After revelling in the Mad Men premiere, let us turn our attention to another worthy program revolutionizing the face of television: we’re on the Jersey Shore, bitch! Except… we’re not. Our lovable octet (that’s right, people; Angelina is back!) is packing up and heading down to Florida for some GTL and the like. A year ago, Snooki, The Situation, and JWoWW were just like you and me, unknown with distant dreams of fame. Now, they’re ringing Wall Street’s opening bell. Some think they are a disgrace to New Jersey, Italian-Americans, and the country in general. Well, I’m a New Jerseyan, proud of my Italian heritage, and I cannot wait to watch.
Jersey Shore is hardly groundbreaking, but damn if it’s not entertaining! Last season came out of nowhere, eight shallow strangers living in a house humble by reality show standards. Maybe it started slow, but when Snooki got socked, everyone knew about it. Beyond that, Jersey Shore works because the archetypes are not instantly recognizable, and therefore their antics carry a whiff of uniqueness. Why did The Real World ultimately become irrelevant? Because everyone, audience and performers, knew the script. Every season featured a slew of housemates that were carbon copies of those that came before them. Only the cities changed. Jersey Shore stepped up the game with its unapologetic crew. On another show, Snooki would have stayed the outcast, The Situation would have really challenged Ronnie for Sammi, and Angelina would have stuck around and been the house bitch. No one did that, and I confess that I did not always see the escapades coming. Maybe, just maybe, they are revolutionary, bi-products of an age where everyone is eventually on camera and finally not concerned with the roles they’re supposed to play.
Season Two will feel more manufactured. Now they’re all stars. But you’re going to watch. You know you are.