The Captain Has Fifteen Years Of Summers Ruined By MTV

Now that MTV’s epic television show/fail known as Jersey Shore has ended, I feel the need to say a few things.  I’ve loved the Jersey Shore since I was a little kid, which makes said show equal parts horrifying and incredible.  But before I go there, a little background.

The first time I went to the Jersey Shore was 1979.  Here’s a pic of a one year old Captain at Ocean City, New Jersey.

I lived in New Jersey until I was four and my parents split.  I moved with my mom and sister to St. Louis, and my dad stayed in New Jersey.  For the next fifteen years my sister and I spent a month with my father every summer in New Jersey.  There were many highlights to these summer visits such as Six Flags Great Adventure, The Bridgewater Commons mega-mall, the horse farm next to my grandma’s house in Philly, and trips to New York City.  But usually at the top of my list was a trip to the Jersey Shore.

As an ocean lover who spent most of the year landlocked, I relished the chance for beach time.  And since the Jersey Shore was the only beach I ever went to, I had no idea that there were nicer beaches elsewhere.  So I spent 19 years thinking the Jersey Shore was one of most beautiful places in my life1.  One of the best summers of my childhood was when my dad rented a beach house at Point Pleasant Beach for a week.

When my sister and I were young we spent most of our time playing in the ocean.  As we got older we gravitated more towards the boardwalk; it’s practically designed for teenagers:  games, shops, arcades, food and no parental supervision!

Since graduating high school I’ve only been to the Jersey Shore once and that was eight years ago.  So at this point, most of my views on the Jersey Shore are heavily tinted through nostalgia filled glasses.  With that being said, I’m still pissed that MTV has effectively ruined something I loved so much as a kid.

Actually, let me qualify that statement. I watched every episode of Jersey Shore on MTV and I understand why so many people watched the show.  The producers started with the highly successful Real World template for a show: filling a house with eight walking stereotypes.  But the ingenious move was that they picked eight of the same stereotype instead of eight different stereotypes.  If everyone watches The Real World for the Puck character, why not put eight Pucks in the house instead of one?

Their instincts were correct.  Watching eight Guido stereotypes consume massive amount of alcohol and fight with each other is some compelling television, especially when they are so willfully unaware of how their actions will look on television.  I love mocking vain idiots from the comfort of home, especially when they are as dumb as The Situation and Snookie.

While I admit that the show is highly entertaining, my problem with the show is the location selected by the producers2.  Most of these idiot kids on the show are from New York, but their moronic nonsense will now forever be associated with the Jersey Shore.  The show could just as easily been called Long Island Summer House or Queens Night Club and been pretty much the same thing.  It’s not like New Jersey has the monopoly on Guido stereotypes; remember these three from the Daily Show last year.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Long Island Wants to Secede
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog</a> The Daily Show on Facebook

Now when I tell a story about playing putt putt and the Jersey Shore or my favorite ice cream stand with the Dreamsicle soft serve cones someone is bound to ask me if I was also wasted in a hot tub or pumping my fist while doing said activity.  The Jersey Shore already had enough image problems, dammit!  Why can’t MTV just stick to ruining music?

Ciao,

The Captain

1.  I about fell over the first time I went to Florida and saw how pretty the beaches were on the Gulf side.  I didn’t realize that ocean water was supposed to be blue and not have garbage floating in it.

2.  I will say that if it had to be the Jersey Shore, I’m glad they picked Seaside Heights.  My dad always thought Seaside Heights was ghetto and took us a bit further north to Point Pleasant.  I would have been much more mortified if the house was at Point Pleasant.

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