What The Revival Of ‘Jersey Shore’ Means For A True Fan

Meatballs. GTL. Grenades.

If you read those three things together, you would think they have nothing in common. While that may be true, if you’re a fan of the Jersey Shore then you know those three phrases have their own meaning.

I have never been more excited for a reboot/reunion/sequel than I have been for the Jersey Shore: Family Vacation premiering on MTV on April 5th.

When news first broke that the gang was getting back together (and not for that lame 30-minute special they did on E! last year) I was instantaneously brought back to the initial euphoric high I rode from 2009 -2012. Jersey Shore was and still is one of the most iconic shows to have ever aired on television.

For me, my journey began on premiere night in December 2009. I was a freshman in college and I didn’t know it, but my entire life would change. Jersey mania would take over everyone I know. The abundance of Ed Hardy, the incessant need to look like a cheeto, and spend every waking minute quoting the cast had encapsulated America. We were yelling “t-shirt time” and “cabs are here” in our best accents and hoping that we could one day engage with the cast.

It was clear from the onset of the show that Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi would be the breakout star. From the very moment she walked through the doors of her shore house pronouncing that the “party’s here” to her drunken antics and ongoing feud with the duck phone, she charmed us all.

Of course when I found out that production for Season 2 would be moved to South Florida, Miami more specifically, it became my life’s mission to find the cast and immerse myself into the show. While 19-year-old me was clearly naive to how life worked, I knew one thing was for certain. I would meet the cast. Luckily for me, production had started towards the end of my spring semester and I had plenty of time to drive down to Miami. On top of that, I had it on good authority from a friend that another one of their friends knew where they were staying, working and knew the production schedule.

Remember people, this is before IG, Twitter and Snapchat were super big.

The day I went to Miami with my friend, we left for Miami at 8 a.m. and got to Miami so early. We lurked outside the Metropole Hotel where they were staying and waited for them to come out. Sure enough a few hours later the first of the cast emerged as they were heading to work. Snooki, Vinnie, Pauly D, Ronnie & The Situation were on their way to the gelato shop that they were forced to work in.

Disclaimer: they are all way smaller in person than on the show. Even Ronnie & The Situation were not as tall as TV makes them appear. Like good little TMZ paparazzi we were, my friend and I followed the cast and camera crew to the gelato store and patiently waited until they were set up inside so we could go in.

It was made explicitly clear that we were not allowed to take pictures, ask them for photos or speak to them as if they were filming a show. We had to act natural and pretend like we wanted overpriced gelato.

Given that it was 11 a.m. in the morning and a cold spring day in Florida (aka no sun and unusually high winds) gelato was not exactly appetizing. However, if it meant conversing with Snooki & Co. then I was going to suck it. That day, Snooki was in charge of the register because as it turned out she was TOO SHORT to reach inside the gelato cases and scoop gelato. Snooki was so adorable and so petite and everything you could imagine. She was nothing but polite and courteous but definitely hungover. Cameras were definitely rolling and the thought that I may be featured on an episode of Jersey Shore was the highlight of my year, possibly life. Unfortunately, I would not make my television debut in Season 2, or ever.

The other cast members were all hanging around as it was still early and seemed to be on cigarette breaks (yuck). They were engaging with the small group of fans outside but kept getting yelled at by production. Once we made our way outside of the gelato shop, we were approached by the producers and handed waivers and consent forms to fill out. I’m telling you, this consent form was longer than an application for a student loan. By the time we had finished filling out the forms, our gelato had melted and production was nice enough to go and get us replacements.

The rest of the day we camped out in front of the Metropole in hopes of seeing Sammi Sweetheart, JWoww and Angelina (who we didn’t know if she had left yet) but we were unsuccessful. That day will forever go down as one of the most fun days I ever had.

Of course, as the show progressed and the cast got more into the idea they were bonafide reality TV stars, you can tell the show suffered. They couldn’t really go to many places and it made it harder to film.

Let us NEVER forget the day when Snooki got arrested. I remember my friend called me and told me to go on TMZ. TMZ had a live feed from Seaside Heights as they were hauling Snooki to jail. There would be the subsequent court appearance (probably more infamous than any of Lindsay Lohan or Paris Hilton’s numerous perp walks) and all we wanted was #JusticeforSnooki.

Whether you found it highly annoying or not, the love story between RAAAAAHN and Sammi was both touching and highly frustrating. There was the infamous note written by JWow and Snooki, the fallout and fist fight between JWoww and Sammi, The Situation’s crazy headbanging antics in Florence and a slew of other highlights.

Over the course of the three years Jersey Shore aired, it gave us so many memorable moments that will forever be remembered in pop culture. That is why I’m excited to see how the cast (minus Sammi Sweetheart) reunite in Miami once again. They’re all a little older, many of them have kids, and they seem to have their shit together (for the most part).

The gang’s all here and we’re ready to fist pump our way with them one more time.

Featured image via Jersey Shore on Instagram


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