Snooki's pregnancy offers an interesting challenge to the producers of Snooki & JWoww. Picking up after the last season of Jersey Shore, the series opens with the ladies excited to be moving into a swinging bachelorette pad. What's intriguing, however, is that over here in the Real World, we already know what happens in Snooki's life. We know she's pregnant, we know she's engaged, we know she's totally revamped her persona. Meanwhile, we get to watch Snooki's best friend discover the whole thing in TV time. The Real World experienced Pregnant Snooki months before TV JWoww. Someone needs to write his or her thesis on this show and send it to me, please. Where we're going, we won't need the Jersey Turnpike.
Of course, it's not just that the audience (and JWoww!) has to meet and accept a totally new Snooki, one who we could conceivably imagine as a responsible parent (rather than a woman who once sprayed her urine-soaked underwear with perfume rather than leave a club). It's also the fact that the show now has to figure out how to fill all that time. There's so much time! How can they pack the minutes full of entertainment when Snooki is precluded from activities such as drinking, being drunk, falling down as a result of being drunk and sleeping with roommates while intoxicated. After watching tonight's series premiere, I'm not entirely sure I know the answer to that. Luckily the banter between Snooki and JWoww is as gross and real and satisfying as any filth the ladies got into on Jersey Shore, but without shots or the t-shirt shop or The Situation's gradual decent into insanity eating up up camera time. I guess JWoww and Snooki could take cooking classes for an episode or something? Assemble a crib? Oh man, yeah! That assembling the crib episode is going to be some straight-up I Love Love ish.
"I'm about to be 30 in a few years, and then that's it," JWoww says about her decision to live with Snooki for a year. Her reasoning is sound: once you turn 30, you die and consequently can't live with your best buddy anymore. Everyone knows that! Jenni's man friend Roger gripes about the movie ("Do what you gotta do? It could be a gang bang!"), but is ultimately supportive. On a related note, did they recast Roger? Roger 2.0 is a pretty solid actor. Oh, JWoww and Snooki can take acting classes! That's worth an ep for sure. JWoww and her man squabble some more, but in the end it's clear they care about each other. "If Roger does anything while I'm gone, his dick is going to be above my fireplace," she gushes. She might also have said balls? Either way . . . swoon!
Meanwhile, Snooki has her own reasons for wanting to move out of her parents ' house, the least of which seems to be her belief that they're total gibbering idiots. "Don't cry," she warns, hugging her mother after breaking the news. "Ew, you are!" And when her dad sits her down to talk finances, Snooki sighs, "Thank you, Captain Obvious." At the end of the day she admits, "I don't want to be one of those kids that's 40 and still live with their parents." You know, one of those 40-year-old millionaires that still live in their childhood bedrooms? Actually, that 's got to be a thing, right? That'd be a pretty cool show . . .
With Snooki rolling in a hot pink/black snakeskin truck (I think that was snakeskin, right? My mental conception of cars isn't big enough to accommodate texture), the ladies embark on an apartment hunting tour of Jersey City. This sequence takes up the entire episode. "There could have been murders here you don't know about. Homicides. That's the same thing," Snooki chides a realtor. At once point, the girls open a front door and scream. We never get to see what's inside, so unless there was a rotting corpse in the foyer, I'm calling shenanigans! And if there had been a corpse, couldn't we have seen it for a just a little bit? Corpses are part of reality, too!
Or maybe the realtor can be in every episode? Snooki and JWoww are at their kooky best when the Universe/producers foist them on people who aren't fellow television personalities. "She has her period," Snooki explains as JWoww dashes around an apartment looking for a bathroom with an adequate toilet paper supply; the realtor merely shrugs in response. When JWoww retrieves napkins from the paper bag containing their breakfast, Snooki chides, "Can you not whip your vagina with my bagel?" Ah, it's moments like these where I think this show is going to do just fine.
Later in the episode, JWoww turns to the two attractive yet unassuming realtors and asks them point blank, "Do you guys fuck?" They look at her with deep discomfort, and while it's impossible to know what's scripted and what's spontaneous in this crazy world of ours anymore, the moment feels delightfully unplanned. "I'm just trying to break the ice," JWoww sniffs in the resulting silence. She and Snooki go on to discuss the difficulty of working with good-looking coworkers:
J: "That's why Roger works with truck drivers."
S: "Because he fucks them?"
J: "Because he . . . no, so he doesn't look at hot girls all day!"
Finally, having decided to rent a sick, surreally gigantic firehouse-turned-duplex together, Snooki takes the last 30 seconds of the show to reveal her double bombs to JWoww. And by "double bombs," I mean secrets. "I'm pregnant and I'm engaged," Snooki announces. "You would have told me!" JWoww shouts, genuine distress flickering across her face. You would have told me without the cameras around, she means. If the ladies are keeping actually, genuine, life-changing secrets from each other until it can be recorded for TV . . . well, I can understand why you'd want to watch the rest of the season. Why we'd want to watch the rest of the season. Concludes Snooki, "Instead of life throwing me a curveball, it through me a sperm ball. Obviously. " Obviously.