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Your Favorite Jersey Shore Family Returns

by Natalie Dest

“Things have changed, but they really haven’t changed,” Ronnie Ortiz-Magro said regarding Thursday’s two-episode world premiere of “Jersey Shore: Family Vacation.” And he was exactly right – for better or worse.

It has been nearly six years since the notorious MTV Jersey Shore gang have “GTL’d” under one roof together, but aside from the typical wear and tear inflicted upon them by the merciless passage of time, they have all held together pretty nicely. And more importantly, they haven’t gained an ounce of shame.

With an average of 2.5 million viewers tuning into the premiere and only two episodes in, “Family Vacation” is already MTV’s highest-rated new show in six years. But that’s to be expected with the big personalities of our favorite guidos and guidettes.

One of our favorite guidettes Nicole, aka “Snooki,” returns with her classic “meatball” charisma. Over the past few years, Nicole’s dreams of producing tan babies with a tan guido have come true. She is now married, a “hot mess mom” of two, as is Jenni, aka “JWoww.”

Deena, Snooki’s meatball in crime, recently tied the knot, Pauly and his iconic blowout reside in Las Vegas where he lives happily with his tanning bed, and Vinny has a girlfriend, a beard and has finally moved out of his parent’s house. Completing the squad of “MVP,” Mike aka “The Situation” returns two years sober.

As for Ronnie, he also lives in Vegas where he is expecting a baby with his girlfriend, Jen. Sammi “Sweetheart,” Ron’s ex-girlfriend and ex-shore roommate, unfortunately, declined to join her former housemates on their Miami getaway, hoping to avoid typical Sammi and Ronnie arguments.

With all the roommates under the same roof once again (minus Sammi), the first night to their vacation began on a rather positive note, but with a chaotic concoction of alcohol, nostalgia and self-tanner, old drama began to resurface. Most of which involved and/or was directly caused by Ronnie.

For example, Deena lashed out at him for being the only friend who didn’t reach out to her after her dad passed away six months ago. He gave a rather poor excuse about being in a bad place at the time, and ultimately tried to blame it on his lingering problems with Sammi.

As for The Situation, he brought up the matter of his problems facing his tax evasion charges, to which he has pled guilty to and addressed on camera. As for Snooki and JWoww, the two mothers tear up as they talk about how much they miss their kids and feel guilty when they go out and get drunk to forget their responsibilities. It also doesn’t help when drama arises when Snooki has a colossal meltdown over misplacing her wedding ring.

With an already renewed season 2, it’s safe to say that these dilemmas keep viewers entertained. But for anyone who has ever doubted Jersey Shore’s sincerity, it is clear that these are real, flawed people, and surprisingly relatable.

For the full enjoyment of one of our generation’s best reality shows, you can stream the full premiere of “Jersey Shore: Family Vacation” on MTV.com. New episodes premiere on MTV on Thursdays at 8 p.m. EST.