Editor’s Note: The following is written by guest blogger, and ‘Lightning Jack’ enthusiast, John Kazanovicz.
People see the last name Kazanovicz and do not think Italian. They think Polish, Russian or possibly Ukrainian. Well the name is Polish as that is where my father’s family comes from. However, my mother’s maiden name is D’Agnelli. Do you see that name? There are two capital letters and an apostrophe. It does not get much more Italian than that.
And as my mother was the one that did all of the cooking and taught most of the cultural aspects of my childhood, I was raised Italian. We had family dinners at my grandmother’s house every Sunday until we all got too old and sports started getting in the way. We wore Orange on Saint Patrick’s Day as way of showing our protest to the Irish getting their day and us getting jack squat. An Italian with a Polish last name living in a town where you were either Irish or Italian.
Now that the history lesson is out of the way, you are probably wondering what the hell this has to do with anything. I’ll tell you: Jersey Shore Season 4 is coming back August 4th. This year* the cast has been sent to Italy where they are partying throughout the Boot Nation. A trailer for this international debacle has just been released and let me say this; How are these idiots still famous?
I must confess, I was totally in when they first went to the Jersey Shore. The hilarity of their stupid catch phrases, drunken rampages, and idiotic nicknames was funny, and it made the show worth watching. But now, somehow they are actually famous individuals**. The Situation is a character of himself trying to become a global icon. Ronnie and Sammi Sweetheart have broken up, gotten back together, broken up, gotten back together about 500 times in the course of three seasons and Ronnie is a pitchman for some diet pills. DJ Pauly D gets up to $50,000 to spin at night clubs. JWOWW and Snooki have their own clothing lines. These individuals are not regular people anymore. The basic premise of the show is now gone.
So I was out this year on watching it. I said that unless they get a new cast and bring them to the Jersey Shore I was out. I didn’t want to see Snooki do a cartwheel in a mini-dress again. I didn’t want to see Ronnie crying over a fight he had Sammi. I didn’t want to see any of them again. Then the trailer for the new season came out…
Um…Did Ronnie murder the Situation? Did he get in a roid rage and beat the situation so badly that the EMTs had to come and put him on a stretcher? Did Snooki murder two cops by rear ending a police car in a smart car? Did JWOWW’s boobs get bigger? Is Vinnie going to meet the love of his life? How badly can the cast ruin US-Italian foreign relations?
Lets break down the 18 seconds of the trailer (1:44 to 2:02 in the above trailer) where Ronnie might have committed attempted murder***. For about 11 seconds the Situation is screaming about Ronnie and his relationship with Sammi. But by the end of this ramble you can no longer make out what the Mike is screaming about. Then we see Ronnie push Sammi out of the way, a cut, and then Mike is on the floor looking half dead with his eyes rolling into the back of his head. Cut to Sammi crying, JWOWW looking comatose from shock followed by Mike being brought out on a stretcher.
These 18 seconds pulled me back. To quote Al Pacino from Godfather 3 “Just when I thought I was out… they pull me back in.” I am going to watch this entire season until I see Ronnie knock out the Situation. I (and most of the American Public) have wanted to knock him out for years now.
Here is how far reaching the Jersey Shore phenomena has reached. Last Christmas dinner at my Aunt’s house the entire Italian family had a long discussion about the show and the negative connotations that it puts on Italian-Americans. My 84 year old grandmother had heard of the show. Granted she had no idea what it was but she had heard about it on 60 minutes. All of us said that show was ridiculous and awful but about 85% watched it every week. What does that say about us?
So I was planning on not watching but now I am back. My mom will make fun of me, asking “How I could watch such garbage?” Well I’ll tell you why Mom; for those 18 seconds of the new trailer, where everything in the Jersey Shore world seems right. They appear to be intoxicated or under the influence of something. They are arguing and someone ends up on the ground. Does this make me proud to be an Italian-American. No, not at all. But it does make me happy to love crappy reality television.
* Its more of a half year as they realized that if they move the cast around the globe they can do two seasons a year instead of just one. MTV knows how to make money.
** OK, D-List
*** Its ok. I’m an attorney. I can handle this type of legal analysis.