There are some shows that, try as I might, I recall in conjunction with memories of romantic relationships past. Jersey Shore has been and will always be one of those shows. I remember who I was dating when I first saw the commercial for this show and we both just knew that this show was going to be a big friggin’ deal. I can pinpoint the moment I looked at my own relationship and realized, with a growing sense of horror, that it was almost as dysfunctional as the insanity that was Ron and Sammie.
I love Jersey Shore because it was a part of my life in that point where you’re approaching 24, which means you’re young enough to want the drinks and the partying, yet old enough to know that at some point all of that will get old. Screw bills and babies, I wanted to live out all my bad habits and chase the elusive “good time.” Jersey Shore gave me that, as well as an escapist attitude you can only truly enjoy when you’re watching a fuck-up that will not bring you any direct harm. I love Jersey Shore because these real people allowed me to live out all my stupidity in a very fictional way that was somehow their reality.
It’s never been cool to like Jersey Shore. You either hate it and take time to discuss why it’s so horrible (when you could be living/enjoying your own life), love it because you’re actually a guido/guidette or…I don’t know…love it “ironically”. But I swear there are people that fall into none of those arbitrary categories I just made up, and I’m one of them. I love Jersey Shore because I simply love it. It’s not a “guilty pleasure” or a show I would watch in a shroud of secrecy and shame. I’m into television, obviously, so I respect that people sometimes have different viewing preferences than I do, but seriously, if you’re one of those people that take personal offense to reality television and blame Jersey Shore for the derogation of all things sacred on the boob tube, I probably dislike you a little bit.
I will miss the show that accomplished what all the Real Worlds (post-Las Vegas) have been trying/failing to accomplish: cultural relevance. I will miss the show that gave me Meatballs. I will miss the show that redefined a “situation” and gave pre-gamers across the world a rally cry when their mode of transportation (cabs) had arrived. But most of all, I will miss the show that helped men (and women alike) across the world know if their drunk dance partner was down to f*ck (DTF) or rather too drunk to f*ck (*TDTF). I will miss Jersey Shore, and I’m not even remotely ashamed to admit that.
Maybe Buckwild, which is so obviously MTV’s attempt at cashing in on the Honey Boo Boo craze and fill the huge gaping programming void Jersey Shore leaves in its absence, will pull me in after an episode or two. I might fall in love and have a reality show that tides me over until summer, which is when Big Brother becomes my reason for living. Doubtful. I miss Pauly D and Vinny’s bromantic interactions and ability to stay both involved yet removed from their housemate’s drama already.
*I just made this up. I would have undoubtedly fit in.