For hilarity’s sake, it seemed too good to be true. After the huge buzz surrounding Tommy from MTV’s True Life, we finally got a reality show about eight guidos/guidettes living in a house together. “Jersey Shore,” which premiered this past Thursday night, was everything I hoped it would be and more. There was one aspect of the show that caught me totally off guard, however: I was planning on hating and making fun of the guidos on the show, but after just 20 minutes, I was faced with the reality that I really kind of liked these guys. In fact, I’d be pumped to party with them.
The whole guido craze is something that’s fascinated me for years. I couldn’t understand why guys would want to tan until they were orange and would wear their hair in spiky, absurd, product-saturated styles, all while boasting about their Italian heritage and steroid use. Even more confusing is the fact that girls found these guys attractive. Granted, they weren’t the types of girls I’d be particularly interested in – high heels, fake boobs, and, like their male counterparts, plenty of tanning and hair products. If you’ve ever been to Long Island or, obviously, the Jersey Shore, then you know just the type of guido or guidette I’m referring to. What kind of people make themselves look like that? What kind of subculture is this? How can you take seriously anybody that struts around like this:
Yeah. So, you can imagine my elation at learning that MTV was going to stick eight of these creatures together in one house and film the whole thing. This wasn’t going to be a reality show; it was going to be a documentary on the decay of our civilization. Interestingly, the guidos are proud of being guidos, and it seems to be a lifestyle they embrace. Being called a guido isn’t offensive, it’s a badge of honor for these guys.
In the opening moments of “Jersey Shore,” we’re introduced to the eight guidos and guidettes who will be living in the Jersey Shore house together, and each one tells us what it means to be a guido or guidette. Their answers are all pretty much the same and probably best summed up by one particular answer – “being a guido means family, friends, gel, tanning.” Of course, after hearing that, I’m ready to hate these guys and gals. After learning a bit more about them, though, I totally changed my tune. I still think the girls are pretty classless and trashy, but the guys…well, I think the guys kick ass. They live their lives without any consideration of responsibility or repercussion, and I think there’s something pretty appealing about that. More importantly, underneath the steroid muscles, ridiculous tans, and even more ridiculous hair, the guidos are just a bunch of guys who want to get drunk, party, and get laid. They’re really pretty harmless, all about fun, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Once you get past the outer-appearance (which, even I admit, isn’t easy), these guidos ain’t so bad at all.
Vinny is actually college educated (is it something like an online college? Maybe, but at least he values education) and seems like a very down-to-earth, reasonable guy. He’s chill and friendly, and when it’s time to let loose at night, Vinny goes all out. Vinny doesn’t look nearly as guido-ish as the others, as the insane hair and tanning aren’t really his thing. Ronnie is an absolute monster but pretty quiet and laid back, too. He’s got a great concoction he calls “Ron Ron Juice,” the perfect mixer for getting slammed and hitting up the Jersey Shore club scene. Pauly D is the most guido-looking of them all, a DJ with the trademark guido hairstyle and two big diamond earrings in his ears. During his introduction, he claims to sometimes hook up with other guys’ girlfriends, which I’d think was a bunch of bullshit if I didn’t see him in action. Say what you want about this guy’s look, but he definitely gets laid. A lot.
And finally, there’s Mike AKA The Situation – easily my favorite cast member of the Jersey Shore. The Situation is so over-the-top it’s hard to believe, but I think that there’s a sort of tongue-in-cheek to everything he says. At least, I hope there is. The Situation is a jacked, smooth-talking guido, and there’s no doubt in my mind that he gets plenty of ass, too. Even while sulking over Sammi “Sweetheart” hooking up with Ronnie, The Situation (I refuse to call him by anything else) had a girl waiting to hook up with him somewhere in the house.
The reason the guys are so likable to me – in addition to how they’re just all about having fun – is that right away, they were all cool with each other. No measuring up and no stand-offs, these guys were simply looking for fellow guidos to have fun with over the summer. Put a bunch of meatheads together, and they’ll combine their powers to maximize fun. Put a bunch of girls together, though, and the backstabbing and conniving will start almost immediately.
As for the girls…three out of the four have fake boobs, and all four think they’re way hotter than they actually are. They cake on makeup and aspire to hook up with the tannest, most jacked, guido-est guidos on the Jersey Shore. Sammi “Sweetheart” has already teased The Situation and then hooked up with Ronnie, although I don’t think that’s going to last very long. JWoww (yeah – JWoww) has a boyfriend back home, but that didn’t stop her from grabbing Pauly D’s pierced penis (and while we’re on this subject, the whole pierced penis thing really changed the way I look at Pauly D. That’s a big time commitment, and you don’t pierce your penis unless you’re truly a bad boy who’s scoring lots of guidette tail. Pauly D may look ridiculous, but he does steal girlfriends). Angelina – the only guidette with natural breasts – is my least favorite. She’s got a boyfriend back home, but for some reason feels the need to try and block all the guidos in the house from hooking up with girls from outside the house. What gives? As The Situation noted, she’s just a hater.
And then, of course, is the show’s token maniac trainwreck, Snickers. Actually, it’s Snooki, but the other members of the house call her Snickers since they have absolutely zero respect for her. During the first two episodes, Snickers got black-out drunk, tried to hook up with all four guys in the hot tub, was late for her first day of work, packed her bags and threatened to leave the show and go home, and brought home perhaps the scummiest guy on the entire Jersey Shore. As my friend Jake pointed out, he had the same voice as Mike Damone from Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Perhaps my favorite line of the entire episode came when guido-Damone and Snickers were hanging out on the roof and The Situation commented that they look cute together. “Your boy Mike is on the right page,” says guido-Damone. Amazing.
Essentially, The Jersey Shore is The Real World, except with guidos. The housemates have a stupid, do-nothing job working at a T-shirt store and get to spend the rest of their time getting wasted and partying. There’s going to be lots of unnecessary drama and plenty of fights this season on The Jersey Shore, and I’ll be watching every step of the way. I mean, why else would we watch? The remarkable thing, though, is that instead of hating and rooting against Vinny, Pauly D, Ronnie, and The Situation, I’m going to be enjoying their antics and wishing that I was the fifth guido for a summer of debauchery on the Jersey Shore. In fact, I’m going to hit the tanning bed and buy a few gallons of hair gel right now.