Okay, so I watched it.
Don’t act stupid.
You know you watched it too. I’m talking about the new reality show on MTV called Jersey Shore, which is about a group of young Italian- American boys and girls from New York and New Jersey, who spend the entire summer in Seaside Heights, New Jersey at a shore house.
Chad and I watched the two-hour premiere and I have to say, I couldn’t turn away. It had all the trappings of great television: a mixture of handsome and not so handsome boys and girls, who all think they are the hottest things on the planet, stupid as wood, and either in the midst of telling one another off or about to get so drunk that they climb into bed or jacuzzi in this case, in order to hook up, get rejected or both.
In the first episode alone, Sammi, a.k.a. Sweetheart hooks up with Mike only to drop him faster than a hot zeppoli so that she can make the moves on Ronnie.
Pint size Nicole got plastered on her first day, passed out and then considered leaving the house because no one liked her.
“Get away with me with that vomit breath,” said the not so sweet Sammi.
Later Angelina meets a ginormous guy and is baffled when the house mates tell her she hooked up with him. In a panic she called her boyfriend to wash the metaphoric blood of shame off her hands and then threw a fit when her boyfriend isn’t able to speak to her because he’s busy at work. The nerve.
Who needs writers when real life is so much more complex. I don’t know who the brains is behind this show, but this person knows the powder keg potential of putting these particular people together. I felt like I was at my Aunt Mary’s house, watching my cousins Connie, Angela, Sal and Frankie fighting over who gets the eat the end piece off the loaf of Italian bread.
Unfortunately, certain Italian American groups are not seeing the humor. MTV is under fire for allowing these young adults to portray themselves in such an unflattering light. The Italian American Coalition orchestrated an attack on MTV, saying that the director has obviously coaxed these self-absorbed, over tanned, gum chewing juveniles into over exaggerated scenarios by feeding their egos with enough alcohol and sausage and peppers to instigate behavior no self-respecting Italian would ever allow themselves to do on camera.
These groups obviously haven’t seen my cousin Mickey’s wedding video where she came up from the floor at the Chateau Brion as smoke filled the dance floor or better yet, the time my cousin Frankie kicked my Aunt Filomena out of her own brother’s funeral because Frankie and her son Dominick weren’t talking.
No, Italians do not act ridiculous like Marissa Tomei and Joe Pesci in My Cousin Vinnie. We’re not all gangsters like the Gottis. Of course not. We’re also upstanding doctors, plumbers and X-ray technicians.
I agree. These kids were probably coerced into acting more over the top than usual, but I truly believe this is how they would act regardless if the cameras were rolling or not. So let this be a lesson: stereotypes exist because we allow them to. Each of us has to take responsibility for ourselves.
Now if you will excuse me I have to go steal some money from in between my mother’s mattress because I need to buy a new pinkie ring.