I Can Explain… Jersey Shore

Jersey Shore. You may have heard DJs talk about it on the radio or your grandchildren mention Pauly D, JWoww, or The Situation, but what is it really? And more importantly why is it on TV? If you don’t know, and are even mildly curious about what the hype is about and why you should check it out or avoid it like a punch to the face, then you’ve found your answer. After all, I can explain!

Jersey Shore is a reality television show on MTV. The premise is seven young Italian Americans (Kind of… few are actually of Italian descent) living together in a summer home in Seaside Heights, New Jersey. Cameras follow them around as they work at a local t-shirt shop, tan and groom, and party at bars near the beach. Drama ensues as love triangles are created, relationships form, and people get hurt.

I first heard about the show, while doing my Masters in Popular Culture. While taking a class in Melodrama, we studied this new show as a perfect example of the current reality driven drama. It’s over the top emotions is likely a large draw for the audience as well as an appreciation for the absurd antics of this group of youngsters. After incredible ratings success, the show has been signed for a second and third season and spun off into Wicked Summer, which will be the same show in a different city… Boston.

But success doesn’t mean it’s good. It is typical over-the-top reality television based on over reactive and over drinking New York andNew Jersey young adults falling head-over-heels for people they just met. So unless you’re a young adult who enjoys a drink or seven while dancing to loud beats or at least enjoy watching that sort of person, then Jersey Shore is not for you.

There are a key elements of the show that you may hear people talking about, that I can explain so you don’t have to watch for yourself to understand the references:

  • The Situation is the nickname of Michael Sorrentino and began as a reference to his strong abdominal muscles.
  • “Beat up the beat” refers to when the men in the house crouch on the dance floor and hit the floor with their hands to music.
  • JWoww, Pauly D, and Snookie are all nicknames of people on the show.
  • The most cited incident on the show was Snookie getting punched in the face by a man at a bar. He had been stealing drinks from the group and when she confronted him he punched her. He is currently serving time in prison for the incident.

We’re likely to see more shows like these. They’re cheap to produce as the network doesn’t have to hire writers, actors, or directors. Plus people can’t get enough of the drama that seems to spiral around these people.So stay clear if you can, and if you ever feel curious enough to find out what it all means, well, I can explain!

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