Book review: Mike Sorrentino's 'Here's the Situation' delivers predictability
This morning on "Today," Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino asked Al Roker and the viewing public to not judge a book by its cover. Which is tough. Because the cover of Sorrentino's new book, "Here's the Situation: A Guide to Creeping on Chicks, Avoiding Grenades, and Getting Your GTL on the Jersey Shore," might lead some prospective readers to judge the breakout star of MTV's "Jersey Shore" as a cheesy, self-centered, misogynistic D-lister grabbing as much of the spotlight as he can while he can.
Which would be just about right. And therein lies his charm. Between "Jersey Shore," "Dancing with the Stars," his book deal, product endorsements and his own soon-to-be-launched line of clothing, Sorrentino is on track to make $5 million this year -- which I'm betting has other reality show wanna-bes re-evaluating their game. Jon Gosselin, Bret Michaels, Daisy de la Hoya -- none got this much mileage out of their reality show platform.
But wait, there's more. Really. Sorrentino used his "Today" appearance to let us know about the other Situation, the one who is an "intelligent kid" who graduated from college (though truth-squader Roker got Sorrentino to admit he's only earned an associate's degree). Said Sorrentino in the interview, "I'm a very deep person."
So, based on his new book, is there really more to the guy than Ed Hardy T shirts, bad pick-up lines and the future prospect of skin cancer? I got an early review copy and managed to breeze through the 133 pages of large type and cartoonish illustrations in -- well, less time than it took me to read "War and Peace."
So, is he self-absorbed? Well, the guy does refer to his abs as "The Situation" and boasts -- both on TV and in the book -- about his nightclub conquests. But in the book he shares his knowledge so that the reader, too, can develop the perfect GTL (Gym Tan Laundry) routine and washboard abs. But this passage pretty much sums up how the Sitch sees himself:
"As a certified personal trainer, a former professional underpants model, and a guy who looks like Rambo, pretty much, with his shirt off, I know a thing or two about physical fitness. Now I may be blessed with superior genetics, but I still hit the gym hard for ninety minutes, five or six days per week."
In one handy "Sitch Ab Fact" box he also describes his "six-pack [as] the first abdominals to perform an emergency appendectomy." We sense another career option: stand-up comic!
Is he mysoginistic? Do you really have to ask? Here's his take on courting:
"Now, chicks may object that bros simply look at them as creeping targets. But chicks like being crept on. Sure, they'll tell you that they go to clubs simply to dance and have fun with friends. But take it from the Sitch, single people are at the club for one reason and one reason only: to not be single anymore. Even if it's just for that night."
So, there you have it. A watered-down version of the ol' "she wanted it" defense.
And on the definition of an undesirable female, aka a "grenade":
"Nine out of ten times, the grenade is a grenade because she's ugly and fat. SHe's mad at you and at life because everyone is more interested in her hot friend. (On rare occasions, a cute girl can slide into grenade status because of a horribly bitchy personality, or for being obsessive and possessive about the guy she wants to be with."
This last passage is accompanied by an illustration of a grenade's brain -- which is divided into several areas controlling things like "protecting my hotter friend," "Spanx," "Jell-o Shots" and "Blocking out the fact that I'm the grenade."
Lest you think Sorrentino is completely lacking in any actual decency, he does ultimately have some kind words for grenades:
"Another misconception is that the better sex is always to be had with the hotter chick, but it can be argued that indeed the best sex is often with the grenade -- because she's so grateful."
But seriously, he has to have some kind words about women? Oh yes -- on page 99, you'll see his "Women as Food" comparison. A Filet Mignon is the "hottest of the hot chicks" while Dry-aged (aka the Cougar Cut) has been "out in the salt air for some time" but still has a "nice depth of flavor."
Pray tell, what is The Situation's most valuable bit of relationship advice
"A common mistake guys make is in treating a girl -- any girl -- like gold. It's the law of diminishing returns, bro. If you always treat a girl like a princess, she's going to get bored. You present no challenge for her. Takie it from the Sitch, girls want to work for love."
"Here's The Situation" by Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino and CHris Millis, Gotham Books, $15.
| November 2, 2010; 12:33 PM ET
Categories: Books, Celebrities, TV
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