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.

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Jersey Shore: Our Life is Your Vacation

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As Bruce Springsteen put it “’Cause down the shore everything’s all right, You and your baby on a Saturday night…Nothing matters in this whole wide world, When you’re in love with a Jersey girl.”  Even Billy Joel referred to people who “Spent their weekends on the Jersey Shore.”  Despite the common misconception that the Jersey Shore is disgusting – dirty water, unclean beaches, etc., people that live at the “shore” know better.  And yes, to us locals, it is not the “beach” or the “ocean,” it is the shore.

Yes, the shore may not be as pristine as the Bahamas or Florida, but in recent years, it has been revitalized to a pre-New York pollution scene (in 1987, waste from the Fresh Kills Landfill in NYC floated down to our beloved shore).  However, Long Branch (more specifically, Pier Village as shown above), is a perfect example of the beautification projects at the shore.  Once a place with average beaches, Long Branch is now home to some of the most admired beaches.  Situated next to the boardwalk, these beaches are home to many beach clubs, lifeguard competitions, special occasions including weddings, and a nightlife comparable to Atlantic City.  Special events are always occurring, whether with the restaurants located on the beaches or at the different beach clubs.  In particular, the 4th of July is home to Oceanfest, a festival attracting thousands, ending with fireworks on the beach.  It is the perfect family-oriented atmosphere that attracts people from all over the state and even the surrounding states.  Oh, and Bruce Springsteen (who grew up in Long Branch) can always be found running on the boardwalk, at the local restaurants, or at the beach with his family.

It is commonly thought that when you walk on a Jersey beach, you will be stepping around people’s trash and swimming in green water.  I can honestly say that I have never been in that position.  The majority of people only know New Jersey because of Newark Airport or the New Jersey Turnpike, which are not the best representations of a state full of beautiful attractions.  Also, people from out of town commonly think that the Jersey Shore locals have this thick accent, when really the accent comes from the New Yorkers who come down to the Shore for the summer.  These people are frequently referred to as BENNYs, an acronym for Brooklyn, Elizabeth, Newark, New York, the 4 places that are known as the hometown to people who travel down to the Shore for the entire summer.  But their story is a story for another blog post.

To me, the Jersey Shore is the place I grew up.  It is the place where I played at my grandparent’s beach club as a child, the place I went to camp growing up, the place I lifeguarded at in high school, and the place I always went to when I needed a break from life – just to relax.  It is the place I return to as a college student and truly miss when I am away from home.  It is the place where I have more memories than you could imagine, and the place I will always have a connection with.