Love her or hate her, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi is often the most interesting part of Jersey Shore and her love of booze may be the most interesting part of Snooki. But are we, as viewers, enjoying the antics of a lovable lush having the time of her drunken life, or are we pointing and laughing at a troubled young woman desperately crying out for help?
From the start of her “career” Snooki’s willingness to knock back endless shots of tequila and make a drunken orange spectacle of herself on national TV has been one of her most famous and polarizing qualities. Fans of Snooki’s love her shameless fondness for getting wasted, while detractors say she’s a living embodiment of everything that’s wrong with America and she’s at her worst when she’s hammered. We here at POTP think television would be a much more boring place without Shnooks sh!tfaced antics, but the more we see of her boozy behavior, the harder it is to deny she has a problem. Here’s a refresher on some of Snook’s drunkest lowlights:
On season two of Shore, Snooks was arrested for nothing other than being a drunken loudmouth who couldn’t locate the ocean. Let’s put that in perspective. She was arrested on the beach in Jersey for being drunk and obnoxious. That’s like getting thrown out Lindsay Lohan’s house for bringing too much coke.
Snooki’s drinking has resulted in violence. Sure, there was that night in Florence, where she accidentally kicked Deena’s @ss, but the most famous example of Snooki mixing blood with her tequila is the season one incident that first brought her national headlines. Naturally, a woman is never to blame for getting punched by a man, but if bad things routinely happen when you drink, it should send up a red flag. Another major warning sign of alcoholism:
Snooki drinks on the job. Routinely. This chick downs booze at work like most people sip coffee. Like so many drunken shenanigans, the first time she did it, it was funny. Now that it’s become a rarity for her to get through a day at work without getting hammered, it’s a little worrisome. Snooks got into the habit at the Shore Store in Jersey and took it to a new level at the pizzeria in Florence, where her bosses are decidedly less tolerant of her tendency to mix business (pretending to work) and pleasure (getting hammered) Speaking of Italy…
Snooks has been punishing her liver in new and astounding ways on the fourth season of Shore, reminding the citizens of Florence exactly why they hate drunk American tourists. On last week’s episode Snooki and Deena turned a trip to the beach into a 24-hour bender. The drunken duo got blackout hammered before the sun went down and completely forgot about their epic girl-on-girl make-out session. Naturally, their roommates mercilessly ripped on them the morning after, a routine that Snooki seems sadly accustomed to at this point.
Being the butt of jokes is part of being Snooki, but there’s a fine line between comedy and tragedy. Following her arrest in Jersey, Snooki spoke of the shame she brought to her parents and famously vowed to quit drinking (during the day). Anyone who’s been watching the show this season knows Nicole has been unable to rise to the very minor challenge of keeping that promise. The fact that she expressed her desire to stop getting drunk and discussed her goal publicly indicates two things – that Snooki wants to stop drinking, and that she’s in deep denial about the extent of her alcoholism.
Snooki clearly thought that she would be able to quit getting drunk, and that it wouldn’t present any challenge to her. She was clearly wrong. Naturally, if she were still Nicole, the pint-sized vet tech from Poughkeepsie, she’d likely have a much easier time staying off the sauce. But Snooki is a big part of why people love Jersey Shore and drunkenness is a big part of why people love Snooki. She’s a phenomenon, and no one wants to stop the Snooki party, least of all Snooki.
None of us know what goes on behind the scenes of Shore, or how much of Snooki’s persona is an act. All we can do is hope that those in charge have the sense and decency to force Snooki to get help, if the need arises. Reality TV has seen enough tragedy, as of late.