I have to start by admitting that I don’t watch this show much anymore (it’s true), but that hasn’t always been the case. For the first three or four seasons Jersey Shore was a staple on my DVR and probably still would be if not for reasons that pulled me in to begin with.
What originally got me hooked on the show were two main things. First, it quickly became a stable of pop culture that I could reference in almost any social context and almost anyone would actually know what I was talking about. This was a major bonus for me as a college teacher, where being able to make a joke about something that over half of my students understand is a rare success. Second, I loved the characters. They were so bad in so many ways–self-absorbed, viewing all their problems as someone else’s fault, and having low self-insight, to name a few key qualities. When you threw them all together it was like seeing a car accident, I just couldn’t look away. For the most part, these characters were a type of people I just don’t come across much in my relatively mundane life as a college professor, and so there was real fascination on my part watching these characters interact.
But then my interest in the show seemed to fade for ironically the same reasons it started in the first place. First, ratings started taking a nose dive, and when I would talk about the Jersey Shore people would react to me not as if I was riding the wave of pop culture but instead was living in the past. Second, despite the novelty of these characters, like anything new our fascination with it fades overtime. I had seen the same storylines play out too much that the joke was now on me to keep watching and hoping that something might change. So at some point, I’m not sure when, I gave up on Jersey Shore, despite the fact that it is still recording on my DVR. Like a fading romantic relationship, it will probably take that new vice to come along for me to officially put that final nail in the Jersey Shore coffin–the turning off of the auto-record.