I saw only one show of Jersey Shore and it was enough to get me rather upset at the image portrayed of Italian-Americans.
That episode featured Vinny’s Mom and Uncle Gino coming down for a visit and dinner. Now Vinny is living in a completely degenerate environment where anabolic steroids, cheap promiscuous sex, and total sloth-like behavior comprise the norm. I imagine my mother visiting me there and not staying for more than 2 minutes, followed by her best attempts to get me out of that completely dead-end amoral environment. However, Vinny’s mother and Uncle seem absolutely delighted! They couldn’t have been happier with their darling Vinny`s decision to devote his life to lifting weights, taking steroids, and going after as much sex as possible — with as many different girls as possible — what parent wouldn’t be proud!
But it gets worse, while Vinny’s revolting pack of low-life “friends” loll around the house doing what they do best – nothing – his mom proceeds to cook up a storm of Italian-style food while Vinny brags in his vulgar tone “this is what Italian Moms do – they cook!” So the Mom not only is not appalled by her only son’s lifestyle, but implicitly condones it by cooking a feast for her son and his group of fellow degenerates. The Uncle Gino is even worse – he joins right in! Scenes of him in the hot tub smoking a cigar while ogling the unattractive Snooki, et al, are accompanied by cameos of Vinny telling us that Uncle Gino is an “OG, an original Guido” something we are supposed to find either clever or cute. I can’t decide which, because it is neither. Gino is a disgusting, barely literate slob who any American or Italian American, who has made any attempt at successful integration into this great nation would find beyond redemption.
Overall the image that Jersey Shore gives its audience of Italian-Americans is neither cute, clever, nor homey – it is simply insulting.
Article first published as Italian Anti-Defamation League Ought To Attack Jersey Shore on Technorati.
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