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Can you get STDs from watching MTV’s Jersey Shore?

December 11, 2009

Come for the abs, stay for the hilarious irony of it all

If there is one thing reality television does really really well, it is to feed on the insecurities of its “stars.” And the shows are actually better for it. Afterall, no one wants to watch what happens when seven level-headed people get picked to spend time together and have their lives taped, to find out what happens, when people stop being polite, and start getting real. It’s called work, and we see it everyday.

No, we want to see seven, eight, nine, or as many people that can fit, who each have their own societal abnormalities and idiosyncrasies, totally different from one person to the next, get put together in a house so they can verbally and sometimes physically rip each others heads off. Why else would MTV’s The Real World be on it’s 400th season(disclaimer: it’s actually the 23rd, which is still pretty outstanding)? And why else would Big Brother, the most boring sounding show on paper, turn out to be so damn popular?

So MTV took a big chance when they drew up the plans for its most recent adaptation of reality, Jersey Shore. You know how every episode of every reality show has to have that one completely out to lunch, over the top, annoying as hell character? They serve the role of black sheep, and have to have certain attributes, such as: narcissistic, selfish, ignorant, sub-intelligent, loud and attention seeking all at the same time. That is what Jersey Shore is.

Every character has everyone of those characteristics, and to top it off they are all “big I” Italian. Now regularly that wouldn’t be a bad thing, as there is nothing wrong with Italians, but every one of Jersey Shore’s Italians are a walking stereotype. Like how in so many movies about New York there is that fight between the boy and the girl out on the street, and just before they make out some booming voice that sounds like a Super Mario Bros. comes out the window and yells: “Hey, shutta the fuck uppa!” Take that nameless character, give it a name, and send it Jersey Shore, because that’s who these people are. Except, they all have their own catchphrases (Literally. Just click here. It’s like playing Simon, but way more hilarious).

The racial profiling this show has managed to accomplish in just its hour long premiere (the third 30 minute show is on MTV.ca today), has been enough that Dominoes Pizza has pulled advertising from that time slot, the actual region of Jersey Shore is coming out against it , and MTV is even receiving death threats (no horses’ heads showing up in producers‘ beds have been reported yet).

The good thing, however, is that not only are the ratings good (1.3 million viewers for the premiere), but it’s some of the most entertaining TV ever, whether we’re laughing with them, or against them. Actually, it’s definitely against them. Just a look at the homepage for Jersey Shore on MTV. On each side of the viewer is a flexed bicep, and around those biceps are some of the most commonly used words or phrases on the show: “guido, pumped, pop that collar, juiced, jacked, tan, guidette, hair gel, broski.”

There are also some they forget to include though, such a Affliction t-shirts, Ed Hardy, fist pumping, and of course, the situation. No, not an actual situation, but a character on the show who not only named himself “the situation” because, as he puts it, “my abs are so ripped up it’s called the situation (see photo above),” but because he also refers to himself in the third-person.

Definitely the star of the show, he has even come out to the media defending the term guido and guidette, words that every other Italian on the face of the planet thinks are steeped in racism. Here’s what the Situation says about them though: “No. No. If you do see the show, you see it used in a loving or a good way. The older generation doesn’t understand. These days in New York and New Jersey a ‘guido’ is a good-looking Italian male that likes to have fun and a ‘guidette’ is a good-looking Italian girl.”

There should be a correction to that though. They don’t necessarily mean good looking Italian male or female, in as much as they mean an Italian male or female who is so blinded by their own disillusionment that they think they are in fact the best looking person on the planet – so much that they no longer can serve any sort of purpose on said planet other than eating three square meals of steroids a day, getting “pumped” and “juiced” at the gym, picking up juiced guys, applying hair product and fist pumping (for guys) or grinding up against guys crotches (for the ladies) “like no other.”

But back to the situation with the Situation. Just looking at him and what he goes through in two episode is enough to convince anyone that this show is worth watching. To start with, here is a guy who says things like “I check out the mirror and am like, whoo, today is gonna be a good day.” Or “you can hate on me all you want, but what can you possibly say to someone who looks like Rambo with his shirt off pretty much.”  I mean, no writer or comedian can come up with shit this funny. And the best part is, he’s not kidding.

Convinced he can have the “hottest” character on the show at any time he wants, who happens to look like a Sears catalogue model from 1994, the Situation is literally crushed beyond belief when she makes out with him, then someone else, all in one night. The Situation has spent his entire life pumping his own tires so full of air that they completely explode with the tiniest pin prick (who’s name happens to be Sammi Sweetheart, AKA, the slutty chick who made out with two of her new roommates in one night).

Anyways, the Situation spend the rest of the episode giving Sammi the finger, then moping all by himself all over the house, curled up in the fetal position at one point, in near tears at another, and watching the sunrise by himself in what is supposed to be one of the most depressing scenes, but is actually one of the best and funniest. Really, is there anything better than watching such a massive ego come tumbling down in a mess of hair gel, tanning oil and third person references? Jesse doesn’t think so. Or, I mean, I don’t think so.

The Situation is just the tip of the oiled up and ironic iceberg, as each and every character is full of their own comedic gold nuggets. Take Snooki, whose “ultimate dream is to move to Jersey, find a juiced, hot, tan guy and live my life.” Or Pauly D, who not only has a tanning bed in his place, “that’s how serious I am about being a guido,” but who also brings at least two dozen bottles of gel with him and takes 25 minutes to do his hair – “it comes out perfect every single time,” he says.

I wouldn’t want to be on the same beach, yet alone in the same country, as any one of the people on Jersey Shore, but I love watching them through the safe distance of the tv screen so much more for it.

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