I Know Who Snooki Is and Yes, I Saw Her Get Punched.

I’ll admit it.  I more than “know” who Snooki is, I have actually watched an episode and a half of MTV’s Jersey Shore.   I also watch Million Dollar Listing, The Real Housewives (doesn’t matter where they are from, I watch them), Prep School and before it was taken off the air, Rock of Love. And, to prove that I am not totally stuck in the gutter when it comes to my reality television viewing, I’ll add that I regularly watch Top Chef and MTV’s Teen Moms and True Life. Those shows have some educational value, right?  

I could say that I watch reality television as a way of staying current.  Or, better yet, that I do it as a way to monitor what my 16-year-old is watching.  If I am also watching then she and I can discuss how disgusting it was that Snooki was punched by a drunk male teacher.  Together we can examine how tough it is for teen moms to parent.  We can bond over discussion centered on how Bret Michaels has gone too far with the Botox and wonder how much hair is left under his bandana.   And discuss it we do.  But the truth is, I watch these shows because I can’t help myself!

It’s true, I’m addicted.  I like to think of myself as well-read and sophisticated and when it comes to some things, I am.  I watch documentaries and listen to NPR.  If I am home during the day, CNN is on.  But when the sun goes down and I am ready to turn my brain off for the day, I turn to Bravo, MTV or E! to help me numb (dumb) out.

I grew up watching Norman Lear’s classics: Maude, All in the Family and The Jeffersons.  I loved Mash.  As a child I definitely watched too much television, but at least it wasn’t junk.  I learned about racism, women’s rights and the clearly dysfunctional but somehow functioning family.   I laughed and cried and didn’t feel like I needed to take a shower after watching.  TV shows such as those are a thing of the past.   Yes, occasionally  a great series does make it to air and if we are really fortunate will last a season or two. Friday Night Lights comes to mind as do The Office and Monk. Shows such as these are the exception and not the rule.  There hasn’t been a show as great as Freaks and Geeks since Freaks and Geeks and that is nothing short of a travesty.

I am aware that I am part of the problem.  The fact that I eagerly lap up cheap to produce reality TV drivel encourages producers and networks to serve up more of the same.  It is a vicious cycle, no?   If I can redeem myself slightly it is by saying that even I have limits.  I refuse to watch the Charm School franchise or anything that involves cheating or repeated use of the word “hoe.” Which brings me to this, I stopped watching Rock of Love when the bus came into play. Even I have my standards.

Time to ‘fess up, do you too know who Snooki is?

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11 responses

  1. Everything in moderation.

    Unfortunately shows of old are just too expensive to make these days compared to today’s reality shows where all one needs are some narcissistic suckers and a camera crew.

    However, because of the “punch” there is no way I’m going to watch that Jersey crap. I’ll stick to the millionth season of Survivor and the most unreal reality show, The Bachelor(ette).

    Don’t get me started on the HWofATL where none are married and they all live in rented houses in Duluth.

  2. you had me up until you said your tv was on CNN if/when you were home.. i’m a fox news kinda guy.. that’s okay, i know you live in California and you’re supposed to watch CNN..(i do love La Jolla though, can’t wait to get back)…and Tommy, the so called “house wives” of Atlanta are a real embarrassment. and the sad part, they really think that they are celebrities..seen it once, and thats all it took..i’ll stick to Survivor, and still try to get on the show…and i’ll admit, i did watch sex rehab with dr. drew..although, i didn’t know any of the people on there..

  3. god, that show gives italian americans a bad name. I saw and was horrified by the snookie punch, mostly because there is never an excuse for violence against women (no matter how annoying) and secondly because it wasn’t fatal.

    • That’s funny. Yes, you are correct of course, there is absolutely no excuse for violence against women and to tell you the truth I am surprised that a bigger deal isn’t being made over that punch. I read today that another advertiser has pulled the plug on the show (Dell) because of the portrayal of Italian Americans but so far no huge outcry over the violence. Maybe because MTV didn’t actually air that scene? Regardless, it is disgusting. The ratings are at an all time high though, so what does that say?

  4. I don’t know but frankly as an Italian-American if this is the new stereotype I think I’d prefer the “all Italians are mobsters” stereotype at least mobsters aren’t orange painted, steroid popping, douchebags with anime hair.

    the first “real world” series was fresh and entertaining & it’s gone raoidly downhill since.

    • In general, I don’t like the use of stereotypes, not very imaginative. Interesting though that the “cast” of Jersey Shore are “real” people who don’t think they are doing anything to demean their heritage.

      The first season of The Real World was indeed entertaining. I don’t want to sound like a granny but I find that show to be absolutely pointless now. The first season (and a for a couple after that) they dealt with some pretty interesting topics, now it’s all about hooking up and f**king off.

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