The Televisionist, Aug. 5 

STILL HILARIOUS: 'Jersey Shore.'
  • STILL HILARIOUS: 'Jersey Shore.'

9 p.m. Thursdays

Has there been a show since "Arrested Development" that's as infinitely quotable as "Jersey Shore?"

Here's another: Has there been another cast of television ne'er-do-wells since "Seinfeld" as lovably contemptuous, as compulsively rewatchable and flat-out universally famed as the "Jersey Shore" crew? Hate it or love it (like I do, brazenly), MTV's unexpected sensation is back and America's own gang of guidos has returned to our living rooms for another round of Ron Ron Juice, fist pumpin' and "smushin'." J-Woww's still as subtle as a Lee press-on through the eyeball, Sammi still fumes behind her bronzer and Snookie's still the go-to for the best lines of the night. ("I feel like a friggin' pilgrim from the '20s right now!") Ronnie, fresh from a break-up with seething Sammi, has transformed from a wound-up but OK guy to a despicable juicehead, all blackout drunk and creeping on "grenades" in the clubs before calling his ex "the worst thing you can call a girl" in front of the housemates on their first night together. Vinnie's still great as the Ross Geller archetype. But in a preview of what's to come, we find that the brains of the house may have drunkenly plugged his noodle into the meatball known as Snookie. Shockingly, Angelina, the house "cock-block" who left in the third episode, returns as the relatively geeky Liz Lemon of the house, ostracized by the girls and (tentatively) embraced by The Situation and Pauly D.

If last week's return is any indication, this year should be nothing short of the first season on steroids: The egos are larger, the tans are darker, the Bump-its are higher and, God help our bellies, the laughs are bigger than anything else you'll find on television. JT

8 p.m. Thursdays

I love women. They are as mysterious to me as the moon must be to a crab lying on the bottom of the ocean, but I love them for their mystery. I suspect that they might, in fact, be a wholly separate species — one that stoops to hang out with stinky men solely because they haven't yet figured out a way to reproduce and further their species without us. That said, I wish they'd be nicer to one another. From the viewpoint of one who came equipped with a stick shift, life as a woman seems downright brutal. Soon, you realize something: Women aren't working out, starving themselves and buying $10,000 crocodile-leather handbags to impress men. We're just happy to be here. They're doing it for other women — specifically, to keep other women from making the kind of remarks that would probably result in a knife fight if one dude said it about another dude. If you want proof of this, look no further than Bravo's "Real Housewives of ..." series. There are five incarnations of the franchise now: Orange County (Calif.), New York, Atlanta, New Jersey and the latest one, in Washington, D.C. Bravo has the formula down pat, and isn't straying far with the D.C. show, showcasing the lives of five women who have elevated moving-and-shaking in high society to a martial art – including Michaele Salahi, who, along with her husband Tareq, gate-crashed a black tie White House party back last November as season one was wrapping up filming. If previous Housewives shows in other cities are any measure, there should be catfights and gossipy intrigue galore, and that's before the Secret Service gets involved. DK



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