The 'Jersey Shore' cast features, clockwise from left: Mike 'The Situation' Sorrentino, Vinny Guadagnino, Pauly 'DJ Pauly D' Delvecchio, Jenni 'J-Woww' Farley, Angelina 'Jolie' Pivarnick, Ronnie Magro, Sammi 'Sweetheart' Giancola and Nicole 'Snooki' Polizzi.

Random thoughts while waiting for ‘Jersey Shore' ratings to come in:

Back when I was in college, I wrote a column blasting the high salaries actors received, citing Tom Hanks as an example. I mean, I just unloaded on the concept. Then, I got letters from angry VPA students telling me where I could shove my keyboard.

I didn't necessarily regret everything I said, but I did make a mental note to think a little harder before spouting off in print.

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What, you may ask, does this have to do with ratings for last night's episode? Not a thing; we'll get to those later. But I was reminded of the story this morning as I pondered "Creepin'." I think I was wrong to call Snooki and Jenni "god awful friends."

(Welcome to one of the perils of insta-analysis. Sometimes you zig when a zag is called for.)

I'm not going to take back criticism of their reluctance to tell Sammi what a dog Ronnie's been. But I also realize the capital-S Situation they're in. (Not to be confused with "The Situation"; why must "Jersey Shore" be so confusing? Why? WHYYYYY?)

They're stuck living with two people they call friends, watching their relationship go up in flames one Ronnie creep at a time. Ask the guys if they'll tell Sammi, and Pauly can't shut up fast enough. At least Jenni and Snooki appear conflicted. Is that going to make Sammi feel better when she eventually finds out? Probably not. But at least they're trying, to some degree.

 UPDATE: The ratings are in, and the bandwagon keeps getting bigger. Thursday's episode attracted 5.5 million, a series high, dooming any hope naysayers had of a steady decline in "Jersey Shore" interest. Not gonna happen. Not this season, anyway.

Three other things you may have missed last night:

1. I like Jenni. I really do. But her definition of ‘kid' is whacked. As the episode begins, Snockered Angelina -- not to be confused with Snookered Angelina, which is when Snooki starts pounding on her -- is yelling at Pauly and Mike, waking up Jenni. She goes to see what's up, and is shocked -- SHOCKED! -- to see Pauly yelling. Because Pauly is Switzerland, after all.

"Pauly is, like, the nicest kid in the house. So I was pretty shocked to see him so mad."

Fair points all, except for the kid part. Um, Pauly's 30.

2. The light flickers for Sammi. As another episode ends with Ronnie living it up and Sammi moping at home, she makes a confession: "I don't know. It's just sketchy, kind of makes me think what are his motivations here?"

Is that the sound of Sammi waking up from her relationship-muddled fog? Certainly sounds like it. Of course, you get hit by a passing bicycle, you're not going to be surprised you feel stiff the next day. Sammi's been smacked by the equivalent of 33 public transit buses.

3. I've finally figured out who Ronnie reminds me of: Harvey Dent, from Batman lore. You know, Two-Face? There's hugs and puppies Ronnie, snuggling with Sam after a night of creeping. Then there's The Creeper, willing to get with anyone on the dance floor -- and beyond -- if that's where the mood, and booze, takes him. "You know, it's like, you gotta go with your heart. And right now, my heart is with Sam, so I'm gonna go with that." ...

Five minutes later: I'm headin' out with my boys. Sammi who?

Seriously, it's like watching a neverending tennis volley.

That'll wrap things up for today. Check out last night's recap for more "Jersey Shore" goodness, then come back tomorrow to check out our weekly poll.


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