I’ve got a little secret to share with you. Just between you and me. You won’t tell will you? I thought not. This something that may shock you, or disappoint you. Or maybe you think the same thing too. It’s one of those things that people like to judge, so if you feel the need, go ahead. Judge away. I’m a judger myself, so if I’m going to dole it out, I should be able to take it. Ok lean in, a little closer now we don’t want the whole word to know. This is between you, me, and this little thing called the internet.
I like The Jersey Shore. Love it. Not ashamed to admit it. I know all their names. I follow their adventures (actually they’re more like activities. And there are only three or four of them, so it’s not hard to follow) and I enjoy it all. I’m a fan.
But here’s the thing. Here’s the reason, I’m actually bringing it up here. I’m not just sharing for the good of my health, you know. I enjoy The Jersey Shore as a writer.
“Horsefeathers,” you cry. “It portrays stereotypes! It presents New Jersey in a negative light. The governor said so! There is indecent and immoral activity! And too much hairspray!”
Relax, I’m not asking you to watch it. (Although, it’s highly entertaining. Would I lie to you?) Yes it does all of the above and more. But there are many shows, many many shows that pride themselves on doing the indecent and immoral and that’s all they do. That’s their stamp of success. That’s not why I enjoy this show as a writer. Here’s why.
- It is another world. I’m never going to live in the world that the Jersey Shore kids do. Even when I was their age I didn’t live in that world. And frankly, I’m in no way interested in living in that world. Nothing interests me about being in a club till four in the morning. This girl needs her sleep. However, everything interests me about watching other people live in other worlds. The mark of success in a show is when it portrays something out of the ordinary for the viewer.
- It has its own language. Another mark of success for me is the dialogue. I adore, adore, adore shows that create their own lexicon. They have introduced words into the vocabulary of the show that have unique meanings. Thus, it makes them unique. And that’s interesting to me when there are so many, many, many shows out there like The Jersey Shore. One of the reasons this one stands out is it’s use of language. And not the swear words either.
- It is simultaneously engaging and repulsive. This is a really big one. Most shows want to provide one or the other in their characters. They want you to love the characters, or hate the characters. They want all in or all out. Very few shows have the ability to pull off the double whammy, the ‘I love you/get away from me’ personality. Dexter is another show that pulls it off, in a much different way, him being a serial killer and all. It fascinates me how I am fully sucked in by some of the Jersey Shore characters and then want them as far away from me as possible. That’s entertaining. And let me emphasize the some in that remark. Cause while some can do the double whammy, some of the characters only have the ‘repulse’ thing working. Which, is also entertaining in it’s own way.
- They come across as a family. In the end it’s all about the characters and their relationships. And whether it’s fake or real I don’t care – these kids come across as a family. A big ole dysfunctional family. And I love, everyone loves, a dysfunctional family. At some points, they do seem to care about each other, which seems odd for one of these MTV/VH1 type shows.
So that’s my stand and I’m sticking to it. Now I got go watch Snooki, The Situation and the rest down at the gelato shop.