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Jersey Shore Critical Analysis

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Submitted By samhump3
Words 2020
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Jersey Shore Critical Analysis
I chose to do Jersey Shore for my Critical Analysis, not because it is my favourite show, but there is a lot of stereotype, and scripted events that relate to the younger viewers. This includes the commercials, and some of the things these characters are involved in. This Critical Analysis will break down this Television series, and will discuss what the characters do to create the image they are trying to achieve when airing this show. Will also discuss the ethical implications this series can have on the public, and how we behave because of this.
In terms of gender, this show makes a clear difference in the actions between the men and the women. The men are often in the gym, or getting their haircut together, whereas the women go to the salon together, go to the beach, and there is a clear difference between what they do together. There are now a lot of relationships in the house, and this makes the way each gender acts extremely different. The male is often more dominant in the relationship, and the women seem to be more fragile. This was shown when Jenni was mad at her boyfriend Roger for ignoring her calls, but as soon as she confronted him, he took control of the conversation and immediately put his dominance across. There are many times in the show where they show that the women do have some sort of control or equality in the house, when they often show Mike doing the cooking, and the men cleaning. This could be to show that the women do have some sort of power, and that there is no hierarchy in the house. In terms of sexual references, they put across that the women near the shore are more concerned about having sex, rather than being in a relationship, and settling down. They show the men with many numbers, and many different contacts, and they show the very fragile women just coming over to visit whenever the men want, and then leaving shortly after in a taxi. This shows how the gender plays a huge role in this show, and is a theme that consistently appears in every episode.
There are many stereotypes depicted in this series, and the first one that is often mentioned throughout the programme is the ‘Guido image’. This can range from big muscles, tattoos, wild or daring haircuts, confidence, and ‘swag’ (often matching colours on shoes and clothes, as well as jewellery). The Guido image for women consists of big breasts, hair extensions, tight dresses, nice nails, and often does the ‘jersey turnpike’ move. This image is not realistic with the American society but it has somehow become popular, and somewhat accepted in the public eye, even though I personally see it as a trashy image. They have the stereotype of young people who are very uneducated, unintelligent, and whose main goal is to go out and get drunk. I think it shows the young American public in a bad light, because there are people that like to go out and have a good time without getting drunk or getting into fights. Also, just because the younger generation enjoys going out does not mean they are uneducated or just interested in getting with women, and getting drunk. Jersey Shore helps depict the younger generation in a bad light, and can have a bad image on the younger men and women of our society. They also stereotype women as uneducated, irresponsible, and fragile. They show the women on the show saying things that most people would know not to be true; such as ‘I don’t like eating food like lobster because it is alive when you kill it’. These sorts of quotes perceive our generation in a bad way, and all they care about is going out wearing revealing clothes, and eventually going home with a guy that they have just met. This shows no sign of realism whatsoever, as this sort of situation does not occur on a regular basis. Just because people go to bars, doesn’t mean that what happens on Jersey Shore happens in ‘real life’.
In terms of commercials, there are many throughout the show. There are 7 commercials played from the start to finish, and they seem to stay on for very long periods of time. In an hour long television slot, they probably have about 40 minutes of the actual show, and 20 minutes of commercials. There have been instances where companies have pulled their commercials from the show. This includes Domino’s Pizza and Dell computer software. They claimed that their companies’ philosophy is not in keeping with the show, and they do not want to be associated with the show in that way. The commercials that I saw included pregnancy tests, and Trojan commercials for contraception. They also had helplines that said if you are having unprotected sex, or think that you could be pregnant then call this number. This shows that the programme is showing a lot of sexual situations, and the commercials are trying to reiterate that protective sex is still extremely important, regardless of what is being aired. There are also commercials such as Treseme, Loreal, and other hair and make-up products that are heavily advertised during the show. This is to relate to the younger viewers, which think the women in the show look good, need to buy the product that they are advertising. Another commercial was ‘6 hour power’ which is similar to a 5 hour energy. This commercial starred Snooki and Deena from the show, and this obviously was in keeping with Jersey Shore being aired at the time. Snooki and Deena constantly have energy, and by using these in the commercial, it tries to show that the reason they have energy is because of this product, which is obviously not the case.
The show is incredibly predictable. Not only do they show constant previews of what is coming up later in the show, or what is coming up on next week’s show; they also have the same situations occurring over and over and over again. They always have some sort of fight, or argument, or hook up. The show is somewhat addicting and entertaining, because watching reality shows in extreme situations is fun to watch. Watching couples cheat on their partners and then confess what they have done, for some reason, is entertaining. This show is one of them programmes that you watch every week, but you don’t really enjoy it, or know why you like it. Everybody knows what is going to happen, and people do question if the show is scripted to some extent. I think it is certainly scripted, because I do not believe some of the things that occur in the episode, such as Pauly D’s stalker. I do not think this would happen, and I think they script it, to give viewers a reason to keep watching. On some episodes, there is only one good part, yet this is the part they show in the preview, to make it seem like more happens than what actually does. The predictability does not stop viewers from watching the show because you still want to see it happen.
There are many ethical implications throughout the episodes I saw. I think they have a negative impact on the younger generations and how they act in society. They think that it is acceptable to get so drunk that they cannot control themselves; they will start to think it is acceptable to go to a strangers house for the night, and they may even think it is okay to fight if you feel the need to. This show has many negative impacts on the younger society, and this could continue to be a problem in the future. The lifestyle the characters on Jersey Shore have is very unrealistic, yet MTV perceive the show in a realistic way, making it seem acceptable to the viewers of the show. It also shows that you can be late to work, or even not show up, and it will be okay. This show just makes it seem like life can be easy if you want it to be, and you will not have any negative consequences, but that is not the case in real life. This ‘reality’ show is having negative ethical implications on real life. They also show the relationships in the house as purely sexual. They never show Snooki and Gianni do anything other than drunk together, and be sexual together, so this is showing the younger viewers that relationships consist of these factors, whereas there is a lot more to a relationship than that. The main ethical implication is that they show beauty as skin deep. They put all their focus into what they wear, and how they look, and they are completely judged on that, and they are put across to the public that this is all that’s important if you want to be accepted in society or successful in life. They are showing that if you have fake breasts, or tattoos, or big muscles, then that’s the only way you can be seen as attractive, and this is causing a huge change in society, and how we dress on a daily basis.
This brings me to what they wear and how they dress. It is completely superficial on many cases. The guys often wear tight t-shirts that show off muscles, with jeans, and shiny watches, and necklaces. They even go as far as to wearing sunglasses in the club, just to put across that they have ‘made it’. The guys will match the colours of their shoes with the colour of their outfits, and they will often be revealing the tattoos on their body. They wear expensive and fashionable clothes which I am sure are funded by the show, and this puts across that this is the only way you can look cool and confident. The women wear tight dresses, or crop t-shirts that look extremely revealing. These outfits show a lot of the body off, and highlight the nice figures that the characters have. This makes the viewer’s think that in order to look like them, they need big breasts, and a nice curvy figure, with the top of the range branded dresses, in order to look or feel like they look and feel. One of the characters, Mike, would often wear Abercrombie clothes around the house when he would be on the show, and the clothing company actually offered to pay him money to not wear the clothes, because they believed it was bad for their brand image, and was not in keeping with who they want to sell or appeal to.
The show does not get good ratings, as realistically it is not a great show, however it attracts the younger viewers who enjoy watching reality television, as It does serve a purpose for entertainment, and can be enjoyable to watch. Many people agree that the show is repetitive, and predictable, but the show is still fun to watch because of what happens on the show. There are many constant themes such as fighting, sex, and alcohol, and these all occur on every episode, yet they still manage to make every episode different enough, to keep the viewers interested, and watching the show till the end. These themes are themes that appeal to the younger generation viewers of today, and that is why it attracts so many people to the show, because people can relate to a lot of the circumstances that occur in the programme. This show is enjoyable because I can relate to it to some extent, as it is an exaggerated lifestyle of what many college students live by (extremely exaggerated). I will continue to watch the rest of the show, but after breaking it down and analysing it, the fact that the show is very stereotypical, and somewhat fixed, I will not be able to watch it in the same way.…...

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