With the MTV reality hit “Jersey Shore” returning for the remainder of its second season, some of us might find ourselves asking, “Why?” Why would MTV want to follow around a group of muscled-up, gelled-out people from New Jersey who do nothing but go out every night and make fools of themselves for all the world to see?
Thursdays at 10 on MTV
Well, to be blunt, because it’s downright hilarious.
“Jersey Shore” stars like Ronnie and Snooki are the type of people most of us hope we never become, but love to watch in action every week. Let’s be honest: People like the ridiculous. There’s little to no enjoyment in watching a group of “normal” people go about their everyday lives. On the flipside, there is an abundance of enjoyment to be had from watching Snooki get punched in the face at a bar, Ronnie repeatedly get blackout drunk and cheat on his girlfriend, Sammi “Sweetheart,” or better yet, Mike “The Situation” extract the two cuter-looking girls he picked up at the bar from his room, while leaving the “grenade” (in other words, an ugly girl in a group of hotties) to sleep alone. Just about all of the behavior these people exhibit on the show would be morally questionable, but the fact of the matter is that it’s funny to watch.
If a TV producer ever approached you and asked if you would like to star in a show where all you have to do is be yourself — or in other words, go out, raise hell and party your ass off — wouldn’t it be pretty hard to say no? Even though many people often look on these characters with sheer disgust, there’s a reason that “Jersey Shore” has so many viewers in the young adult crowd — 6.5 million of them tuned in for the current premiere. Getting paid exorbitant amounts of money to go out and party is the college version of the American Dream. Let’s not pretend that you would rather go out into the world and earn your living “the honest way.” For us college students, this would be the life. “Jersey Shore” is a glimpse into the ridiculous fantasy that partying more will only get you more money and success in life. If only it were true …
You can love or hate these people all you want. You can criticize them for reinforcing stereotypes about the Italian-American community, or setting horrific examples of how someone should act in any given situation. But it can’t be denied that they are funny. And as long as they continue to make themselves look like idiots (albeit idiots with great tans), they will continue to make more money and receive more views from kids like us, thankful that we are not like them, but wishing somewhere in the back of our minds that we were.