ANIMAL doesn’t typically offer thoughts on reality television, but since last night’s premiere of Jersey Shore was such a cultural milestone, we just can’t pass up the opportunity to offer a few words on the show.
Okay, where to begin…HOLY SHIT WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT?!?!?!?! Was that not everything you expected it to be, and more? Wow. Just wow.
Anyway, I didn’t take any notes during the broadcast, but here are a few random thoughts:
-Of all the great quotes and catchphrases uttered last night, and there were SOOOO many, some of which were documented by Mark Graham at Vulture, the best one has to be when Angelina threatened Mike, aka “The Situation,” with perhaps the most unspeakable crime one can commit against a guido: “Yo, I will cut your hair while you’re sleeping.” For any guidette to threaten to go all Delilah on her guido Samson is some serious shit. If there is a God in heaven, one of these guidos will indeed get their dome buzzed while sleeping off the dozen or so “Ron-Ron Juices” they consume on an average night at the club.
-Weren’t the guys on the show were actually sort of…endearing? Look, yeah, they’re guidos, but the girls on the show are just horrible, so their insufferable nature makes the guys actually sort of likeable in comparison. Particularly revolting is “Snookie,” the self-proclaimed “Princess of fuckin’ Poughkeepsie,” who apparently sleeps with an Ed Hardy hat on. At some point during the show I remember thinking to myself, “One of these girls is going to punch her in the face at some point.” And then I saw the preview for the upcoming episodes at the end of the show and noticed that Snookie, wearing her stupid fucking Ed Hardy hat, does actually get punched squarely in the face, only it was by a guy. Go figure.
-Of all the girls on the show, there was something mildly attractive about Sammi. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I think I’d actually sleep with her, or, to use one of their terms, “pound her out.” I’m gonna go shoot myself in the head now.
-Weren’t the Scarface poster in the dining room and the Italian flag painted on the garage door a couple of excellent decor choices? Brilliant set design.
-The most effective way to gain insight into a television show’s audience is by paying attention to what type of commercials run during the show. For instance, during the Glenn Beck show on Fox News you’ll see a bunch of ads for pharmaceutical products and companies that sell gold, which could accurately lead one to believe that Beck’s audience is filled with nothing but old people and end of the world conspiracy theorists. So, with that said, almost as interesting as the show itself were the commercials that aired during it, mainly the seemingly never ending ads for “Body Heat” cologne and various home pregnancy tests. Those advertising geniuses sure know their target audience!
-Like German stormtroppers blitzkrieging into Poland, the guido house was infiltrated by the dastardly scourge of pink eye, sending Vinnie into a near-suicidal panic over potential missed opportunities to fist pump his elbow out of socket and pound out broads. But perhaps even better than Vinnie coming down with a mild case of pink eye was Ronnie’s “that’s what you get for putting a fat girl’s ass in your face” reaction to it.
–Jersey Shore was actually educational! Did you know that “it only takes nine pounds of pressure to break a nose?” I didn’t!
-Surely the most memorable character to come out of this literal shitshow, judging by the first two episodes anyway, will be “The Situation.” The man is arguably the best t-shirt salesman on the planet and doesn’t hesitate for a second to lift his own t-shirt to reveal his abs anytime anyone asks “What’s the situation?” This man was sent from God to be a reality TV star. Let us all relish him and his moment, which was long overdue.
-A cock piercing! Of course!
-One last thought on the show: you have to wonder how much of America watched this human trainwreck last night and wondered to themselves, “Wow, these people are really trying way too hard to create drama/be compelling.” Well, here’s the thing…as anyone who’s had run-ins with guidos knows, there was little made up in what America saw last night. These people are exactly who they came off as last night…there was absolutely no embellishment, this was a sadly true representation of guidos/guidettes and the guido lifestyle as there’s ever been on television. And here’s the thing…I bet not one of the participants on the show is the least bit embarrassed by their behavior on the show last night. Guidos are shamelessly proud in a way that is beyond vexing, a subculture I’m convinced will be studied for years to come by cultural anthropologists, and MTV will probably always be remembered as the network to bring these freaks out of the regional shadows they lurked in and placed them under a spotlight on the middle of a stage for the world to see. How a small group of Italians evolved into this is beyond the grasp of most people, myself included, and watching them in their element feels a bit like soul rape, though it’s almost impossible to look away…
Image via Videogum