A Day at the Beach
by HANSON O'HAVER
We are living in a golden age of television. Television is no longer just a mindless tube for you to sit in front of while you ignore your kids and eat Hungry Man dinners. No, television has now become a way to explore and examine society in such a way that was once left to sociologists. The crowning achievement of this new intellectual pinnacle, of course, is MTV's Jersey Shore.
Jersey Shore is essentially the Real World without the token gay and black people, and with more Italians. This has angered Italian groups, who have compared the show to minstrel acts, and who say that it perpetuates negative stereotypes about Italian Americans. Maybe, but it is Italian Americans who star in the show. If it was Brits in pasta-face, that would be offensive. But as is, their argument is comparable to if people said that Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown show was racist. Sorry, but Jersey Shore is not offensive, because its stars are eight people who are stupid and just happen to be Italian. If its theme was that its stars are stupid because they're Italian, that would be different.
The premise of the show is that four women and four guys from places like New Jersey, Staten Island, Long Island, and uh, Staten Island travel to Seaside Heights, New Jersey, to have a summer with, "guidos everywhere, hot girls, and house music." They all refer to themselves as guidos and guidettes, which is weird because I assumed that it was a derogatory term. Maybe it's like n-word, where only self-identifying group members can legitimately use the word? In any case, the cast, from memory, is as follows:
Angelina, who refers to herself as "the Kim Kardashian of Staten Island."
A girl with black hair with blonde streaks in it that I think is named Jenny, but who goes by JWOWW.
A girl named Nicole who goes by Snookie, but whom everyone calls names like Snickers and Snuggie. Even though everyone on the show is supposed to be Italian, I have a suspicion she might be Turkish. Also, she's the kind of short where a person's not a midget, but still shorter than any normal person. Like Danny DeVito.
Vinnie, who wants you to know that he graduated college and that not all guidos are dumb. Spoiler alert: he's really dumb.
Ronnie, the buffest guy on the show, and also the most likable.
Petey, a DJ. I think he's secretly some kind of Latin.
Mike, who is maybe the least likable person on television. Confusingly, he refers to both his abs and himself as "The Situation."
Some of the highlights of the first two episodes include:
The guys bring home "sluts" and "whooores" back to the house, which displeases the girls. Btw, if someone could make a ringtone of a girl from Staten Island saying the word 'Whores,' I think they'd make a fortune.
Sammi hooks up with The Situation, but then ditches him for Ronnie, because Ronnie is hot. This makes The Situation unhappy, because it disproves The Situation's assertion that (I'm paraphrasing) "it's not a matter of if I'm going to hook up with Sammi, but when I decide to hook up with her."
Vinnie gets pink eye, from (he thinks) dirty dancing with a "fat skank." While this is not a possible way to contact pink eye, the situation provides for comedic gold. Especially when Vinnie doesn't let pink eye stop him from going out: he just puts on his white-framed sunglasses, so that no one can see his eyes.
Snookie brings home a "decent looking guy" from the club, who proceeds to throw up. At the exact second he throws up, the soundtrack changes to heavy metal riffs.
Snookie threatens to leave, but no one really pays attention because she's boring and MTV probably wishes they casted someone else in her spot.
JWOWW says she would never cheat on her boyfriend, because what she has at home is better than anything on the Jersey Shore. In the next scene, she cheats on her boyfriend with Petey, who, she tells the camera, has a pierced penis.
Angelina says she would never cheat on her boyfriend, because what she has at home is way better than anything on the Jersey Shore. In the next scene, she cheats on her boyfriend with a beefcake she meets at the club.
Sometimes the show has a weird after-effect on it, where it's made to look like it was shot on film. There is no explicable reason for this.
Also, one of the ads that plays during Jersey Shore is as follows: A stressed-out woman yells at and dumps water on her young children. Her husband walks in the door, and she tells him just can't do this, and needs some alone time. In the next scene, she is sitting on a park bench, watching The Hills on her cell phone, and she is happy. Then the screen tells you to buy this new cell phone.
This show is probably the best thing to air on MTV since whenever the first Real World aired. Actually, I just made that up and I was like 2 then, but still, the show's really good. Fuck those people who are like, "Waah, MTV sucks now, they never plays videos anymore, it's all just scripted reality shows." This is a good thing. Music videos are boring. Plus, do you really want to listen to any of the bands whose videosMTV would play? Of course not.
Scripted reality shows, on the other hand, are super entertaining. Also, it does not matter if Jersey Shore is scripted, because the people in the show clearly talk like they are on reality shows even when they're not on camera. It's not like these people would become genuine if you took away all the MTV staff. As anyone whose been to college or high school in the past five years can tell you, there are people whose entire lives are like MTV shows. These are the people who, when they have problems with their friends, sit down (usually in a circle) and stage a friendship intervention. Through shows like Jersey Shore, the viewer is able to see how this part of society lives. They live ridiculously.
If you're still not sold on the show's brilliance, read the following quotes, all of which come from the first episode:
"After I have sex with a guy, I will rip their head off."
"I am the Kim Kardashian of Staten Island, baby."
"My abs are so ripped I call them the situation."
"Let's get filthy, creepy, and weird."
"Seriously, when I bring girls back here they're gonna melt in their pants."
When Snookie went into the jacuzzi in her thong: "At least wear a thong bikini, that's a little more classier."
"They're sluts, and sluts should get beat."
"That's how we know we're classy girls. We've been living in the house with these guys for two days and we haven't even done anything."
"Nowadays" - Eels (mp3)
"Unhinged" - Eels (mp3)
"Paradise Blues" - Eels (mp3)