Their tans may have faded, but the friendships remain.
That’s what audiences will take away from “Reunion Road Trip: Return to the Jersey Shore” when it airs Sunday night on E! at 9:30.
“It’s very genuine and sweet when you see it,” said Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino, a breakout star of the MTV series, during a recent interview.
The 30-minute special will follow five of the show’s eight original cast members: Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, former Franklin Square resident Jenni “JWoww” Farley, Samantha “Sammi Sweetheart” Giancola, Paul “Pauly D” DelVecchio and Sorrentino, as they reconvene in the Jersey Shore region to revisit old hangouts and catch up on each other’s lives. This episode is the pilot for “Reunion Road Trip,” an E! docuseries that reunites cast members from scripted and unscripted shows. Noticeably absent from the reunion are Ronnie Ortiz-Magro and Vincent “Vinny” Guadagnino, who helped coin the catchphrase “GTL” (Gym. Tan. Laundry. — essential activities); Angelina Pivarnick, who appeared in seasons 1 and 2; and Deena Cortese, who joined the show in season 3.
“Jersey Shore” ran for six seasons, from December 2009 to December 2012, becoming one of MTV’s highest-rated shows. The third-season premiere notched 8.4 million viewers.
Despite the overnight success of the first go-round, Sorrentino said he was “a little apprehensive” when he was approached about appearing in the E! special this summer because he hadn’t seen any of his castmates since the show ended and because of his well-documented fallout with Polizzi.
“There was no communication, especially from Snooki,” Sorrentino, 35, said. “No real contact. I didn’t know how receptive they were going to be to this get-together.”
But he was “very pleasantly surprised” at how much chemistry they all still had.
(Sorrentino went as far as to predict the special will be “massively successful” and lead to a reboot of some form.)
“I know for a fact that myself and all the ‘Jersey Shore’ castmates are very interested in continuing to work together,” said Sorrentino, of Long Branch, New Jersey. “Just from that, we were like, we miss each other so much.”
The cast has stayed in touch since filming ended for “Reunion Road Trip,” Sorrentino said. They text daily in a group chat.
The reunion was filmed over three days — one each in Asbury Park and Point Pleasant, and one day of interviews. It incorporates Farley and Polizzi’s lives in New Jersey with their husbands and children.
You won’t catch anyone answering the duck phone at the “Jersey Shore” house in Seaside Heights on Sunday night, however. The group was not welcome back at its original stamping grounds. An application for a permit to film in Seaside Heights was rejected by the borough. Producers’ requests to film at the Langosta Lounge on the Asbury Park boardwalk also were denied.
But the location had little to do with the connection or the outcome of the episode, Sorrentino said.
“It’s mainly the dynamic and the dialogue between everyone that made it good,” he said. “It didn’t matter where we were.”