Saturday, January 8, 2011

Jersey Shore Season 3 - Is it About Being Italian American? -- Who Watched?

Yes, I watched. So apparently Season 3 of Jersey Shore was the most viewed premiere for MTV ever! Over 8 million people watched! Wow! Really. Why are they watching? What's in this show that people love so much? As I watched that night, I was on Facebook following many of my friends status updates about the show; what I found was that many have such an interest in the show because A. either it reminds them of growing up at the Jersey Shore in the summers or B. They think its such a train wreck that they find it amusing to watch bad behavior.

This led me to start thinking, what part of this show or any part of this show is symbolizing Italian American? I have to say nothing! I do believe in Season one there was more of a lure from the creators or the network to use a lot or include any footage that symbolized something Italian American, such as the garage door of the house, where a largely painted door showed the Italian flag.

If you watched and listened carefully to this week's show, you'll hear less of any Italian American reference. I guess all the backlash from the Italian American community really made an impact on the use or reference of stereotyping of Italian Americans.

Again, we have to be aware that even though many parts of the show are blown up or exaggerated, you have to realize that people like Snookie, Mike "Situation" and Pauly D. are real and many people who happen to be Italian American do flock to the Jersey Shore and do the whole shore thing. It's definitely a culture on its own in New Jersey, but we know its not 100% Italian American.

I read a recent New York Post article where they interviewed James Gandolfini and asked him what he thought about the Jersey Shore show and the kids in it..he had an interesting response.. go here to read more.


FilipinoAmerGirl said...

The worse case of Italian stereotyping. Just imagine if there was a Filipino American version of that show? It would be just as controversial and would receive a lot of attacks from other Filipinos, especially famous ones like boxer Manny Pacquiao. I'm Filipino myself and I've seen some young Filipinos act loud and thuggish like those kids on Jersey Shore.

And the next thing you know, there's been current controversy over the Mafia II video game. Here's the article:

It's also stereotyping Italians. It's just as worse as the Jersey Shore guido controversy.

Italian American Girl said...

Well said.

Italianthro said...

Ahem, my comment doesn't seem to have gone through...

No, Jersey Shore is not about being Italian, especially since half the cast isn't: Snooki is from Chile, another girl is Irish and Spanish, and one of the guys is half Puerto Rican.

Canada is putting together its own version of the show called Lake Shore, which focuses much more on ethnicity (Italian plus others) and is already stirring controversy.

And those Mafia II protests are even dumber. It's a video game based on movies and shows CREATED BY ITALIAN-AMERICANS. That Andre DiMino guy really needs to get a life.

Vivian Cardinale said...

Ciao Margaret!

I know the season premiere was a while ago but had to comment. I have never seen the show! I'm Italian-American and grew up spending every summer in Italy. The experience I've had being Italian is nothing like the stereotypes I find myself presented with again and again (once had a high school teacher ask me to tell the class what I knew about the Mafia, since I was Italian!) That being said, I can understand if people find enjoyment of some sort from watching Jersey Shore, and am not offended by it since I don't really relate to it anyway.

I really enjoy reading your blog! I think you're a good representation of what it means to be Italian-American -Brava!!! Hope you will stop by my blog when you have a chance, I write about Italian food and life as well, but in a different way. Grazie mille!!!