There are many reasons Americans are viewed unfavorably abroad. The export of the reality television show "The Jersey Shore" can't be helping.
The series began by following the lives of eight housemates at the Jersey Shore in the United States. It's unprecedented popularity surprised everyone. The show was immersed in controversy regarding it's depiction of Italian-American stereotypes, pointless cycle of GTL (gym, tan, laundry) and endless binge drinking. It is possibly one of the tackiest things that has ever made it onto the small screen.
I say all this as if I didn't watch it. I did. It was hard to look away, a stuptifyingly stupid soap opera drama. Apparently, I am far from alone. Dubbed a "cultural phenomenon" the series has garnered record ratings for MTV. It is the network's most viewed series telecast ever with around 9 million viewers tuning into the show. As season 5 is set to start with the promise of at least one more season, Jersey Shore seems unstoppable.
How quickly reality TV has grown to take over all other forms of entertainment is a bit terrifying. It makes up a bulk of programming without getting tied up with any actual reality.
Thinking of these reality show being shared between nations can be a bit terrifying. If "Jersey Shore" is what we tell the world is American reality, what do we look like as a people? Then again, maybe I shouldn't worry. Every country has their share of ridiculous and spin-offs of the show seem sure to prove that we are not alone. The site Jezebel recently shared "The Ultimate Guide To Every International Jersey Shore Knockoff". It is a bizarre look at the world of reality tv, and the world at large.
From: New Zealand
Young New Zealand Mori living in the Gold Coast of Australia
Kongerne af Marielyst ("The Kings of Marielyst" )
Young people living the dream in the resort town of Marielyst, located on the island of Falster in the Baltic Sea
The Irish party it up in Tallaght in Ireland.
Kungarna av Tylösand ("The Kings of Tylösand" )
Eight young Swedes party on the beach in Tylösand
Young Australians living in Cronulla, south of Sydney, known as the Sutherland Shire.
Group of hard partying guys and girls in Newcastle, UK.
I sense a formula here. It appears we aren't so different...