Like the drama hurricane of an overly-muscled man yelling at a “princess goddess mermaid,” whose luggage is literally garbage bags, about why she needs to clean up her room, Season 2 of Floribama Shore is imminently approaching your cable box.
That, in case you haven’t watched, is a direct reference to the events of Season 1.
When MTV’s Panama City-filmed spiritual sequel to its long-ago hit Jersey Shore returns Monday, July 9, expect more of the same: blowout fights over nonsense, hug-it-out-bro apologies, sexual encounters filmed in grainy night vision.
Since the days of The Real World, when MTV instigated an early aughts reality TV craze, anyone who watches stuff like Floribama Shore has made peace with concocted storylines, glorified binge drinking and stunted emotional maturity. For those who watch, it’s all about brain-free entertainment.
The cast of Floribama Shore, however, sees their show as more than that, which they discussed in a phone interview with the Times. Something with, dare they say it, lessons.
“One hundred percent you can learn something, that’s what’s different about our cast, is how much we delve into our personal lives,” cast member Candace Rice said. “Real things from our background that are going to help people see why we make those decisions.”
Candace, who described her signature moment as “standing up for myself,” in addition to “having my bed peed on,” said the show teaches people to accept others for who they are, and that it’s all about “making progress.”
Has she forgiven roommate Kortni Gilson for providing that moment at the expense of a dry place to sleep?
“I’m still a little salty about that one, actually,” she said. “But you move forward and you grow.”
Panama City native Kortni reversed her stance from the episode, in which she claimed to have simply spilled a drink on the bed.
“I got to admit it,” she said. “I did it.”
In Season 1, it was revealed she’d never lived away from her parents before moving into the Floribama Shore house.
“I think there’s a lot to learn from living in a house with seven others,” she said. “You can’t run away from your problems. It teaches people to face them straight forward.”
But don’t look for too much growth. Kortni cemented her status as a fan favorite by also relieving herself in a garbage can on the beach. In Season 2, was there anywhere new to “go”?
“You’ll have to stay tuned,” she teased, before admitting, “Yeah, probably.”
Jeremiah Buoni, the Superman-physiqued, home-schooled guy from Amelia Island tried to teach his roommates lessons during the first season, from cleaning the kitchen to having decency in front of a visiting mom to setting an example for showing off your arms in an American flag tank top.
“I feel like most people assumed it was just going to be a party show, but the way that we’re all from different backgrounds and have to get along, like everyone else in the world, people can relate to that,” he said. “Sure, it was partying and drama and fights, but I think with us, it went deeper. It really showed the Southern hospitality. ... That’s how we’re different from Jersey Shore.”
His own signature moment, he said, was defending house mate Aimee Hall during a late-season argument, that for many redeemed him as a kind, decent and surprisingly likeable presence in the shore house.
Of course, to get there, we had to watch Codi Butts and Kirk Medas declare Aimee to be sexually undesirable — grown men making a woman cry to cover up their own insecurity over being rejected. So lessons, sure, okay, but it can be taxing to get there.
The season premiere features Codi throwing up into a urinal before making out with a stranger, Kortni attempting to fight her own boyfriend, the newly-introduced Logan, because he suggested she calm down, and a blowout screaming match over who moved someone’s suitcase.