Jersey Shore: Worst Thing to Happen to East Coast Since 9/11
MTV's Jersey Shore, a new reality show about self-described Guidos and Guidettes sharing a house in Seaside Heights, New Jersey, caught my eye. Not just because I spent the first two decades of my life in New Jersey, but because I've been looking for something just like this show for a long time, because it finally means we can move on: MTV's Jersey Shore is the Worst Thing to Happen to the East Coast Since 9/11. Unlike MTV's sponsors, New Jersey residents and Italian-American organizations I'm not worried that normal, thinking human beings will see the show and think "That must be what Jersey is like." I'm worried that idiots will see the show and think "Finally! A place where I can be with others! I'm gonna spend my summers in Jersey now, too!" That doesn't change the fact that after only two weeks on the air, I friggin love this show. MTV found eight of the most ridiculously absurd humans on the East Coast, put them in a house together and built a jacuzzi on top of that house. Whereas the The Real World is usually good for a train wreck or two once it picks up enough steam, from a standing start Jersey Shore impossibly begins mid-train wreck, and promises to only get worse. By the first night, the young Italian caricatures are all gathering around the kitchen, cooking up homemade Italian food and eating together. It's exactly like the Corleone family, except there's no morality and everyone is Fredo.
To help you catch up, I decided to get some of the heavy lifting out of the way for you. Here's who you'll meet on Jersey Shore. Mike "The Situation" Mike "The Situation" is what happens when Luca Brasi tried to have a baby by mating with failure. (It's a boy!) He describes himself as "sensitive" but also with "a ton of game to back it up." "The Situation" is sometimes his nickname, as when he tells people at dinner that "Situation sits at the head of the house." It's also the name he uses to describe his ab muscles, as when he asks strangers if they've "seen The Situation yet," and then removes his shirt if they say no. He also will occasionally use the word "situation" in its traditional sense, which doesn't seem to matter because he's an idiot who doesn't understand how words work.
Outstanding Moment: Being almost 30. Almost 30 and picking up 19-year-olds in the same town that high schoolers flock to after their junior prom. Get some help, Pauly. We're worried about you. Ronnie Ronnie seems like a decent human being, at first. He's levelheaded, he's honest and terrifyingly enormous. His one rule is "Don't fall in love at the Jersey Shore," but will he break his own rule? More importantly, will anyone give a shit? It's too early to tell, but Ronnie is probably going to be my favorite character, a decision that's only 60 percent based on my fear that he could crush and eat me if he wanted to. His time in the house is mostly spent eating sandwiches without a shirt on, which is actually a lifestyle I can get behind. He might objectively be a bad human being, but there's something about him that makes you want to root for him. (Again, probably the "fear.") He says he likes to "pound out" women and that the house will make them "melt in their pants." He's always either shoulder deep in the fridge or making a smoothie. Life is
Look at that guy, he's found the secret to happiness. Angelina "Jolie" She describes herself as a very proud and determined cock-blocker, which is the worst thing to be without actually being AIDS on purpose. Making good on her promise, whenever one of the guys brings a lady home for a sweet, romantic evening on their rooftop fuck-swing, Angelina is right there to shriek and stamp until the new lady gets dressed and goes home. She's also sort of a quote machine. She almost quit her job as a t-shirt saleswoman and justified it by saying "I'm a
I'd like to state for the record that the real failure here lies with Sweetheart's parents who, upon discovering she was unsuitable as a human, should have thrown her off a cliff at birth, in accordance with strict Hazlet Law. (It's how we breed our warriors.) It is because Mr. and Mrs. Sweetheart wrongfully spared their daughter's life that we have to watch her fart her way across our television screens and talk about how she was "straight vibin' with mad guidos." I'd also like to point out that, since she's on a television show, this officially makes me the second most famous person from Hazlet, New Jersey, which is... ...which is the most depressing fucking thing I've ever heard. Outstanding Moment: Go to Hell, this isn't funny anymore.
Daniel O'Brien is a Professor of Media Studies at Harvard University.