The XX Factor

Female Violence and Jersey Shore

Despite all the amusing tanning-related hijinks on last night’s season premiere of Jersey Shore , the hotly-anticipated season premiere was pretty lackluster. One of the most appealing things about the first season was that the drama did not seem particularly contrived-some of the cast mates knew each other before filming and all of them shared cultural touchstones. Their actions were often ridiculous but rarely implausible. The other endearing quality of the show was that the cast genuinely seemed to be enjoying themselves.

In this first episode of season 2 , the clashes seemed anything but organic. The producers brought Angelina, who had left the first season early on in filming, back to the show, knowing that all the other women hated her. Last night’s narrative focused mainly on how much Jwoww, Snooki and Sammi despised Angelina. There was one awful-to-watch scene where the four women were stuck in a taxi together on the way to da club, and the glossy triumvirate just started screaming at Angelina, basically for daring to exist. This theme of hating on Angie does not seem to be going away, as a preview for the rest of the season shown at the end of the hour depicts a brawl between Angelina and Snooki (not wanting to be left out, Sammi and Jwoww appear to engage in fisticuffs at some point as well). For me as a viewer, the joy of the Jerz was in large part watching a group of hedonists have a fantastic time. Eight episodes of bitching and fist-fights don’t sound like much fun at all.

Photograph of Angelina Pivarnick by Jason Merritt/Getty Images.