Jersey Shore and the Ashes of our Childhood Memories

Pop Culture

Jersey Shore and the Ashes of our Childhood Memories

Illustration: Palak Bansal

One of the great pleasures of being alive, one of the true reasons we walk the Earth, is to witness other people fuck up. Especially when they’re drunk. It’s always a sight to behold, going in directions our minds and wallets can neither predict nor understand. Perhaps we’re not even meant to understand them, for we just exist to be witnesses to such fuckups, and remember them when we’re old and grey.

In 2009, MTV decided to monetise drunk behaviour, by adding a dash of sexual tension and a whorl of Italian swagger. It brought Jersey Shore into our homes. The show was hypnotic from the onset, placing six tanned and ripped American-Italian men and women in a house near clubs. What ensued, was madness.

The characters included Snooki, the breakout star who penetrated the older demographic; Angelina, probably a psycho who slapped everyone; Deena, whose favourite pastime was to pull down her shorts after shots; Jenni, aka JWOWW who was badass; and Ronnie and Sammy, who got together on the first day of a sexcation becoming this generation’s Ross and Rachel (only, more tanned and with less grey matter than the average Rohit Shetty protagonist.)

I am not even going to pretend. The show was so glorious in its stupidity, its ironic lens unwavering, that it left me and other millennials with a ton of memories, more than enough to last a lifetime. But then news arrived today that Jersey Shore was returning in 2018 with the original cast. This is all kinds of wrong.

No one wants to see her grind and puke on dudes after getting drunk or try to have sex with a tree

It’s cool when people in their mid-20s are getting drunk and partying and living in a house with confusion about sex and hair gel and terminology (DTF for the win). In fact, it pretty much summarises my twenties. But it’s a little sad when people in their mid-30s are doing the same thing. I cannot end up like that!

Snooki is now a mother and no one wants to see her grind and puke on dudes after getting drunk, or you know, try to have sex with a tree. No one, especially, wants to see MVP aka Mike The Situation, Vinnie, and Pauly D, reunite and try to pick up women (and some teenagers… ewww) who are DTF.

From an entertainment POV too, this trope is extremely unimaginative. The conflict arising from non-celebrities living together, only works when we’re interested in the construct around it, like Splitsvilla in India. The show is interesting because of the layer of romantic dynamics and hilarious background music choice, not because of dumb shit dumb people do. The layer around Jersey Shore is merely freedom, sex, drinks, fist-pumping, and the party life, which, newsflash, doesn’t really work with 40-year-old characters. The potential entertainment value of the show is a logical fallacy and it breaks my heart.

I mean I know desperate times call for desperate measures, but MTV can’t be desperate enough to call The Situation back. The channel should also recognise that the show’s original watchers — millennials like me — have kinda/sorta grown up, and it’s sad to see them digging up our guilty pleasures from the grave. There is no upside to this, only a black, nay, tan hole. It will swallow everything, including young women who will have to sleep with MVP, the people who will even speak with Ronnie, and the people touched by Snooki. And the sweet, alcoholic memories of our teenage years. Rest in peace.