If “Jersey Shore” aired on VH1 and not sister network MTV, you’d almost think it’s a parody of the people-in-a-house subset of reality programming, in the way that shows like “Rock of Love” goof on/emulate shows like “The Bachelor.”
Alas, “Jersey Shore” is, based on the mind-numbing two-hour premiere Thursday night, playing things entirely straight. Which means that the eight tanned, gelled and otherwise lacquered-up (and liquored-up) housemates — only one of whom, it should be noted out of fairness to residents of the Garden State, actually lives in New Jersey — are doing this stuff of their own volition.
This is a show, after all, where a guy calls himself “the Situation” — it has to do with his abs — and manages to both A) refer to himself by his self-given nickname in the third person, and B) do so with an entirely straight face. It’s actually kind of an impressive feat to be so utterly unself-conscious about oneself.
Disclaimer: I aged out of MTV’s target audience a few years ago, and I’ve never been a huge fan of “The Real World” and its ilk. But after about 10 minutes of “Jersey Shore,” I needed to pick my slack jaw up off the coffee table, so stunning was the display of mookitude. But while I’m not alone in that sentiment, I’m not in the majority either. A roundup of “Jersey Shore” first impressions from around the web.
- “In the hierarchy of Things That Guidos Care About, there are only a few items that supercede their hair: their fake tans, their muscles, and their mothers. However, Mike ‘the Situation’ nearly got his precious do scalped after insulting his housemate Angelina ‘Jolie’ by telling her she needed to lose five or ten pounds. Sadly, Angelina never followed through on her promise.” [New York magazine]
- “More happened in the first two hours of ‘Jersey Shore’ than has ever happened in the entirety of ‘The Hills’ and ‘The City’ combined.” [New York Daily News]
- “This season on ‘Jersey Shore’: Fists are pumped. Tears are shed. Punches are thrown, including one that apparently knocks Snookie off her bar stool, which leads to an arrest. Bodily fluids are exchanged. Our collective I.Q. is reduced.” [Star-Ledger of NJ]
- “Let’s call them what they are: eight individuals afflicted with the same crippling syndrome, rounded up by an attention-hungry cable network and presented for us to laugh at and pretend to be shocked by. Let’s think of it as one long, entertaining anti-tanning PSA.” [Jezebel]
- “More akin to a surreal version of ‘The Real World’ than MTV’s other location-related dramas ‘The Hills’ and ‘The City,’ the two mind-boggling hours that made up the premiere of ‘Jersey Shore’ took us deep inside of a foreign culture in a manner expected of a National Geographic documentary. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the realm of the Guido, and it is unlike anything you have ever seen before.” [Guest of a Guest]
Did you watch? What did you think?
Photo credit: MTV