The first time I watched an episode of Jersey Shore I felt like I was back in maths class trying to learn trigonometry – I basically couldn’t understand a single thing the teacher said. Whilst staring at the tv screen, I literally could not understand what the people said or did. I thought my understanding would unfold as the show continued. Nope. I then started saying to people, “Have have you watched this Jersey Shore thing? I can’t understand it at all! Who are these people and why do they look and behave so strangely?”
South Africa pop culture is heavily influenced by American pop culture which means Jersey Shore shouldn’t have been a reach for us 20-somethings, however, everything about them just seemed odd. Why are they orange? Why are white people ORANGE?!?! What the hell is a Guido?! Maybe Oompa Lumpas were actually Guidos! Why do they have hair cuts of rappers in the 90’s? Ed Hardy is Ed HARDLY stylish. Their slang was next level – another surprising comment from a South African who constantly uses terms like “lank”, “okes” and “fully”.
After watching a few shows and being completely puzzelled, I came to learn to accept them like any other culture foreign from my own. There’s no understanding why Chinese people eat deep fried scorpions, it’s just their vibe. There’s no understanding why the Kombai tribe invert their penises, it’s just do. There’s no reason why the Jersey Shore stars get into bar fights, have orange faces, expose half their bodies, have a ridiculous amount of casual sex and thrive on GTL (Gym, Tanning, Laundry).
Once I stopped trying to understand them, I started enjoying the show. Their behaviour is terrible (isn’t that the point of trash TV?) but they seem quite loyal to one another and apart from the one couple who couldn’t stop fighting (they were painful), the Jersey Shore crew are quite a hoot.
“Mike ‘The Situation’ Sorrentino and Ronnie (Ortiz-Magro), two of the stars of the hit MTV reality show, told E! News that they will be travelling to South Africa in February to make personal appearances for their endorsement deals.” – News24.com
“I’d like to meet me an authentic South African girl,” – News24.com. I hate to think of any beautiful South African women hooking up with ‘The Situation’ and his affiliates, but I’ve also seen a few tweets with “Yes”, ‘Jersey Shore’ and ‘Tiger Tiger’ all in the same 160 characters, so maybe some South African women are meant for these strange Americans.