Jersey Shore: Family Vacation: Grade It!

Jersey Shore Family Vacation

“Things have changed, but they really haven’t changed,” Ronnie pontificated atop Thursday’s premiere of Jersey Shore: Family Vacation. And he was exactly right — for better or worse.

It’s been nearly six years since the Jersey Shore gang GTL’d under one roof, but aside from the usual wear and tear inflicted upon them by the merciless passage of time, they’ve all held together pretty nicely. And more importantly, they haven’t gained an ounce of shame.

Sure, Snooki’s now a married mother of “two tan babies,” but she’s still down to whip out a nip in public for non-breastfeeding purposes; JWoww, also a married mother of two (plus three goldfish!), still looks ready to hit someone at a moment’s notice; Deena insists she’s in a “classy” marriage, yet remains a self-proclaimed meatball; Pauly D now collects motorcycles and Lamborghinis in his mansion (kill me!), but he’s still on the prowl for a “wifey” to ride them with; Vinny is finally living alone on Staten Island, but he now eats pizza “like an a–hole”; Ronnie has a pregnant girlfriend in Las Vegas, yet offers advice like “just pull out” to a friend who doesn’t want to get pregnant; and The Situation™ still fist pumps like it’s 2009 — which is probably the last time he paid his taxes.

And then there’s Sammi, who unfortunately declined to join her former housemates on their Miami getaway. But like any good friends would, they made sure her presence was still felt in… by purchasing a sex doll and naming it after her. (And a surprisingly heavy sex doll at that — at least according to Snooki, who tried to murder it on multiple occasions. Spoiler alert: Sammi’s a floater!)

The gang’s reunion began on a positive note, but a chaotic concoction of alcohol, nostalgia and self tanner caused old drama to resurface — most of which involved and/or was directly caused by Ronnie. For example, Deena lashed out at him for being the only friend who didn’t reach out after her dad died six months ago. He gave a super lame excuse about being in a bad place (“depression, or whatever you want to call it”) and then tried to blame it on his lingering weirdness with Sammi. (Speaking of Ronnie’s ex, Deena is pretty sure he’s still into her, pregnant Vegas girlfriend be damned!)

And things only got darker upon The Situation’s arrival in the second hour. Let’s start with his “celebratory” dinner, during which everyone went around the table and said how much his recent legal struggles have inspired them — until Ronnie’s turn arrived:

“We’ve had more downs than ups, that’s for sure,” he began. (OK, weird start.) “I didn’t like you. You were not a good person.” (Umm… Is this going to turn around at some point?) “You became something I didn’t want to be around, I didn’t want to associate with.” (Mayday! Mayday! This is not improving!) “But after seeing you the last couple months, I respect where you’ve gotten to and the strength that you have.” (Phew.) As Ronnie later explained in a confessional, “For now, I’ll keep him at a distance and see where it goes.”

Save for Snooki freaking out over her lost wedding rings, that’s pretty much everything that went down in the first two hours of Jersey Shore: Family Vacation. But as you’ll see in the trailer below, there’s still plenty of nonsense on the horizon:

Your thoughts on the reunion series, already renewed for a second season? Grade Thursday’s two-parter below, then drop a comment with your full review.