By: Robbie McAnelly
It’s no surprise that Jersey Shore has returned for a fifth season. With dwindling interest from many fans, some are beginning to wonder why the undeniably trashy cast is paid such a high price for something that requires virtually no effort.
Jersey Shore began a few years back as a fresh idea riding the coattails of other similar reality shows on MTV centering on the daily lives of a group of various people. People were enticed by the idea of a reality show focusing on things other than the fabulous lives of the inhabitants of Beverly Hills. When asked what originally drew him to the show, freshman Jeff Byrne held the same belief many others likely had.
“All the parties looked fun,” Byrne said. The mindless concept of the show was the best thing going for it; it brought in viewers like moths to a flame.
All was well for Jersey Shore until Hollywood began to affect the cast members. The Jersey Shore stars are paid a ridiculous amount of money per episode. In season four, each cast member reportedly made at least $100,000 an episode for an entire season’s worth of partying until the break of dawn.
The Jersey Shore cast does absolutely nothing to acquire such an outlandish salary. The point of every episode is to outdo the partying the cast did in the previous episode.
“It is the same stuff over and over again,” Byrne said.
It may be true that Jersey Shore is like a train wreck that we all can’t help but watch, but even the most brutal of accidents get less exciting over time.
Besides the mind-numbing level of recurring elements in the show, the effects of hard partying and Hollywood manipulation are beginning to shine through the cast. The premiere of season four was arguably the most popular point of the show’s history, garnering a staggering 8.78 million viewers, the most viewers an episode of the show had ever received.
The record-breaking audience was witness to the shocking transformations of the cast. Jennifer “JWoww” Farley was remarkably frail beyond season three in comparison to her more curvaceous appearance in previous seasons. The manipulation has crept into to Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi as well, who has discussed her issues with weight control throughout the show’s history. With the start of season five in the headlines, Snooki has reportedly dropped to her “dream” weight of 98 pounds.
The premise of Jersey Shore is becoming less and less interesting, and it makes one wonder why the cast lives a life of luxury for such audacious lifestyles. In the most recent labor-market snapshot, the unemployment rate has dwindled down to a depressing 8.5 percent. Millions of Americans suffer today in the streets without a job while Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino styles his hair and puts on his “shirt before the shirt,” all the while making thousands of dollars for it.
Why does America find interest in trash TV? Sure, it is a guilty pleasure for many but why reward people who need not be rewarded while we watch others getting the short end of the stick?
“[The cast] needs to do different things,” Byrne said. “Going to Italy was pretty cool. They need to go to places other than Jersey and introduce new people into their crew.”
New individuals are reportedly replacing the Jersey Shore cast for any upcoming seasons of the show. Let’s hope these new cast members can keep a level head; both they and the fate of Jersey Shore depend on it.