MTV’s ‘Jersey Shore’ ridiculous but still addictive

By CiaraShook

I’ve never been a fan of reality shows, specifically MTV reality shows. Furthermore, I’ve never been a fan of the “guido” lifestyle and anything it represents.

That said, I can’t think of an easy way to explain why I love watching “Jersey Shore,” and neither can the mass of Americans who also refuse to admit their likewise


Filmed in August 2009, the seven stars live in a summer timeshare in Seaside Heights, N.J. and work in a T-shirt store on the boardwalk, while partying it up every night. In a very “Real World”-esque setting, cast mates Pauly D, Vinny, “JWoww,” Sammi, Ronnie, “Snooki” and Mike “The Situation,” represent a rock star lifestyle of booze, tans and hot tub affairs.

In my quest to justify streaming the show during every free hour I have between class, work and homework, I realized I don’t empathize with the cast of 20-something fist-pumpers. I don’t care that JWoww and former cast mate Angelina lose their boyfriends within two weeks of hitting the “Shore.” I don’t empathize that another hookup for “The Situation” fails when Pauly D is landed with the “grenade,” the blonde girl who “don’t even look Italian” and consequently ruins the hot tub rendezvous.  A sharp stick in the eye would be better for my life than conforming to a glitzy lifestyle that perpetually misrepresents the Italian-American community. But just because I don’t empathize, doesn’t mean I don’t watch the show. Watching “Jersey Shore” is a lot like watching a messy car accident—it’s disturbing but you can’t look away.

Among the tanned muscles, wifebeaters, neon nails and short shorts, there’s no likeable character on “Jersey Shore.” Beyond his self-proclaimed moniker “The Situation,” Mike is too aware of how good a cook, salesman and smooth operator he can be.

Snooki comes to Seaside Heights looking for the guido of her dreams to start a life with, but manages to make a spectacle of herself in almost every episode by getting clocked by a guy in a bar, or skinny dipping with her male roommates merely hours after meeting them.

Though Sammi describes herself as a “sweetheart,” she often becomes the instigator of drama in the house and is probably the least-likeable female on the show.

Ronnie, the most likeable candidate on the show because of his honest and charismatic approach to his roommates, promises himself not to fall in love at the Jersey Shore, but is taken hook, line and sinker by Sammi.

Pauly D epitomizes the sleaziest breed of douchebaggery with his blowout hair and his strict regimen of gym, tan and laundry.

When describing herself in regards to men, JWoww said she is like a praying mantis, but can’t handle her own medicine when her boyfriend ends their relationship.

Vinny “creeps on” the boss’ girl, and rather than confront his boss, he continues kissing her while predicting his eviction from the house.

Cheap shots aside, I can’t relate to these people beyond the fact that they’re humans. I realize that because the cameras are in front of them, they tend to play up their lives and stir the pot with more vigor and Jager than usual. More than anything, I consider it a human interest piece. Few people, if any, truly live a life of partying every night and alleviate the subsequent hangover by “gym-tan-laundry”-ing or piecing together the events of last night.

I watch these shows because of the stupid, yet entertaining antics these ridiculous people do, in disbelief in the existence of such people. “Jersey Shore,” like “Laguna Beach” or “The Real World,” has gained a following more secure than Pauly D’s blowout hair that has landed each cast member a cool $10,000 per show.

Regardless of how sleazy I find the show, I watch it. Obviously it also has America hooked, plus the cast and MTV are making millions from broadcasting it. Otherwise, we wouldn’t care about “Jersey Shore” or similar reality shows.