It was a very different kind of Jersey Shore family reunion at a Newark courthouse on Friday, as the nearly single Jenni "JWoww" Farley and Vinny Guadagnino watched their now sober co-star Mike "the Situation" Sorrentino be convicted of tax evasion and sentenced to eight months in federal prison. (The rest of the show's cast members attended, but waited outside.)
The Situation's legal troubles have, of course, been an ongoing saga, a consistent plot point throughout the reality show's newest reboot. It's a relatively simple tale: US prosecutors formerly accused Mike and his brother, Marc, of hiding millions of dollars the Jersey Shore star made between 2010 and 2012. Then, this past January, the two pleaded guilty to one count a piece—Mike for tax evasion, and Marc for aiding in the preparation of a fraudulent tax return. Marc made out worse; he got two years and will have to pay a $75,000 fine. Mike, on the other hand, will have to fork up $10,000 and complete 500 hours of community service in addition to his prison time, CNN reports.
It was all, as they say, a long time coming seeing as the trial had been delayed again and again, allowing for the star to reappear on the show. And, sure, a school-year-long stint behind bars isn't really a lengthy amount of time, but prison could be even harder for Mike than that wall he smashed his head into in Italy. It's difficult to say, exactly, what type of Situation he'll be in there. Will it be Grandstanding Mike of yesteryear? Something akin to Michael Scott's Prison Mike, a wannabe tough guy who will assert his dominance the moment he steps inside? Will it be Prankster Mike, sending his cellmates to all the wrong places? (You thought the fist fight was going to be on C Block!) Or will it be Impatient Mike, who we've seen recently, eating potato chips as his drunken housemates argue about hookups that may or may not have happened, who goes to bed early? And, if it is Impatient Mike, will he get so impatient that he'll try to escape? Imagine a Pauly D voiceover for the ages: "Yeah, buddy, Mike the Situation, crawled through a river of shit and came out clean on the other side!"
There are certainly more questions than answers, and, unless the warden allows cameras behind bars (Locked Up: Jersey Shore?), we'll have to wait until the next season of Family Vacation to find out how it all pans out for our favorite guido. In any case, I think he'll do just fine. This is a redemption story, you know. We're just nearing the end.
So, there you have it. One reality television star is going to prison for doing something sketchy with his taxes—while another one, who seems to have done something very similar, sits in the White House.
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