Binge drinking and babies don't mix.
Even Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, the oft-clueless reality-TV personality, knows this.
The hard-partying Jersey Shore star is pregnant and therefore not partaking on Snooki & JWOWW, MTV's new spinoff series, which premieres at 9 p.m. Thursday.
"I honestly didn't know I could reproduce," the pint-sized Polizzi says. "The fact that I can make a baby is kind of scary. So I guess it's time to grow up a little."
Personal growth isn't what MTV executives had in mind when Snooki and Jenni "JWOWW" Farley approached them after Season 3 of Jersey Shore, proposing a show in which the girls live it up in their own bachelorette pad, one last hurrah before they ultimately rein in their freewheeling ways.
Here's how Jenni describes her BFF: "She likes to get drunk, she likes to get wasted, she likes to have a good time."
That's what the network brass was banking on, the kind of behavioral excess that simultaneously made Jersey Shore one of the most popular and reviled shows on television.
Then Snooki dropped her bombshell about her pregnancy and engagement to boyfriend Jionni LaValle, big news that naturally was captured on camera and left Jenni speechless, at least momentarily.
"I don't think there's any bigger news possible than being pregnant and engaged," Jenni says.
Still, even though they've had to tone down the antics, it's still an entertaining show in a loopy, somewhat aimless way.
It opens with the girls hunting for just the right place to stay in Jersey City, N.J. They wind up in an expansive remodeled firehouse that probably would be out of the question if MTV weren't paying the bills.
Then the alcohol-free antics commence.
"It really just comes down to the interaction between me and Nicole," Jenni says. "We never know whether it's going to be entertaining or not, because the producers don't tell us what to say or do. They just tell us: 'Don't try to do any shtick. Don't look at the cameras. Just be yourselves.'
"So we just do what we do, and we have no regrets."
What viewers see on the show, Snooki adds, is pretty much who they are. When she was cast on Jersey Shore, it took "maybe 10 seconds" to get used to being shadowed by a camera crew.
"Some people are just born to be on TV," Snooki says.
The girls say the new show has a Jersey Shore outtakes kind of vibe.
"On Jersey Shore, they had to show all eight of us, and they had to spread it around," Jenni says. "Because of that, a lot of the goofy, crazy stuff that Nicole and I did together would get cut out."
"This show is just more of us to love," Snooki says. "We've wanted to do a show together for a long time, just the two of us. We think it's a good show, and we're really proud of it."
There have been a few hiccups along the way. MTV originally sought to film in Hoboken, N.J., but the city scuttled that idea by denying permits. Public outcry from residents also ruled out Jersey Shore, Pa.
Many neighborhood businesses in Jersey City haven't been especially welcoming either. A nearby liquor store, for example, banned the girls from the premises and placed a "No Snooki" sign in its window.
"Oh, they're just jealous," Snooki says.
All things considered, Jenni says, it's kind of mind-blowing that they have become this famous in the first place.
"I never expected anything of this caliber when Jersey Shore started [in 2009]," she says. "I just wanted to bring a little extra attention to my graphic-design business.
"The show being such a huge success and now us getting our own show and everything else that has happened, it's definitely been a whirlwind."