THE SHOW "Jersey Shore"
WHEN | WHERE Thursday at 10 p.m. on MTV
WHAT IT'S ABOUT Reality show in which a group of young adults spends the summer in Seaside Heights, N.J., partying, hooking up, unhooking.
LONG ISLAND CONNECTIONS Three, in fact: 1. Jenni Farley, the housemate otherwise known as "J-Woww," currently lives in Franklin Square; 2. Brad Ferro, a gym teacher from Deer Park, punched female cast member Snookie in the face. (After promo-ing it last week, MTV decided to excise the footage from Thursday's show.); 3. Sally Ann Salsano, the show's producer, is from Farmingdale. She named her production company, 495 Productions, after a certain local highway.
THE CONTROVERSY In a word, "guido," which MTV pulled from promotional tags before launch a couple weeks ago - though some cast members still refer to themselves as such on the air. UNICO, a Fairfield, N.J., Italian-American service organization, has called for "Jersey Shore's" abolition. Ferro's action also added to the tumult.
THE PRODUCER SAYS Salsano says: "I am shocked - I am shocked" over the controversy. "And I think the people who are screaming about us making stereotypes are making the stereotype worse." She adds that "50 percent of the kids" in the house aren't even Italian. "I must tell you, as a girl from Long Island, it's the way I was as a kid. I even have a picture of myself in my paneled house on the Jersey shore, and some of the best summers of my life were spent there. All this is a documentary following the kids . . . who are having fun, having a good time."
She says, "We feel genuinely bad" about the controversy. "It was not our intention at all."
MY SAY I, too, am shocked - shocked - by the controversy. Seriously, what's the big deal? We all know Jenni, or Snookie, or Pauly D, or Vinny, or someone like them, or are someone like them, or saw someone like them at that club - The Crazy Donkey, or Dune, or the Whitehouse, or Zachary's, or Neptune Beach Club - that we might have been at the other night. They're not "stereotypes." They're who they are, for better or worse.
BOTTOM LINE Much ado about nothin', and I'll take this crowd over the dorks on "The Hills" any day.