A large percentage of my adult life has been shamefully dedicated to crappy reality television on MTV and VH1. I can have an intelligent (and I use that word relatively) discussion about the cast members of the Real World/Road Rules Challenges and ask thoughtful and insightful questions about their lives. Is there still drama between Diem and CJ? Are Danny and Melinda still married and is she still a racist? Is Jenn a lesbian and if so, is she still with Rachel? You catch my drift. My shameful knowledge continues with the Hills and not to get old school on you, but Laguna Beach as well. I have been a member of both Team Kristen AND Team LC and I seriously think they need to bring Stephen back into the picture. Although I suppose Brody works as the dark and handsome "we are just like best friends" boy toy. In spite of my years of commitment to this crap, I am closing in on the age where these types of questions and comments are not staples in daily conversations and are more often than not, considered unacceptable. I decided to wean myself off and I thought I could move on with my life. I saw a bright future ahead. I envisioned freedom from confessionals and steroids and lip-glossed morons. I was totally wrong.
A few weeks ago, this bright future I so foolishly hoped for was destroyed by an unnatural disaster swooping in from the East Coast. It came out of nowhere, forcing us all to run and hide while simultaneously staring in awe. In the eye of the storm was the small New Jersey town of Seaside Heights. This is the location for the latest collection of random strangers picked to live in a house. Jersey Shore has brought MTV reality to a new level of ridiculousness and if you have yet to watch this hurricane of blow-outs and poofs, I strongly suggest you do so with caution. You may very easily become inexplicably addicted. For some reason, it's hard not to want to see how these self-proclaimed Guidos and Guidettes ruin their lives and the lives of the people around them.
Jersey Shore has been on for a few brutal weeks but the first episode and the way the cast members introduce themselves say enough about these people for weeks of Steve's Word material. As most of you know by now, MTV collected a group of eight twenty-something Italian Americans from various parts of New York, New Jersey, and Rhode Island to live together at the Jersey Shore. Each of them refers to him or herself as a Guido or Guidette and tells us what exactly that means these days. The most important things for these sickeningly image conscious birdbrains are makeup, muscles, and being tan. Hair gel and DJing are Pauly D's top priorities and he informs us from atop his motorcycle that when a Rhode Island Guido stops, his chrome keeps spinning. Vinny claims he can fist pump with the best of them. I wonder who exactly he is referring to and how the best of them do in fact pump a fist. Mike "The Situation" just wants to show off his abs and compares himself to Rambo. And Ronnie, while packing his enormous bottle of protein something or other, told us he is broke but still buys fancy white shoes to impress the ladies. Nicole (aka Snooki) confesses her dream of moving to Jersey (step one complete) and marrying a "juiced, tan" Guido. She also claims to have invented the poof that she holds up with a banana clip. Classy. Sammi Sweetheart, the sweetest bitch you'll ever meet, graciously describes for us what it means to be a Guidette. Apparently a girl special enough to fall under this classification is one who "knows how to club it up, takes really good care of themselves, has pretty hair, cakes on makeup, has tan skin, wears the hottest heels, pretty much they know how to own it and rock it." In normal people terms this can be translated into "is a slut and a drunk, has bad skin, will develop skin cancer, and is totally insecure." And we cannot forget Jwoww who apparently likes to send guys on a roller coaster ride to hell after she sleeps with them and eats their heads. Her words, not mine. Basically just your normal group of young adults, coming together for a relaxing summer at the beach, sipping sherry and having political discussions.
The season kicked off with a two hour debut of debauchery which was actually two episodes back to back. I had a sneaking suspicion that MTV did this because there was too much drinking, making out, and screaming for just one hour. According to an interview by Bill Simmons, I was right. The common thread between all commentaries about this show revolves around its density. There are layers upon layers of lunacy making adequate digestion of the material close to impossible. One needs to watch it repeatedly before being able to compile coherent thoughts about the situation (and I mean the actual situation, not the cast member who calls himself The Situation). The seemingly insurmountable piles of data produced by this show could only be tackled through hours of contemplation about people I would rather not be contemplating. Now that viewing this catastrophic whirlwind has become a weekly ritual, I feel I can come to a few general conclusions about these nitwits; some behavioral patterns of this population, compiled after observing them in their natural habitat.
One of the characteristics essential for being a member of this society is delusion. If you have clear thoughts about you and the people around you, you would not thrive in this environment: you would most likely lose your mind. These Guidos and Guidettes have skewed perspectives on just about everything, especially themselves. For example, Sammi's nickname is Sweetheart and in the first few episodes she bitches at Snooki, leads on The Situation, and then makes out with Ronnie, causing friction between them all. I wouldn't consider that very sweet. Jwoww braves the Jersey Shore with a significant other back home and says he is her best friend. This doesn't prevent her from locking lips with Pauly D, sticking her hands downs his pants, and checking out his package. The next day she does not recall these events, probably because in her world, they did not happen. The boys on the show seem to think that any girl who meets them would "melt in their pants". In addition, claiming you want to "pound out" a chick is a proper way of expressing interest in the opposite sex. In what world other than the one occupied by these a-holes is this acceptable? Furthermore, these boneheads are put to work in a T-shirt shop which apparently is not up to snuff professionally for Angelina. She is above this, she tells us. "I am a bartender. I do great things." I have nothing against bartenders. They play an important role in my life. However, I don't see why serving drinks is any more impressive or philanthropic than working in a T-shirt shop. Sign up to work in a community center in North Philadelphia, Angelina. Then you can come to us with you "I do great things" crap. One final piece of evidence supporting the theory of delusion is a quote uttered by our mini guidette, Snooki. She was deciding if she should stay in the house or go home for good after a night of complete salacity. In her confessional, she told the viewers "I am not a strong person like I look." Why is this delusional, you may ask? If you have seen the show, you would understand. Snooki is about as tall as my four year old niece and strong would be at the end of the long list of adjectives I would use to describe her. But my ability to see things as they are is why I am merely an observer of these curious inhabitants of the Jersey Shore.
Another important trait for the folks of this community is expertise and ingenuity in the field of artificial development. God forbid any trace of the natural physical features one was born with becomes exposed to the other members of the group. These dolled up and excessively primped pinheads have altered their appearances in every imaginable way. Pauly D has a tanning bed in his house and takes 25 minutes to "blow out" his hair. Jwoww's boobs are so round and perky you want to tie string to them and join a parade. Both The Situation and Ronnie have little toothpick legs supporting what can only be described as a guido, fake-tanned, less heroic version of He-Man grown from steroids. Where is Skeletor when you need him? The compilation of hair extensions, make-up, fake nails, and hair gel makes you wonder what the collective carbon footprint is of this household. MTV has managed to kill our minds and our earth with this collection of artificial fools.
Every episode of this shit show has been just as ridiculous and more addicting as its premiere and I now have some weird connection to these people. I find myself wondering what will happen with the budding romance between Sammi and Ronnie and how The Situation feels after getting slighted by the Sweetheart. After recovering from the initial shock, he now seems to be coping just fine. While Ronnie and Sammi are off falling in love, hating each other, and accusing one another of hooking up with roommates and cops, The Situation retaliates by attacking girls in bars and convertibles with Pauly D by his side. In the latest episode, these two turkeys prowl the club scene for any poontang they can get their hands or mouths on. Somehow they end up with two girls too many and eventually figure out a way to swap the two snoozevilles who made it to their lair first for the two latecomers who actually want to strip down and get in the hot tub. The night ends unsuccessfully, as Pauly D bails because his girl is a "grenade" and The Situation doesn't seal the deal in time. At least they didn't have to endure the persistent cock-blocking of Angelina who decided that her life as the Kim Kardashian of the Jersey Shore would be more successful with her married boyfriend by her side; she has taken her garbage bags and jumped ship.
I have seen every aired second of Jersey Shore and I have read and listened to all the hullabaloo that this controversial show has created. It came at us with unimaginable force and the fact that MTV plays every show approximately twenty million times a week, Jersey Shore has only gained momentum. The mixed reaction is one of fascination, curiosity, and hatred. I don't think MTV has any idea how much insanity Jersey Shore would bring in with the tide. Death threats have been made to the MTV crew for producing a show that enforces negative stereotypes and shamelessly attempts to utilize caricatures as representations of an entire population. The clip of the famous Snooki punch is proof the MTV didn't have a clue what they were getting into. This hideous display of rage and stupidity was dangled in front of our eyes early in the season but was recently taken off the teasers and blacked out on last week's show. The gym teacher who committed the act is suspended from his job, rightfully so.
Despite the grotesque and disgraceful nature of the show, I have to ask myself a couple extremely important questions. Did I watch it? Yes. Did I tune in a second time? I did indeed. So which is more disgusting? The fact these people are on TV or the fact that I watched it? It was entertaining and afterward I felt ashamed and wanted to take a shower. I usually keep dirty secrets like these hidden in a box under my bed and only bring them out when my parents are away; however, in this case, it seems that hidden, shameful boxes full of secrets are not needed. People everywhere are admitting to partaking in the sinful act of watching Jersey Shore. I know I should be outraged that this low caliber creation has become such a sensation but I just can’t seem to hate it. I thought I had freed myself from MTV and the fake reality it produces but I was foiled once again; these fools keep popping up on my television. Every Thursday I find myself surrounded by Guidos and Guidettes with whom I would never choose to spend time with normally. What is the solution? I suppose until MTV begins filling its shows with respectable and stable human beings, I have no choice. I must succumb to the temptation of revealing tops, black and white make out scenes, and muscle tees. At least I know I am not alone. And I think the only feasible next step is to hope for Real World/Road Rules challenges that includes Snooki et al. Maybe after that destined-to-be display of absurdity and madness, I can retire from my career as an MTV reality enthusiast. Or at least put it back under my bed where it belongs.
Come on, Eldrick.