Jersey Shore vs. Geordie Shore

As much as we might hate to admit it, many of us Americans have seen at least one if not more episodes of MTV’s Jersey Shore at some point in our lives though we often hesitate to disclose this privileged information given the wide spread feelings of abhorrence for the show and all that it stands for. As Rosamund Davies and Gauti Sigthorsson state in their book Introducing the Creative Industry: From Theory to Practice, “many creative products and services are distributed globally or attract an international audience; yet, the traditions, ideas, languages, skills and talent that they draw on are all in some way local. Where things come from is tremendously important…one might even say that countries, cities and individual areas are themselves symbolic products- after all, places stand for a great many things (Evans 2003)” (3). In saying this, Davies and Sigthorsson imply that a country’s creative products can stand in as visual representations of the values and customs practiced in the country itself. For the most part, as Americans, we like to think that Jersey Shore is not an accurate portrayal of our culture as a whole. Yes, people like Snooki and JWOW do exist, but the majority of Americans do not get arrested for public intoxication on the beach. Without condemning Snooki and JWOW for their behavior, the alleged disparity between how Americans are portrayed on Jersey Shore and how they actually are demonstrates the way in which popular television can warp an outsider’s perception of a group of people. I think it’s safe to say that the majority of Americans are embarrassed by Jersey Shore’s portrayal of American culture. Contr astingly, the British counterpart to Jersey Shore, MTV’s Geordie Shore, appears to be widely accepted and well received throughout the entirety of the UK. Cast members Charlotte and Marnie may never have been arrested for public intoxication on a beach due to the limitations of England’s rainy climate, but they’ve certainly had their fair share of drunken encounters with the law. My point here is that the two shows are essentially the same with one obvious difference; this being that one is American and one is British. The difference between the critical receptions of these two shows speaks to the inconsistency between the two countries tolerance of drinking, partying, and hook up culture. The UK’s positive response to Geordie Shore speaks to the way in which British culture is much more accepting of alcohol consumption. Comparatively, the negative reception of Jersey Shore in the States speaks to the suppression of an established drinking culture that stems back to a deep-rooted attitude towards alcohol and other mind-altering substances (ahem, Prohibition). The variation in response to Jersey Shore and Geordie Shore in America and the UK provides an insight into the local customs and values of each country that Davis and Sigthorsson discuss in their book. These local customs and values portrayed in this comparison offers an interesting perception into America’s culture of shame surrounding the consumption of alcohol and England’s all encompassing acceptance.

Word Count: 506

Works Cited

Davies, Rosamund, and Gauti Sigthorsson. Introducing the creative industries : from theory to practice. London: SAGE, 2015.

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