‘Jersey Shore’ invades pop culture

Column by Sara Nelle Murphy. E-mail

Hair gel, a tanned and toned bod, flashy clothes, a passion for partying and the tendency to fist pump and get into fights at the club — or over dirty dishes.

These are the qualifications to be a cast member of the Jersey Shore. A huge hit for MTV, Jersey Shore has infiltrated our culture to the very core, and has long outlived its fifteen minutes of fame.

“Snooki” and “The Situation” are now as common household names as Brad and Angelina. What once seemed to be a practical joke has now turned into a national pastime, and America just can’t get enough of the shore.

The new “it” thing became the “guido” culture. According to the portrayal on the show, it is a lifestyle, perhaps even a cult of sorts. Typically of Italian descent, the guido grabs life in a ripped-bicep embrace. There are some very important rules to being in this exclusive club.

If the guido life were a religion, which it just might be to the cast members, the Ten Commandments would be GTL (Gym, Tan, Laundry). This is the daily schedule of the guido, the mundane routine. But at night they come out to play at night clubs where the juice is flowing.

This is the guido in his prime, fist pumping to anything the DJ is spinning. On the show, the combination of alcohol and misunderstandings and over-dramatization, always result in a scuffle of some sort. Either that or the night ends in risky (or more appropriately, risque) decisions and walks of shame in the early morning.

It is my general understanding that the reason this show is so popular is that it strokes the moral ego of a wide audience of people in America.

From the college student perspective, comparing your “wild and crazy” night to that of a typical episode of Jersey Shore makes it seem like a quiet night at home.

Simply put, the show glorifies shamelessness and self indulgence. Although this can be a dangerous example, especially to the younger, impressionable audience, it offers a vicarious experience to witness the drama without having to wake up with a nasty hangover and a busted lip.

The cast of Jersey Shore is riding high on the peak of their celebrity, and who knows when they will reach the tipping point. New Jersey is only gaining popularity as a trend, with other channels like Bravo following suit with their “Real Housewives of New Jersey,” a smash hit.

Yet just like any zealous trend (Twilight, anyone?) the hype will eventually die down. And who knows what geographical area we will focus on next.

At one time it was the O.C., perhaps Kansas will have its day? Until then, America will sit and watch the guidos and guidettes as they fist-pumping their way into our hearts.