No more “Jersey Shore”? Can it be? Are we done with rude behavior?
In the same year that we mourned the passing of Andy Griffith, many are cheering the impending death of the reality show “Jersey Shore.” MTV announced that “Jersey Shore” is in its “last season amid falling ratings.”
The contrast between the two TV shows couldn’t be starker.
Andy Griffith, who played the kindly widowed sheriff, always was ready with a gentle response to the good-natured shenanigans in small-town Mayberry.
Not so in “Jersey Shore.” Even if you never watched the show, it was impossible to escape its influence. Excerpts of the show’s cast and their escapades were the delight of entertainment news. Their public drunkenness and brawls, their visit to Italy that some feared would lead to a permanent break in U.S.-Italian relations … just more fodder for the publicity machine.
Sad to say, there’s no shortage of uncivil behavior on TV. I can almost forgive Fox TV’s Chef Gordon Ramsay for his volatile outbursts in the kitchen. After all, we’re talking about chefs preparing food you wouldn’t serve to your dog. But Lifetime’s “Dance Moms” or … groan, TLC’s “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.” Just appalling.
We’re scraping the bottom of the gene pool here. Is this a case of art (TV) imitating life, or is it life imitating art?
That kind of behavior would have earned me a smack-down and grounding for life by my folks.
Remember when you could “agree to disagree?” When people always heard the other person out – politely – and each side benefited from a healthy exchange of views and opinions. Me, neither.
But now, it seems whether it’s reality shows or politics, the gloves are off and it’s every man, woman – or even child – for themselves.
The reactions are frequently explosive. Fuses are short. Backlash to a differing viewpoint sometimes turn violent. There’s a flurry of punches and a barrage of ugly, bleeped-out words. The fact that it’s played as entertainment on TV only encourages more folks, who want face time on TV and in the press, to be as nasty as they want to be.
Don’t cry for “Jersey Shore” cast members. Michael “The Situation” Sorrentino already landed another gig on “Celebrity Big Brother” on a UK network, and continues to rake in the big bucks. Snooki and JWoww are in their second season of production in their spinoff show.
But we won’t be better for the experience or exposure to this boorish behavior.
As fellow WordPress blogger, illustrator Mark Armstrong, points out, “The fact that rudeness seems to be the ‘new normal’ just makes things worse.”
COPYRIGHT NOTICE: Judy Berman and earthrider, 2011-15. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to (Judy Berman) and (earthrider, earth-rider.com, or earthriderdotcom) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
Video: Opening credits (theme song) of “The Andy Griffith Show”
Photo: Nicole “Snookie” Polizzi and Lisa Opie in a Virginia Beach nightclub. Photo taken Dec. 17, 2011 http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Nicole_Snooki_Polizzi_and_Lisa_Opie.jpg
Link to Mark Armstrong’s WordPress blog: http://markarmstrongillustration.com