BECAUSE IT’S THE BEST KIND OF REALITY TV
Amid the Jersey Shore revival (which had outstanding ratings on premiere night despite returning to a world where nobody got time to catch anything live anymore), I visit MTV’s website every week to eagerly await the new episode. It’s so strange to think that back in the day (I’m only 26), I had to rush home early from the bars on Thursday nights, hoping to catch the new episode on TV in my dorm room. NOW, I can just sign in through my cable provider (shout out! DirecTV) and stream the episode online. It’s also available on Amazon Prime – and will be on Hulu, eventually.
It’s Really Reality
As most reality editors have to do, the team for JS initially planned to manipulate each moment to be exactly as “awkward,” “humorous,” and “tense” as they wanted it to be. However, THEY DIDN’T HAVE TO DO THAT in post-production because they had STRUCK GOLD. When people live in a house together for 2 months, with no connection to the outside world (no phone, Internet, TV, or social media), REAL STUFF is going to happen. Not to mention, these people are not playing “a character,” they ARE the character. It’s called fate of good casting and the magic that came afterward.
There are no Housewives or The Hills styled “just running into each other” (AKA out of all the places in the city, these two people who hate each other and are on the same reality show just happen to be at the same place at the same time.) There are no Simple Life or Kardashian type staging of events (just watch the “Producer’s Cut” vidz online, where they explain what their process is like). There is no outside or underground initiation of wild/dramatic situations. These people are together 24/7, they get into trouble all by themselves, and it’s usually “The Situation” himself initiating the situations on the show.
Most reality shows feature the same drama each season. Who is talking about whom? Who is dating whom? Who is pranking whom? Who is fighting? Who are friends again? Who looks the best? Who has the most glamorous lifestyle?
Down at The Shore, the only consistent things are their party habits. Their ability to drink all day and stay up all night has not wavered in the slightest. However, their standards, priorities, and even personalities have changed over time. They each grew up (ish) a bit. The girls are married with kids and the guys are all in relationships (except Pauly D, who has definitely changed the least out of everyone.) Honestly, most of their biggest blowouts were resolved a long time ago, and they are just a big family now. They even hangout when they are not filming. It’s been 5 years since the original ended, and they have all kept in touch. This doesn’t mean old arguments won’t resurface, but for the most part, no bridges were completely burned. These people aren’t as fake as the others, and they have real connections with each other.
They Know Who They Are
They know they are hot messes and they are not trying to be anything else. Most reality stars decide to become actors or singers afterward. Others start making perfume, or start a fashion line. The cast of Jersey Shore (despite DJ Pauly D’s career and Snooki’s bathing suits) never tried to separate themselves from what they will always be at the end of the day – reality stars. I have respect for people who know what they are good at and stick with it. They have always owned who they are, and they do that unapologetically.
Oh yeah, and they created some of the most iconic phrases of all time. They were walking memes before memes even existed.
DTF. GTL. GRENADES!! CABS ARE HERE! SMUSH. MEATBALL PROBLEMS??