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Jersey Shore - TV review

Casey Gillespie apologises on behalf of America for their latest export, Jersey Shore

Written by . Published on April 1st 2011.

Jersey Shore - TV review

WHEN I am travelling in a foreign country and see a Starbucks, I automatically feel the need to apologise on behalf of my country. Is Corporate America (and bad coffee) really our calling card with the rest of the world?

I can understand the appeal of this sort of can’t-look-away-from-the-accident-on-the-motorway-type television – it’s shocking and so absurd that it is, for the most part, better than any scripted show

I had the same knee-jerk reaction when I recently learned that Jersey Shore has made its way to British television. So here it is: I regretfully apologise on behalf of America for Ronni, Vinny, Sammi, Angelina, Pauly D, JWOWW, The Situation and, most of all, Snooki.

I am sorry that their super-sized egos, helmet hair and over-sharing of their drunken escapades have taken up residence in your homes.

While I’ve never actually seen an entire episode (this is a point of pride), I have, however, watched a clip on YouTube and during this one-minute-and-thirty-second train wreck I felt my IQ lower by about 10 points.

I remember just before the show aired on American television (I was living happily in NYC, a mere stone’s throw from the Jersey shore) there was a huge media storm around a new, unknown reality TV star – a girl – getting punched in the face in a New Jersey bar. There was shock! And outrage! The person who was punched? Snooki.

And as it turns out, the guy who laid one on her is a gym teacher at a local school. Awesome, just the type of person we want working with kids. This was the beginning of New Jersey’s moment in the spotlight. A slew of second-rate Jersey-centric reality shows soon followed, but hopefully you will all be spared those.

I can understand the appeal of this sort of can’t-look-away-from-the-accident-on-the-motorway-type television – it’s shocking and so absurd that it is, for the most part, better than any scripted show you’ll find on TV, but why is this what we export? Why is this the image of twentysomething Americans that we project to the rest of the world?

Frankly, it’s embarrassing.

There has been one positive repercussion from this god-forsaken show—the South Park episode, It’s a Jersey Thing, that mocks and ridicules Jersey Shore and everything it stands for. It was so offensive that even I was shocked, and subsequently, delighted (bravo, Trey Parker and Matt Stone.). It’s not everyday that I would recommend rushing home to watch TV, but if you have ever seen – or even heard of – Jersey Shore, this is a must-see. Luckily for you, you can watch all the episodes for free at SouthParkStudios.co.uk.

While I don’t want to give away the story line to what I believe belongs in the top five South Parks ever made, I will say that the episode made it abundantly clear that I am not the only one who sees Jersey Shore as an atrocity.

However, instead of extending their sympathies to the rest of the free world for corrupting your TV experience, they call in the ‘big guns’. They manage to offend all of America and most other civilised nations in one fell swoop. A work of art if I have ever watched one.

Jersey Shore: 0/10. South Park’s It’s a Jersey Thing: 10/10

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