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Jersey Shore is an American reality television series that began airing on MTV in 2009. The series follows the lives of eight Italian-American housemates spending their summer in a beach house. Though most of the seasons have been filmed in New Jersey, the group has also traveled to Miami and Italy. The cast’s over-the-top personalities and their outlandish behavior have made them the subject of numerous conversations online.
Jersey Shore premiered on MTV in the United States on December 3rd, 2009. The first season took place at a boardwalk beach house in Seaside Heights, New Jersey where the cast of four men and four women lived for a summer. Though ratings began on the low side, viewership picked up throughout the season, resulting in 4.8 million viewers for the season finale and an increase of more than 3.4 million viewers from the first episode. It was MTV’s highest rated episode in nearly two years, leading the production team to venture to Miami, Florida to film a second season instead of waiting for the next summer.
The second season in Miami was also successful ratings-wise, averaging 5.252 million viewers an episode. The third season, which placed the cast back at their original Seaside Heights home, had three episodes with record-breaking viewership for the channel. Viewership began to decline in the middle of the fourth season, when the cast spent the summer in Florence, Italy. After it hit an all-time low during season 5 in New Jersey, MTV announced the show would be ending after its sixth season, set to begin on October 4th, 2012.
As of the final season, the cast consisted of (from right to left) Vincenzo “Vinny” Guadagnino, Sammi “Sweetheart” Giancola, Ronald “Ronnie” Ortiz-Magro, Deena Nicole Cortese, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, Paul “DJ Pauly D” DelVecchio, Michael “The Situation” Sorrentino and Jennifer “JWoww” Farley. The first two seasons featured Angelina Pivarnick (not pictured) in place of Cortese, however she left after appearing in a total of 13 episodes. Since the show began, the cast members have become reality star celebrities, with four of them publishing books and two launching clothing lines, in addition to a variety of other endorsements and music ventures. Three cast members also earned spin-off series in 2011, with Pauly D chronicling his transition from reality show star to professional DJ and JWoww and Snooki moving into an apartment in Jersey City, New Jersey.
After Jersey Shore began airing, many Italian-American groups critiqued the show, saying the cast portrayed their ethnic group in a negative light, calling the term “guido” a derogatory word. In response, the cast openly embraced the term by arguing that “guido” was a lifestyle to them. Shortly after it premiered, Cracked called the show the “worst thing to happen to the East Coast since 9/11." As of October 2012, “Jersey Shore” has been mentioned 626 times on Twitter, with the MTV-established hashtag “#jerzday” being used 4827 times. Additionally, the official Jersey Shore Facebook fan page has more than 18.4 million likes.
In January 2010, Key of Awesome (shown below, left) and Funny or Die (shown below, right) both uploaded parodies of the show, with the former gaining more than 18.5 million views as of October 2012. On January 16th, a selection of parodies from the Internet and TV programs were featured in a special episode of Jersey Shore, accompanied by a cast commentary.
In August 2010, the mash-up webcomic series Jersey Circus was launched, which featured cartoons parodying the syndicated comic strip The Family Circus and memorable quotes from Jersey Shore. As the series progressed, more video parodies began to appear including a movie trailer edition starring Milas Kunis and Thomas Lennon, a porn movie, a recurring Snooki character on SNL and parody skits on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel Live and South Park among others. As of October 2012, there are approximately 4280 results for “jersey shore parody” on YouTube.
In May 2011, MTV UK launched Geordie Shore, a British version of Jersey Shore that takes place in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. The title comes from a regional nickname used to describe someone from the Tyneside region of Northeast England. The cast members were chosen for their over the top personalities and similarities to that of the American cast. The Facebook fan page for the show has more than 60,000 likes as of October 2012.
Aside from Geordie Shore, a number of other reality shows have been inspired by Jersey Shore, including three official spin-offs set in the United Kingdom and Spain:
- Snooki & JWoww (MTV US)
- The Pauly D Project (MTV US)
- The Valleys (MTV UK, Wales)
- Gandia Shore (MTV Spain)
- Lake Shore (Canada)
- Kongerne af Marielyst (Denmark)
- The GC (Maori in Australia)
- The Shire (Sydney, Australia)
- Brighton Beach (Coney Island, NYC)
- Wicked Summer (Boston, MA)
- Party Down South (Southern US)
- K-Town (Koreans in Los Angeles)
- Tehrangeles (Persians in Los Angeles, CA)
Come At Me Bro
“Come at me bro” is a confrontational catchphrase used to instigate a fight with another person. The phrase was popularized by Ronnie who uses it to instigate a fight in the sixth episode of the first season. Online, it can be found a caption on photos of people standing in a position that looks as if they are challenging another person.
SnookieShop is a single topic blog that uses an exploitable cutout of Nicole “Snooki” Polizziplaced in a variety of different scenes and locations. Over the course of two weeks in February 2010, the blog received hundreds of user-submitted submissions. The blog ceased updating in August 2012.
Stawp it, Rahn!
Stawp it, Rahn! is a catchphrase attributed to Sammi “Sweetheart” Giancola, who frequently argues with her on-again, off-again boyfriend and fellow cast member Ronnie Ortiz-Magro throughout the series. It is typically used in image macros and GIF animations depicting dramatic exchanges between the couple. The unconventional spelling of the phrase “Stop it, Ron” can be construed as a phonetic translation of Sammi’s accent, commonly associated with the “Guido/ette” subculture
#shestooyoungforyoubro is a Twitter hashtag inspired by the bro-like banter that is common between Pauly D and Vinny throughout the show. In the second episode of season 4, the two were debating what the appropriate age of a potential date is when they started coming up with a variety jokes using stereotypes about pre-teen girls to explain when someone is too young to pursue. As of October 2012, the hashtag has been used nearly 8000 times on Twitter.
Search for “Jersey Shore” consistently peaks every summer as it is also a common slang term for New Jersey’s state beaches, however much larger peaks appear that coincide with the premiere of each new season.
fn9, The Hollywood Gossip – Jersey Shore’s Snooki Comes to SNL