Jersey Shore Family Vacation Recap: Sex Doll Sammi & the Sober Situation

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Jersey Shore Family Vacation made its long-awaited debut on MTV last night, and the consensus among viewers seems to be that while the guidos and guidettes didn't quite deliver the same bonkers energy and smush-room shenanigans of their initial run, it was nice to check in with TV's most heavily spray-tanned cast.

Of course, not everyone was able to make it to South Beach to enjoy all the fist-pumping and facial fillers.

Jersey Shore Family Vacation Photo

Sammi "Sweetheart" Giancola was sadly absent from the reunion for reasons that weren't made entirely clear in last night's episode.

(In a recent Instagram post, Sammi explained that she's in a "completely different place" in her life these days, and she wants to avoid potentially "TOXIC SITUATIONS," which most interpreted as a jab at her ex, Ronnie Ortiz-Magro.)

But that doesn't mean Sammi was forgotten.

No, the cast paid tribute to Giancola with a sex doll forged in her image.

The disturbing doppelganger even sported a t-shirt reading "I’m in a really good place right now” and spouted pre-recorded snippets of dialogue, most notably, "Roooon, stahhhhp!"

Sammi Sweetheart Selfie

And with that appropriately tawdry blast from the past (and the help of a few dozen liters of wine) the initial awkwardness of reuniting comes to an end and the cast is officially ready to make Miami a much greasier place.

Of course, a lot has changed since the guidos parted ways in Seaside Heights way back in 2011.

Snooki, JWoww and Pauly D all have kids now. Ronnie's girlfriend is seven months pregnant. Vinny is so committed to his keto diet he won't even dog a slice of pizza while thoroughly hammered.

And of course, Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino might soon be imprisoned for tax evasion.

Mike The Situation Photo

Sorrentino's legal entanglements very nearly prevented him from making the trip, but when he did finally meet up with his former roommates, we learned that he's matured into a very different Sitch.

The Situation is sober and in a relationship now, which should put him in a prime position to be incredibly bored and mildly irritated for the remainder of the season.

Of course, these days, Mike is actually well-liked by the rest of the cast (with the apparent exception of Ronnie), which means he'll likely receive plenty of support from people who want to make sure he stays on the wagon and out of prison.

Frankly, we have mixed feelings about Sorrentino's current ... situation.

Michael Sorrentino Pic

Yes, it's nice that he's grown into a better person, but will a sober, non-confrontational Sitch bring much to the table in terms of entertainment value?

And we won't even get into the ethical questions about tossing a recently-convicted felon and a recovering addict into a lion's den of temptation.

The premiere episode concluded with blackouts of both the electrical and drunken variety, as well as the decision to toss Sex Doll Sammi into the pool.

This led to Snooki losing her wedding rings, which in turn, led her to drunkenly arriving at the decision to go home.

Jersey Shore Cast Drinking

Obviously, she's not really gonna leave, and considering her earnings have been in the seven-figure range for nearly a decade now, it's hard to get too concerned about her lost diamonds.

Ultimately, the final scene served to remind us that while Family Vacation may be entertaining at times, the cast will never be able to recapture the lightning in a bottle that was their first run on MTV.

While episodes used to conclude with barroom brawls, now we have concocted drama over lost jewelry.

All-in-all, it was a step up from the abysmally lame Jersey Shore reunion special that aired last year, but these guidos will need to step their game up if they want to continue leading fans into the smush room.

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