MTV’s Jersey Shore

You must have known this post was coming.  Last summer, I wrote a post about how much I love the Jersey Shore and how it played a large role in my life growing up.  So of course, I have to comment on the most recent MTV show, Jersey Shore.

First, I think it is necessary that we clear up a few things.
1)    Only one person on the show is actually from New Jersey.
2)    It wasn’t supposed to be called “Jersey Shore” – it was supposed to be called “Guido Beach” aka not being a show about the Jersey Shore but being a show BASED at the Jersey Shore.
3)    Seaside Heights is not known as the “nice” part of the Jersey Shore but rather the “stereotypical” part of the Jersey Shore.  Its nickname is “Sleezside Heights” (if you can make out that spelling).
4)    Not everyone who visits the Jersey Shore acts that way or parties that way.
5)    MTV has done a wonderful job of depicting stereotypes of people who come to the Jersey Shore.  But that is what they are – stereotypes, not the truth.

The first time I saw a preview for this show, I knew there was going to be trouble.  At college, I obviously hear all the time about how I talk with a Jersey accent and how much my state smells (literally).  I spend a lot of time defending my state, showing my Jersey pride, and trying to show people that the stereotypes of New Jersey are not true.  However, I knew I was going to hear it when this show premiered.

But I’m not the only one who has shown my distaste for the show (even though I admit, it is addicting and I cannot stop watching it.  I mean, I have to watch it in order to be able to defend my beloved Jersey Shore.)  Jersey Shore staff have received death threats from people unhappy with the show (http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2009/12/08/mtv-staff-getting-death-threats-jersey-shore/?test=faces).  Not only are people from the Jersey Shore unhappy, but Italian-Americans are unhappy about how they are being depicted.  Additionally, New Jersey State Senator Joseph Vitale asked Viacom and MTV to pull the show off the air and is launching an investigation with the Department of Labor and Workforce Development to see how the main characters were chosen for this program (http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2009/12/28/jersey-shore-under-more-fire-this-time-from-new-jersey-politicans/).  This show is so controversial that politicians are getting involved!

I doubt the show is going to be pulled off the air.  It is getting too much publicity, positive and negative.  Jersey Shore cast members have even been on The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brienhttp://www.hulu.com/watch/115489/the-tonight-show-with-conan-obrien-the-situation-and-snooki-part-1 andhttp://www.hulu.com/watch/115488/the-tonight-show-with-conan-obrien-the-situation-and-snooki-part-2. And Saturday Night Live even got a taste of them (well making fun of them):http://www.hulu.com/watch/116557/saturday-night-live-update-snooki. MTV is getting more attention than they have had since the days when TRL was the most popular show on television.

My finals thoughts:
1)    Yes, the show is entertaining.  I watch it, I do.  BUT, the show is not realistic.
2)    Remember, it is like Real World based at the Jersey Shore.  (They should start calling Real World the name of each individual location).
3)    Everyone is this entertained by a girl being punched in the face?  Really?  That speaks for itself.

I will stop with my Jersey pride (for now), but remember the REAL Jersey Shore ≠ MTV’s Jersey Shore.

Michael Jackson: RIP June 25, 2009

Thursday, June 25, 2009 was a sad day for the music industry and the entire world after the loss of Michael Jackson.  To lose such an inspirational artist at such a young age is such a tragedy, and he will be remembered by many generations to come.  It was truly amazing to see the entire world mourn this loss as vigils were held across the world.  His story is truly inspirational from the start of his career at age 5, to the hardships he faced as an adult immersed in the media, to his final moments in Los Angeles.  With a tour in London ahead, no one could have guessed that his days were numbered.

When I come home from work, I usually do not check the news.  However, when I was on Twitter, I found out about his heart attack and eventual death.  When TMZ reported it first, I did not completely believe it.  However, when the Los Angeles Times and New York Times followed TMZ?s reporting, I knew that it was the truth.  (I guess that is the last time I will question TMZ – congratulations to them for breaking the news!)  Even though I know Michael Jackson was a huge part of pop culture, it shocked me how much media attention he received from all outlets.  Even the Wall Street Journal, a financial newspaper, dedicated front page articles to his story.

Days later (which I am sure will continue into months and years later), he is still being covered by the news.  His passing has taken over the news and forced the world to forget about the other recent deaths of Billy Mays, Farrah Fawcett, and Ed McMahon.  Any station, newspaper, website, or other publication that is not covering his story is ignored.  Vigils across the world have included playing his music (every radio station and MTV played Jackson’s music over and over on Thursday), doing the moonwalk, and attention from political leaders.  President Obama even wrote a personal letter to the Jackson family sending his condolences.

Both Twitter and Google crashed during the time when everyone was unsure whether he was alive or dead.  Twitter users talking about MJ reached 15% compared to less than 5% for the Iran election (and as you may know, the Iran election was a hot topic for Twitter).  Google thought that it was being hacked into because so many users were searching for “Michael Jackson.”  Wikipedia even reported a crash because so many people were trying to find out the truth (I have to admit, I used all 3 websites and was lucky enough to not experience any problems even though TweetDeck temporarily stopped reporting new tweets.)

My predictions: Jackson’s album sales are going to tremendously increase, MTV will temporarily be more successful if they continue their tributes with music videos, and his funeral will be highly attended and well remembered.  The hardships Jackson faced throughout the past years are finally being forgotten and forgiven, but it is sad that he reached justice in such a tragic way.