The Jersey Shore's third season just wrapped up, and the crew is headed to Italy. In a statement last January, MTV announced that the show's fourth season will be shot in "the birthplace of the culture [the cast members] love and live by" -- a questionable decision, given that the Italian attitude toward the Jersey Shore is basically outright hatred. UNICO, an Italian-American interest group that has complained noisily about the series pretty much since its inception, is reacting with something between disgust and furious resignation. So, it seems, are the Italian people. "When I see this," wrote one particularly venemous commentor, "I wonder whether Bin Laden had a point."
Perhaps Jersey Shore reinforces a negative stereotype here and there, and perhaps Italians would prefer to keep their homeland untainted, but could it actually get that bad? Really, what's the worst that could happen?
#5: The Situation pranks Rome. Water-balloon fights in St. Peter's Basilica. Stuffed alligators hanging from the Colosseum. Old food and unruly dogs unleashed upon the Plazza della Repubblica. The possibilities are endless. Also amusing, also devastatingly disrespectful.
#4: Ronnie and Sammie squabble at the Trevi Fountain. It's one of the most famously romantic places in the world, but they would find a way to fight.
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#3: Inappropriate public inebriation. This one is kind of inevitable, especially considering such empirical affirmation as Snooki's brush with the law (for drunkenly stampeding about a beach) and Ronnie's numerous boozy street brawls. The question, then, is not whether it will happen, but how often, and where. Museums seem probable, at least for the girls; Michaelangelo's David is the original gorilla.
#2: In honor of her heritage, Deena expands her Mario-inspired wardrobe. Meaning more denim rompers. Then overalls. Then little red hats. I'm sure Italians everywhere would be overjoyed to call her their own.
#1: Snooki tackles the Roman Catholic skin-care issue. "I don't go tanning anymore because Obama put a 10 percent tax on tanning," she once famously said. "McCain would never put a 10 percent tax on tanning. Because he's pale and would probably want to be tan." Might she apply this logic to the Pope, who is white as purity itself? Maybe they'd bond. Snooki already treats alcohol like it's holy. Install a tanning bed, and the Vatican could be like home.