My “Jersey Shore” birthday

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MTV may be premiering Season 4 of “Jersey Shore” tonight, but I’ve already caught a glimpse of Season 5!

Move over, Florence: The kids are back in Seaside!/All photos by Ava Gacser

I was down the Shore last Tuesday, July 26, to celebrate my birthday at Island Beach State Park, which is adjacent to Seaside Heights, the home of “Jersey Shore.” On a whim, I decided to drive by the infamous den of iniquity just to see what it looked like in person. Seriously, I had no expectations other than that.

Well, guess what? I drove (then walked) right into the middle of filming for the show! Happy birthday to me!

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“Jersey Shore”: Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water

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Guess what? They’re baaaaaaaaaack!!!

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And from the looks of things, the “Jersey Shore” cast is GTL’ing and acting as insanely idiotic as ever (thank God).

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“Jersey Shore”: Oscar edition

Summer at the Jersey Shore is still several months away, but the cast members of the hit MTV series of the same name remain red hot.

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The sextet appeared on another hilarious segment of “Tonight Show with Jay Leno” this week, where they do what they do best: parody themselves. And hey, it works well for them. (And I give The Situation major points for having more of a clue than the rest of the bunch.)

Case in point: The group took time out from their busy GTL schedules to film several clips spoofing several Oscar-nominated films for TBS’ “Lopez Tonight” – and proved that they are indeed funniest when they stick to mocking themselves…

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“Jersey Shore”: You give New Jersey a good name?

Working out, tanning, doing laundry, drinking, clubbing, creeping, fist pumping and fist fighting. Who knew that “Jersey Shore” would give the Garden State such a great reputation?

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Nobody, including me. But according to a new poll, MTV’s highly enjoyable train wreck of a reality show has actually improved peoples’ perceptions of the Garden State.

Yup, you read that right: People who’ve watched those self-proclaimed guidos and guidettes fist-pumping at Karma actually like New Jersey more than those who have not seen the show!

That is, at least according to PublicMind, a recent national poll conducted by the state’s own Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Here’s the details: Three out of five respondents who’ve seen the show look favorably upon Joisey, compared to 44% of those who haven’t seen it. Meanwhile, one out of five people who have seen “Jersey Shore” (that’s 20%) has an unfavorable view of the most densely populous state in the nation, and about one in five who has not seen the show (or 18%) has a negative perception of the state.

“While we can’t be sure that ‘Jersey Shore’ is making people like New Jersey more, it certainly doesn’t seem to be hurting,” concluded Dan Cassino, survey analyst for PublicMind and a Fairleigh Dickinson political science professor, in a press release. “It could be that people who already have a favorable view of New Jersey are simply more likely to watch the show, while those who don’t like Jersey aren’t going to watch the show anyway.”

However, the survey does not address the show’s portrayal of Italian-Americans, who are referred to as “guidos” and “guidettes,”* and their penchant for GTL’ing the day away.

“I don’t think anyone would claim that the TV show has anything to do with the real New Jersey,” Cassino said. “Still, the image it portrays doesn’t seem to be hurting the state as some have feared.”

The poll also indicated that when the show’s viewers think of New Jersey they tend to speak about the Shore, boardwalk and ocean (13%) more than non-viewers do (8%).

“New Jersey has been using ad campaigns to build awareness of the Shore for years,” Cassino explained. “Legislators may not be happy with how the state is being portrayed, but the show links New Jersey to its beaches, which is a much better focus than the turnpike.”
Amen to that!
*It’s recently been revealed in the tabloids that at least three of the “Jersey Shore” cast members – Snooki, J-Woww and Ronnie – are not even of Italian descent.

“Jersey Shore”: Here’s The Situation

So here’s The Situation:

MTV’s “Jersey Shore” has people divided into two camps; there are those who love the *reality* show for its pure entertainment value, and those who hate it because they believe it – like its predecessors “The Sopranos” and “Real Housewives of New Jersey” – reinforces negative stereotypes about Italian-Americans.

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Obviously, Conan O’Brien is in the former camp. And after watching the first three hours of this train wreck (during which I couldn’t bring myself to look away, no matter how inane the conversations), I have to say I agree. Hey, I’m from Jersey, and I certainly don’t like the idea of people actually believing that everyone in the Garden State behaves like Snooki, J-Woww and Pauly D, et al. But then, you’d have to be pretty ignorant to think that in the first place.

For the record, Sammi is the only cast member who’s actually a Jersey girl. (Though her behavior toward BFF Ronnie was pretty atrocious last week, I’m willing to give her a chance to make her home state – and hometown of Hazlet and alma mater of William Paterson – proud. I have a feeling I might be waiting a while…)

Meanwhile, here’s the rest of Conan’s interview with The Situation and Snooki. Alas, no mention was made of the punch felt around the world – or the New York schoolteacher who threw it:

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Not to be outdone, Jimmy Kimmel (who is of Italian descent and says he doesn’t find the show offensive) also invited The Situation, Snooki and Pauly D on his show. Check it out:

No matter what the controversy, you have to realize that a show is having an impact on popular culture if two late-night talk show hosts have featured “Jersey Shore” cast members before the third episode of this series has even aired. I’m certainly impressed. Plus, I think you can definitely say the show has its first genuine breakout star: The Situation. From what we’ve seen here, he’s actually pretty charming.

In the meantime, if you want to try out the Guido/Guidette name generator Conan was talking about, go here.

Update

If you think these videos of the “Jersey Shore” cast are amusing, then check out this video from “The Jay Leno Show.”

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