‘Jersey Shore’: Making Sense?

SnookiMaybe you’re like me and not really into reality TV. You had your run with MTV’s “Road Rules” when Ayanna slapped her classmate, Veronica, off camera for essay poaching, or Alton, the black guy in Las Vegas, that drove Irulan crazy with his bone or ol’ girl Kameelah with the “list” describing her perfect man, only to end the show as lonely as she began. Or maybe you are into reality TV, and I’m the square. You’ve spent the bulk of your available hours DVR-ing “The Kardashians” and “Real Housewives of Atlanta” (I admit I watched RHOA, but only because my roomie is a stan, but “I Want To Work For Diddy” is where I draw the line). Either way, nothing before has prepared us for the madness MTV hath wrought entitled: “Jersey Shore.”

First, I must share what many non-Caucasians have told me when describing “Jersey Shore,” MTV’s latest foray into 20somethings on a constant vacation: “Thank God they’re not black!”

While I partially agree with their relief — I can’t lie, being tired of stereotypes like screeching NeNe from RHOA, or the recovering, we think, drug addict Frankie is my day job — it doesn’t stop the fact that if I were Italian American, I’d be extremely offended by the entire show. Not only are the JS cast members empty-headed, literally everyone seems to be on the hunt for their next one-night stand, but they seem to relish in the stereotypes given to their ethnicity. Like black people who can’t release the “n” word, the cast relishes the term “guido” and “guidette” and all the accoutrements that follow.

Without mentioning the hair gel, obsessive appetite for exercise and general fear of a face without make-up, let’s get down to brass tacks, who names themselves “Snooki?” Unfortunately, she’s the only reason I watched the show at all. I heard that the slap heard round the world — you remember Seattle’s Stephen and Irene — was outdone. Turns out Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, who’s about 5′ even, was sucker punched by a drunken school teacher as if she’d disrespected his entire family. As I watched the .gif over and over, I couldn’t believe

1) she’d been hit like she was a grown 6’5″ man

2) MTV was showing violence against women, after making all that hoopla about Chris Brown and Rihanna’s “incident” last February

3) people call this entertainment?

Even if her name is “Snooki”, does that give her the right to be knocked out on national television and eventually the brunt of every joke filed under December 2009? But just when I found myself getting self-righteous, Mary J. Blige slapped up her husband, Kendu, at her NYC album release party the day before Christmas, so…nevermind?

Surf and Turmoil: What’s not to love about Jersey Shore?


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