Hello TVRagers, welcome to the another edition of my very own special feature “Rachel’s Ray of Sunshine!” Here on staff I am commonly known as not only a raging Canuck but I am often referred to as “adorable” and “too nice” and “polite.” I try and always look on the bright side of things in life and strive to find some good in anything. What started out as a little running joke, that I could find good in even the most terrible things, has turned into this feature. Can I bring out the good in the world’s worst television shows? I think so. Here comes the sun (do-do-do-do)!
I think we all knew it would come to this. Instead of avoiding it like the plague, I have decided to tackle one of the most popular reality television shows of all time for this installment of Ray of Sunshine: ‘Jersey Shore.’ What can you say about a show like ‘Jersey Shore?’ Some things are just so bad (so, so bad) that they seem to transcend the boundaries of bad and loop back around to being good. You know how sometimes you watch a really terrible movie, but you love it so much just for how terrible it really is? The sheer level of failure that went into the making of the film makes it all the more fun, entertaining and enjoyable. That is what ‘Jersey Shore’ is like. Having steadfastly avoided the show for the years that it was on the air, I have sacrificed brain cells to bring to you some peaks of sunshine through the clouds created by this reality television storm.
To write this article I had to Google things like “The Situation six pack”, “Snooki arrested” and “Jersey Shore cast at the beach.” I found myself browsing through many pictures, some of which I am not sure I will ever be able to burn from my memory with videos of puppies and kittens. Watching a few episodes and reading more about ‘Jersey Shore’ than I had ever imagined I would, I have come to the conclusion that there are some good things to come from this show. First, the cast of ‘Jersey Shore’ exhibits some good lifestyle habits (among the dozens, and dozens of other questionable ones). GTL (gym, tan, laundry) appears to be the life philosophy of a “guido” from what I have gathered. To be honest, couldn’t we all use a little time in the gym? Keeping physically active and, uh, smelling fresh by doing laundry is nothing to turn your nose up at. As for the “tan” portion, I would have a problem if it wasn’t well established through simply looking at an image of the cast that they prefer the spray tan variety to get that healthy orange glow.
The hard-partying ways of the ‘Jersey Shore’ cast imparted a few helpful tips for those clumsy and uncoordinated dance rejects like me to use “in the clubs.” Don’t know how to dance? Fist pump. Really like the song that is playing? Fist pump. Want to look like you are kind of mad and get a herniated disc in your shoulder at the same time? Fist pump. Additionally, ‘Jersey Shore’ widened viewers’ vernacular with slang terms like “grenade” and “landmine.” What do those mean? I had to look it up. Here is a situational explanation of the terms from The Situation "Ronnie is at the club hooking up with Grenades, OK? That is a bigger ugly chick -- and then also Landmines, which is a thin ugly chick." The distinction is important, I gather.
How about this one: ‘Jersey Shore’ was good for the economy. Stop laughing, I am serious. According to a poll conducted by Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind, 43% of people who watch ‘Jersey Shore’ have a positive view of New Jersey, whereas a slightly lower 41% of people who don’t watch the show have the same response. Since the show went on the air, tourism in the Jersey Shore has increased substantially. The show has been credited with increasing town revenue by 20% in beach and parking fees, restaurants, shops and rentals. Nothing like the sight of Snooki being dragged half-conscious off the beach in handcuffs to make you want to pack up and go to the shore.
After six highly successful seasons on the air it is safe to say that most of the ‘Jersey Shore’ cast members ended their 15 minutes of fame on a high note. The series was taken off the air while it was still popular and bringing in record breaking numbers. There must be something about watching a group of 20-something’s make bad decisions that inspires and engages audiences around the world. Like I always try to say, you can find a little ray of sunshine in almost anything, even if you prefer to use spray tans.
What television show would you like to see get the 'Ray of Sunshine' treatment?
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