After finding the season premiere of “The Pauly D Project” to be lacking in just about every way possible, we admit that we almost did not even give the show a chance leading up to its second episode. How much could a show about a “Jersey Shore” star and his buddies really change?
After reminding ourselves that pilot episodes often feel disjointed and weak, we decided to give this show a second chance — and as it turns out, we are rather happy we did. While “Pauly” may not be the sort of show that ever wins an Emmy, the second episode was far more entertaining than what we saw during week one — not only that, but it also put much of “Jersey Shore’s” lackluster fifth season to shame.
One reason that “Pauly D” worked well in its second episode is that it includes something that “Jersey Shore” often forgets about entirely — stakes and realism. Pauly’s team was well aware of the massive chance that The Palms was taking in hiring him for a residency, and they didn’t want to blow it. With that in mind, we had the central conflict of the first episode — the fear that one person’s behavior (specifically, Pauly’s onetime club manager Ryan) could end up jeopardizing everything for getting too inebriated and starting random fights with people at The Palms. Is Pauly going to have the guts to get rid someone detrimental to the team? That’s a question we hope the series addresses in full moving forward this season.
We also appreciated in this episode a simple discussion between Pauly’s road manager Biggie and his girlfriend, who both realized that the sort of success the DJ is receiving at the moment may not last forever, and from a financial standpoint it made sense for the two parties to spend some time apart now, mostly so that they could have some more time to be together in the future. Someone realizing that fame is fleeting is about as rare in reality TV as somebody actually admitting that they do not ham it up for the cameras.
Overall, “Pauly D” is turning into a rather interesting beast for MTV. While we still haven’t seen too much depth yet from its lead character, at least some of his pals have differentiated themselves and seem to be rather interesting characters. Now, we’re simply hoping that the show can find a way to balance the humor with the drama, while at the same time reminding us that there is something major at stake here for the gang if things turn south.
If you watched the premiere of “Pauly” and gave up on it, you may want to come back. There is something still interesting here, and you can check out the full episode below.