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From Seaside Heights to Cornfield Heights: MTV's popular 'Jersey Shore' inspires imitation, fist pumping
Ryan Larsen
Antelope Staff
Photo by Ryan Larsen
UNK seniors Dusty Ayles, Steve Wolf and Justin Hoehner fist pump at The Loft. The simple dance move has recently been made popular by the MTV show “Jersey Shore.”

Seaside Heights, N.J., always a summer hot spot on the East Coast, is now better known as the location for MTV’s hit reality show “Jersey Shore.”

The show follows eight young adults who live in a beach house, a simple and somewhat unoriginal premise. But it’s the unique personalities of the cast members, the self-proclaimed guidos and guidettes, that have made the show a sensation. The show features boozing, brawling, binge-tanning, hair-gel loving, over-the-top characters, and as a result the country has fallen in love with the Seaside Heights subculture.

Halfway across the country in Kearney, students at UNK watch the show regularly. “I watch it whenever it’s on, and so do the guys I live with,” says Collin Grimes, a junior political science major from Grand Island.

“The lifestyle of the cast members is appealing. You can’t help but watch,” says Lindsey Bugee, a UNK grad student from Gibbon.

The cast of “Jersey Shore” seems to have “mass appeal” as cast member Mike (aka “the Situation”) puts it. The show reveals truly unique and interesting people who share quite the contrast with many average young adults today.  

A daily routine for the men on the show would consist of going to the gym, tanning, getting a haircut, doing laundry, and “staying fresh” according to cast member Pauly D. “The guys on the show are obsessed with their image,” says Grimes, “and it’s somewhat influential. Who doesn’t want to look good? They certainly put it on display when they go to the clubs.”

“Jersey Shore” defies reality TV stereotypes in that the women on the show don’t whine about how much they hate each other, something you may notice in shows like “The Hills.”

Instead the girls, who go by names like JWOWW and Snooki, have each other’s back and wont hesitate to start fights during a night out. While the men on the show try to get dolled up like supermodels, the women would rather just pound beer and eat Doritos.

“I think the guys on the show are kind of girlish and high-maintenance,” says Jackie O’Brien, a sophomore criminal justice major from Sioux City, “but the girls are kind of legit and tell it like it is.”

“The men take their appearance to the extreme sometimes,” says Bugee, “all the excessive tanning and hair gel isn’t really necessary. The women claim to be classy, but they appear to be party girls.”

The influence of “Jersey Shore” is widespread, and it’s visible in Kearney. On an average night at The Loft you may find a group of patrons fist pumping (the simple arm-movement made popular on the show that has now become a dance club phenomenon). You may also run into people with blowout or poof hairstyles, Ed Hardy shirts and fake tans. Hints of the “Jersey Shore” swagger and attitude are becoming more noticable here in the Midwest.

Even though the show just finished its first season, the popularity of the show doesn’t appear to be going anywhere soon. The eight kids from Seaside who never seemed to crave approval have suddenly become pop culture superstars. As a result it’s common in Kearney and throughout the country to see more people unleashing their inner guido.

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