Jersey Shore Softy Guido Award: Week One
Barring those of us who can fist-pump at 90 RPM (and some upset viewers), we all have a lot to learn from MTV's Jersey Shore. The Real World-style docusoap about tanned Jersey maniacs who take up in a summer share and throw around Jager and the word "classy" with equal flexibility, Jersey Shore is filled with -- above all else -- lessons in manliness. Some chapters in the text: Tanning, re-tanning, saying the word "retard" in a strong baritone, flexing on accident, sweating, and wearing a mic pack over your board shorts. Simple things. Therefore, when one of the umber "Guido" housemates drops the machismo, even for a moment, the show's valor is at stake. Movieline promises to do right and point out when a guido becomes an honorary guidette. After the jump, we award the first episode's premier softy.
This week's winner: Mike "The Situation"
Of all the male, perpetually shirtless housemates (a troop that includes DJ James, musclebound Ronnie, and the family man Vinny) Mike, AKA The Situation, boasted manliness that came on fast and hard, like a perfect denim shirt, when he first hit the screen. He namedropped Rambo and implied that girls leap over their boyfriends in order to be with him. But then, deep in the second hour, Mike descended into what is best described as a sentimental vortex. When he first hooked up with girl housemate Sammi, who claimed from the start that she breaks hearts, he was ebullient and fist-pumpy as ever. But Sammi's love is fickle, and soon she fancied Ronnie, who has a wider neck. Though Mike had reason to be a little ticked about this heave-ho, he clearly felt betrayed. I was disappointed to find that he reacted to "Sweetheart" Sammi's actions not with harsh yelling and macho table-smashing, but with the gape of a lovestruck schoolboy. Look at this befuddlement.
Now look at how Sammi doesn't care.
And look at how manly Ronnie is when he's a winner.
Unfortunately, Mike then tried making Sammi feel bad by pouting, "I actually liked you too," before shrinking out a doorway and running away. It doesn't get any less Guido-fabulous than that.
Oh, Mike. Those look like puppy eyes to me. Have you seen The Wonder Years? I'd place that boyish disappointment at about a Kevin-Arnold-finds-out-Winnie-goes-skating-with-cool-blond-guys. Let Sammi go to Paris to study art history, Mike. Gel your hair, sit back, and narrate yourself into a comfortable corner. And then scream and run around! Come back to us, hyperventilating he-man! At this rate, with his emotions all exposed, I suspect we'll be seeing more of Mike in this roundup. In the meantime, we award his softiness with a new yarn-bound diary and a signed poster of Terry McMillan.