Jon Gosselin and the Jersey Shore Are Ruining Television

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I hope you've had a pleasant day up til now, because it's about to get ruined. There are two bits of TV news swirling around in the pop culture eddy today that just could not be ignored, despite how hard we tried. They are reminders that sometimes the world is an awful place full of awful people, and because video cameras and the concept of "reality television" exist, those awful people are forced into our living rooms through our precious, live-giving God, the television set. Maybe we're being tested like Job or Moses in the desert. Or maybe the world really is just a cold dead place and this is all there is.

The first terrible bit of "news" is that there is a new Jon Gosselin (from Jon & Kate Plus 8 Future Extensive Psychotherapy Patients) video on Funny or Die that is sucking my will to live. Why is it so awful? Because it's an attempt by the bloated partyboy wannabe to poke fun at himself and chuckle and say "I really am a cool guy." And it's just such a terrific fail in that endeavor. The video shows Mr. Gosselin talking seriously, if completely inarticulately, about wanting to "go back" to a time when things were simpler and easier. We then watch him paw at his greasy, thinning hair and jokingly throwing out all of gels and mousses. We see him change out of his wretched Ed Hardy uniform. He takes out his diamond studs. You know, things like that. Things that the new fame-hound has become recognized and mocked for.

Gosselin's saying "Hey guys, I get it! I'm in on the joke, heh heh" which is both annoying and sad, in the way that the kid who's getting (deservedly) mocked by his classmates sometimes tries to sidle up to the group and start laughing too is both annoying and sad. Mr. Gosselin fails to realize one important fact: No one cares. No one cares to like him or, really, hate him. He's just a ridiculous nonentity who needs to retreat back into the dusky shadows of central Pennsylvania and never be seen or heard from again. The man has EIGHT small children that need looking after, and yet he somehow has the time to make awful "please love me" videos for the internet. Gurgle. Anyway, here it is!!

Heart-wrenching, isn't it? The next thing I have to show you (I just have to!) is the trailer for MTV's latest reality spectacular, Jersey Shore. It's basically a series based on two True Life "documentary" installments about yoyo Jersey Guidos who rent ugly little plywood houses down the shore for the summer and spend all their time getting drunk, dancing like poltroons, and eating "cheese balls." Oh, and they get in fights, too. They get in fights as often as you or I look at our watches or blink. Those True Life specials were utterly fascinating, but they were too short! So now MTV is granting our most damnable wishes and giving us a whole season's worth of be-necklaced men grinding in laser light show nightclubs and bouffanted women saying the word "classy" a lot and then these men and these women slowly mashing together in the beautiful, rum-fueled dance that is called love. I cannot wait. And, you know, I weep for humanity.

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    Dateline NBC
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