We're not gonna lie -- we had our doubts going into this new season of Jersey Shore: Family Vacation.
Snooki quit the show back in 2019, and when we learned that the remaining cast would be filming while quarantined at a Vegas resort, well ... it was tough to be optimistic.
We envisioned many scenes involving the guidos sitting around in hotel rooms rocking jorts, and roasting Vinny for, like, not eating carbs, or something.
Fortunately, thus far, it's worked out better than we imagined.
Don't get us wrong, there are more jorts than we ever thought we'd see outside a Gathering of the Juggalos, but the current season has actually been pretty entertaining.
If you stop thinking about Shore as a reality show and simply accept it for what it is -- a semi-scripted sitcom -- it easy to laugh along with the catchphrase-laden hijinks.
Sure, this season has brought us the long-anticipated (and long drawn-out) build up to the JWoww vs. Angelina showdown.
But the real news has been the addition of a new cast member -- and she's playing the type of straight man (or woman) role that every sitcom needs.
We're talking, of course, about Lauren "Laurens" Pesce.
The Situation's big appetite for corny catchphrases (and fried food) is only funny if there's someone there to contextualize it and comment on it.
Plus, without the presence of another female, a pregnant Deena would just be sitting around the hotel awaiting the arrival of JWoww while the guys make fun of Vinny's biceps.
And so Lauren has become a full-blown cast member, complete with her own confessional segments.
So how does Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi feel about being replaced after arguably doing more than anyone else to build the Jersey Shore brand into the juggernaut that it is today?
Well, it turns out she's totally fine with it.
“I'm actually really proud of Lauren, because she's like an official cast member,” Nicole said during a recent episode of her podcast.
“She's doing interviews with the producers and she's doing confessionals and she's doing all the things that we do," Snooki added.
“She's kind of like a main cast member now so congrats to Laurens,”
In case viewers missed the symbolic importance of Lauren doing her own confessional segments, Pauly D commented on her expanded role during a recent episode of Shore.
“Lauren, welcome to the family,” Pauly said. “This this is like Lauren’s hazing process.”
Interestingly, one of the most vocal proponents of Snooks making a return to the show, has been Lauren's husband, Big Daddy Sitch himself.
“You are a legend, and I want to put it out there that all legends come out of retirement at least once,” he told Snooks while appearing on her podcast.
“I will be hopeful, but we did miss you [unbelievably] and we did keep your spirit alive.”
Unfortunately for Big Daddy Sitch and the rest of the crew, it sounds like Snooki is happy to have the world of reality TV behind.
“I miss everyone filming and even the crew but do I regret my decision? Hell no,” she responded.