Jersey Shore: Thoughts on Tee-Shirt Time

18 10 2010

Tee-shirt time founder

The question, “What is actually real?” in reality television has been discussed ad nauseum by writers much more qualified than us at CCTT, but since this is the internet we’ll have our say regardless. Season 2 of Jersey Shore has seemed no more “real” than any other reality program. The Situation has a stock piled arsenal of Jersey witticisms that he can shoot out whenever he wishes, Snooki knows when and where to flash her kooh-kah, and Angelina understands the dramatic value of placing her luggage by the front gate while waiting until 3 AM to leave the cast of the Jersey Shore forever. None of that could be deemed real by any conventional standards. Then what is actually real on Jersey Shore? There is only one answer: Tee Shirt Time.

Dudes make up weird phrases and repeat them to each other to the point of absurdity. We all remember Jerry, Kramer, and George saying, “Hellloooo” in those deep voices. There was a time just prior to my college graduation when my friends and I would constantly say, “Ohh, monsieur.” This came from a YouTube clip of a French skier getting nailed in the balls by a gate.

We thought it was hilarious (and it was), but more importantly, at least for my current purpose, was the pure genuine nature of our exchanges. The unquestionable joy “Ohh, monsieurr” provided was always welcome and always natural. Also, none of us had girlfriends at the time, which probably helped.

Pauly, Ronnie, and Vinny experience the same thing when they say, “Tee-shirt time.” At this point it may have become annoying for the viewer, but to them it’s still fun. It isn’t real when The Situation calls out strangers to fight at the club. Pauly and Vinny “wifing” it up at the beach is not real either. How could it be? There are cameras around and their foreign girlfriends are most likely invested in them because they want to make a quick 500 dollars appearing at Midwestern clubs that exclusively appeal to avid date rapists. Tee-shirt time is genuine because it actually makes them smile. Everything around them is pre-arranged from their jobs to their missing laundry. Declaring “tee-shirt time” is real because of its innate dudeishness. It’s not particularly clever and it lends itself to shitty voice work (even Ronnie the king of the malaproprism gets in on the fun.) It’s real because it’s honestly stupid, honestly.

Sadly, tee-shirt time will soon be over and will all have to move on with our lives. I’ll miss this glimpse into what it would actually be like to be friends with Pauly. And I’ll miss it even more when I see overweight teenagers wearing “It’s Tee-Shirt Time!” tee shirts at miniature golf courses because then tee-shirt time will have officially ended. Enjoy it for now because it will all be over in three days. Good Lord I’m depressed.

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12 11 2010
Letters to the CCTT Editor « COUNTRY COME TO TOWN

[…] absolutely does not have a girlfriend and, judging from a lot of his posts, does not plan on getting one any time soon. He does go out on dates sometimes, though. He always […]

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