So what’s The Situation?

27Dec09

Some of you are going to hate me for writing and to be honest I never thought I would saying this. But Jersey Shore is the BOMB! Yes, that show which features eight guidos and guidettes (or Italian-American guys and girls) living in a house on the ‘Jersey Shore’ where they fight, drink and sleep with each other (in no particular order). They are douchebags and bitches combined in their love for hair product and promiscuity to cut a long story short.

The show basically starts mid-car wreck with the youngs guids meeting up at the house (which is owned by their T-shirt vendor boss) and get to know each other before jumping into the hot-tub and getting wasted on vodka (which is something they tend to do every night of their summer there). Jersey Shore has drawn a lot of controversy and has already lost two of its main sponsors on top of drawing the scorn of Italian-American groups and New Jersey senator who have all urged the producers of the show, and MTV to cancel it all together.

You could say that their pleas might be falling on deaf ears considering the fact that despite the controversy (including a scene where one of the female cast members was hit by a bar patron) the show has gathered a significant fan-base on Facebook (more than 250 000 last time I checked) and has beaten the ratings for MTV’s other reality slug-fest (The Hills).

So what will in this battle of wills between the conservative, PC Italian-American section which sees itself as the voice of the people and abhors the apparent blatant racial stereotyping on the show or the fans who continue to stand in solidarity with the show? Are the fans Italian-American: if you look at the Facebook that would be a yes and no answer. But at the same time does it really matter. Despite the manifesto of the show (which is to promote racial tolerance and the Italian American way of life) the show has proven to have had the opposite effect. Italian-American groups point to how the show promotes intolerance against Italian-Americans.

But I guess the point of this is that despite the racial biases which have emerged and the controversy stirred, the show is entertaining. Just check your scruples at the door and you will enjoy the antics of Mike ‘The Situation’, DJ Pauly-D, Snooki and J-Woww. They drink, party and dance like the best of them and when it comes to entertaining the target demographic (students between 16 and 25) that’s exactly what is being looked for.

When I started watching the show it reminded me a whole lot of Big Brother Africa and Big Brother UK which both promote themselves as shows where the scandolous lives of people are broadcast 24/7; to the point that Big Brother Africa’s Web site is built around an online dating service for Africans. Needless to say that irrespective of the moral challenges against it, Big Brother Africa has been on air for four seasons whilst BBUK has been on for longer.

This does not necessarily mean that Jersey Shore will be on for as long but so long as it continues to entertain let it be. Trying to kill it using the moral high-ground could produce the same effect that was experienced when the Catholic Church tried attacking The Da Vinci Code: controversy and authority figures = big time success. The Italian-American groups and legislators should let the show run its course. Like all fads it could prove to be a situational thing that will only last one snooki.

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