Hi friends, it’s us. Brooke and Annemarie. Yes, we finished Laguna Beach and The Hills, but we’re not done with MTV. And we’re not done breaking the rules of our own games? Why? Because we both loved Jersey Shore more than was reasonable. And we simply could not resist watching the trainwreck that is the newest iteration of that concept: Floribama Shore.
We spent two hours watching the first two episodes and we have A LOT of thoughts (are you surprised?). So, although we’re not going to write about this series exhaustively, we are here to unpack the madness that was these first two episodes, make some predictions and throw some snark. When all is said and done, we’ll come back and see how things have changed (and stayed the same).
Annemarie is going to start us off.
A: I can imagine how the pitch meeting at MTV must have gone. “Let’s do another Jersey Shore. BUT IN THE SOUTH. The kids will be so drunk but also they’ll be SO POLITE. Except when they’re not and NO ONE THROWS SHADE LIKE SOUTHERNERS.”
I bet I’m pretty spot-on with that recap. Because yes, as advertised, Floribama Shore is exactly Jersey Shore but on the, you guessed it, Floribama shore, Panama City Beach, Florida to be more specific. Or the “PCB.”
Now, let’s continue with which new cast member matches up with the OG Jersey cast member, shall we?
- Kortni is The Snooki because she got white-girl wasted the first night and peed the bed. Not her bed, her roommate’s bed. Not laying down passed out, but the girl GOT UP, PULLED DOWN HER PANTS AND PEED OFF THE EDGE OF HER ROOMMATE CANDACE’S BED. Snooki bounced back from a similarly disaterous first impression, and Kortni too. But that’s a lesson to us all: don’t mainline vodka shots. Just don’t. Ever.
- Nilsa is The Sammi because she’s on the prowl for a serious boyfriend. Nilsa’s divorced, so that makes her storyline a bit more interesting than Sammi’s already. #diversity
- Codi is The Situation because of his tendency to get involved with other people’s business. Plus, he’s already made some questionable fashion decisions, like our pal Sitch.
- Kirk is The Vinny because we don’t know much about him, other than he got “burned out” living in Atlanta (what’s that about? we will see…). He seems like a good dude, so I have a feeling Kirk will be my favorite.
- Aimee is The Deena/Angelina because she seems to dispense Drunk Girl Knowledge Nuggets like Deena, but also, let’s not forget Angelina was OG Jersey Shore and could be a mess. We’ve already seen Aimee get up out of bed to argue with Codi. More please.
- Gus is The Pauly D because of the hair. Plus, Gus is on the PROWL (He already burned through Nilsa) and we all know Pauly was a favorite of the ladies of the house and of the entire shore.
- Jeremiah is The Ron because it’s possible he’s the worst. Not because he’s homeschooled, we’ll see if that becomes a Thing. But because he has a tendency to dab to show off his arm muscles and I’m not on board with that.
- Candace is The JWoww because she dispenses wisdom just like Jenni. People, listen up. Candace is wise and smart as hell.
Brooke, what are your thoughts on this introduction to the cast, and what are your Top 8 predictions for this season. (That’s right, TOP 8. There are always 8 cast members, hence 8 predictions.)
B: First, I agree with your diagnosis of which new cast members line up to which old cast members. Especially Kirk, who has been given so little screen time so far, I would have sworn to you his name is Drew, sorry Kirk! Anyway, these first two episodes really hit the ground running. We already have beef in the house, we’ve had buzzy moments involving way too much pee and we’ve seen some truly inexplicable traits/habits — are these Southern things, or is it just this bunch of people? Our newbies are sometimes a little too conscious of trying to become a thing, as seen when the girls try to make a boob lifting catchphrase happen in the confessional. As they say on The Real World, we need these kids to stop being polite (or in this case, camera-aware) and start getting real. So, that’s my wish, now on to my predictions, in alphabetical order, because I am not a pit of seething chaos like this show.
- Aimee is going to be a constant source of one-liners. I don’t get the sense that we can expect too much drama or character development from Aimee at this point, she seems to just be ready to have a good time. And further, she seems unwilling to rock the boat unless her sleep is disrupted. But based on her masterful dressing down of Codi while brandishing a stuffed alligator and her request to “work inside” at the beach, I think she’s going to be more or less a scene-stealer for us.
- Candace is going to have enough of this. I don’t know exactly what “this” will be, but at some point or another, your fav and mine is going to lose it on this bunch of characters she’s living with. From the first episode we had Candace saying she’s not going to babysit anyone, but I’m pretty sure she’s going to dispense some justice on someone at some point. Until then, I want her to continue throwing all of the shade.
- Codi is going to go on a path of self-discovery. We don’t know a ton about Codi yet, but we do know he works in an “old people bar” and it seems like he doesn’t get a lot of time to be frivolous and just do him. When he gets tired of provoking Aimee into late-night hallway yelling matches by getting too comfortable with what the thinks he can say during girl talk, I think he’s going to have a period of coming into his own. Ideally, that will involve him realizing that popped collars do not a “look” make.
- Gus is not going to get as much action as he thinks. Oh, Gus. He has tall swoopy hair and is stereotypically attractive, but he walks around declaring that he’s an Instagram model and wearing bizarrely cropped flannel shirts. And when that doesn’t quite seal the deal for him, he overdresses for dates and buys expensive dinners, only to underwhelm on his ability to talk about much other than himself. I think he’s going to find that having cameras around is only going to get more guys to want to punch him and fewer girls interested in coming back to his crowded pad.
- Jeremiah is going to be the worst. In the two episodes we’ve seen, Jeremiah has already angry cleaned dishes a bunch of times, taken a girl on a date and decided they were bros halfway through, prompting him to tell her they’re going dutch, and he’s flexed way, way, way too many times. He hasn’t done anything outright malicious yet, but he’s so far just utterly un-endearing. I expect his ego will be the cause of much friction, and likely that he’ll go ahead and sleep with Nilsa, only to be a jerk to her later.
- Kirk is going to be the breakout favorite. Vinny was by far the most slow-burn character on Jersey Shore, but in the end he won the hearts and minds of fans by being a sweet, decent and funny guy. I think Kirk is going to be that guy in this iteration of the show, while Jeremiah and Gus strut around preening, Drew is going to kick back and have a good time.
- Kortni will continue to be a hot mess. Kortni is 21 and a local. She’s already peed on another girl’s bed and in a trash can on the beach, so there’s no reason she should lose momentum now. Call this prediction low-hanging fruit if you will, but I just don’t see her learning the lesson that she can’t go shot-for-shot with the boys anytime soon.
- Nilsa will take way too long to move on from Jeremiah. Nilsa has some healing to do, and I hope her escape to the beach will help her do that. But I don’t think her emotional state will let her move past Jeremiah in any kind of a reasonable amount of time. He’s made clear he’s not interested, but that’s only made her chase him more intently. It’s a toxic back-and-forth that feels akin to Sammi and Ron, so we can only hope that Nilsa will manage not to fall into a relationship with Jeremiah, and will instead find a nice boy who can handle her wacky roommates.
WHEW. Okay, AM. Let me know if you think I’m way off base with any of these. And then let’s briefly talk about some of the things that baffled us about this show so far. I want to document our initial disbelief so we can look back and laugh about how naive we were after all is said and done.
A: I think you’re spot-on, and I’m thinking we could probably be casting directors for this type of show. We know the archetypes even though I am presuming neither of us has personal experience PARTYING on any of the shores. I use all caps there deliberately as we all know this experience might be about personal growth on the surface, but actually, it’s about alcohol. Lots and lots of alcohol. Hopefully this new environment means some self-discovery, but I’ll settle for some bar fights. It’s just that type of show.
Watching true-blue Southerners is absolutely witnessing a whole other culture. They pray before meals, they’re aggressively polite, and there are the clothing things you just never see in the north. Gus’ cut-off flannels are one example, although perhaps that’s a Young thing, not a Southern thing? But then, of course, the alcohol starts flowing and people quite literally stop being as polite. But honestly, this is exactly what we witnessed on the Jersey end of things. I think we’ll end up being shocked about everything else that was so exactly like Jersey Shore. In the end, it’s about the families we create away from our home-grown families.
B: I thought it was about alcohol and yelling at your roommates while brandishing a stuffed alligator?
Anyway, failing the words to thoughtfully articulate on what the South really brings to this formula (at least so far), we’re going to let SNL’s pretty amusing sketch of the show — featuring our most beloved Saoirse Ronan — send us out on this one.
We’ll be back with final thoughts and reactions when the season wraps, so no, you don’t have to watch this show, but you kind of should? We honestly don’t know anymore.
Next time, we’re going back to actual Required Viewing, and digging into one of the most criminally under-watched shows on television today. It has music, it has an incredibly talented cast, it has wicked smart comedy and it has soft pretzels. What more could we ask for?