You are going to watch this season of Jersey Shore, but you are not going to enjoy it. The novelty of peering through the screen and into the strange subculture of debauched materialism from which our hair-gelled heroes hail has long since worn off. The audience that feasted so ferociously on the previous three seasons of fist-pumping and fisticuffs does not have the appetite for more of the same. The ratings are still good, but the cultural backlash is in full swing and the show’s lack of range becomes more evident and aggravating with every episode. You can only watch Ronnie and Sammi do the breakup-to-makeup dance so many times before you simply start rooting for the song to end. Sensing this, the producers of Jersey Shore have shipped the cast off to Florence, Italy, hoping to inject a fish-out-of-water element that will give new life to the franchise.
It's not going to work. The stars of Jersey Shore are really only good at one thing. They're a group of twenty-somethings that likes to party and has become rich and famous for doing so. If you were DJ Pauly D, would you rather enroll at the University of Rhode Island or get paid to DJ and start a riot there? They've been handsomely rewarded for their poor behavior, so how can we expect them to change? The onus is not on the cast to clean up its act but on the audience to stop watching. And we won’t.
So what did we learn from watching the trailer for the show's upcoming fourth season? The cast goes to Italy, they party, and they punch each other. You could replace the word “Italy” with the name of any other place in the universe and the rest of that sentence would not change. If we sent them to a Buddhist monastery in mountains of Tibet they would still party and punch each other. The most exciting things hinted at in the above footage are Snooki being arrested for driving into a police car and the Situation being hospitalized for driving Ronnie to assault him. There's a part of you that told the rest of you that you aren't going to watch this season because you’re better than that. Well, you're not. This season won't be as thrilling as previous ones, but you should squeeze every last drop of enjoyment out of this drying fruit. It's probably only a matter of time before we're watching the Situation score male-crying points while describing his fall from fame to Dr. Drew on Celebrity Rehab.