Recently, MTV stated it was going to make a push into shows with a more positive social message. This resulted in "The Buried Life", a series that stands out as one of the best the channel has offered, with moments that were genuinely moving. While the teens in that show wanted to achieve their goals ("Tell a Joke on Late Night TV"), they also helped others make their dreams (reunite with a family member) come true, as well.
There's "The Buried Life", then there's "Jersey Shore", a series that makes "Paris Hilton's My New BFF" look like "Masterpiece Theater". That's not to say that there's no entertainment value in watching the folks of "Jersey Shore", who appear to have graduated from Derek Zoolander's Derek Zoolander Center For Children Who Can't Read Good And Wanna Learn To Do Other Stuff Good Too.
The only problem is that the entertainment value isn't slightly positive, and is often unintentional (in fact, the series offers some of the best unintentional laughs I've had in ages.) The folks of "Jersey Shore" include: Snooki, J-Wow, the Situation and a bunch of other people who apparently didn't realize that 15 minutes of fame takes coming up with a ridiculous name.
The series is a sloppy "Real World", showing a group of 20-somethings all coming together to live during the Summer in a house (love the wood paneling!) on the Jersey shore. The hilarity starts early; rather than introducing herself to the rest of the cast as Jenni, she introduces herself as "J-Woww" (the extra w should stand for "why?") What's impressive is that the guys and girls tell each other that they are more classy than everyone else on a series where the objective is pushing the envelope of getting messy and sloppy (and being proud of it!)
The series follows the group as they drink, try to hook up with people, work out, drink, make sure that they are covered in two tons of spray tan, pick fights, talk about how they're like a family for two seconds before distrusting each other again, dance in Jersey clubs until the break of dawn. The series isn't great television (and I'd recommend not thinking too much about what the show says about the future of humanity), but what makes it priceless is the sheer inability for any of the participants to realize what they look like or how they act, as they remain delightfully self-absorbed.
"Jersey Shore" (it's "the Hills" crossed with "Maury") feels like a better comedy sketch than "Saturday Night Live" has come up with in ages, but the issue would be that it's actually real - which just serves to make it all the funnier.
Season 2 sees the cast return, this time in Miami.
The set is uncensored (in terms of language.)
VIDEO: "Jersey Shore" is presented by Paramount in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. The presentation quality is just fine, as while video quality varies due to various filming techniques and lighting, the picture generally looks at least crisp and clean.
SOUND: Clear stereo soundtrack.
EXTRAS: Members of the cast (Snooki, Pauly D, The Situation) offer commentary and the results are hilarious. One scene has Snooki making out on the beach early in the morning as a tractor going over the sand suddenly passes by them - and one of the cast pops up with, "Oh, wow, that's romantic. That's romantic, with the tractor." We also get deleted scenes, "tips" from The Situation and Snooki, a "Jersey Shore" makeover for actor Michael Cera (the funniest thing on the disc), the reunion special and the "Before the Shore" featurette.
Final Thoughts: "Jersey Shore" is the furthest thing from classy, but the characters are so unaware of how they look and act that I found the series incredibly funny at times. The DVD presentation offers fine audio/video quality and a few nice extras.