Retro Review: Jersey Shore is not just trash TV

It’s way more than just “a reality TV show”

A shot from Jersey Shore introducing the characters with vibrant effects.

Photo Courtesy MTV

A shot from “Jersey Shore” introducing the characters with vibrant effects.

Meena Vasquez, A&E Editor

This review is part of a new RHSToday series where we review TV shows from before 2010 as if they were just released. 

Jersey Shore is THE reality show. Despite all the negative reviews it gets, a whopping 42% Rotten Tomatoes score and a 3.6/10 on IMDb, I don’t believe it deserves all the hate it receives.

The reality show is set in New Jersey – duh – and filmed from 2009-2012. This means all the 2000s fashion are embedded in this show, which I adore! Ed Hardy, Playboy, tinted glasses and anything else 2000s you could think of are always somewhere in a scene.

The show revolves around eight “guido/guidettes” housemates. Guidos are typically Italian-American, tanned, muscular men who are usually vain and aggressively masculine. Guidettes are the female version of a Guido, usually having a super feminine and sexual attitude. There are four guidos in the Jersey Shore house: Ronnie Ortiz-Magro, DJ Pauly D, Mike Sorrentino AKA “The Situation” and Vinny Guadagnino. Likewise, there are four guidettes: Jenni Farley “Jwoww,” Sammi Giancola “Sammi Sweetheart,” Nicole Polizzi “Snooki” and Angelina Pivarnick –  later replaced by Deena Nicole Cortese.

My personal favorite of the eight housemates is Snooki. Without her, the show wouldn’t be nearly as enjoyable and fun as it is. Snooki is THE guidette queen, and every time she’s on screen, I want to take whatever she’s wearing and put it in my closet.

The drama that came out of this show was hilarious, and in my opinion it is what made the show stand out. In fact, after Jersey Shore, reality TV shows skyrocketed in popularity. Even cartoon network tried to have its own reality TV shows to keep up with the trend.

When anyone calls Jersey Shore “trash,” I have to disagree. The show stood out and provided raw entertainment for the public to enjoy. It stands out as a show that did not script any of the drama, providing viewers with an actual look into these people’s lives.

The show is something that everyone still remembers too, even getting its own spinoff in 2020,  Jersey Shore: Family Vacation.  It also provided countless iconic quotes like “Stahp it Rahn!” and “It’s T-Shirt Time” and made a simple duck shaped phone famous.

I am now rewatching Jersey Shore and the times I’ve laughed are endless. Personally, I think this show deserves way more credit than it gets. It paved the road for new and modern reality TV shows and without it, I don’t think pop culture would survive.