Television

Press Tour Moments: The 'Jersey Shore' Cast Pays Punchy Critics A Visit

2010 MTV Networks TCA Summer Press Tour - Jersey Shore

From left: Michael 'The Situation' Sorrentino, Pauly 'Pauly D' Del Vecchio, Deena Nicole Cortese, Sammi "Sweetheart" Giancola, Ronnie 'Fist Pump Brah' Magro, Vinny Guadagnino, Jenni 'Jwoww' Farley and Nicole 'Snooki' Polizzi participate in the "Jersey Shore" panel during the 2010 MTV Networks TCA Summer Press Tour. Mark Davis/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Mark Davis/AP

We're in the home stretch of press tour now, wrapping up with two days of cable presentations.

And if I'm being honest, we're getting a little punchy.

Just one example: The morning session with Discovery Networks featured, among other things, a writer asking inventor Dean Kamen (featured on Planet Green's new show Dean Of Invention), "With all of the information we have about what the robots are gonna do to us in the future, how can you keep building them so that they’ll get to be able to do that?" At the titters from the crowd, the reporter added, "That's actually a serious question." Kamen's session ended with a different reporter — not quite so straight-facedly — asking, "Where is the Hovercraft? Where is the viable flying car for the consumer?"

Also included in the morning's panels: the man and his four wives who are starring in TLC's upcoming Sister Wives, and Wilmer "Fez from That 70's Show" Valderrama discussing his upcoming Science Channel about bugs. No lie.

IFC then brought out David Cross to say he doesn't know whether they're doing an Arrested Development movie and then talk about his new comedy series, The Increasingly Poor Decisions Of Todd Margaret. During that discussion, he was asked about his own poorest decision and told a story far too scatological for me to share with you, and then The Kids In The Hall came out to promote their series Death Comes To Town, and they made some jokes about cancer and seriously, it was getting weird.

So ... yeah. We then heard from TVLand about a new reality show starring Lisa Rinna and Harry Hamlin, and during that presentation, Rinna explained how she got permanent lip plumping (a decision she seems to regret) because she saw Barbara Hershey in Beaches, while Hamlin took a call on his cell phone from someone he thought was his daughter's dentist, but then it totally wasn't! (This really happened.) Then someone asked him why he's acting so old (like "Jimmy Stewart," was the comparison), and Hamlin got kind of defensive about the dentist again, and then I might have blacked out for a while.

MTV Networks then blasted through She's Got The Look (modeling competition for women over 35), Fred: The Movie on Nickelodeon (kid talks in funny voice on YouTube; makes millions), Teen Wolf (super-serious MTV adaptation of hairy Michael J. Fox movie that's clearly Vampire Diaries times Twilight divided by Gossip Girl), and the upcoming MTV adaptation of the British hit Skins (young people have sex and do drugs, in case you weren't aware).

It was at this point — after Dean Kamen defended himself against accusations of giving aid and comfort to our robot enemies, after Harry Hamlin's dentist didn't call, after we debated the merits of the original Teen Wolf, and after David Cross and The Kids In The Hall — that MTV brought out the cast of Jersey Shore — beginning with new cast member Deena Nicole Cortese, who looks quite a bit like the other girls on the show, only she's slightly taller than Snooki. Deena came out first, and then the rest of the cast made an agonizingly lengthy entrance, walking between the round tables of reporters all holding their breath (not in anticipation, but to avoid the jet stream of cologne and, let's face it, who knows what else).

Asked whether fame has changed them, The Situation (respectfully referred to thusly in the official transcript) said that he's basically the same guy he was before, because he still makes sausage and peppers. Success hasn't spoiled The Situation! Pauly D confirmed their unchanged status, stating that they're still equally able to "hit clubs and kill it like [they] do."

Asked about her recent run-in with the law, Snooki told us that she was "in the drunk tank" after ingesting "too many tequilas," but that she "didn't hurt anybody" and, more importantly, "stuff like that happens in Jersey." (By the way, can you imagine trying to convince people that you met Snooki in the drunk tank? "Sure you did, Harvey. Go back to sleep.")

Perhaps the most delightful moment was when the MTV executive called the show "cast-driven" (it's their version of "this show is about the people") and said it's a "reality family comedy with heart." I've heard a lot of wacky descriptions of shows before, but I don't think I've ever heard one that went 0 for 4 in the space of five words.

Inevitably, romantic situations came up. Snooki was asked about her current romantic attachments, and she said, "I'm just snookin', you know." For some reason, this did not lead to a follow-up question immediately — I envision the reporter hurriedly asking those around him or her whether there was some accepted definition of "snookin'" to be found.

Fortunately, we came back to this point, and Snooki was asked to expand on what "snookin'" is, exactly. Her response: "Snookin' is when you’re lookin', so if I say I’m snookin' for love, I’m snookin' for a guy. If I snooked the night, then I took the night. Get it?"

So apparently, "snook" in the present tense means "look," but "snook" in the past tense means "took." Because of rhyming. As she would say, get it? "Snook, snooked, have snooked" is a synonym of "look," but "snake, snook, have snaken," presumably, is a synonym of "take." Hey. Listen to me. Snake this seriously.

Fortunately, Snooki then clarified that she will be releasing a book — a Snooktionary — to explain all this better, thank goodness. So snook out for that.

But the last question of the session was the most interesting: Why was this the only panel we have seen in a week and a half of press tour where everyone was standing up? Every other panel, everybody sat down. This one, they stood up the whole time, tottering on their tall shoes or posing with hands on hips. "I think we're better standing up," offered The Situation.

One day left, people. One day left.

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