Shutting Down the House: 'Jersey Shore' Ending Run

This Oct. 24, 2012, photo shows "Jersey Shore" cast members, from left, Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino, Jenni "JWoww" Farley, Paul "Pauly D" Delvecchio, Deena Cortese, Vinny Guadagnino, Ronnie Ortiz-Magro, Sammi "Sweetheart" Giancola and Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi in New York.
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But the time has come to say goodbye. Or not.

The Season Two premiere of "Snooki & JWoww" (starring "Jersey Shore" alumnae Nicole Elizabeth "Snooki" Polizzi and Jenni "JWoww" Farley) is just around the corner. From the press release: "Fans will see Nicole prepare to become a first-time mom, from nesting to going into labor and ultimately, get to see the first footage of her new son, Lorenzo." That's Jan. 8. Mark your calendar.

And in the indeterminate future, MTV plans to launch "The Show with Vinny," which MTV calls a hybrid talk/reality show that "will shatter the typical talk-show format by taking the biggest celebrities out of the studio and into Vinny Guadagnino's family home in Staten Island, N.Y." Alas, certain members of this cast could have the half-life of plutonium.

Meanwhile, MTV is moving ahead with a new gang of wild-and-crazy kids. "Buckwild" premieres Jan. 3 with a group of nine rebellious twenty-somethings living in West Virginia.

That's all ahead. But looking back as "Jersey Shore" exits, the question persists: Why?

Maybe people watched "Jersey Shore" because it was a welcome, wacky liberation. A break from the confines of parents, kids, partner, boss. Within their world, the "Jersey Shore" housemates have been privileged to serve as your surrogate id, treating you to visions of irresponsibility while sparing you from its costs — whether embarrassment, a hangover or an STD.

Call "Jersey Shore" a train wreck, then, albeit with no casualties. But does that beat a show that really takes you somewhere?

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EDITOR'S NOTE — Frazier Moore is a national television columnist for The Associated Press. He can be reached at fmoore(at)ap.org and at http://www.twitter.com/tvfrazier

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