The Decline of MTV and the Climb of The JerseyShore

Reasons to hate.

Lane Cummingsby Lane Cummings

I remember growing up in the 1980’s. It was a good time to be alive. Michael J. Fox made movies and I was still young enough to have a crush on him without knowing how short he was/is. Women wore dresses in hot pink with ruffles and puffed sleeves. Snickers ran those commercials pitching itself as a worthwhile snack, “Snickers really satisfies you.” And most importantly, back then MTV was worth a damn. Its goal was simple and honorable. To play music videos hosted by VJs.

Now MTV is a walking talking joke, an abomination and a hideous failure. Its failure is akin to Molly Ringwald’s career (big in the 80’s and then what the hell happened?—you get the analogy.) The thing that MTV should be most ashamed of is its perpetuation of reality shows.  Particularly the Jersey Shore. For those of you who aren’t quick on the uptake, this article is going to hate exclusively and without restrain. I’ve never watched an episode of The Jersey Shore but I’m going to hate on it. I’ve never had pistachio ice cream either, but I like to tell people how horrid I find it as well.

Let’s start with the obvious. Snooki. I really really hate the fact that I know this little troll’s name without even watching an episode. She looks like an Oompa Loompa dressed in drag. I truly cannot stop staring at her face. Part of it is curiosity, I really want to see how many layers of make-up they’ve welded onto her face. Good lord. It truly is like looking at a tranny and seeing how hard they’ve struggled to draw cheekbones and widen their deepset eyes. The other part is the interest kindled by the grotesque. Who hasn’t gawked at a gargoyle on the side of a building before?

 Let’s start with the other obvious. Those other people on the show. Honestly, since none of them are freakishly short, no one really stands out. They all just sort of look like copies of copies of tan, big breasted or eight-pack-abed Italians. Perusing MTV’s joke of a website that features pictures of the cast with bios so simple the cast of JS still wouldn’t be able to write them themselves, I see that too many of the cast members have icky little nicknames that make you feel like you’re waiting in line at a sketchy bodega. JWOWW? Really? A woman would allow herself to be called this? And then there’s a guy who like an Italian version of the Hobbit, called “the Situation.” For some reason, his moniker lacks the remarkable catchiness of his buddies’ nicknames, making it seem like something the gang sort of cooked up once they knew they were getting a show on MTV. I mean come on, “the situation”? That’s five syllables and something tells me that crew can’t handle a full five syllables.

And of course, someone in the gang is named Vinny. Well, thank God. Because I just wouldn’t feel good about a show about Italians unless we had at least one character named Vinny. You’ve got to have a Vinny. It’s like having dinner with the gangs Italian parents and no garlic bread or unlimited bowls of pasta.

For those of you who have never taken the time to check out the awesomeness of the Jersey Shore page on the official MTV site, you’ll be treated to synopses of upcoming and past shows. For example, “Vinny defends his fights with the roommates and talks about the decision to get his ears pierced.” Mmm. Suspenseful. Or: “On the next episode, Deena becomes hurt by Vinny’s name calling.” Wow. Those are some action packed shows with clear twists and turns. I wouldn’t expect it to be a lot of drinking, hooking up, yelling, and tanning.

Regardless, reality shows are a scourge on the profession of acting and rips jobs away from hardworking actors not to mention dumbs down society as a whole. Even if they do make us feel better about ourselves.