The Watchman: ‘Jersey Shore’ Makes for Miami

‘Killing Eve’ offers crackling charisma on BBC America
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Jersey Shore Family Vacation has its debut on MTV April 5. Some five-and-a-half years since we last saw the Jersey Shore crew doing their GTL thing — gym, tan, laundry, we know it’s been a while — they are back. Pauly D, JWOWW, Vinny, Snooki and The Situation are among those reuniting in Miami for a dozen episodes.

Cast of MTV's "Jersey Shore Family Vacation"

Wait, they won’t be in Jersey?

“They are Jersey,” said Jacqueline Parkes, chief marketing officer at MTV, VH1 and Logo. “They’re bringing Jersey to Miami.”

Parkes promised a “completely evolved show,” where it depicts the cast “at a new stage of life.” Some have kids. Some have stepped boldly into adulthood.

Some have not. Parkes also promises plenty of the shenanigans that defined Jersey Shore. “The antics are louder and funnier than ever before,” said Parkes.

Reboots have been a mixed bag on television, but Parkes said viewers are ready for the Jersey Shore redo. MTV’s record for trailer views was 7.8 million, she said, with Teen Wolf in 2015, until a Jersey Shore video did 24.4 million. She promises a “global launch,” as the show goes out to 180 countries. “It’s the largest campaign we’ve ever done,” Parkes said.

Striking a decidedly different note, drama Killing Eve, offering “an epic game of cat and mouse” for viewers, premieres on BBC America April 8. Sandra Oh plays a security officer who wants to be a spy. Jodie Comer plays a killer. When a Russian politician is murdered, Oh’s Eve character is tasked with protecting the only witness and finds herself on a collision course with a violent assassin, in Comer’s Villanelle.

BBC America's "Killing Eve"

Phoebe Waller-Bridge, star of Amazon comedy Fleabag, wrote the scripts and is showrunner.

What drew Waller-Bridge to the project? The two women leads, for starters.

“It’s very provocative, gutsy, edgy,” said Sally Woodward Gentle, who executive produces Killing Eve alongside Waller-Bridge. “And it has great clothes.”

Woodward Gentle also noted the “crackling charisma” when Oh and Comer’s characters share the screen.

And it’s got “oodles of humor,” she added, despite Killing Eve’s dark undertones. “Like Fleabag, it’s got these gorgeous vignettes of comedy, where the journey is painfully funny because it is truthful.”

Woodward Gentle said she was drawn to the project after a colleague had dinner with Luke Jennings, who wrote the novellas the series is based on. Jennings’s approach to the stories, she said, felt unique.

What does Woodward Gentle have planned for premiere night? Not a heckuva lot, in fact.

“We’ll be in the U.K.,” she said. “Tucked up in bed.”

Jersey Shore Family Vacation has its debut on MTV April 5. Some five-and-a-half years since we last saw the Jersey Shore crew doing their GTL thing — gym, tan, laundry, we know it’s been a while — they are back. Pauly D, JWOWW, Vinny, Snooki and The Situation are among those reuniting in Miami for a dozen episodes.

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