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Posts Tagged Jersey Shore

An Open Letter to The Situation

Filed Under: TV

the-situation

"Who's got two thumbs and no self-esteem? This guy."

Dear Situation,

You don’t know me, but I know you. I mean, not personally, God no, but from television, like everyone else. I’ve been watching your journey along with the rest of the MTV generation and now that your second tour of duty has come to a close, I just wanted to share a few thoughts with you, stuff I’ve been keeping inside, stuff I think you should know.

To start, I should say—I know it must have been weird growing up with that face. Not, I want to clarify, that I’m saying you’re ugly. I’ve definitely seen worse. But let’s not lie to ourselves here—you could have a 24-pack and walk around shirtless every day and I’d still notice the face. It’s weird, sort of like Droopy Dog would look if he was 20 (dog) years younger and, you know, human.

So I have to imagine that growing up, pre-abs and pre-fame, the face was a point of contention for you. In my mind’s eye, you weren’t a bad kid. In fact, you were probably pretty nice. Probably the kind of boy that until about middle school—when we all become aware of things like brand-name clothing and the opposite sex—spent a lot of time with his parents, playing board games. But we all grow up, we all fell victim to the predatory advertising campaigns of JNCO jeans and Adidas jackets. We all had our Sandy-from-Grease moment, when we realized the good was the enemy of the popular, and board games are for losers. Read More ›

 
kira

12:41 PM on October 22nd, 2010 | 

Posted by kira

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Bienvenido a Miami

Filed Under: TV Reviews

jsmiami-450x225

I can’t believe it was only six months ago that I wrote my first post on RA about Jersey Shore, when the show was just a few episodes in and the media/pop culture firestorm surrounding it hadn’t yet reached its peak. Oh, how things have changed.

The first episode of the much-anticipated second season premiered on MTV last night, and unless you live under a rock (or are older than 35) you know that the network’s eagerness to get the now-famous cast back on air led them to shoot Season 2 in Miami when it was still snowing buckets on the East Coast.

So far, the geographic change seems at worst harmless, and at best necessary. Since JS Season 1 only ended a few months ago, it would be exceedingly hard to revive the novelty of the show’s first weeks in the same house and at the same bars. Indeed, it’s not such a bad idea to test the legs of the cast—can they be as interesting, or perhaps more interesting, when removed from the very scene that gave the show its name? Answer: yes.

Watching The Situation, Pauly D, Vinny, Ronnie, Sammi, Snooki and JWoww (more on Angelina later) reunite was like meeting up with old friends again, and even though we know many of the cast members have spent the last four months within arms’ length of one-another, it still felt like they were all excited to be re-living the very experience that got them here in the first place. Sort of like how the three months you spend planning the prom (what, you guys didn’t have overanxious female friends in high school?) didn’t manage to undermine the greatness of seeing your peers in evening wear. (Well, that, and the drinking; everyone’s looking forward to the drinking.) Read More ›

 
kira

11:18 AM on July 30th, 2010 | 

Posted by kira

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A Shore Thing

Filed Under: TV Reviews

jerseyshore-450x296To all three readers of Respect Authority, let us extend our deepest apologies. It’s 2010 now, which means a new decade, and a new opportunity to shirk our regular responsibilities in favor of inane blog writing. Consider it my New Year’s resolution. (Well, one of them, third after “Watch less TV” and “Don’t be so hard on yourself if you don’t end up watching less TV.”) And there’s no better way to start off a new year of witty commentary and reality television snark than with a missive defending MTV’s now infamous Jersey Shore.

I know, I know, I’m weeks late in commenting on the work of sheer genius that is Jersey Shore, but it took a few episodes’ worth of contemplation to really nail down what it is about JS that’s so damn appealing. It’s not just the fights, or the inane commentary, or the inability of men on this show not to use the word “fresh” at least once an episode. I mean, it is all of those things (as well as the fact that JS has become so pop-culture relevant that even die-hard haters of reality TV wonder if they’re missing out) but also many more. Here, in three points, is my defense of Jersey Shore.

1. “When it’s time to party, we will party hard.”
One of MTV’s biggest mistakes when it came to every season of The Real World after San Diego was the show’s slow trajectory away from bar fights and towards passive-aggressive work arguments, or utterly boring in-house pranks. Although Real World was always a forum for (ahem) real-world issues—homosexuality, religion, war—those issues were, and still are, best brought up in a loud club, after a lot of alcohol. At least for television purposes. While several of the more recent Real World seasons (Brooklyn and now-airing D.C. being the most flagrant examples) have devolved into mind-numbing self-righteous and too often sober discussions of political and social qualms, I have yet to hear anyone on the Jersey Shore discuss something other than clothes, hair, drinking, clubbing or sex. The vast majority of the show’s footage is of the roommates at bars (to the point that I’ve learned the names of said bars) or on their own roof deck, wooing unsuspecting (or totally suspecting) young ladies into their altogether normal hot tub. This is the stuff of great television.

2. “Watch the lioness, as she contemplates her next victim.”
Though MTV has always been a master of stereotypes—in a truly meta moment, one of the cast members of Real World D.C. correctly predicted that the last arriving housemate would be “the gorgeous black man” and lamented the lack of a “gay guy”—putting a group of the same stereotype in one house and watching them exist together is nothing short of genius. While much of reality television is founded on the notion of different people coming together and interacting, JS joins people that could have very easily become friends anyway. Indeed, to watch the crew interact is akin to some anthropological study: the ease with which they communicate in their unique language, the guido rituals (gym, tanning, laundry, in that order) to which most of them subscribe, the almost immediate tribe-like bond they form with one another. Though plenty of attention has been paid to the negative connotation of “guido” and the show’s supposed affirmation of this stereotype, I personally find the culture more interesting than laughable.

3. “Won’t you be my neighbor?”
This, above all, is the reason I watch Jersey Shore: Despite their questionable fashion choices, limited vocabulary and utter devotion to hooking up, the cast of JS is, for the most part, kind of likeable. The show’s most annoying roommates–the much-maligned Situation, whose desperation when it comes to lady-hunting is downright cringeworthy; and Sammi “Sweetheart,” whose “I’m the sweetest bitch you’ll ever meet” opening-credits line pretty much says it all–are still in my view a rung above even the least annoying people on The Real World. More importantly, they actually seem real. Perhaps by virtue of becoming part of a 20+ year institution, MTV has created something of a monster when it comes to Real World casting: the 20-somethings who ultimately make the cut appear on air with such a sense of self-worth (having made it through umpteen rounds of auditions) that they seem to assume their lives are interesting. By contrast, the Jersey Shore group always seem mildly baffled by their own fame: they’re in it for the sex, free booze and VIP club seating, not to be a part of pop culture history. This is something I can respect.

It should come as no surprise that I’m a fairly big Jersey Shore fan – it’s like the orange-juice concentrate of live-in-a-house-together reality programming, with more hooking up and fighting in one episode than other shows manage in a season. But I think Jersey Shore is a little something extra: it doesn’t create characters by putting otherwise mundane people in a tricked-out house and parading them through overpriced bars and faux careers. Instead, MTV found actual characters, put them in a rather mundane house, and let them handle all the parading. To me, that’s pretty—for lack of a better word—fresh.

 
kira

12:40 PM on January 15th, 2010 | 

Posted by kira

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Weekend Update

Filed Under: TV

The only funny thing Bobby Moynihan has ever really done on SNL:

Also:

 
kira

5:54 PM on December 21st, 2009 | 

Posted by kira

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A Little Too Ironic

Filed Under: Pop Culture

guidos –> After the two-hour premier of Jersey Shore, MTV’s show about eight Italian-Americans spending a summer together in a house in Seaside Heights, N.J. (essentially Real World Jersey), Domino’s pizza told the network to stop airing it’s ads during the show. This is the biggest misunderstanding of your core audience since Kellogg’s stopped endorsing Michael Phelps because he smoked pot. READ MORE.

–> Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Sunday that it’s been years since the government has known where Osama Bin Laden is hiding. So basically, until Osama is updating his Twitter feed with “Chillin’ in Afghanistan; opium crop looks gr8,” we’re shit out of luck. READ MORE.

–> Richard Branson unveiled today the Virgin Galactic SpaceShip Two, a commercial spaceship that will soon carry tourists to space for a mere $200,000 each. The spaceship, which is scheduled to begin test flights next year and start commercial routes by 2012, will carry six passengers and two pilots—which means Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger might have a shot at crash-landing on the moon. READ MORE.

–> The New York Times did a big piece Monday on how car-phone makers promoted the devices back in the 1960s, even while knowing the risks of driving with one’s hands otherwise occupied. A note to the Times: the 60’s weren’t exactly a model for best practices in advertising (See: cigarettes, Spam and anything directed at women). READ MORE.

–> Unilever is recalling some 10 million cans of its Slim-Fast ready-to-drink products in North America because of a possible bacterial contamination that makes people who drink the product throw up. …In unrelated news, sales of Slim-Fast were through the roof Monday. READ MORE.

 
kira

1:30 PM on December 7th, 2009 | 

Posted by kira

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