We’ve got a grenade on our hands with the Jersey Shore – Joseph Apac

“GTL”, “t-shirt time”, “smoosh”; for those who do not follow MTV’s hit reality show these are slang terms used to describe activities in which the Jersey Shore miscreants partake in. I thought I could just turn the other cheek to this show, but now that it’s invaded my bi-weekly Wegman’s grocery shopping stint I can no longer keep the muzzle on.  I was shopping for groceries and there I saw it: “The Situation’s” workout DVD. The gripe I have with this show is not so much what they’re doing on the show, because I’m a realist and a college student, and I know what goes on at clubs and bars, and in the lives of twenty-something year olds.  The gripe I have with this show and MTV in general is whom are they presenting this dribble.

Growing up there was always some sort of issue parents, groups, and people in general had with either controversial video games, TV shows, or musical artists. I never really understood what the issue was until now. I myself did a little research, and from what I’ve found is while the median age of MTV viewers are twenty-one, the target market for MTV is generally 12-24 year olds. If a twelve year old watching MTV doesn’t make you uneasy then something’s wrong with you. I know for a fact I do not want my little cousin watching Jersey Shore. The show more or less preaches casual sex and drinking, and while that may be normal for college students and adults, the same can’t be said for tweens. I know what you’re thinking; that’s why there are ratings for shows and parental controls on TVs. I agree there are these kinds of controls but what about the Internet, magazines, and friends. The fact of the matter is there will always be a way for kids to get access to something they can’t have (which is essentially the allure of underage drinking to many adolescents). Teens want what they can’t have and Jersey Shore is exactly what they shouldn’t have in their lives, a shallow and distasteful show.

What it boils down to is ratings, and if that’s all that MTV wants then they sure got it with this out of the ballpark hit. I’m just worried that if tweens are watching this show and finding role models in the likes of Snooki and The Situation, undeniably shallow people, I don’t want to be around when these tweens grow up. MTV is basically all reality TV shows and I have no problem with “reality TV” (if that’s what you believe is actually real, but that’s a whole other discussion).

I will, however, applaud MTV on a job well done with another one of their shows, Teen Mom. While I do believe that MTV is advocating casual sex and drinking on Jersey Shore, you have another show on the same network that follows teenage mothers and shows the struggles they face. I believe this is a show that can benefit people and possibly lower teen pregnancy. I even applaud MTV on the facts that at the end of every episode they show a message about the importance of practicing safe sex. I think having both shows on the same network is contradictory and they’re sending mixed messages, but that’s just my opinion.

Drop an opinion if you feel you have something to add or criticize, this is an opinion piece and all comments are welcome.


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