The Situation’s Bad Week

Everybody wonders what makes “Jersey Shore” so watchable. Some guess it is the ebullient, drunken ball of Snooki. I say it’s the essential sadness of the central character who insists on calling himself The Situation.

The problem with the Situation is that he calls everything a situation. Trawling for a laugh or something to say, he’ll often rely on “We’ve got a situation here,” so people will laugh. The fact is he has nothing else to say.

He’s so relentless about everything – keeping the thrown-together cast of roommates together as a family so he can cook a big meal, the rituals of daily GTL and especially how he goes after a woman.

He figures he can attract all comers with his abs. But those started to fade about as soon as he became a millionaire from the show. There’s just no need to work out as hard any more; fame will fill in where definition fades.

But he has no patience with wooing a woman. He lets them come to him and once they’re interested, he zips to a cab (and because he wants to keep the family together, everybody has to go in the cab as well).

Should the chosen women whose name I’m never sure he even asks for give any resistance whatsoever, he completely gives up, kicks her out and makes sure anybody she’s brought along who is with Pauly D has to go as well.

Like a family, if the Situation is jilted everybody is jilted.

Early in the first season it was fascinating to see him get slammed by rejection from Sammi, whom he had his eyes on and thought he had landed until she flitted off to Ronnie. He couldn’t believe it and didn’t quite know how to act, as if he’d never been rejected before. He’s one of the oldest members of the group, but always acts the most childish – the first to lash out (usually at women) and then the first to apologize.

This week, he was rejected twice. First by voters and judges on “Dancing with the Stars” where he was so angry at his low scores that he stormed out of the usual parade of post-show interviews.

He thought he could fist pump and charm people the way he must have done all his life, but it didn’t work. Then on Thursday, in the penultimate episode of the “Jersey Shore” second season, he got rejected by back-to-back women he pulled out of clubs like the caveman he is. He assumed they were DTF, an acronym so crude and witless it should spell the end of such encounters. But in both cases, invited back to their pad, the women figured maybe a hot tub dip was in order. I’ve seen guys spend more time warming up prostitutes – in reality shows of course (my only doorway to experience) – than the Situation does when he gets back to their pad.

It’s not clear whether women care about his simple ways or are charmed by it.  A pair of women from North of the border, he keeps saying, are from “Canadia” and maybe to play along with the joke, Pauly D and the women also adopt this phrase. They’re from Canadia. But really, does the guy not really know the name of our neighboring North American country?

The Sit has a short fuse in these encounters because in his mind, acceptance to come to his house means an unspoken agreement to sex and he’s livid when that imaginary contract is broken. That means lugs as crude as Ronnie, Pauly D and even Vinnie are succeeding in courting women they seem to like for longer than a one night stand and the Situation is left alone, victim of another rejection. As a guy who never even considered ballroom dancing and clearly didn’t like it, he felt hurt when he was rejected by that whole scene as well. As he himself would say, he’s got a situation here.  And he’d look around to see if anyone was laughing.

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