Back when Jersey Shore first started, it was met by protests from the local tourist board. We suggested residents of Seaside Heights embrace their new image. Well, they have, and it's gone horrifically awry.
In December (can you believe the show has only been around since December?) we proposed that Seaside Heights, the New Jersey town where the first season was filmed, "open up a guido-themed restaurant that is like Planet Hollywood, but only serves up protein shakes, sausage and peppers, protein bars, Ron Ron juice, and Jaeger bombs." Guess what? That's pretty much what the boardwalk has become. It's just a string of places trying to cash in on the show's popularity with Jersey Shore-themed food, clothing, and carnival games. Instead of fighting the guido stereotype like they once did, they're reveling in it, and in some instances co-opting the language and logo of the show itself to hawk their wares.
These photos are from an intrepid reader's trip to the Seaside Heights boardwalk over the 4th of July weekend. Let's take a look at all the ways they've sold out. It's going to be really interesting when the kids are back filming in Seaside (if they can reach a deal) where they won't be overly tanned strangers with a camera crew but will be wading among the cultural flotsam and jetsam they created on the way to the beach.
This is my favorite, a "deep fried Snooki sandwich." Sadly, it doesn't say what's in it, but we're guess ham, pickles, and sun tan lotion aioli.
Here are two muscle-baring tank tops, one sporting the Jersey Shore logo and another emblazoned with Ronnie's words taunting a would-be attacker on the very boardwalk where the shirt is now sold.
We'd like to draw your attention to "The Situation" and "Jersey Shore Guido" (which sports the outline of the state in the Italian flag from the crew's garage door that upset Italian-American groups) in the background. We know it's hard to overlook the awesome Rodney Dangerfield work of art in the center of the frame, but please try. Just wait for Jersey Shore Airbrushing to have a show at the Whitney Bienniel.
Yes, that is a Snooki golem. The orange midget with the poof is, according to our reader, part of a "shoot the geek" game similar to the famous one on Coney Island where people pay to shoot paintballs at objects both inanimate and otherwise. Imagine the line if you got to shoot at the real thing?
Speaking of carnival games, here's a booth where you can win various and assorted Jersey Shore shirts, including two versions of the GTL motif that will be hitting the runways of Paris and pages of Vogue in no time.
This ladies and gentlemen, is a thing of beauty. Behold the guido in his native habitat, smoking a cigarette while his guidette girlfriend surveys which T-shirt she would like to wear over her skin-tight "classy" clothing. Will it be something that extols "The Situation" or will it be a warning that "Sorry, Boys, I Only Date Guidos." We will always be left to wonder as we stare at this fascinating moment, lost in the mystery that is the native New Jersey guido.