Guilty Pleasure

Orange-colored fake tans, Ed Hardy attire, an abundance of jewelry (on both the males and the females), blow-out hair styles, and a tinge of arrogance. Sound like the man or woman of your dreams?Didn’t think so.

But many have already spent countless hours with people fitting those exact descriptions. They are the cast of MTV’s reality show hit “Jersey Shore” and Americans just can’t get enough of them.

“Oh my god, it’s just ridiculous,” says James Thomas of Middlebury College. “Snooki just cracks me up. She’s so little and so feisty. My favorite, probably the only reason I watch the show, is when they get in fist fights,” he said. “You know Snooki’s mad at someone when she asks the nearest person to hold her earrings.”

The show premiered in December of 2009 with about 1.3 million viewers, a standard for a cable television show. By the season 1 finale, however, “Jersey Shore” had an audience of 4.8 million, more than triple the number of the premiere’s ratings.

Nancy Franklin of the New Yorker points out, “the show manages to make us feel as though we were anthropologists secretly observing a new tribe through a break in the trees.”

A rather astute observation, I’d say.

It certainly helps to explain why millions of Americans are so fascinated by people whose motto is “GTL: Gym, Tan, Laundry.

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