Jersey Shore Reboot Hits Directly in the Feels

The show’s revival brings nostalgia six years later

Rebecca Lorenzo, Staff Writer

What do you do when “cabs are here,” but you’re a responsible, law-abiding adult with two children and a husband at home and you are no longer “about that life?”

You cry on national television, of course.

“Jersey Shore Family Vacation” premiered on Thursday, April 5 after a six-year hiatus. This time, the gang is all grown up: Nicole, aka “Snookie” and Jenny, aka “JWoww”  are married with kids, Deena and Vinny are in relationships, Mike “The Situation” is humbled in sobriety, Ronnie has a girlfriend who is pregnant with his child, and DJ Pauly D is an actual DJ now.

The first half of last week’s episode, “Sunday Vinday,” is “Jersey Shore” with a more “adult” twist. Nicole cries over her misplaced wedding ring instead of a drunken “juice head.” Jenny sits down with Mike to discuss his sobriety instead of clocking him in the face. The gang goes rock climbing, instead of the gym, tanning salon and laundromat.

The chemistry between cast members stood the test of time. Years later, they still seamlessly exchange one-liners like friends who will never stop knowing each other. Original fans will appreciate when the boys refer to a spider they think is a black widow as a “black guido,” but people who missed the show’s original craze probably won’t get it.

All throughout, I was swept up in nostalgia but was skeptical if “Jersey Shore Family Vacation” could survive an entire season based off of “drama” that included a 15-minute bit on Ronny’s excrement reminiscent of a bad anime filler. “Jersey Shore” fans tuned in weekly to watch young adult train wrecks, but it is hard to have the same drama when everyone is married with kids.

Alas, I was wrong. By the episode’s second half, drunk Vinny is chasing around Nicole, who sidesteps him like the plague in fear that her former flame will ruin her marriage. A huge argument erupts, Nicole yells at Vinny, calls Jenny some derogatory names and all hell breaks loose, all while Mike, no longer the center of the drama, shovels Doritos into his mouth. This is what we came here for.

It is unclear whether this drama is genuine or if the producers threw more shots in the mix to ramp up the drama. But does that really matter?

It is no secret that reality TV is scripted. Still, something about Jersey Shore allowed us to sign off the everyday lull of routine as teenagers, even if for an hour. Also, it gave New Jerseyans a false sense of being united, as we spend most of our time driving, not holding doors open for one another and not striking up conversation in an elevator. We had something that bonded us, even if that bond was super sticky hair gel.

Originally, meeting up on “Jerzday” meant watching a group of random hot messes make idiots of themselves on national TV and it was awesome. But after a while, it became less about the hot messes and more about the characters themselves. We fell in love with Pauly D’s goofy puns, Nicole’s drunken antics, Jenny’s tough-as-nails posterior and more. We fell in love with the group as a family.

If you never watched “Jersey Shore,” you could still appreciate the inside jokes and drama on the reboot. But for dedicated fans, the reboot is worth a watch. The premise of the show is nothing special: six members in a house with alcohol and no phones. Still, MTV hit the nail on the head with this formula, which is still successful years later.

“Jersey Shore” is peppered with the perfect amount of nostalgia, like the duck phone, where fans feel like they’re revisiting old friends and nothing has changed. Additionally, coming back to the show with a more matured mindset makes the cast members more relatable as they’ve grown up with the fans.

If you were a fan of “Jersey Shore” in the past and are a hot mess worrying about your upcoming finals, take a 40-minute break and go watch the reboot and try to tell me it didn’t put a smile on your face like it used to. For that time, you will be reminded you that, no matter how old you are, it’s okay if you’re still somewhat of a hot mess.