"Jersey Shore" hits Miami. If we're being honest, when we heard that news earlier this year and started thinking about all the mischief everyone could get into, would any of us pegged Ronnie as the main offender? Or that Mike would spend much of his early time at South Beach serving as a voice of reason?
Nah. And yet, that's pretty much what we've run into in the first half of "Jersey Shore's" second season. You've sounded off in this week's poll, and you've seen just how prescient the Magic 8 Ball can be. Now let's continue our Mid-Season Spectacular with a quick look at the guys, and what they've been up to thus far...
Mike - If he hadn't gotten lucky each of the last two episodes, it would be time to dispatch a doctor to the house to take Situation's temperature. Because something would not have been right.
Often in the early going, Situation seemed to be the house's version of Dr. Phil and nothing more. He's the one who urged everyone to welcome Angelina back. He insinuated to Sammi that her man might be up to no good. And then he was the one - the only one, that we've seen - to look her in the eye and say: "Hey, snap out of it! He's doggin' you."
Luckily for us, we've seen the same ol' Situation at times, too. Whether blowing firecrackers with Pauly on the trip south, or tearing into Angelina something fierce, or getting it on with multiple women, we've seen enough glimpses of the old Situation to feel confident he could be up to his old tricks as season two chugs along.
Pauly - In some ways, he seems like the forgotten man, as if his dustup with Angelina earlier this year was his high point and then it was time for him to fade away. That would be bad. Not only is he good for a laugh - as when he mocked Vinny's eyebrows last week - but he's the glue that keeps the house together.
Everyone loves Pauly; can you imagine a time when they don't? He's hammered out of his mind last episode, and it's a group effort to take care of him. Sorry, but I can't think of another person in the house that would get that treatment. Maybe Snooki ... I'm not sure.
Still, it was good to see Pauly unload on Angelina earlier this season, if only to establish that yes, Pauly D has boundaries, and it's smart not to cross them. Flipside: He's been hookin' up with Angelina after her being dead to him, so these things are, you know, fluid.
Vinny - As usual, Vinny just hovers along in the background, content to offer wry commentary on everyone else's drama. But we've gotten a bit of drama with him lately, too. Beyond the latest eye predicament (there must be some season-to-season checklist... Vinny's eye trouble? Got it...), we've seen him hook up with Snooki, then, with Angelina, set into motion the events that led to the Sammi-Jenni free for all last week. Could we be seeing a new, more comfortable and ready to rumble Vinny emerging? Stay tuned...
Ronnie - Ronnie, Ronnie, Ronnie... Where to begin? If anyone saw The Creeper comin' on the scene, raise your hands. No character has changed so dramatically between seasons one and two, and it's not been pretty... You wonder if he showed up at the "Jersey Shore After Hours" taping that aired last week thinking he could sway public opinion in his favor. Answer: Not. A. Chance. No, reliving his wicked ways and wildly unfair treatment of Sammi (Granted, she's been no saint, either), should have humbled him. Instead, he has regrets, including: "I regret getting caught."
That's aces. About the best thing we can say heading into the season's back half is that it can't possibly get worse for Ronnie. Can it? Hard to imagine, but I suppose it could. Last season, he got arrested in the season's final episodes ... can't believe he'd want to top that, but he's already well on his way.
What do you think about the boys behavior so far this season? As nasty as Ronnie's been at times, he actually doesn't have much on the girls, who've been in every way the driving force of season two. Come back tomorrow for a look at just how they've done that, as the Mid-Season Spectacular comes to a close.