Friday, December 11, 2009


I got a tweet today poking fun at me for not being able to enjoy that crap MTV Jersey Shore show. I've been getting about five of these types of messages a day. I replied as to why I didn't think the show was funny. And then I put my head on my desk and cried.

It is so hard watching a place you've championed for three years ripped to shreds because some morons from New York wanted to be famous, and MTV wanted to make a buck. I hate seeing a place I love lampooned. That is not what the Jersey Shore is like, and I'm tired of trying to fight back against the avalanche of people who want to laugh and tell me otherwise.

So I'm done. That's it. No more of it on this blog (though thank you, Guster, for suggesting it could be fun. I tried. I can't do it). I'll keep doing what I've been doing here since July 2007: Writing about the real Jersey Shore.

Until then, check out this wonderful photo essay/statement by Justin Gaynor on the same topic, and the video below. THAT'S my Jersey Shore.

Sunrise at the Belmar Fishing Pier from Justin Gaynor on Vimeo.

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Anonymous said...

Writing about the real thing is all you can do. Many of us know the truth about how great a place it is. For the rest who choose to be ignorant, that's their loss. Keep up the good work.

NanClause said...

As a former Jersey girl (now residing in Florida)....I love the Jersey Shore...all the real Jersey people know what it is really like...not like that awful MTV show! Keep up your good work blogging about the Jersey Shore!

iconjohn said...

I don't have pay tv anymore and my friends that do, watch stuff like Mad Men. Don't worry about Jersey because with 500 channels to watch, nobody is watching this show.

ryan miller said...

hey there you.. this show is absolutely antithetical to everything that you stand for and write about. agreed. however, it's not going to go away and all you can do is stand up and be counted... i think most people (?!) realize that this is parody/stereotypes personified/fictionalized entertainment and the ones who don't aren't going to click through to your articles.

"jersey shore" is going to be a top google search for quite some time. you have an opportunity to take some of that attention and use it to promote fishing piers and sunsets and not red bull ice luges and "nu joisey" plates.....

go forth! you can do it!



Jen A. Miller said...

To the person who left the f-bomb ladden anonymous comment here: your point is noted, but I don't allow cursing on the blog. Thanks.

Colin Weir said...

I grew up 10 minutes from Seaside Heights and spending 3 summers working in the water park there. My mother has worked in the A&P on the northern end of the town for many years, and I spent a summer working there myself.

Let's not pretend what's on this show doesn't happen. It's not nicknamed Sleazeside by accident, and that nickname came around LONG before MTV ever pointed a camera at the town.

Walk around the boardwalk on any summer night, and you're going to see exactly the type of people portrayed on this show. And when they all leave in the winter, the motels transform into section 8 housing.

The Jersey Shore has many lovely areas and your shot of Belmar highlights that quite nicely. But just like every town isn't trashy like Seaside, every shore town isn't gorgeous either. Comparing WASPy, Monmouth County, money-filled Belmar to low-income Seaside Heights isn't a fair comparison by any stretch.

Seaside Heights is on the low end of the spectrum when it comes to Jersey Shore towns, and anyone can see that by spending about 20 minutes there.

Jen A. Miller said...

But Colin, 1% of the Jersey Shore is like Seaside. For them to splash "Jersey Shore" across that entire lifestyle, especially since the people who live it aren't from NJ? That's part of the problem, and people from parts of the country who have never been to the shore now think that's what it's all like. Comment appreciated, though.

John T said...

Yeah- the show is a bit ridiculous. It is funny to watch, but you are right. Giving it the title "Jersey Shore" paints a broad brush across the whole area for what is really a small segment. I do have to admit- the tshirt shop nails every boardwalk tshirt stereotype. Oh well. Keep up the good work, Jen. Here's a link to a good Shore story.

Citizen said...

For many people, the area that show focuses on IS the Jersey Shore. And I lived and worked there long enough to tell you that the people portrayed in that show ARE real, they DO act exactly like classless idiots and they are worthy of the laughing-at and scorn that the entire country is pouring on them now.
Don't bother yourself with being upset by all the attention -- let those kinds of people have their fun, spend their money here, then go back to New York or wherever they're from and leave the rest of the state to us.

Rob Wilson said...

From my experience in places like Seaside and PP at the Tiki Bar, it's so accurate it's funny. The show should be called Seaside Heights. lol..and the real housewives of nj should be call the real houswives of bergen county.

Ann Delaney said...

It's hard not to be defensive when you live in NJ. When I mention where I live, I feel the need to provide additional detail (along the coast, south of Atlantic City, a quiet beach town, etc.) And maybe we want the real Jersey Shore to stay off the radar? We are fortunate to live/vacation in a beautiful area, and don't want to "over share"!

Anonymous said...

I realize that the show, while quite funny, does not portray the majority of people who live and/or spend time at the Jersey shore. However, as a transplant who spent one summer at a shore house, I have to say that many of the towns are catering to the party crowd which is emphasized on the show, especially the twenty-somethings, high-class or low-class.

The shore does have many nice places - I especially like Cape May with its beautiful Victorian homes and the areas that are quieter with some nature preserves. I don't particularly care for the boardwalk towns and endless rows of shlocky t-shirt vendors, pizza jounts, taffy and fudge makers, etc. But what I find more interesting is that most Jersey locals portray the shore as the most fabulous beach locale to visit. I was amazed to have to pay a fee to get on an average looking beach, only to find the water cold and murky. I do realize it's in the northeast and it's a convenience factor for many to have a weekend place to stay, but it seemed the many of these people had never been to Florida or the Caribbean for comparison. It's great for what it is - mostly a weekend getaway.

Jen A. Miller said...

Newest Anonymous:

I hear that point of view a lot from people who aren't from the area. I've spent a lot of time on other beaches -- I went to college in Florida, have taken several trips to the Caribbean, and spent a week on the beaches in Greece in college. I'm even headed to St. Pete Beach in a few weeks.

Their beaches are lovely. But the Jersey Shore is more than a beach. It's an experience, and one rooted deeply in many family traditions. It isn't just sitting on the sand. It's sitting on the sand and getting a slice from Mack & Mancos, then going on rides at Wonderland Pier that night. Going down the shore encompasses so many different things to different people. It's not about sitting on the sand.


Anonymous said...


These people on that shore are going to self-destruct real soon now. This week's publicity about their horrible actions turned many people off.

They and the people whom you mentioned in today's post aren't worth the energy and heartache. Hate to say it here, but it's true: ya gotta take the good with the bad. It's just the way it is, and always will be.

Just remember there are more people like us than there are people like them --- plus there are many better stories for you to cover about our beloved Jersey Shore.

Be well and keep reporting. We're counting on you. And Emily, too!