Kicking Television: “Jersey Shore”

Ladies and gentleman, meet Jersey Shore: the Snakes on a Plane of reality shows. In a mere two episodes, it has quite possibly established itself as the funniest, train-wreckiest show in the history of televised media. The show follows eight self-described “guidos” and “guidettes” — tanned, gelled-haired, fake-breasted/heavily muscled walking stereotypes interested in three things: partying, fucking and rescinding Italy’s standing in the European Union over sheer embarrassment. On the one hand, the show’s very existence is a racist statement — it’s the equivalent of a show about black people called Atlanta Hood where the hypothetical housemates would smoke weed, eat fried chicken and recklessly impregnate women. On the other, though, Jersey Shore is a reality show — more actual-drama Real World than the semi-scripted ridiculousness of The Hills — and its cast members embrace their roles so exuberantly that it’s hard to point the finger at MTV on this one.

So accepting that some people are actually like this, holy shit: In the first two episodes alone, “Snookie” (everyone has a nickname) gets wasted and tries to hop on every dude in the house; rippling-stomached Mike introduces himself to women by asking if they like The Situation, his code name for himself and the times (constantly) when he pulls his shirt up to show off his abs; and Sammie “Sweetheart” tells the MTV cameras she’s the “sweetest bitch you’ll ever meet” and proceeds to hook up with Mike and even more muscular “bro!” taunter Ronnie within 30 seconds of episode. It could not be better. If loving The Situation is wrong, I don’t wanna be right.