Written by Frank Ranu of Ranu's Reviews
10PM Thursdays on MTV
Here’s a review of MTV’s “Jersey Shore” from an Italian-American who has lived in NJ his entire life.
The show is about four guys and four girls living in a shore house in Seaside Heights, NJ. Just so happens that the eight people they picked consider themselves part of a “guido” lifestyle. Not a derogatory term towards Italians, but a lifestyle. Hey, if that’s what these guidos want to think–God bless, stunads! Now I really don’t see what the hell the problem is with my fellow pizons, because to me, the cast is the epitome of guidoness. Oompa Loompa orange skin–you might be a guido. Excessive hair gel and hair spray–you might be a guido.
Now, are all Italians like this? Of course not. Are there some Italians like this? Yes, and MTV just happened to give them a reality show, but any self-respecting, intelligent Italian-American knows that these eight people are not an accurate representation of all Italians or even the state of New Jersey (especially since only one house member actually lives in NJ).
Jersey Shore is more like The Real World Seaside Heights so if you are a fan of The Real World–I don’t see how you can be upset with Jersey Shore. Both casts have to work and maintain employment. There are verbal and physical fights between roommates and strangers on both shows. Roommates hook up with roommates; roommates hook up with strangers; girls hook up with girls—all these hookups occur on both shows.
I believe people don’t like this show for two reasons: the cast and/or the location. (Of course, there are others that just think this show and all reality TV sucks in general, but I would like to focus on the people who are angry enough to try to get this show off the air.)
So, if they picked eight different people for this show, would you still be upset? If you answer “no” then you obviously have a problem with the cast and you’re entitled to your opinion. I explained why you shouldn’t be upset with the cast if you are Italian, but you have every right to dislike the cast even if you’re not Italian. Some of them are very entertaining, but they definitely do not have mass appeal.
The Cast of Misfit Italians
Angelina (22), Staten Island, NY (Please note: NOT FROM JERSEY)
Angelina’s nickname is “Jolie,” yet she believes that she is the Kim Kardashian of Staten Island. She is definitely the square peg of the group and I would bet that she only made the cast because the other two girls ahead of her backed out. I laughed when she claimed that she is hot and all natural. Natural, yes. Hot? I’ll give you lukewarm, but not hot. I’m sure I could go to any beach in NJ and easily find at least a dozen hotter women–even if they are vacationing from Quebec.
Jenni “J-Woww” (23), Franklin Square, NY (Also NOT FROM JERSEY)
I don’t know much about this girl because my eyes were locked on her ridiculously fake boobs. Her ta tas are at least two good reasons not to miss an episode. However, I must warn you that when J-Woww takes off her makeup she turns into her alter ego: “Bow Woww! ‘
Mike “The Situation” (27), Staten Island, NY (See the pattern? Also NOT FROM JERSEY)
Mike is a former fitness model and personal trainer. He refers to his abs as “The Situation” and at first I thought this was pretty stupid, but now I can’t stop laughing every time this guy lifts up his shirt and points to his abs.
DJ Pauly D (28), Johnston, RI (Rhode Island?? NOWHERE NEAR JERSEY)
This guy reminds me of Jeffrey’s friend from The Flamingo Kid (Hawk Ganz played by Fisher Stevens). His bio states that he is Rhode Island’s most well known DJ. Might be true because I think the ShopRite parking lot by my house is bigger than Rhode Island. His DJ skills might be his claim to fame in RI, but at the Jersey Shore he will always be known for the guy with the pierced pee pee.
Nicole “Snooki” (21), Marlboro, NY (Close, but yet another that is NOT FROM JERSEY)
For such a small girl, Snooki sure made a big impression on her first night at the shore house. It seemed like just minutes before she got loaded and hopped into a hot tub full of guys with her bra and panties. Now these guys weren’t buying what she was selling that night and it wasn’t long before practically everyone despised her for her actions. Especially the next morning when she was late for her first day of work because she was puking her brains out. At times, this girl annoyed me so much that I imagined what it would be like to punch her in the face. Then at the end of the show, next week’s trailer revealed that some dude cold cocks her square in the face. Yes, you read that right–some DUDE punches this chick right in the kisser. My opinion and desire to punch Snooki changed instantly because that was a pretty terrible thing to happen to a woman, however, I’m not going to lie–I must have replayed that punch about 78 times.
Ronnie (23), Bronx, NY (Once again, NOT FROM JERSEY)
Ronnie is a monster. Unfortunately, his brains are not as advanced as his body, but I would never tell him that to his face. He keeps calling Snooki, “Snickers,” and the faces he makes at The Situation are frigging hysterical.
Vinny (21), Staten Island, NY (NOT FROM JERSEY)
Vinny is the clown of the group and will do anything for a laugh–like dancing with anyone at a club regardless of their weight or age. However, you have to be careful when dancing with just anyone because as Vinny found out the hard way–you can get pink eye–and Scott Baio was not even in the club that night. He’s a self-proclaimed mama’s boy and not afraid to admit it.
Sammi “Sweetheart” (22), Hazlet, NJ (The only person actually from Jersey)
Last, but not least is New Jersey’s only resident on the show, Sammi “Sweetheart.” The Situation definitely has a different opinion of her nickname and it looks like so will Ronnie before the season is over.
Welcome to New Jersey, Now Get Out
Now, if you are still upset with the show, regardless of the cast, then it is safe to say that you are pissed with the location choice of NJ. All I hear on the news is that the cast of Jersey Shore is giving NJ a bad reputation. Really?
We had a governor who cheated on his wife with another man (not that there is anything wrong with being gay, I’m strictly talking about him breaking his wedding vows.). Another governor almost died in a car wreck–he was not wearing his seat belt as mandated by NJ law and the car was going over 90 miles per hour. Then there were 44 frigging people arrested in a corruption probe that included the mayors (and rabbis!) of prominent NJ cities and the upstanding citizens of NJ are worried that a kid that gave his abs the nickname “The Situation” is going to make NJ look bad?
We’ve done a fine job tarnishing the name of NJ all by ourselves, so I seriously doubt that a reality show about eight kids that aren’t even from NJ is going to have much of an impact. I’m pretty sure that everyone who has not had the pleasure of visiting NJ thinks that the state is completely comprised of the cast of the Sopranos and by some of the headlines in the news lately–they’re not that far off.
Seriously, I’ve never been to Iowa and my impression of the state is a step up from Little House on the Prairie. I just picture a vast farmland inhabited by folks that wash their clothes in the creek (I also envision people from Iowa pronouncing the word “creek” as “crick.”). Heck, I’m not even sure if they have indoor plumbing, but that is just how I picture Iowa because I’VE NEVER BEEN THERE. Do you think the people of Iowa really care what I think? No. Is Iowa really like how I described? Probably not. I’m sure if I went to Iowa I would see that they have the same amenities that I have in NJ. So NJ residents, why do you care what other people who have never been to NJ think about the Garden State?
To DVR or Not to DVR
I’ll go on record saying that this is probably one of the stupidest shows I ever watched and trust me, I watch a lot of stupid TV shows. I watched Fox’s “Get a Life” with Chris Elliott for almost two years, so I know stupid!
However, I will not miss an episode of this testosterone-infused train wreck. All you have to do is watch the two-second clip of Snooki getting punched in the face by a guy and you’ll be sucked in–guaranteed!
If you haven’t already, just give this show a chance. I know the cast seems really annoying in the beginning, but they will eventually grow on you–maybe not for all the right reasons, but what the heck else are you watching at 10PM on a Thursday in December?
The End Result
I’m a pretty open-minded person, so I don’t have a problem with this show because it is just a TV show. Now, do I agree with their “guido lifestyle?” Not really, but I’m not going to support pressuring MTV to take their show off the air because this minute cross-section of Italian-Americans is beginning their extremely short 15-minutes of fame. I may be Italian, but I’m also an American and last I checked free speech is still allowed here.
I find it funny that a few sponsors have pulled their ads from the show to appease the Italian-American community. Domino’s Pizza is the most prominent advertiser to “do the right thing” in their own mind, but I find it even funnier that they actually think any real Italian would be caught dead with a slice of pizza from Domino’s in their hand.
(The cast left to right: Mike "The Situation," Jenni "J-Woww," DJ Pauly D, Sammi "Sweetheart," Ronnie, Snooki, Angelina and Vinny) Check out more of Frank's reviews at http://www.ranusreviews.com