I'm Not A Fan Of That Jersey Shores Show


MTV’s Jersey Shore hit record high ratings this week. My neighbor, supermarket tabloid aficionado Helen Peters, has written in to share her thoughts on the matter.

To My Friends At The Jezebel,

Have you seen this Jersey Shores show? My son, Kevin, he can’t get enough of it. Says it’s hysterical, all of these young people living together in some house in Florida and drinking every night. To which I ask you this: when did it become okay for people to fight on television? It’s one thing when it’s an actual fight, you know, boxing, but even that strikes me as a bit violent and unnecessary. Rocky, for example: beautiful movie, right? A love story about a man who likes hats and a girl who likes animals. Nothing wrong with that, God bless ’em both, let them have pets and hats forevermore, but then all that fighting got in the way, with Sylvester Stallone’s gorgeous face taking all kinds of damage, and can I just say, I can understand why his mother used to do her psychic readings or what have you because if my Kevin made a billion dollars for essentially getting the c-r-a-p kicked out of him in a boxing match, I’d also have to go supernatural to make sense of it. Money is nice, sure, yeah, okay, but I did not pay for two and half years of braces just so Mr. Straight Teeth could lose at least four of them courtesy of somebody’s boxing glove. I don’t think so, Sally. I do not think so.

Anyway, Kevin is obsessed with this Jersey Shores show, it’s all he talks about, so last week my friend Barbara and I decided we’d tape The Mentalist and watch Jersey Shores instead. And ah-cha-cha, that Mentalist, my God, Barbara says her legs shave themselves whenever his face shows up on the screen. Can you imagine? That Barbara. The things that come of her mouth, I swear. But they’re nothing compared to the smut I heard while watching that Jersey Shores. What is the matter with these children? They drink. They yell. They fight. They pull each other’s hair. The men treat women like garbage and one of them, for some reason, can’t go more than 45 seconds without pulling up his shirt and showing off his stomach. Congratulations to you, sir, you’re 30 years old and you know how to dress and undress yourself. A major achievement.

My Kevin used to pull up his shirts too, but that was when he was a year old and nonverbal and wanted to let me know that he just pooped his pants. So maybe that’s what that Michael—I refuse to call a grown man “The Situation,” thank you very much, Michael is a lovely name, our Archangel, his mother gave him that name and he should use it—is trying to say to all of the women he meets at these nightclubs, “Hello, my name is Michael, and I’ve just pooped my pants.” It would not surprise me at all, considering the way these children treat each other, and treat their own bodies, and treat that hideous house they’re living, which looks like it was decorated by that Alice Fishby who lives down the street and has as much decorating sense as one of those seagulls who flies around the Burger King, which is to say, no decorating sense whatsoever.

You have all these beautiful children living in this house, calling themselves Snickerdoodle and J-Whosiwhatzit, wearing these outfits that look like they came 50% off, and I don’t mean the price, I mean the fabric, and all they do is get drunk and yell at each other. For this I missed the giant dish of eye candy that is The Mentalist? Even Albert, that’s my dog, was unimpressed with this mess. He passed gas the entire hour, and he only does that when the show on the screen is a stinker. He’s very smart, my Albert. Very good at making his point.

And that brings me to my point, which is this: my Kevin has terrible taste. I don’t know where I went wrong! I did not raise a boy who would find the way these jokers treat women to be anything but horrifying. “But it’s funny, Ma,” he says. Is it? Nobody looks like they’re having any fun on this show. They’re always mad. Or sad. Or yelling. Or yelling about somebody else’s yelling. And this is fun? Look, I love dancing too and let me tell you, I could throw back a few Manhattans in my day but this life of drinking, yelling, and fighting looks more like a chore than a party, to me.

These beautiful children! They should be having fun and hanging out with people who make them feel good, not bad. People who care for them and don’t call them names and don’t punch them in the face or make fun of them at all times. And we should all stop watching them, because we’re just encouraging them. Do I give Albert a cookie every time he takes a c-r-a-p on the carpet? No. I do not. Because you don’t reward bad behavior. It just makes it seem acceptable and normal and hilarious. And I don’t think the way that these men treat women, or the way that these women treat each other, is very funny at all. I think it stinks. Just like poop on the carpet.

Kevin says I’m just too old and I don’t get it. And maybe that’s true. But I remember the days when television had a little class, when men kept their stomachs hidden under suits and women only pulled each other’s hair if there was a wad of gum stuck in it. But maybe I’m just a relic. Barbara says times are changing and we all have to get with the program. But I’m not going to get with this program. And if any of you ladies are available and want to take my Kevin out on Thursday nights so he has something better to do with himself than watch this garbage, perhaps you can keep him away from this program as well. It’s not that I’m a fuddy duddy: I love dancing. I like a drink every now and then. But life, ladies, is too short to spend it with people who make you feel like a piece of trash, and who don’t know the difference between having fun and having to go see a doctor about your compulsive shirt-lifting issues. Though I do appreciate that the boys on that show know the value of clean laundry. That, I can understand. We should all wear a fresh shirt whenever we can. Except for that Mentalist, who can get dirty around me any time he wants. (Barbara typed that last part! She is too much!)

Until we meet again, your friend and neighbor,
Helen Peters

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