he cast of Jersey Shore, whose fourth season premieres Thursday night on MTV, may be famous for boozy antics, implausible tans, and mindless fist-pumping. But their real appeal, says Willa Paskin at New York, is that they have "more fun with words than a bunch of giddy, drunken Boggle enthusiasts." Snooki, The Situation, JWOWW, and the rest of the gang are the "most articulate" cast on TV, given to coining acronyms like GTL (gym-tan-laundry) and DTF (down-to-f**k) and other terms — grenades, gorillas, juiceheads, smushing — that have infiltrated the pop-culture lexicon. Whereas The Hills' dialogue was painfully stilted, and The Bachelor relies disproportionately on the words "spark" and "connection," clever wordplay actually "defines Jersey Shore." Here, an excerpt:
On any given episode, Mike, Vinny, Ronnie, Paulie, Snooki, Jenni, Sammi, and Deena, earn their salaries (rumored to be $30,000 an episode) by spitting cliché-eschewing, scatology-embracing dialogue that is grotesque and rude, self-aware and vibrant. Their banter is regularly hilarious, if not always on purpose. (Some choice examples: "Your hand was in the cookie jar, how are you gonna sit there with the crumbs on your lip and be like, 'I didn't eat the cookie'!" "With Ronnie and Sammie, it’s just the same shit, different toilet." "This girl at the club is beyond the word stalker. She is a parasite and I am the host.") ...
For those familiar with the moribund white noise that passes for dialogue on most reality programs, where conversations appear to take place but nothing is said, this attention to syntax is novel. These are verbal people who not only care about what they say, they care to say it inventively.
Read the entire article at New York.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 31 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Attack of the invasive species
- Why atheism doesn't have the upper hand over religion
- He said he was leaving. She ignored him.
- 14 wonderful words with no English equivalent
- Why Easter is so important to Christians
- Why would a young person today be religious?
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- The world's dumbest idea: Taxing solar energy
- Which states get screwed worst by the Electoral College?
Subscribe to the Week