The allure of the ‘Jersey Shore’

The “smoosh” train from the Garden State has inevitably fist-pumped its way off track, yet hasn’t lost the sense of humor that makes it so much fun.

Jersey Shore, which debuted almost three years ago, quickly became MTV’s most watched telecast ever, according to the Nielsen television ratings. A quirky group of bronzed, orange, big-haired Italian-American stereotypes whose hilarious drunken antics kept us glued to the TV set became our favorite reality television trainwreck.

“GTL,” fist-pumping and smooshing became part of a new modern American pop-culture language. Every week new catch phrases would hit Facebook and everyone knew exactly what they meant. We were fed an alphabet soup of acronyms that put a smile on our faces–“MVP is at the club trying to get it in with some grenades that are DTF.”

What the heck!?

It was fresh, it was fun and each one of us could relate in some way, shape or form to a character on the show. It was so addicting that “Jersey Shore Name Generators” became hugely popular on Facebook during the show’s first season. These generators allowed everyone the opportunity to create their own “guido” or “guidette” nickname.

The exploits of these eight single, buff, bronzed and drunk Italian party folk kept us eagerly waiting for MTV to feed us more. Every week we grew more attached, more addicted and more excited to see what would happen next.

But then it all changed, kind of.

Did MVP run out of grenades to bring home? Did The Situation become too douchey or did the hot tub finally claim someone? Not even close.

With an opportunity to add drama to the mix, MTV brought in everyone’s dirty laundry and hung it out in front of us.

The tension in the house became so thick that there was a new fistfight every episode. Angelina and Snooki, Jwoww and Sammi. Even grenade number 724 tried to fight someone. Or was she a landmine? Or a rhino? I dunno, I’ve lost track. It got so bad that The Situation ran himself head first into a concrete wall at full speed.

Now that’s a situation. But the drama continues.

Jwoww’s horrible douchebag boyfriend emptied her house of all belongings and left the poor helpless dogs to die. What kind of human being does that? The Situation took full advantage of having a couple dogs in the summer house and created a big “steaming” mess of comedic relief.

Then there is Sam and Ronnie’s relationship. Ladies, please pay attention, this part is important. If your boyfriend turns into a raging orange hulk after drinking too much, run and don’t look back. Don’t say, “But I love him,” and don’t imagine he can change. Walk away, give yourself a clean break and count your blessings that you got out in one piece. During one of Ronnie’s rage-fueled tantrums he even picked up a bed and threw it across the room.

Not OK, yet funny.

We like single Ronnie. We enjoy watching guido tools in “Italia” tracksuits dancing around the living room making fun of their own stereotype. We enjoy watching drunken people falling on the ground. We like “twinning” and “we support a grenade-free America.”

Every week we want to know what these kids are going to do next. We want to see who hooks up with who. We want to see who commits the best robbery. Yeah, buddy.

Those elements are what make it so much fun. That’s the humor that is so addicting. Those are the things that make us laugh and keep us coming back every week. It’s never been quality content, but it’s the one hour per week we can get away from everything else in the world, raise our glasses and laugh. Salute!

About Mike White