I take great pride in my taste in movies. I usually limit my movie choices to those with intelligent scripts, quick (preferably cerebral) humor and impeccable acting. I wouldn’t be caught dead in line for an action flick, and I’m proud to say I’ve never seen any of the American Pie movies. I’m a bit of a movielitist, if you will.
My television taste, on the other hand, has taken an unfortunate nosedive in recent years.
I have always watched entirely too much television. In the past, my television taste was in line with my movie taste. Dramas like Thirty Something, Law & Order and The West Wing held me captive. Comedies like Cheers, Seinfeld, Frazier and Friends could brighten any day. I was a full-blown TV junkie and I was proud of it because of my impeccable taste.
Until Jersey Shore stumbled into my living room and vomited all over my dignity.
I’m not sure how it happened. I’ve never been a fan of MTV. I’ve always found them to be incredibly irresponsible with their programming (ahem…back when I had standards, that is.) I’ve always believed that it was borderline criminal to have practically unfettered access to the hearts and minds of the demographic that is hardest to reach – to have that kind of power over kids at an age where a true difference could be made in the path they choose to take – and squander it on depictions of practically naked women gyrating their thonged asses in the faces of rap stars as they sing songs with lyrics that denigrate women. I mean, seriously? What kind of pigs do they have working in their programming department?!? Who ARE these ‘people’?!?!
No, seriously. I’d like to know so I can thank them for the joy that is Jersey Shore.
I saw the first episode and fell in love. You know that boyfriend you had in high school? The one your parents hated? The one that led you down the wrong path? Jersey Shore is television’s version of him. Their mannerisms, their fights, their clothes, their rituals and their language (not the obscenities, of which there are many, but the words and phrases they use) have me hypnotized.
My husband saw about a minute of one scene of the first episode and walked out of the room disgusted. The following week I convinced him to watch an entire episode and he’s been hooked ever since. We tune in every week and have discussions about how much we hate Sammi (the fun sponge) and Ronnie (who we ALL know is going to cheat on her again…and who could blame him??), who’s funnier – Snooki or Pauly, whether JWoww should be wearing that outfit (no) and how stupid Angelina was for leaving the show (very, but we really don’t miss her because we love the Snookalike, Deena.)
I should be ashamed of myself. I should be watching it with the curtains drawn and the lights turned low. If it comes up in conversation, I should pretend I’m completely unfamiliar with the show.
But, no. No. That’s not what happens.
Mention Jersey Shore in my presence and I will come alive with opinions and predictions like I’m a 14-year old girl (see above.) So, next time I mock you for having bad taste in music or movies or…well, anything…gently remind me that I spend a deliciously distasteful hour each week with the trashiest people television has had to offer since the Bundy family. Then pull up a chair and tell me how many more times you think Sammi is going to break up with Ronnie before the season ends.