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'Jersey Shore' serves its specific audience well

THE SHOW "Jersey Shore"

WHEN | WHERE Thursday night at 10 on MTV

REASON TO WATCH They're back and they're in Miami.

WHAT IT'S ABOUT "Snowmageddon" in the East has forced our intrepid partyers to unsuspecting South Beach and a nicely appointed apartment called the Metropole. Overall ambitions remain basically the same. Says Vinny: "I want to get with lots of pretty girls. My uncles want me to -- everything, but I kinda want better quality girls."

Snooki, now in possession of a juiced gorilla (musclehead), doesn't want to cheat, but . . . Ronnie has broken up with Sammi off-season, and there are hurt feelings. First night out, however, he works through those. As "The Situation" reports, "he's with grenades - that is, big ugly chicks, and land mines - a thinner ugly chick . . . lovin' life." The other big change this season: Angelina's back, and no one's overjoyed to see her.

MY SAY "Jersey Shore" and its cast became tabloid fodder over the past few months, with every contract holdup, walkout and club beatdown chronicled in lovingly lurid detail. But now, on this day so eagerly awaited by fans, the only question that needs answering is: Has "success" spoiled the crew? Have they become affected, guarded and keenly aware of their legacy?

No, no and, of course, no. They are the same - exactly the same, which is to say vulgar, crass, a bit bubbleheaded and keenly aware of where the next drink or "chick" is coming from. "Jersey Shore" is appalling, which is mostly its appeal, but it can also be funny, irreverent and breezily dimwitted - which is the rest of the appeal.

BOTTOM LINE "Jersey Shore" - the sequel - is baldly manufactured, and certainly no one will believe Snooki when she says that "we loved each so much we had to do this again," nor that inclement weather forced them south. In fact, when we see them pile into their cars, the grass is still green, and there's not a flake in sight. But so what? MTV knows exactly what made this work the first time, and it still works.

GRADE (for fans): A-

GRADE (for everyone else) D+

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