idea.  It quacks!  It has a cord!  It leads to scenes involving a drunk Snooki in a trucker hat holding a duck’s severed body up to her head while sitting on a bean bag chair calling her boyfriend in the middle of the night!  That phone is epic.  EPIC I TELL YOU.

And then Situation meets Deena.  Oh snap.  This is gonna get interesting.  Situation is clearly mind blown by Deena.  Not that he has much mind to blow to start with, but still, this is rather odd.  Deena’s not unattractive, but she doesn’t seem like Situation’s type.  On the other hand, she does “accidentally” show him her hoo-ha on her first night there, so.  There is that.  She also asks him to help her go find her lucky hat which JWOWW and one of the guys (Vinny? Pauly? Who knows, who cares) take to be an innuendo for sex.  Would her va-jay-jay be the lucky hat in this scenario?  If that’s the case, they found it alright, but they sure didn’t put it to any use.

Situation’s fascination with Deena is perfectly summed up by his explanation of her, “If Deena was a holiday, she’d be Thanksgiving, because she has a lot to give and she’s down for a lot of stuffing.”  Thank you, Mike.  I will never look at Thanksgiving the same way ever again.

The other two main dynamics that quickly show up in the household are:

Snooki and Vinny.  They hooked up last season, and evidently something went down between seasons.  They both say they love each other, but Vinny slept with Snooki’s best friend?  And now Vinny won’t sleep with Snooki, because although he loves her, he’s gonna sleep with other girls this summer and he doesn’t want to hurt her? Okayyyy……..  This fight and revelation, naturally, takes place in the hot tub.

The other, and thus far more interesting one, is that Sammi is still being a bitch and Ronnie has apparently decided to hand his balls over to her.  Of course, looking at his vast muscle over-compensation, I’m gonna hazard to guess there isn’t too much manhood to worry about, if you know what I mean.  Sammi refuses to even answer Deena’s question about where she’s from.  That’s just…..pointless.  Why is she trying to be a bitch?  What’s up with that?  Later Deena tells Situation that Sammi is laughing at her.  Situation says no she’s not, and Sammi comes back with, “Oh yes I am!”  Oh. Snap.  Then Deena calls Sammi the c-word.  Yes, the c-word, which she totally deserves, and the girls all start fighting.  The best scene of the entire first episode was the shot of Vinny, Pauly, and Mike watching the girls (and Ronnie *cough* girl *cough*) fight.  Their heads bounce back and forth like they’re watching a tennis match, and they have these amazing half-grins on their faces.  Sammi takes a pathetic fake swing at JWOWW.

Sammi, dear, you do not fake mess with JWOWW.  That bitch has more balls than your boyfriend.  Naturally a fight starts to break out right at the end of the episode.

I cannot wait for next week’s girl fight.

The Problem With the Twilight Series

October 23, 2009 15 comments

This week there’s been a bit of internet commentary that librarians can be a bit elitist when it comes to books.  They’re saying that librarians scorn the likes of Dan Brown and attempt to force-feed works like Catch-22 to patrons.

Now, I personally know some librarians who harbor a hatred of Dan Brown, but I also know that they bought multiple copies of The Lost Symbol for their library.  Similarly, I’m a librarian, and I read my fair share of “trashy,” easy literature.  Hell, I’m currently reading the Sookie Stackhouse series.  Given these facts, I’d prefer it if the commentators said *some* librarians try to force patrons to read what they want them to read.  There probably is one out there somewhere who does that.  What really pisses me off, though, is the people who’ve accused me of being elitist due to my loathing of one particular series.

I’m looking at you Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer.

The minute I say I hate this seriese, people accuse me of being elitist.  Judging it for being “light” reading.  They’ve even told me something is wrong with my taste when 40 million other people love it.  Well, you know what?  My problem with Twilight has nothing to do with the writing style.  Like I said, I’m reading Sookie Stackhouse.  I like romance novels, and they aren’t exactly known for their Shakespearean style.

My problem with the series has nothing to do with the writing style.  It’s the content.  I’m sure many of you have heard teen girls say how they’d love to have an Edward all their own.  The problem with this is that Edward is an abusive boyfriend.

Let’s start with the fact that Edward stalks Bella.  He repeatedly watches her sleep at night from her window without her knowledge.  This is how the relationship starts.

It progresses further.  Once they’re dating, he tells Bella who she can hang out with.  He verbally abuses her, saying things like “I’ve seen corpses with better control,” “You’re utterly absurd,” and “You are a terrible actress–I’d say that career path is out for you.”  In a health relationship, a significant other is supportive, loving, and on your side.  Even if s/he disagrees with you, s/he expresses this disagreement without attacking who you are as a person.

Let’s not forget the whole plot sequence in which Edward first threatens then attempts to carry out suicide because he claims he can’t live without Bella.  This is abusive, because people should be in a relationship out of love, not fear the other person will harm himself.

Bella doesn’t only fear for Edward’s life, she’s also legitimately afraid of him.  Some people would say this is because he’s a vampire, but that’s no excuse.  She should feel safe with her boyfriend, not afraid.

I’m not saying abusive relationships shouldn’t ever be in a book, but Meyer presents this as a good thing!  Edward is supposedly Bella’s knight in shining armor, but he is controlling, possessive, and demeaning of her.  She is afraid of him, but she loves him so supposedly that’s ok?  No.  It’s not ok, and it is not  ok that Meyer is glorifying this in her books.  Not ok at all.

The themes I hate in the book go beyond the abusive relationship being glorified, however.  When Bella and Edward break up, there are four nearly blank pages in the book.  These are supposed to represent how empty Bella’s life is without Edward.  Yes, let’s tell the teenagers reading this book that their entire life is their romantic relationship.  This is obviously an unhealthy perspective.

Meyer also demonizes sex.  I’m not saying books should swing the other way and tell teenage girls it’s cool to go suck a new dick every night, but Meyer is totally on the sex is evil side of the fence.  First there’s the fact that Bella wants to do it with her steady boyfriend (*gasp* the horror), and Edward insists they wait until they are married.  It’d be fine for them to wait until they were married, if it was what they both wanted.  However, Edward looks down on Bella’s desire to sleep with him and insists waiting until marriage is better.  No.  Waiting until marriage isn’t “better,” it’s just “an option.”  An option among many options, and one that I feel leads to impulsive young marriages and divorce or a life-time of misery, but I digress.

Then, when they finally do get married, having sex with Edward seriously injures Bella.  Apparently having sex with a vampire in Meyer’s land is like having sex with a marble statue.  That sparkles.  So now teenage girls are not only being told sex before marriage is evil, but also that sex is scary, and it really hurts!  This hearkens back to the days of old when engaged women were told by their mothers that sex with their husband was something to “be endured” for the joy of having children some day.

Speaking of children, the last plot theme that I hate in Meyer’s series is that Bella becomes pregnant with a fetus that is literally eating her alive and killing her, yet she chooses to bring it to term anyway.  This is, naturally, glorified in the series.  Because we want to tell our girls that it’s better to die giving birth than to abort and save your own life.  What the hell, Meyer?!  Making a choice like that is, essentially, suicide.  She knows she’s dying.  She could stop it.  She chooses not to.

So in one series Meyer glorifies abusive relationships and suicidal behavior and demonizes sex.

I am horrified that a FEMALE writer wrote such a misogynistic series.  I am also saddened as it is evident that Meyer has internalized the harmful patriarchal culture she grew up in.  She’s a self-hating woman and doesn’t even realize it.  Unfortunately, she’s now helping to spread that internalized misogyny to the next generation of young women.

This is why I hate Twilight.  It isn’t because I’m supposedly an elitist.  It is because I am a feminist.