There is really no good reason to resurrect the cast of MTV’s hit show Jersey Shore five years after its end. Like a high school reunion that you attend only out of obligation, watching most—but not all—of the cast dutifully assemble and tour their old stomping grounds under the guise of actual desire and not a paycheck felt forced and a little sad.
Much like the show that made them famous in the first place, not much happens during their reunion. As Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino picks everyone up on the way back to Seaside Heights, we learn that everyone else is thriving: Snooki is a mother of two children and has her own clothing line; J-Woww is the editor-in-chief of Miss Domesticated; Pauly D is a DJ and makes enough money to bleach his teeth an incandescent shade of white; Sammi hosts a podcast called “Just Sayin’” and seems to be doing just fine. It’s nice to see how everyone’s grown up and moved on with their lives, using the vestiges of their brief infamy to carry themselves to bigger, better or just different things.
Per The Situation, the entire reunion was his idea—a last hurrah with as much of the old gang as possible before he potentially heads to prison for tax evasion. Noticeably absent from this brief, barely-hyped event are Ronnie Ortiz-Magro, Vinny Guadgnino and Deena Cortese, and their nonattendance is remarked upon only at a forced sit-down dinner when the Situation grills Sammi about what happened with her and Ronnie—a line of inquiry that she firmly shuts down. “He’s not my favorite person,” she said at one point. “That door is closed and will remain shut for a long time.”
Nothing really happens on the reunion show that is of note: once reassembled, the gang revisits a bunch of memories that viewers of the show will recall but lack oomph without actual video footage. We hear about the time The Situation ran into a wall in Italy and put himself in a neck brace; we watch Sammi and Jenni reminisce about the time they punched each other in the face during a fight; we see Snooki rib The Situation not-so-gently about the more unsavory parts of his life, including his pill addiction and the time during the fifth season of the show when he spent an entire episode with his penis outside of his pants. The point is, everyone’s doing much, much better.
It’s hard to tell why or what the purpose of this reunion was other than the aforementioned cashola, but part of me thinks that these personalities aren’t that callous. The Situation, newly sober and in love, is ready to make amends for the way he acted on television and in real life, with a group of people that started off as strangers but ended as friends.