Wednesday, April 7, 2010

RTS: A blog divided over Jersey Shore

Earlier this week Chris sent Graham an e-mail about Jersey Shore. This saddened Graham, who refuses to watch Jersey Shore on principle. It led to a spirited e-mail debate that was our most prolific in weeks. Sit back as Graham gets on his high horse while Chris makes the most ridiculous movie comparison in history.

Chris
You really need to watch Jersey Shore Season 2. They are starting to film now. If you can't appreciate the picture below of a spray-tanned guido wearing "The Urban Sombrero", well then, we aren't friends.



Graham
Then we aren't friends.

Chris
I suppose you don't like train wrecks then. Cause Jersey Shore is just one big mess of stupidity infused with steroids, hair gel, booze and testosterone. GTL baby.

Graham
Fine, I'll take the bait.

(Deep breath)

In regards to reality television "train wrecks", no, I don't like them. Why do I want to watch a bunch of sad, worthless people allow themselves to be exploited in hopes that they can gain 15 minutes of fame? What's the entertainment value in that? I can't laugh with or at these people, I just feel sorry for them. They're pathetic with few, if any, redeeming qualities. What has Paris Hilton added to the world? Kim Kardashian? What have these Jersey Shore idiots added?

Nothing.

They serve no purpose other than to glorify their own egos. So no, after a long day at work, a 45-minute commute in gridlock and if I'm lucky, spending an hour of quality time with my son before his bedtime, I don't feel like unwinding by watching these brain-dead idiots humiliate themselves.

But it goes beyond that. It speaks to a larger issue at play here, namely, even though these twits completely degrade themselves for the sake of "entertaining" the simpletons who watch them, they still win. One, they get paid. And two, there are actually morons who come to admire them, which is beyond depressing. On the news last week they reported that one of these Jersey Shore guys was going to be in town making a club appearance. It may have been an April Fool's joke, but even if he did come, he'd get airfare and hotel paid for, an appearance fee, and he'd have a bunch of hot, idiotic women who'd allow him to give them the Sandra Bullock treatment if they let him (how's that for timely?).

What does that say about the warped nature of modern day celebrity? How screwed up is this whole system? So no, I don't watch. I don't want to have anything to do with perpetuating this endless cycle of stupidity and celebrity worship.

Give me Chuck any day of the week instead.

Chris
I agree with 50% of what you said. Let's interview myself to dig deeper.

Do I think the Jersey Shore cast are idiots and undeserving of any amount of monetary compensation for being idiots?
Yes. However, I do watch the show, which indirectly pays them, so I guess I'm a hypocrite. Then again, if you think about it, we're huge sports fans and what, 85% of these guys are douches, idiots and morons and we have no problem paying big money to follow them.

Graham
The sports analogy doesn't work for me. Athletes are morons, you and I know that as well as anyone. But I don't watch sports because of their character, I watch sports because I like sports. I really don't care that much about the kind of people they are away from the field. But these train wreck shows are built around these peoples' personalities, or lack thereof. That's where I run into the issue.

Chris
Even if you don't care about an athlete's personality, or say you don't, you still give that person money and support. You probably don't like Michael Vick. The reason you don't like him has nothing to do with sports. You wouldn't buy his jersey. So you can't say that personality doesn't come into play with sports players. Ultimately, you like sports cause of the game, not the player, but still, you support the player regardless. I support Jersey Shore people, reluctantly, because I like to laugh at them. And I don't watch Jersey Shore because of their character, I watch them because they are caricatures.

Graham
I also resent the fact these people don't actually do anything. Even the worst pro athlete has to show up to practice a few hours a day, and have displayed some modicum of talent somewhere along the way. I hate Two and a Half Men, but at some point the actors would have taken acting lessons, worked their way up the ladder, etc. These Jersey Shore idiots just roll out of bed and go about their day with no discernible talent or skills, and are rewarded handsomely for it.

Chris
These people don't have talent? J-Woww designs her own clothes! Pauly D is a DJ. All of the guys have to GTL, you know, gym, tan and laundry. It's work baby.

Now, do I think that the Jersey Shore cast members are delusional and don't realize that 75% of their audience is laughing at them?
Yes.

Graham
But of course they don't realize, or even care, that people are laughing at them: they get paid, and they live the celebrity high life. If anything, they're laughing at us.

Chris
So really, you're jealous of them. You are jealous that idiots get paid to do nothing and you refuse to support it because you are a smart guy that has to work for a living. Don't hate the player Graham, hate the game.

Is it sad that the Jersey Shore cast doesn’t realize the majority of their audience is laughing at them?
Not really. The majority of Americans spend their time laughing at all the yokels out there and thanking God that they aren't like that. As a matter of fact, I'm sure a lot of people do it to us to. But they are wrong.

Graham
Who would laugh at us? We're awesome.

Chris
Agreed.

Do I think the 25% of the Jersey Shore audience that worship the cast are beyond pathetic?
Yes. It's one thing to be the idiot on Jersey Shore. It's another to want to be the idiot on Jersey Shore. I think the great Michael Keaton movie Multiplicity tackled this.

Graham
I can’t even argue this. You caught me completely off-guard with the Multiplicity reference.

Chris
That's what I was going for.

What's the entertainment value in all of this?
I like laughing at stupid people. As a matter of fact, isn't this why "fail" and "pwned" are terms we enjoy? And we do enjoy them. I think there's only so much one can handle. I watch Jersey Shore and Tool Academy. Essentially I like laughing at steroid driven egomaniacs cause, well, it makes me feel better about not having muscles. Don't tell anyone that.

Graham
Laughing at a 30-second clip of a regular guy falling off a bike is a lot different than feeding into the celebrity machine.

Chris
(whispering for dramatic effect) Is it really that different Graham? (grows louder) Is it REALLY THAT DIFFERENT?

As for glorifying their own egos, well, isn't that the problem with celebrity in the first place? Aren't regular schmoes like us constantly trying to figure out which celebrities are like us, aren't complete jackasses and we can identify with? Isn't that why the Tiger Woods and Sandra Bullock things are "shocking"? We're shocked cause we thought Tiger was just a regular dude that just happened to be extraordinary at golf. When we find out he's a lying adulterer, we're upset cause we watched him from a distance and pinned him as normal even though we had no reason to think so. We don't care when Jesse James or whoever the f he is turns out to be a piece of crap, but dear God, if he ruins that wholesome Sandra Bullock image that we made out of thin air based on fictional movies, then I'm upset. The sooner we admit that all celebrities are pretty much jackasses that are glorifying their own egos, the better off we'll all be. And the sooner we realize that we have no clue what it's like to live that life, the better off we'll be as well. So yeah, enjoy Chuck instead of Jersey Shore. Just don't pretend the guy in Chuck isn't just as big of an asshole, cause there's a pretty good chance he is.

Graham
Again, I go back to the sports analogy. I don't care if the guy in Chuck is a huge asshole: I like the show he's on. Chuck isn't based on his real-life persona, it's a scripted drama that has nothing to do with what the actors are like away from the set. It's not even close to the same thing.

Chris
I don't care if the people on Jersey Shore are huge assholes either. As a matter of fact, I know that they are, for the most part. If anything, it feels a little more honest.

6 comments:

Joseph said...

TL;DR....

Gary said...

Chris, if you really are male, then you are the only male I know of who watches Jersey Shore. I want to agree with Graham's high minded rebuttal's, but the problem is we all break down somewhere along the line and feed the beast that is entertainment. Yes, comparing sports and whatever Jersey Shore is doesn't really work, but it's all prostitution in the end. We all just have to decide how hard core we're comfortable getting with our chosen ho's.

Chris said...

All my male friends watch Jersey Shore. I can't say the same about Tool Academy or my 1-season stand with Bromance.

Gary said...

full disclosure: I have watched both Dog the Bounty Hunter and Steven Segal: Lawman. I am proud of neither. I will watch both again.

I also really like this blog. Nah, no correlation there ;-) haha.

Dick Fite said...

Hey I am a guy and I watch Jersey Shore, and when I go through my JS withdraws I have to settle for Jerseylicious, yeah that's right its a bunch of guidettes in a hair salon dating serious freaks. But the only prob with season 2 is that its at Miami where people actually look better than most. GTL 4 LIFE!!!

Fruitncheese said...

The guy from Chuck is not an asshole. Two people I worked with on scrubs worked on Chuck and they said he was cool. Also, he works with a charity that mentors underprivledged kids in LA. He meets with the kids every week for nine week sessions and helps them learn how to write and perform screenplays.