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 cast was named as one of the "Top 10 Most Fascinating People" in the 2010 list from Barbara Walters. Apparently, the "People Trying to Solve Cancer" were not fascinating enough, or maybe they were bumped off the top 10 list by Justin Bieber. It's good to know society's priorities are in order.
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 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 (or get in a catfight), 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 and take being obnoxious to new and remarkable levels.
The third season of the series sees the cast return to the Jersey Shore and the house that has enough wood paneling to build Noah's ark. We also get a new cast member in Deena, Snooki's best friend who acts like Snooki, which results in two Snookis too many. This season largely follows along with the core concepts of the prior seasons (fighting, drinking, MVP, GTL, DTF, LOL, WTF, OMG, ETC and other abbreviations) More specifically, there's a particular scene from a couple of seasons ago that describes the show to a T, where the guys and girls went in separate cars. The guys are silent, looking out the windows while the girls are screaming at each other in the other car.
This time around, Sam finds herself in a 3-on-1 situation against the other girls, which results in a season that's full of the girls either getting into catfights or creating their own drama elsewhere (Snooki gets arrested for public drunkenness and then - in a classic moment that actually shows the parents of these people care - Snooki's dad screams at her for acting like a mess. The B-story is, once again, Ron and Sammi, who take their yelling and fighting to levels seen on Lifetime Moves of the Week. Meanwhile, the guys try to ignore everything else (although Vinny gets an amusing line during a fight between the girls: "What does audacious mean?") and hook up with local girls.
"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 4 sees the cast return, this time in Italy.
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: Reunion special, after shows, photo shoot, deleted/extended scenes/hook-ups and confessionals.
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.