Jersey Shore gives undue credit to stars


If you live in America, own a TV and have eyes, you’ve probably encountered reality television. One recent incarnation of this modern phenomenon is MTV’s “Jersey Shore.” It features eight unnaturally tan Italian American 20-somethings partying, hooking-up, fighting, and engaging in otherwise lewd behavior in Seaside Heights, New Jersey.

It’s not hard to see that, as a concept, this has the potential to be enormously entertaining. Who among us doesn’t love to see other people make fools of themselves? If only that were the attitude with which all of “Jersey Shore’s” approximately four million viewers regarded the show. However, that doesn’t seem to be the case. People seem to genuinely like it and its “stars”— and this is where we run into an unfortunate trend that seems to be sweeping our country.

“Jersey Shore,” and its particular brand of reality TV, are overwhelmingly popular nowadays. I can’t understand why. Why is it that people are so taken with shows that glorify vanity, promiscuity and idiocy—especially when there are people out there doing real good in the world?

It is utterly ridiculous that the cast of “Jersey Shore” made $30,000 a piece for each of season two’s 24 episodes (cbsnews.com), when the average yearly salary of a nurse is only about $65,000 a year (bls.gov). It is absurd that these are the people we idolize; people who are famous not because they deserve it, but because they get paid exorbitant amounts of money to be loud and obnoxious.

There are people in the world with true talent, people who are working hard to make a difference, or people who work hard everyday of their lives just to survive, who go completely unacknowledged because Americans are more interested in “The Situation’s” abs and Snooki’s bump-it.

Sure, in these hard economic times it can be nice to escape from our own lives into someone else’s life, and reality TV allows us to do that for a little while.

Honestly, I can’t believe that any real people act like the stars of “Jersey Shore.” It’s just so completely over the top ridiculous that it seems unlikely that those people can actually take themselves seriously. I would take being poor and normal over being rich and ridiculous any day. Compared to the drunken world of “Jersey Shore,” reality seems preferable.

Why not try to make real life the best it can be? We should acknowledge those with real talents and help them share their talents with the world. Those working to cure cancer and other life-threatening diseases should be rewarded. We should try to help all the people who need it. We ought to give credit where credit is due, instead of praising the drunken, tan and talentless.