I'd like to think that longtime Jersey Shore fans are in agreement that watching Jersey Shore Family Vacation was almost more satisfying and entertaining than the original series. The cast's adult perspectives and familial bonds gave us just as much drama and arguments as the first series, but this time they came with the promise that everyone would sweetly kiss and make up by the end. The only thing that didn't feel quite right about this first season was the Miami location, and while the cast is headed to New Jersey to film the second half of Season 2, the legendary Seaside Heights beach house won't be considered home. Jersey Shore Family Vacation Season 2 is filming in Wildwood, but a quick visit to Seaside Heights may be in store.
After initially filming in Las Vegas for the second season, the cast will reportedly move into a home in Wildwood, New Jersey, on July 15 after already filming in Jersey in late June and early July. The town of Seaside Heights, where the classic Jersey Shore house is located, didn't grant MTV filming permits for the summer. Et tu, Seaside Heights?
It's a little crushing that the group isn't schlepping up the steps of that wood-paneled home next season, but the show's production company, 495 Productions, was still granted permits to film at the house and the Shore Store on June 27 and 28 for what sounds like a final goodbye to the area. Seaside Heights Borough Administrator Christopher Vaz told Us Weekly:
The subject of the filming was to stop by the house to celebrate two of the cast members’ birthdays and say goodbye to the house. Then visit Casino Pier to observe the post-Sandy improvements before the cast moves to its new Jersey Shore home and location for the balance of the show’s filming season… We were swayed in large part by a desire to say ‘thank you’ to the cast for raising money during their Restore the Shore Telethon that was used to purchase our two performance stages and Boardwalk sun shade structures.
As for why the town denied MTV's filming request, it seems to trail back to the controversy that surrounded the original series upon its explosive premiere in 2009. To put it frankly, our favorite guidos and guidettes just don't fit into Seaside Heights' personal brand. Vaz told the magazine:
...[We] have made a conscious decision to move on from the Jersey Shore reality series because it does not fit with our vision for the community as a family vacation destination. Reality TV thrives on conflict, drama and unpredictability. And in the case of the Jersey Shore, ‘Seaside Heights’ became a character of the show which is much different than other filming activities where Seaside Heights simply provides the background (ocean, beach, boardwalk) for the scenes.
OK, I get it, but if this was always a concern for Seaside Heights, wouldn't they have banned the cast from the house in the later years of Jersey Shore? Nonetheless, I'm sure Nicole Polizzi will keep the duck phone captive for another season to use in their backup beach house.
As for their new home, Wildwood looks like a worthy replacement for the cast's former stomping grounds. It comes equipped with the essential boardwalk, so what more can MTV want? While the cast has yet to move to Wildwood, Us Weekly reports that after having the Fourth of July holiday off from filming, the group were back on camera on July 5 ahead of a scheduled trip to Atlantic City. DJ Pauly D is also booked for a July 7 appearance at Atlantic City club Harrah's, and seeing as the event is advertised on the resort's site as Pauly's "official birthday bash," we can bet that the cast and their cameras will be hanging around.
With the cast returning to the show's roots on Season 2 of Jersey Shore Family Vacation, let's hope that some of their more immature drama doesn't follow them there. Instead, I have my fingers crossed for a surprise beach wedding for the Situation and his fiancée Lauren.
Season 2 of Jersey Shore Family Vacation premieres this August on MTV.