I know that you’re the kind of person that swings from one ill-advised obsession to another, so start planning the next fixation that will consume you more than knitting does. (I’ve totally read you – huh? HUH?!?!?!)
Over in the U.S. just before Christmas, I caught the first episode of a new MTV reality series – Jersey Shore. 8 very proud Italian Americans – 4 guys, 4 girls – get put into a house in a small town on the shore in New Jersey during summer, working (sort of) in their landlord’s souvenir tat shop by day, and partying hard by night.
Oh wow, fascinating, I bet you’re thinking? Yeah, well, I hear your sarcasm! I know you think it sounds a bit like Big Brother set on the seaside, or a ethnically focused Real World. Or any other handful of other recent reality TV shows, let’s face it. (The Apprentice without the enterprise? X Factor without the horrible manipulation? Pretty much exactly like I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here without Ant & Dec?)
Oh boy – if you’ve seen it, you wouldn’t be saying “faaascinating? in your scarcastic, bored tone. For this show is pure brilliance. And I say this even though I’ve only seen one episode – three times (long story). You will never have seen hair as big, clothes so small or lacking several sections, abs so chiselled, fake tan so dark and fist pumping (in clubs…to music…) so loud and proud. Best of all are the names some of characters go by – Sweetheart, The Situation, JWoww and star of the show, Snooki. Oh darling Snooki!
This show’s all over America in a big way – both good and bad. Whilst ratings have been high, even beating one of MTV’s most popular shows, The Hills, certain groups and companies have trashed it, claiming it shows Italian Americans or the Jersey shore area in a bad light. Some advertisers have even pulled out of screening their ads during the series – including that bastion of the Italian American community, Dominos Pizza.
Any British equivalent would probably be aired on Zany! TV Sky Channel 893 at 12.30am on a Friday – or possibly be screened primetime on ITV1. It would have obnoxious, not loveable, cast members and be watched by a handful of people either drunk, home from their Friday night out, or waiting for Corrie to come on.
I can’t find any proper Jersey Shore clips to back up my post (oh boy…perhaps I should have checked before I started writing) so you’re going to have to trust me on this one. Though here’s a little clip from a newscast featuring one of the defining moments of the first series: