The Jersey Shore Phenomenon

By Perks |

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, there is no question that you’ve seen, heard about or become enthralled with the phenomenon that is ‘Jersey Shore.’ The season two premiere episode raked in 5.3 MILLION viewers – nearly a 300% increase from the premiere of season one, and 10% more viewers than the first season’s grand finale. Ranked MTV’s best season premiere rating in more than seven years, you can’t deny that ‘Jersey Shore’ has become some sort of a national obsession. What is it about this TV show that helps it score stellar ratings every week?

There’s no doubt that ‘Jersey Shore’ has rounded up a cast of characters who have such distinctive and all-encompassing personalities that it rivals any crew ‘The Real World’ has ever produced. There is Snooki, the five-foot tall, bouffant-boasting guidette; “The Situation,” a self-absorbed, unrealistically tan macho-man; Pauly-D, an aspiring DJ who spends more time on his hair than getting a good night’s sleep. Each of these individuals is such a stretch on the normal people we interact with every day, that it’s a thrill just to see how such a personality operates. Separately, they are all complete train wrecks. And when they come together as a whole, it is an explosion of catastrophes that no one could ever predict.

Part of the reason we love reality-TV so much is, in part, because it is so FAR from reality for 95% of America. How many people do you know who live in a world in which gym-tan-laundry is a daily activity? Watching the outrageousness of the events in these people’s lives and asking ourselves, “are these real, living human beings?” is what keeps us coming back for more. It’s like a jigsaw puzzle in which there are a handful of missing pieces but you keep coming back to try and figure out how to complete it, anyway. No matter how hard you try, it is impossible to find a way for everything to logically come together. And unlike the traditional reality television show, which is primarily drama-based, ‘Jersey Shore’ has turned out to be more of a comedy. The encounters, interactions and relationships are truly more hysterical than they are realistic.

This real-life look into the lives of eight ridiculously blinged-out young adults has turned into a media phenomenon, regardless of whether you watch the show for a laugh, a self-esteem boost, or just to keep up on lunch-time gossip.


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