Party’s Over: Snooki’s No Longer Fun to Watch on ‘Jersey Shore’
When Jersey Shore first aired on MTV in 2009, it was clear that Nicole Polizzi was the reality TV series' immediate breakout star. Snooki bounced onto our collective TV screens—and into our lives—with a promise she made damn well sure to keep: “Party’s here!” Nine years later, it seems like the party may finally be over.
A lot has changed for Snooki since she first became a pop culture phenom: She got married, had kids, launched a few businesses and turned her onscreen antics into Instagram gold, transitioning from reality TV star to social media influencer. While we never thought she'd remain the very same silly meatball we first met nearly a decade ago, on Jersey Shore Family Vacation Snooki, now 30, seems to have lost some of the well meaning, irreverent charm that first captured viewers' hearts back in 2009.
In Episode 2 of Family Vacation, "The Ring," Snooki loses her wedding ring near the pool of her cast mates' villa, resulting in an emotional meltdown just hours she after she lamented missing her two children in a heartbreaking scene. She immediately decides she wants to go home (Vinny calls her "triggered" over the situation) and her knee-jerk reaction makes it clear than maybe Snooki doesn't really want to be here.
In the next episode, "Sunday Vinday," Snooki and Vinny, who have history together, get into a vicious argument after Vinny continues to invade her personal space by dancing against her and trying to force her to hang out with him—something which clearly distresses Snooki, who is concerned their interactions could have serious repercussions on her marriage with Jionni.
While Vinny is at fault for antagonizing her (his actions open up a whole different discussion on objectification and respecting women's boundaries), Snooki's immaturity and her inability to clearly establish her boundaries is frustrating to witness. What's worse, however, is the blowout fight she and her best friend, Jenni, get into after the level-headed mother figure of the group tries to help her communicate her limits. During the confrontation, Snooki tells Jenni to "f--- off" and calls her an "idiot."
But Snooki is downright despicable in Episode 3, "Ron Ron Juice." After Pauly and Ronnie bring a group of young women back to the house after a night of clubbing, Snooki tries to get the girls to "pass out" by loading up their drinks with excess alcohol—an attempt to block Ronnie, who should be held responsible for his own actions, from cheating on his pregnant girlfriend.
"Let's get these b---hes drunk," Snooki says while making cocktails for the four women, explaining in a confessional, "I'm making these drinks really f---ing strong, because I want them to pass out." After serving, she encourages them to chug their drinks, aware they'll get drunk faster considering the ratio of alcohol she poured and knowing they'll be unable to gauge themselves properly. This results in one of the young women, a college student named Annye Posada, vomiting and passing out on their couch in nothing but her underwear.
The jarring scene has some seriously harmful implications: Snooki's scheme—though she likely didn't intend serious harm—is highly problematic, mirroring date rape tactics that often put women at risk at clubs and parties. Her actions are even more upsetting considering the harrowing date rape scene in her 2011 novel, A Shore Thing, which features a young intoxicated girl nearly getting raped in a hot tub.
Snooki used to be fun to watch. Even if her reality TV persona was obnoxious, it was so in a way that seemed to capture (and exaggerate) the spirit and excitement of partying in your twenties; of hooking up and making mistakes; of living unapologetically, ridiculous spray tan and all. We used to root for the quirky self-proclaimed guidette, who came into our lives ready for a good time.
For the time being, we think Snooki best captured our current mood towards her with this iconic exclamation: Wahhh.