Jersey Shore, "Situation Problems": the Sitch stands alone

Quick Take: Jersey Shore, "Situation Problems"
"He wants to act like shit, then live in the toilet." - Ronnie

Mike alone

Review: Jersey Shore, "Situation Problems"
(S0411) "Situation Problems," much like Gone with the Wind or Lawrence of Arabia, is really a two-part epic. In the first twenty or so minutes, you think it's going to be Meatballs 2: Electric Boogaloo. Yet the story soon pivots to everyone's least favorite housemate, Mike. Whereas the first half is all comedy, the second is dark human drama, culminating in a pretty unsettling shot of what appears to be a mental breakdown.

Though the episode begins with the phone call between Snooki and Jionni concerning her recent cuddling sess with Vinny's penis, we're mercifully spared another drawn-out screamfest. Jionni is predictably miffed, but shows surprising restraint, saying he'll have to think about things. Perhaps in an effort to take her mind off this predicament, Snooki devotes her energy to wingwomaning Deena, who still really wants to smush with Pauly. He vows to bring a girl home that night to avoid that situation at all costs. (Sidenote: The shots of Deena's "totally available" jewelry bag and Vinny watching gleefully as she states her case to Pauly bummed me out more than made me laugh. Deena desperately hitting on Pauly has comic potential, but that just came off as mean.)

Pauly fails on the whole "get a girl" front, leading to a hella awkward cab ride with drunk, horny Deena and an even more awkward encounter in the living room moments later. Deena announces to not just Pauly, but Sammi, Vinny, and Ronnie that she is "a good f***." Sammi's slow, almost pained, "No. No, Deena" is priceless, but ultimately not as effective as Pauly's shutdown, wherein he states he wouldn't knock the dust off Deena's, um, kuka even if they weren't friends. Ouch. She goes to bed, frustrated.

To recover from that rejection, Deena dons her cowboy and hits the town with Snooki (wearing a stunning baseball hat and bow combo) the next day. And yes, by "hit the town," I once again mean that they terrorize the patrons of a restaurant at 11 am. This leads to a pretty grotesque image of Deena Jersey Turnpiking Snooki, whose back is turned and is on her knees. This is on a table where people eat, mind you. The girls return home drunk, explaining that Team Meatball goes big or goes home; if they're going to drink during the day, they're also going to drink during the night. No half-assing here. You know, if Deena and Snooki had even a shred of this work ethic when it comes to actual work, our country's economy would be fixed instantly.

The gang excitedly prepares for their last Saturday night out in Italy. Ronnie dresses like Rico Suave, Vinny busts out the "communion shoes," and Deena borrows one of Snooki's "underwears." (Why am I not surprised this girl has spare panties?) Team Meatball continues to party on, much to JWoww and Sammi's dismay. The pair, apparently now BFFs, leaves to get drinks and toast to not being moms. Ironically, it feels a lot like two exhausted mothers collapsing in armchairs with their margaritas, shooing away their hyper toddlers for "mommy time." Mike and some guys then get into some kind of intense charades showdown, leading the club's bouncers to escort Mr. VP out for safety precautions. The girls join them in a cab, but Snooki and Deena aren't done. They get out at a new club, where things quickly go downhill. The meatballs feel uncomfortable with some of the male attention at this place, and then completely lose their shit when someone throws a few ice cubes at them. They destroy a good part of the bar before the bouncers throw them out. Once home, they angrily recount the story to Jenni and Sammi, who are pretty indifferent and go to bed.

In an effort to calm down, Snooki and Deena spend the rest of the night in the Jacuzzi. They're still awake and drunk (though only "tan girl drunk," according to Snooki) so they decide to dress in complementary hooker outfits for a nice breakfast. At 7 am. They fall asleep at the restaurant, prompting the waiter to send them home.

Sammi decides to take on the responsibility of Sunday dinner, which is marginally terrifying when you consider her last cooking attempt. JWoww partners up with her, and asks Deena to do the dishes as her first executive action. Deena, clearly still recovering from her Saturday, refuses. Mike takes this opportunity to pick a fight with her, claiming that Deena never does anything around the house. "Do some dishes! BE A WOMAN!" Mike yells. (Excuse me, dear readers, while I use my womanly fists to beat Mike's face into a bloody pulp.) He threatens to go for a low blow. Deena responds, "You wanna call me fat, Mike? 'Cause that's what you call every woman! I can lose weight for free. You need about ten grand to fix your f***ing face." Slow clap, anyone?

Things calm down enough for Sammi and Jenni to serve dinner. Pauly makes a toast to their time in Italy, but ends it by saying how he can't wait to get back to Jersey. Everyone gives a hearty, "Here, here!" Sammi also says a few words about how she's loved Italy and enjoyed not being the center of drama. The goodwill is quickly destroyed, however, when Vinny and Sam get into a fight over who has to bunk with Mike back in Seaside. Though it's heated, the pair later discusses the issue more calmly after dinner, deciding no one wants to live with Mike (something Snooki says to Mike's face moments earlier) and that he has to change or leave.

Though Mike brags about his ability to stand by himself (translation: be openly loathed by everyone), things finally get to him that night. Everyone is having a grand old time at the club (minus Snooki, who -gasp- stayed in), but, since no one is giving Mike any attention, he picks a fight with some random guy. Absolutely no one backs him up. Mike, convinced none of these people are his true friends (duh), goes home. He then starts talking to himself in the living room about how he has to be the bad guy. It's eerily reminiscent of the turning point in comic book movies when the previously normal but kinda douchey guy turns into a psychotic supervillain. Minus the thunder and maniacal laughing.

Given this development, here's my question: Is Snooki safe? What about the pizza shop owner? Guys, I'm oh so scared.

More thoughts on "Situation Problems":

  • "I'm really shy. I got a dildo today!" - Girl at club
  • An ongoing joke in this episode is "guido/guidette problems." I believe it's supposed to be a hashtag, and is started by Pauly D with, "When you're trying to dance on a table, and you hit your head on a chandelier. Guidette problems." Snooki and Deena repurpose it as "meatball problems." Some samples? Being kicked out of the club and burning your kuka in a Jacuzzi.
  • "Oh God, the boobs." -Sammi, in mom mode
  • "The meatballs are drunk, and I feel like I'm in a Snoopy episode because all you hear is, 'Merh merh merh merh merh.'" -Ronnie
  • "I have to pee." -Deena "You can pee in the hot tub." -Snooki
  • "We're from Jersey. You wish you looked like this at 7:30 in the morning." -Deena
  • "We're not hookers, we're just from Jersey." -Snooki
  • "What do they put in the alcohol in this country?" -Pauly D, upon seeing the meatballs return
  • "With me in the house, you don't need a fire alarm." -Pauly
  • "Can you pass me the hairspray?" -Vinny, while enjoying Sammi and Jenni's dinner
  • "To be honest with you, it's VP. Mine and Vinny's relationship is beautiful." -Pauly
  • Mike gets temporarily locked in the girls' bathroom at one point. Ronnie eventually gets him out, but part of me wishes he had been in there long enough to pen "Trapped in the Jersey Shore Bathroom."
  • "He actually used his head for once. Well, not like he did on the wall." -Ronnie
  • "Yo, I got the freshest blowout in Firenze." -Pauly "I think you have the only blowout in Firenze." -Deena
  • By Kristin Hunt

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    On: Friday, October 14, 2011
    Eric - TV Geek Army "Revered Leader" said:

    I haven't watched this episode yet, but I've been thinking that dating back since at least last season that Mike acts in such a way that doesn't make logical sense, even for what we know of his personality. It seemed to be going beyond a point of "stirring up trouble" just for the sake of drama-stoking, etc. Looking forward to catching up on this one, and great review Kristin !

    On: Friday, October 14, 2011
    Fan said:

    while mike has a big mouth and says and causes drama, you can't help but feel sad for him.  the people in the house treat him like s***.  i think that's part of the reason why he does what he does.  as i see it, if he had real friends, he wouldn't need a reason to act this way.  poor mike.  people forget, he is human just like us.  and no human is perfect. 

    On: Saturday, October 15, 2011
    Kristin Hunt said:

    Fan, while it's true no one is perfect, I feel like Mike's bad behavior predates any ill treatment of him. Don't you think? I mean, Snooki actually liked him before he started the whole Jionni debacle. And I don't know about you, but I'll never forgive him for saying that Deena should "be a woman" by doing the dishes, whether it was merely for screen time or not.

    On: Saturday, October 15, 2011
    Kristin Hunt said:


    Fan, while it's true no one is perfect, I feel like Mike's bad behavior predates any ill treatment of him. Don't you think? I mean, Snooki actually liked him before he started the whole Jionni debacle. And I don't know about you, but I'll never forgive him for saying that Deena should "be a woman" by doing the dishes, whether it was merely for screen time or not.
    On: Saturday, October 15, 2011
    jay said:

    Geez, someones biased against sitch.  you should be giving more credit to the guy who gives this show a pulse. without him it's unwatchable.

    On: Saturday, October 15, 2011
    Kristin Hunt said:

    Oh, I never meant to imply he didn't have entertainment value -- he totally does. I just have a hard time feeling sorry for the guy when he starts moping, you know? But to each their own.

    On: Sunday, October 16, 2011
    Dee said:

    The frustrating thing with Mike is that he has always been one of the root causes of drama in the show. With Ron and Sam, Snooki etc, he thrives on causing issues in other people's lives. I agree with you Kristin, so hard to pity a guy who constantly causes problems for other people.

    On: Sunday, October 16, 2011
    dude of love said:

    Sitch has gone mental, but we still love him :-)


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