For most of the decade, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has been embarrassing Italy in the eyes of Americans (along with the rest of the world). Last night, America returned the favor by sending the Jersey Shore crew to Florence, to humiliate us in the eyes of the Italians. While they’re in Europe, we’ll be checking in with Snooki, The Situation, et al, regularly, in a new series we’re calling “How Did the Jersey Shore Cast Embarrass Us in Italy This Week?” The first installment is after the jump.
1. Scatological humor. Frankly, we’re still gagging over last season’s toilet-clogged-with-wifebeater debacle, so it’s not surprising that bodily functions come up even before the cast arrives at their new home. At the airport in Rome, JWoww realizes that a can of bronzer has leaked all over her bag. Deena wonders (apparently sincerely), “Is that poop?”
2. Poor understanding of European bathroom fixtures. First of all, we’d just like to say that we called this — our own Caroline Stanley predicted earlier this week that the palatial house in Florence would have a bidet. It seems that Vinny is the only Jersey Shore housemate who even remotely comprehends what a bidet is, although he does not appear to know what it is called. “We have that thing that cleans your ass!” he exclaims.
3. Poor understanding of European electrical conversion. If there is one theme to the season premiere, it’s small, hair care-related appliances frying outlets, presumably because no one in the house is using an adequate converter. In one frustrating scene, Pauly D and the girls go back and forth over about voltage. Later in the episode, all of the women crowd into the kitchen — the only place that still has working outlets — to straighten their hair, and JWoww wonders, “Do Italians not understand electricity?” Professor Deena, meanwhile, burns off a chunk of her own hair, despite realizing that something is very wrong with the smoking flat iron she’s using.
4. No one is actually Italian. It always seemed like a bad idea to bring the Jersey Shore crew to Italy, because it would highlight how little the “guido” identity actually has to do with understanding Italian culture. (Snooki and JWoww, as you might recall, aren’t even a tiny bit ethnically Italian.) And it has. It seems like Season 4 will be boring Vinny’s time to shine — not only is he familiar with bidets, but he’s the only cast member who speaks Italian (although it would be a stretch to say he’s fluent), as well as the sole housemate who seems legitimately impressed by the beauty and culture of his homeland.
5. Unfortunate attire choices. What was that shirt with the giant pair of cherries on it that Ronnie wore for half the episode? It looked like the XXL version of a baby-T you’d find a 12-year-old girl shopping for at Hot Topic. On the bright side, the cast will probably have better luck meeting potential hook-ups at the club when no one can understand what their stupid T-shirts say.
6. Excessive alarm at the existence of wildlife. At one confusing moment, the girls are sitting on the patio and are terrified when a few pigeons join them. Hysterical screaming ensues. “They will attack you, and they will bite your ears off,” says Snooki.
7. No one knows how to drive. The gang’s pair of cars are manual, and Snooki is supposedly the only girl who knows how to drive stick shift. (This seems awfully convenient, producers. Just sayin’.) Plus, the cars’ navigation systems are in Italian. Everyone makes fun of Snooki’s terrible driving — and we know that she’ll crash and injure some cops sooner or later, because that made the news when it happened a few months ago — but it’s the guys who run a red light and get scolded.
8. The Situation. Of all the Jersey Shore housemates, Mike is the one most likely to be acting 100 percent of the time. Last season, he made it his business to exacerbate the Ronnie-Sammi break-up in addition to his general nuisance-causing duties. It looks like his project in Italy will be tearing apart Snooki and her current boyfriend by trying to prove that he has “real feelings” for her, which were awakened when she cheated with him a few months ago. Mike strategically revealed his secret to Ron midway through this episode, prompting the hands-down quote of the hour: “She’s gonna fuck up that situation for this Situation?” Indeed, by the end of the cast’s first night of clubbing, he’s all over her. And judging by the previews we’ve seen so far, this looks to be the drama of the season.