“There’s More to The Shore,” or, “To Catch a Reflection”

Chances are, if you are a member of the human race, you have seen MTV’s new reality show Jersey Shore. Okay, perhaps I should narrow that down to something more like, if you live in North America and are between the ages of 15-28, you’ve probably at least caught wind of what this show’s all about. On the off chance that you, dear reader, are not of such a demographic, let me give you a quick rundown. Jersey Shore documents the lives of of eight (or seven, if you watched more than just the first ep) extremely Italian young adults as they spend a summer together shacked up in a guido’s paradise. “Fist pumping like champs,” they are. These select few are the “hottest, tannest, craziest guidos,” possibly on earth. In fact, they might be the “hottest, tannest, craziest guidos” to exist since the Battle of Gaul. Now, initially, of course, this dirty hipster and his dirty hipster roommates, were stoked (that word still around? can a hipster use it and still be a hipster?) about the premier. What could be better than bolstering our own delicate egos by observing a wild group of morons that we’re better than, right?

Photo courtesy of MTV
Photo courtesy of MTV

The first episode introduces us to the gang: Angelina, Jenni (aka “J-WOWW”), Mike (aka “The Situation”), Nicole (aka “Snooki”), DJ Pauly D, Ronnie, Sammi and Vinny. Hair gel by the bushel, hair extensions, dirty mouths, spray tans, roids and tattoos are fuckin everywhere, bro. Not to mention, classic psychological cases that point to rather bizarre compensation methods. Mike, or as he’d prefer be called, “The Situation” (you see, his abs are so ripped they’re a situation – makes perfect sense) really seems a very sad character, as there appear to be forces at odds within his own head. He comes off as brutally uncomfortable in his own skin and attempts to make up for his lack of self-worth by, you guessed it, getting jacked up, blowing out his hair and showing his stomach rack to anybody who would care to glance.

Wait a second! Insecurity? Over-compensation? Obvious identity crisis?! These traits are hitting a little too close to home for this dirty fucking hipster.

To tell the truth, as strange as it may sound, as the episodes have rolled on I’ve begun to really like The Situation. There’s something bizarrely normal about him. In fact, there’s something identifiably normal about each on of the characters. Ronnie, an admitted steroid user who flat refuses to wear a shirt, falls in love with Sammi in the second episode. The way he talks to and about her, the way his posture changes and his face lights up when she enters a room: nothing if not endearing. Dare I say adorable? A poignant moment comes in the third episode. So, by this point, Ronnie and Sammi have been hooking up and things are getting real intense, real fast. While the gang is out at a club, Ronnie catches Sammi giving some dude her phone number. Oh no she di’eh! So Ronnie goes and dances with another girl. Snap! A pissed off Ronnie stomps home, looking kind of like Doomsday from The Batman/Superman Adventures and slams through the front door of the house. Expecting another Joey from Real World Cancun moment (wall-punching, door unhinging and the like) I was shocked. Shocked I tell you! A saddened and defeated Ronnie slinks his drunken, perfectly tanned and tattoed body into his room and falls face-first into bed, too broken to do anything but bury his surely weeping face in his pillow.

I like this guy! How many times have I reacted just the same way to similar situations? He’s a likeable guy.

They’re all likable. Perhaps it’s more clever manipulation by MTV’s editors and producers, but these juiced-up, blown-out guidos and guidettes are really, really likable characters. This fact certainly makes one call into question his or her own conceptions, not only of people like Snooki, The Situation and Pauly D, but of other groups and cultures in general. Who are we to judge? Somewhere Anthony Edwards is giving a speech in front of all of Atoms College. The fist-pumping scene, where we learn what “beating back the beat” means, was another eye-opener. When was the last time a hipster douchebag let go and just allowed himself to be driven to outrageous dancing and intense fist-pumping as a result of a little vodka-redbull and some pulsing house music? Two things are for sure: first, these guidos and guidettes know how to have a good fucking time. Second, we judgmental, snobbish hipsters might need to do some serious soul-searching – if that weren’t apparent already. There is something lacking in hipster culture, and maybe all it is is a little fun and energy.

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2 Responses to ““There’s More to The Shore,” or, “To Catch a Reflection””

  1. pangea Says:

    it’s probably coming a lil’ late, but i was checking your site (you’re long winded bro, but i’m diggin it). good post on Jersey Shore. i agree. Ronnie is likable. I keep saying that to my wife occasionally, “I like Ronnie.” I know he could kick my ass, but then i think he’d feel bad about it.

  2. Maryam Brodis Says:

    […] “There’s More to The Shore,” or, “To Catch a Reflection” Life, liberty and the pursuit of strangers' old clothes – https://dirtyfuckinghipster.wordpress.com/2009/12/19/theres-more-to-the-shore-or-to-catch-a-reflection/http://www.GetShawty.com […]

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