What’s Wrong with Snooki as Icon?

It’s the longest-running “It’ll-never-make-it” show we older folks have ever seen. Even scarier is the fact it has pulled in more audience share of any MTV program ever. How, on earth, could that be?

All right, “Jersey Shore” fans….I know…I know. This piece villifying the popular character of a show won’t garner me support from any of you. I’m just some older woman who sees no value in the sleaze unleashed on each episode of Jersey Shore, while many of you think the show’s merely a guilty pleasure. You say: “It does no harm.”..”It’s even enlightening, portraying a slice of society that actually lives that way.”

But I say this: Years ago many of us condoned the obscenity and violence which was the sole diet of the Jerry Springer Show, and guess what? That show single-handedly ushered in an era of low-life productions to follow (the so-called reality TV shows that exist today) Society’s been the poorer for it, for the common denominator is in the gutter. Quality TV has become the exception. After all, Hercule Poirot on the PBS insists one follow the complexity of story line, with its requisite layering.

Now, I’ve read where folks compare Snooki to legendary actress, Liz Taylor. Yep. I saw the headline in my browser, the one that alerts me to meaty, top stories of the day. There it was: “Snooki being hailed as the next Liz Taylor.”: the mini girl stuffed into spandex-type dresses with her upper anatomy bursting forth, demanding we all take notice (and we do). is heir apparent to the vaulted spot on the dais occupied for decades by the “Woman with the Violet Eyes.”

All I can say is: (1) Thank God Liz isn’t in her grave (or she’d be rolling in it), and (2) Whew! I just don’t get today’s metrics.

My rational side says this is merely the next scintillating slice offered up by advertising types…the machine that gives us their daily grind…the more outrageous the better, for such provokes reaction. Other articles already state “Snooki thinks she’s too pretty to go to jail” (allegedly Snooki’s reaction to hearing Paris Hilton might ‘do time’), and a supposed journalist weighs in on his finding redemptive value regarding the players’ interaction with one another (I guess if you shake up ‘the situation’ enough–pun intended–something positive will shake loose).

He points to the loyalty factor among the “Jersey Shore” players, finding when they’re not gang-banging, or beating each other up verbally and physically, they stand by one another, while I say: “Of course they do; they’re not totally stupid: the show’s continuance demands it (Just look to “Two and a Half Men” for proof of this.)

Now, just maybe I can see a connect between Liz and Snooki if we reference the movie where Liz played the vitriolic, alcoholic wife who trades nasties with her professorial husband in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (You know, the 1966 movie where we viewers squirmed in our seats for the savagery they inflict on one another). Maybe that strikes a chord, but let’s not forget: Ms. Taylor acted in character for that movie and won an Oscar for Best Actress in that role.

So, the move to compare Snooki with Ms. Taylor flies far against all reason: Liz deserves better.

Recently, on the Joy Behar show, guest rapper Vanilla Ice admitted to Joy that he doesn’t allow his kids to listen to lyrics of his songs. Joy followed up saying Eminem stated (on 60 Minutes) that he doesn’t allow his children to hear (his song) lyrics, either, because they’re homphobic and anti-female. Behar went on to say: “You can see everybody turns Conservative when it comes to their own children.”

It’s ironic that the very artists whose work is so controversial insulate their own children to their message.

In the end, if we don’t demand more wholesome shows, we’ll have no one to blame but ourselves when our children mimic the slug fests, coarse language, and sleazy sexual escapades hyped on “Jersey Shore” or come home with Snooki look-alikes as daughters-in-law.

Now, that’s “the situation” most of us won’t welcome. But what do YOU think? Is “Jersey Shore” harmless fun…guilty pleasure…or something much more ominous? Comments welcome…Hit “Comments” or “Leave a Comment.” Your e-mail address is never shared…Promise.

(Click on below link to see comparison of Snooki to Liz Taylor).


(Below is the ad for the movie “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” the film for which Ms. Taylor won an Oscar. I don’t think Snooki’s been awarded one of these yet. In fact, I’m not even sure she’s acting on her show.)

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A lifetime teacher and realtor who's now a published writer, Colleen Kelly Mellor is a humorist first, ever aware of the thread that connects us all. Her works have appeared in the WSJ, Providence Journal, and CNN and NY Times-acclaimed medical blog, kevinMD.com, to name a few. All material on this blog is exclusive property of the author and cannot be reproduced without this author's express written consent.
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