Jersey Shore is airing in Italy, Italian pundits call them “the worst stereotypes”

This season of Jersey Shore has wrapped, and while I didn’t see any of it I did catch some amusing clips on The Soup. I know a lot of you watch it and maybe I’ll get into it at some point. I saw about two episodes last year and that was enough for me. It made my head hurt to see that much stupidity condensed into 20 minutes.

Anyway Jersey Shore, which shows extreme caricatures of Italian Americans, is actually airing in Italy at this point. A few Italians who care are outraged. The show will also tape some episodes for the next season in Italy with Vinny’s relatives.

People in Italy are already hurling barbs at the hit MTV show “Jersey Shore” — which didn’t even begin airing there until today.

“They embody the worst stereotypes of Italians, multiplied by thousands and Americanized,” columnist Roberto Del Bove lamented in the Rome newspaper New Notzie.

A preview of the show posted on an MTV Italia Web page drew some of the sharpest comments.

“When I see this, I wonder whether [Osama] Bin Laden had a point,” wrote one nasty poster.

“Slicked hair, exaggerated narcissism, boundless love for the family and outlandish eccentricity” is how Snooki and company were described yesterday in another major Rome newspaper, Corriere della Sera.

A disturbing wrinkle for some Italians is that at least part of next season is expected to be filmed in Italy.

[From The NY Post via Huffington Post]

Back in January, an Italian American group compared Jersey Shore to a freak show and said that by filming in Italy the show “Will not only hurt Italians but all Americans โ€ฆ their outrageous, reprehensible behavior will make us look like buffoons and bimbos.”

We have a lot of crap reality shows in America and it’s not just Jersey Shore’s fault if we look stupid by exporting them to other countries. The Kardashians, any show featuring a current or ex girlfriend of Hugh Hefner, Teen Mom, dating shows with a washed up rock star or participant in an earlier dating show, the Real Housewives franchise, shows where they get a bunch of famewhores together and get them drunk, shows where people compete in humiliating tasks in extreme conditions while starving – there’s a real bottom of the barrel aspect to some of the crap we call entertainment. It isn’t necessarily the people on the shows that make us look bad, it’s the fact that we make them and watch them with interest. That said, some of these shows are pretty near fascinating. We got the formula down for trash TV and we’re going to let it spread across the globe like a bad case of herpes.

Photos thanks to MTV, where you can watch full episodes of Jersey Shore for free if you’re in the US






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49 Responses to “Jersey Shore is airing in Italy, Italian pundits call them “the worst stereotypes””

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  1. filthycute says:

    Geez, Snooki needs to stop drinking, stop eating, and take care of herself. She looks wrecked.

  2. MikeyAngel says:

    I know it is trash to the max, but I can’t help but love it. I would probably dislike any of the people off of the show if I met them in real life, but as for entertainment, I get it. I can understand how actual Italians are offended by them though for sure. Although to be fair, if the cast of the Jersey Shore were in Italy they would probably br from the South and most of the Northern Italians would hate them either way. Side Story: I had a teacher straight from Rome in college who said she once took students on a field trip to Venice and they were poisoned by the hotel staff because they were the darker Southern Italians and the Northern blonde haired blued eyes Italians hate them. She said they are very racist there.

  3. caramia says:

    This crowd really does exist, speaking from experience, the suburbs here in NY they are a dime a dozen and these kids just got lucky getting a tv show. Unfortunately there is such a lifestyle, sickening as it is.

  4. searching4grace says:

    Ugh. Those are exactly all the reasons I don’t watch TV. I miss things like the history channel, and, okay, Mythbusters. I hate the “reality” programming, because it’s nobodies true reality.

  5. Theuth says:

    @2: that’s bullshit. There IS racism here in Italy between North and South Italy, but this is an exageration: ok, during the ’70 people here in the North exposed ‘We don’t want Southern Italians’ signs, but that was in the past.
    And for the love of Heaven, I’m tired of the stereotype of Italian-Mediterranean, or South-Dark and North-blonde: Italians are caucasians of every ‘colour’ (forgive the expression, I don’t know another way to translate) and every possible accent all over the country! You will find blonde, brunette and redhead everywhere!
    /end of the rant

    At least, if they go, they will be in Rome. It’s a big enough city where they could stay alone and not be too dangerous…

  6. kwoww says:

    snooki isnt even italian, shes a friggen poser. she was adopted by italians but she’s from chile.

  7. sickofit says:

    this kind of trash is to be found everywhere around the globe, and this is why its so successful.
    the italian press critics might hate it, but the average napoli viewer will love it, for sure. wheres the difference to berlusconi tv anyway?

  8. Addie says:

    Unfortunatly trash tv is highly entertaining.

    I blame programmes like Jerry Springer for creating a market for this.

  9. GIA says:

    TV has definitely reached it’s lowest point. I have never seen an episode of “THAT” because first of all, I find them physically revolting and painful to look at and second of all , it makes me cringe and nautious to think that these losers are making $$$$$$ for being public trainwrecks on display.

  10. Merry says:

    “[…]the darker Southern Italians and the Northern blonde haired blued eyes Italians hate them. She said they are very racist there.”
    I don’t know what your teacher experienced, but people from the North are not racist nor actually interested in color of the hair or skin, nowadays. Besides, very few people in the North have blonde hair or blue eyes. We all sort of have brown hair and eyes. Just FYI.
    It is true, though, that people from the South are said to be louder and less polite, but that’s about it, and nobody really believes that or acts on those assumptions.

  11. BlackMamba says:

    I think most people who criticize the Jersey Shore are just envious of their situation and I’m not saying that in a negative way at all. I mean these people are put in a home and their sole purpose is to get drunk and party for 30 000 an episode. Come on, someone please sign me up…please?

  12. MSat says:

    See, there’s this magical thing on your TV called an “off” button…..

  13. Solveig says:

    Norther blonde Italians? Southern dark-haired Italians?
    Where do you live or where do I live? Italians are mostly dark-haired, brown-eyed. There are blonde and red-heads, of course, but surely one can’t say that light-haired people are this way because they come from Northern Italy (manco fossero svedesi…).
    And yes, there was racism between northern and southern Italy, but now Italian racists are more focused on hating on the refugees coming here because of the war(s).
    Eh, you Americans may look stupid exporting this kind of shows, but it’s not like the rest of the world is more intelligent broadcasting them.
    Guess that Italians=mafia wasn’t enough offensive…

  14. gloaming says:

    “Will not only hurt Italians but all Americans โ€ฆ their outrageous, reprehensible behavior will make us look like buffoons and bimbos”

    This sentence could also easily apply to Silvio Berlusconi.

  15. Quest says:

    I feel sorry for the Italian community.

  16. anait says:

    Solveig and Theuth are right, I got a red-haired mother,when she was younger some people believed she was Irish (she’s never been in an English speaking country, and it is the same for her parents and grandparents); moreover it is possible to find many blond people in Sicily, Normans conquered the island some hundreds years ago… we are in some way a mixed race… no pure race in the world whatever it means, if it means something. Not for me.

  17. saintdevil says:

    Silvio Berlusconi and his Bunga-Bunga parties with underage prostitutes should be sufficient for making Italians look like buffoons and bimbos.

    Compared to him, the antics of Snooki (how old is she anyway? 50?) are harmless family fun.

  18. Jesus Christ Superstar says:

    @gloaming THIS. lol.

  19. CHICKIEBOO says:


  20. MikeyAngel says:

    Sorry guys, I am not speaking from my own experience, it was what my teacher said. She was italian with olive skin and the long wild black hair. She was a university teacher in Rome and took her students to Venice, and it it what she said she experienced, but I didn’t mean to offend anyone.

  21. Tammi says:

    Snooki nor J-woww are italian,how they are getting away with this I dont know.

  22. Merry says:

    No prob, I don’t think anybody was offended =)
    Sorry for your teacher, must have been a horrible experience.

  23. fancyamazon says:

    @Chickiboo, why are you always yelling? Every post I see is always in all-caps. We will hear you just the same without the shouting.

  24. mariangela says:

    I am a redheaded full blooded Italian with brown eyes (as far back as I know, my families have married Italians) and yet the only reason people think I’m italian is when I get angry or when I talk (cause I use my hands). There are very few natural redhead Italians and whenever I walk in the street, it’s like I’m the freak show because I look so unlike any Italian people especially my family who are all brunettes. It has made my life interesting mind you ๐Ÿ™‚

    Racism is a strong word, I just think it’s a kind of thing that people comment that people from the South are cheaper and less educated.

  25. Bodhi says:

    1/2 of the cast aren’t even Italian! Isn’t Jwow (or whatever the hell her nickname is) Polish? This guido/guidette bullshit isn’t necessarily “Italian-American” culture, its trashy Jersey Shore culture!

  26. MeriJaan says:

    They are disgraceful, embarrassing and low class trash. Their parents must be ashamed. This is the exact reason my daughter will never be allowed to go to a nightclub. In my culture, this is a parents worst nightmare. I cant even begin to tell you how disgusted I am by these people.

  27. original kate says:

    how can anyone look at snookie the human wishnik doll and think she’s anything but disgusting?

  28. alexandra says:

    I don’t get the outrage these are not actors they are real people real italian americans. They are the new generation. As anything else we tend to look younger crowds as outrageous, because that is something we wouldn’t have done. This is the reality tv generation, unfiltered gen.

  29. Solveig says:

    @MikeyAngel, surely you meant no offence :), but the description of Italians split in two categories – Northern It. blonde and Southern It dark-haired – was quite funny and totally untrue.

    @gloaming (14), sad but true.

  30. iheartlasagne says:

    This is why I refuse to watch MTV or VH1 anymore. I will not contribute to this continued ‘dumbing down’ of our society. I was flipping channels last night and unfortunately watched about 5 minutes of an old ‘the Hills’ episode; I could literally hear my brain cells exploding. This sort of shit does make me feel that zealots and fanatics like Bin Laden do have a valid point in their hatred of our society. Sometimes I really hate us.

  31. Photo JoJo says:

    I have a 17 year old Italian American princess of my own at home. Well, she’s as much Irish as Italian but her last name is ethnic Italian all the way. Yesterday we caught a few minutes of this on the TV flipping through and I pointed at the screen and said “Don’t you EVER bring home ANY guy who looks like that!” She looked at me like I was absolutely crazy for even suggesting it.

  32. Theuth says:

    @mariangela, @Solveig, @Merry: it’s nice to see some Italians on these boards ๐Ÿ˜€ I too am one of those who don’t look and speak like the typical Mediterranean woman (blonde and brown eyes), and usually are mistaken for French outside my country, despite my origins…
    Stereotypes are so hard to kill.

    and Mikey, sorry if I sounded too harsh, I though you were one of those people who tries to justified this MTV crap by trashing another place with millions of problems (SB in primis, ugh). Hope I didn’t offend you.

  33. Franny says:

    I worked with an Italian girl and she had bright red hair and green eyes. Everyone thought she was Irish.

    Anyway, I’m from NYC and these types are EVERYWHERE. Not trying to say the cast aren’t feeding into the stereotype by exaggerating a lot of the behavior, but for me, these kids are what you find in all five boroughs, Jersey and some of the other New England states, like Massachusetts and Rhode Island…just a bunch of party-loving, loud-mouthed drunks. Do they not exist outside of the NorthEast?

  34. caramia says:

    I am an Italian American and grew up in a suburb in NY and there was a Snooki on every corner. Just saying…and by the way I am a tall thin blonde sent on a scholarship to Europe. I think the Jersey Shore should stay in Europe, maybe they will learn some manners and self respect there.

  35. Clavin says:

    Fact: every year between Memorial Day & Labor Day, Seaside Heights NJ is PACKED to the rafters with people EXACTLY LIKE the “JS” cast. It’s been that way for many, many years. Believe it or not it’s a real thing; if anything “JS” portrays the scene there as being WAY more fun than it actually is. Don’t buy it? Go there yourself on any summer weekend and scope out one of those clubs, you’ll see people who make Snooki & the Situation look like Lady Di & James Bond. You’ll see enough Italian flag tattoos, Cadillacs and hair gel to make your head spin.

  36. Amandahugandkiss says:

    I don’t buy this either. I am predicting that ‘real’ Italians would be most offended by the fact that the Jersey Shore lot call themselves Italians when they are quite clearly Americans. It has nothing to do with their behaviour per se.

    Same thing with the Irish and Americans who call themselves Irish. If you weren’t born in Ireland, or you don’t live there, you AREN’T Irish. That’s the view at least.

    I myself am perfectly neutral on this. ๐Ÿ™‚

  37. caramia says:

    that is exactly what I meant and you are so right, the culture does exist sadly

  38. nikki says:

    I really disagree with you.
    I don’t think it’s always jealousy, I think sometimes it’s genuine disgust that these people get paid so much money for being a mockery of the human race.

  39. ZZ says:

    Good Lord, American reality shows are terrible. I mean, the other shows are great but the reality shows are just trashy and pointless. And these people who get paid MILLIONS just for letting a cameraman follow them around, it’s not fair. It sends a bad message to the youth: Don’t bother going to college or working hard! Just start a reality show! You’d probably get paid more that way anyway!

    I’d be pissed too if they started airing them where I live.

  40. sorrento says:

    so much chatter over so little

  41. Julia says:

    I’m italian, and seriously, there’s no caricature, many boys and girls between 17/25 look exactly like them. They do tan a lot, they do go to the fuckin’ gym everyday and fuck around like freakin monkeys. Especially in Rome where they used to be called “coatti” or “Burini”. Yeah, it’s pretty sad, but it’s all real.

  42. Zelda says:

    A poser? Is that how we refer to adopted people who act/affiliate with the people who raised them?

  43. asiont says:

    @Bodhi : as a Polish citizen I protest! Jwoww is not Polish! don’t even suggest it ever again! ;]
    I read that she is Spanish and Irish, so let Spain and Ireland deal with it on their own.

  44. Bodhi says:

    Ah, my mistake, I apologize! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Maybe its that Angelina chick who is of Polish heritage… I remember reading that one of them is, but I don’t watch the show so I really have no idea

  45. Kiska says:

    The majority of the cast is not Italian. I believe on Vinny, Pauly, and Mike are 100 percent Italian.

    I don’t think they define the Italian culture at all. However, when I was living in Rome, I certainly saw a lot of Mike types hanging out at the clubs. I’m just saying…

  46. Val says:

    Tell me that Snooki doesn’t look like a haggard 50+ year old woman.

  47. ordinarygirl86 says:

    Most of them aren’t even Italian so I can understand why Italy is pissed! They are trainwrecks who proudly claim Italian ancestry every chance they get while fighting,drinking,whoring,and promoting skin cancer with their wrinkly leather skin- it’s embarassing!

  48. 80sgirl says:

    Its like watching baboons. You know that somewhere on the evolutionary chart they are related to us humans .

  49. Coco says:

    That first pic of Snooki is a birds-eye view of her at 40+.