Jersey Shore UNCENSORED: Season Two: Uncensored:
My metrics indicate Season Two of Jersey Shore will be the best, though in the watching, it's not exactly clear. Yes, the guidos and guidettes return for a second season of booze-fueled shenanigans, brought about by the firestorm of publicity created by the show's premier. Fierce negotiations commenced when the kids realized people would hang on their every curse word, and thus they reportedly received $10,000 per episode for Season Two. (Meanwhile 'The Situation' has been lapping up every endorsement deal he can get his hands on.)
So now that we've gotten over the shock this Italian-American controversy caused - from cries of cruel stereotyping to giving the whole of New Jersey a bad name - we need to know what's left. Not the Jersey shore, for sure, since the kids have cruised down to Miami for season two. What's left is more, more, more of the same - though our acquaintance with the kids means we now feel like they are our friends. And this is why I say Season Two should be the best season; we're familiar with the antics and we feel kinship with the characters. By the time Season 3 rolls around, (if it does) we'll be diving down into old hat territory, and that's never good. I mean, how many times can we watch Ronnie, Pauly, Sitch, Vinny, JWoww, Snooki, Sammi and Angelina get hideously drunk, hook up with strangers, and scream at each other?
I guess at least 13 more times, with four 40-minute episodes each spread out over three discs, and episode 13 plus bonus features on the fourth disc in this set. And it's all good, actually, as compelling as ever, since everyone seems a little too comfortable with the cameras, revealing more than they probably should. Poor Ronnie is left out of the MVP equation, (Mike, Vinny and Pauly) but all four boys feel no compunctions about marching around their South Beach digs singing 'Tee-Shirt Time' in faux-operatic voices. Ronnie makes up for it by getting drunk and verbally abusing Sammi on a nightly basis, before staggering home and hopping into bed with her. It's kind of cute, actually. Snooki takes her little lost lamb gig to new heights, going so far as to tickling JWoww and boyfriend's feet while they are making love, and there's so much more.
An anonymous letter scheme seeks to out Ronnie's ill behavior toward Sammi, but considering there are few possibilities as to who wrote said letter, the plan doesn't really work out. It makes for plenty of amusing drama, however, as it becomes apparent that everybody is lying to everybody, pretty much all the time. Possibly the biggest liar is Angelina, making her encore appearance for Season Two. The only question is, how long will she last? Actually one wonders how long anyone will last, since they fight with, scream at, and punch each other with alarming regularity. Somehow it all works out in stereotypical Italian Family way, with everyone making up and loving each other as that epic Sunday Night Family Meal rolls around.
Yes, the Jersey Shore crew consists of a bunch of crazy kids acting silly while doing the same things over and over again. Pauly D continues his sardonic ways, frequently just sitting back, laughing at the madness. (Bonus: a few brief glimpses of Pauly without gel in his hair. It's a revelation.) JWoww shows off her expensive body a bit more, while emerging as the cast member most likely to be sitting on a barstool, bitching and smoking cigarettes well into her 80s. And while everyone seems to be cranking their respective acts up a notch, don't expect any true uncensored fun. As with the Season One Uncensored release, profanity is allowed, but only if it doesn't actually refer to sex-acts - such colorful words are bleeped out. Nudity is blurred as well. And so it goes, on and on. Suffice it to say, if you loved Season One, you'll love Season Two even more. Anyone who takes offense at constant binge drinking and blacking out might be upset, but if that's your position, why are you watching anyway? As 'The Situation' so succinctly puts it, (I forget exactly what he's talking about) "Motherfuckin' Santa Claus is dead."
Video is pretty much the same as with Season 1: 1.85:1 Letterboxed Fullscreen images recreating the neither here nor there presentation seen on TV. Hip production design, editing, and frequent use of night-vision or hidden surveillance cams, mean a big mixed bag of visual quality for you, all of which is intentional. So from fuzzy confessional cams to faux-aged transition clips to fairly sharp and detailed interview segments, you get the whole variety. In all, it's an acceptable picture from a genre not known for bringing state-of-the-art visuals
Dolby Digital Stereo Audio is generally OK, though with plenty of live boom-mic action, bubbling hot tub scenes, and out-of-control dance parties, there's a lot that's muffled and garbled. But don't worry, subtitles crop up whenever they're needed.
First up (sort of) is a Sneak Peek at Season 3 which is of course more, more, more of the same, except instead of dragging Angelina back for a third try, they've recruited a new girl. My idea is to have the unsuspecting Jersey crew join an unsuspecting Big Brother house for insane fun, but will anyone listen to me? There's the 40-minute Jersey Shore: The Reunion debacle, once again poorly hosted and revealing that without snappy editing and trumped-up scenarios, the gang is more obnoxious and normal than we'd probably like to think. After Hours: Part 1 is a 20-minute talk-show with Julissa Bermudez stinking up the joint while various cast members join her on the couch, plenty of clips, both previously used and never before seen add more fuel to the fire. As usual, Ronnie and Sammi get gently raked over the coals. After Hours: Part 2 continues the game. Extended Scenes split 12 minutes between more of 'The Note' (what a great idea that was!) and 'Angelina's Goodbye.' Cast Interviews allow for 20 minutes of our friends talking about their experiences on the Shore, which adds a bit of insight into their characters. Lastly, GTL: Miami grants MVP plus Ronnie 5 minutes to show us where they go to get their Gym, Tanning, and Laundry on. Closed Captioning completes the set.
You could say Season Two of Jersey Shore is just more of the same, which is missing the point a bit. More of the same is what we want, with only bits of tweaking here and there, such as taking things down to Miami this time out for keeping the formula fresh. It's not like we really want to see these kids grow up, though continued binge drinking and screaming means we'll probably get tired of it soon. What Season Two brings us is familiarity, (check the root of that word; family) a boon granting a break from Season 1's shock value, while allowing us to feel closer and more invested in the kids. Motherfuckin' Santa Claus may be dead, but Jersey Shore Season Two is still Recommended.
- Kurt Dahlke
~ More of Dahlke's DVD Talk reviews here at DVD Talk I'm not just a writer, I paint colorful, modern abstracts, too! Check them out here KurtDahlke.com