The Fredonia Leader; By Kelley Lord;
Well into season three of MTV’s reality show Jersey Shore, the series has inspired fake tans, bedazzled shirts and disastrous lifestyles. After surveying over fifty Fredonia students at random as well as faculty and staff some scary statistics were uncovered.
Ironically, 67 percent of students and faculty admitted to watching this guilty pleasure while the other 33 percent still knew when the show airs and what GTL meant. It is the cast’s daily schedule of “Gym, Tanning, Laundry.” This goes to show that even if you are trying to stay clear of mindless media, the media will find its way to your mind.
For those of you who know nothing about this cultural phenomenon, it is a reality show depicting eight Italian-American stereotypes personified causing havoc at clubs, beaches and their provided luxury home. [Actually Farley is Irish, Ortiz id Hispanic, and Snooki is a Chilean adoptee. ]
The celebrity and entertainment industry is taking over every venue for teen society. It is more likely in this generation that a student will receive news from shows like The Daily Show with Jon Stewart or The Colbert Report than pick up a newspaper. Now people can become a “celebrity” for achieving nothing at all. “Jersey Shore is the most scripted, immoral reality show on television,” said Jordan Grills, a sophomore accounting major.
Almost every reality show, including Jersey Shore, has been accused of being scripted. Proof was sent to celebrity blogger, Perez Hilton, who posted pictures of the cast getting their hair and makeup done with no other occasion than to be filmed at their house. So Snookie cannot even take credit for that camera-ready hair poof. Of the students surveyed 82 percent were well aware that the term “grenade” meant more than a military device thrown in Call of Duty. Grenade, started by Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino, who is a member of the show, is used to mean an unattractive female in a group of attractive females. Unfortunately, the “grenades” are the most subject to being exposed on night-cam with the male cast in what is called “The Smoosh Room” which is where all the one-night stands occur and are then made fun of and sent home.
When asked who is the oldest on the show only two people were correct. The Situation is actually not 40, believe it or not and is not the oldest on the show. Paulie D, still partying hard at 28 is the oldest of the cast. But a disclaimer should follow, “when you are about to hit thirty please do not act like this at home, or anywhere.” Linda Brigance, a communications professor, has had issues with reality television ever since its corner stone, Survivor. Once it got too stuffy with backstabbing drama it lost its appeal to her completely. “The media tells us what’s normal,” Brigance began. “A lot of shows like Jersey Shore, Bad Girls Club and all the Housewife shows are saying to us which body type, which style and treating each other disrespectfully is normal. These shows stress on interpersonal drama, which has this trickledown effect. One show won’t do that but this bombardment of popular shows really does influence.”
According to Amber Rinehart, a communication professor who teaches Mass Media and Society believes the influential portrayal of the show is not the problem rather the demographic that is emulating it. “For your generation, you watch it as a guilty pleasure and do not take it seriously. What is the problem is the younger generations watch these shows and that’s what they aspire to [be],” Rinehart said. “We know it’s not real and an act but younger teens don’t have that filter. Hearing thirteen and fourteen year olds taking about The Situation scares me.” You all conjunctively agreed as polls read 100 percent of people thought that Jersey Shore is a horrible role model for society. So why do we continue to tune in for “Thursday Jersday?” This show has sparked such a culture, a sub genre in the media, with absolutely nothing behind it.
If you turn on your television and start flipping through the channels you will find yourself crossing many more reality shows than actual scripted sitcoms. Should it be blamed on the cheapness of reality shows, the shortening attention span of society or the transforming attraction we have to thoughtless, flashy entertainment? Most will read this and think it is not a big deal and that the show is merely for humor. Not only are some students not laughing along, but they are quite offended by the show’s concept. “This show is an offensive and shameful representation of Italians. My culture and upbringing has been mocked by his excuse for entertainment,” said Michael Carbone, a junior TV/digital film major. Hopefully Carbone will be satisfied with the cast of the Jersey Shore tested in their true represented culture: the heart of Italy. Season four will be filmed there and is set to air later this year.