Snooki described her sonogram as looking like a "little meatball" last night. Are we . . . are we eating the wrong meatballs?
I was going to go on a diatribe about how, without the influence of booze or sex or six jacked, unstable friends, Snooki & JWoww proves how artificial most reality TV is. The closer reality TV is to actual reality (say, if it focuses on picking up dog poop and unpacking suitcases rather than drunken brawls and one-night stands), the less interesting it will be, until finally our own banality is laid before us in a display so scorchingly honest, we could never again deny our own mediocrity. But then Snooki and JWoww go to the sex museum and all is forgiven. The sex museum heals all existential wounds.
Speaking of wounds, there sure is a lot of awkward tension between JWoww's man Roger and Snook! You know, since he teases her fiancé Jionni mercilessly about his height? Interestingly, while there is certainly mockery that goes on throughout the Jersey Shore, no guy is singled out as the underdog (except for maybe Deena) (God help her). It's as if whittling down the cast to two ladies and two dudes threw the light-hearted ribbing into sharper relief. That, or Roger is just kind of a douche.
"I'm a ballbreaker," he declares jovially, using the kinder euphemism for "douche." Then he sings the Oompa Loompa song out loud while Jionni scrambles into the car. Roger's japes are met with an icy silence from Snooki. Later, Roger lays into Jionni for his (admittedly insane) dreams of speedboat racing. "Thank God you're handsome, bro, because you're not very bright," Roger laughs. Unlike everyone else on this reality TV program? "You're a bully. I had assemblies about you," Jionni laughs amicably, because what could he in say in return? That Roger's head has the tight, bulging, crimson appearance of a kickball left out in the rain? Oh, actually, he could have said that. In fact, he should have said that.
After celebrating a low-key birthday for JWoww that entails eating a cake printed with a photo of her jugs, the ladies visit a few home furnishing stores to spruce their place up a bit. "It matches my tattoo," Snooki enthuses over a black and pink number. "I want animal print. I want it tacky." Personally, I'm digging the faintly circus-y calliope music they've chosen to highlight the show's special moments, from JWoww knocking herself to the ground with a roll of fabric to Snooki's attempts to use the bathroom like a human being. "You shouldn't not poop, especially when you're preggers," Snooki worries as she scurries to find a restroom. "Technically I'm pooping for two. " Awww! That's so gross!
On to Manhattan's Museum of Sex! "I feel like a virgin in this place, " JWoww muses after examining a rainbow-colored dildo. "What do you know about animal sex?" their guide inquires. A surprising amount! Oh, you mean real animals.
"Isn't that illegal?" Snooki and JWoww gasp, before looking at and, of course, pointing out the wieners on a statue of a deer three-way. The two also learn about the freewheeling sexuality of bonobos with, again, an incredibly detailed statue of said animals having sex. Says JWoww about Roger's pet name for her, "It's going to be a long time before he calls me 'monkey' and I don't picture two vaginas rubbing together." I want to engrave that sentiment on a golden record and send it out into space, but there isn't time!
They immediately move on to Ninja, a restaurant in which men dressed as ninjas jump out and scream at you in what I can only assume is the historically accurate Japanese style. "I just peed," a surprised Snooki screams, collapsing in the elevator. "I didn't know this was a fucking haunted house."
While at dinner, JWoww also manages to call Snooki fat. "You 're a pig," she laughs after Snooki said she'd have screwed Jionni in the museum bathroom. If pregnant bathroom shenanigans are on the table, let's make them happen, people; there are only so many gross museums in the tri-state area. JWoww apologizes, her explanation boiling down to "I didn't mean you're a pig because you're fat! I meant you're a pig because pigs like to have sex in bathrooms. And that's gross."
All of which feels like treading water until get to the meat of the episode, which, as every episode should, revolves around Snooki's fascination and disgust with her own pregnancy. "Can your vagina rip to your buttonhole?" Snooki asks a massively pregnant fellow shopper named Meaghan. "Yeah, it can, " Meaghan admits, before laying out in detail what is horrible and awesome about giving birth. "Did you get an epidural?" Snooki asks. "Hell yeah!" Meaghan replies, aghast.
"I haven't really talked to anyone who has been pregnant," Snooki explains later. I pray this show corrects this immediately. There has to be a Lamaze class that will let these two jokers in, some pre-natal yoga or breast pump mishap they can endure. I love ninjas as much as the next person, but we have a real opportunity for laffs here and I don't want to see passed over for footage of throw rugs.
At the end of the episode, JWoww and Jionni finally take their girl for her late-night sonogram. Seriously, what is this? A sonogram for vampires? The OB/GYN she's using also delivered Jionni, his siblings and his cousins, a fact which prompted this excellent exchange:
JWoww: "You saw all the vaginas in this family."
Jionni: "That's not a bad thing!"
No, it is not. Fortunately, Snooki's baby appears to be free of genetic illnesses so far. Now that would have been a plot twist! "It looks like a little meatball," they marvel, like generations of parents before them. Says Snooki at her most emotional moment ever to be beamed into millions of people's homes: "Oh my God, I'm going to throw up." Also, "It looked like alien."
Eventually Mama Snooki admits, "It was really cute to see him flip around and stuff." The midnight sonogram took up the last few minutes of the episode, while the wallpaper selection took up 15. I've said it before, I'll say it again: this ratio has to be reversed. I'm talking 80 percent learning about afterbirth, 20 percent Snooki freaking out over the unflushed toilet in the fabric store. "It's weird," she mumbled in horror. "And there are little turds looking at me." Haha, OK. Maybe 35 percent. Plus a spin-off for Meaghan. Give the people what they want, you guys! I will permit another visit to the Museum of Sex if needed!
Last week: The Cheap Thrills of Cleaning the Windows