Holy creeping, cum-guzzling crap, randy readers! This “Jersey Shore” thing has gotten way out of hand. A while back, I’m sure you’re aware, MTV had the brilliantly novel idea to get a bunch of overly tanned, booze-guzzling, hookup-loving beach bums from the Northeast together in a house on the North Jersey shore and follow them around with cameras. Needless to say, total insanity ensued: drunken fistfights and hookups, pickle sucking and fist pumping, hair gelling and pompadour poofing, crying and laughing, and shots, and shots, and shots. A breakthrough in reality television, certainly, but what nobody could have foreseen was the astounding, record-breaking popularity that “Jersey Shore’s” self-proclaimed guidos and guidettes would attract.
The show won acclaim from almost no corner (except perhaps the comments of academics and feminist websites that the show was incredibly “meta”—which, depending on your take on postmodernism, could be considered a compliment), but it stirred up controversy on all sides as the cast astonished the world with their ridiculous antics. By the end of its eight-episode first season, “Jersey Shore” was the most-watched show in MTV’s history. It had garnered complaints from New Jersey’s tourism board, stirred up controversy about the use of the word “guido” amongst Italian-American groups, introduced a whole new slang into the blogosphere, annoyed millions, and entertained millions more. The cast went on pretty much every talk show in existence, issued statements ranging from, “I feel we are representing Italian-Americans” to “We’re not representing anybody,” embarrassed themselves with their lack of first-grade knowledge of history on the Jay Leno Show, and renegotiated their contracts for a second season (rumor has it they’ve upped their pay from $200 an episode to $10,000).
America, meanwhile, couldn’t figure out what to make of all of it. Critics were stunned that a blatant mockery—or snapshot, depending on who you ask—of a culture could be such addictive viewing, but fans argued that that was the fun of it. Watching “Jersey Shore” was like passing a train wreck: you knew it would be gruesome, but you couldn’t look away, and you knew that when you’d gotten past it you’d feel better about your own life. And people did, by the millions. And the porn community took note—the show was pretty much a parody of itself already, and the possibilities were limitless.
After all, here was a cast of eight heavily tanned, hard-bodied narcissists with ridiculous hairstyles, drunk off their asses and carousing on camera. It practically was porn already! Lightbulbs went off in the heads of the porn community, and the only question in anyone’s mind was: who will end up making the “Jersey Shore” porn parody? Taryn Thomas, the industry’s hottest recent cumback star and proudly born-and-raised north Jersey guidette herself, jumped on the idea like it was a woodsman’s wang and announced that her company, Taryn It Up Entertainment, would team up with Adam & Eve to make Jersey Shore XXX in mid-December. But not far behind were PopPorn and Zero Tolerance, close on their heels with the announcement that they would make Not Jersey Shore: Jersey Whores! Two parodies: one show. Who would come out on top in this dogpile of debauchery?
The randy race was on to see who could get the hottest whores, the dirtiest directing, the raunchiest writing, and the fastest fuck filming schedule. What ensued was mayhem of the maudlin type, with each studio sending out press releases and shooting scenes and spooge at astonishing speed. Neck-in-neck, both films are about to cross the finish line. Up first, Not Jersey Shore: Jersey Whores, from Zero Tolerance and PopPorn, which debuts today, February 16! (Jersey Shore XXX From Adam and Eve and Taryn It Up is due out next week, on the 23rd.) We wondered what to expect from both these parodies of parodies in porn style, so we sat down with PopPorn big-wig Brian Bangs to discuss why he thinks his absurdist take on the pop-culture coital production will hump the hell out of the competition. Next week? Two of the stars of the respective films, Lexi Love and Taryn Thomas, square off on why their vids are the most vicious, and we’ll review the films themselves to see what the WHACK! artists make of…the Jersey Wars!
WHACK! Tell us how you came to the conclusion that porn parody of MTV’s “Jersey Shore” was the right thing for PopPorn and Zero Tolerance to work on.
Brian Bangs Well, honestly, we (meaning POPPORN and Zero [Tolerance]) had been bouncing ideas for a parody around for some time. However, it’s a difficult process [. . .] finding a program that you think you might be successful at taking the piss out of. Parodies are a huge business, obviously, but we felt that if we were going to do one, that we wanted to make sure we picked a show that we felt we could really spin into a ridiculously absurd movie. We never wanted to simply recreate a show or an episode of a show and toss in some sex. There didn’t seem to be any fun in that. So, when “Jersey Shore” started, I [. . .] caught an episode of it and immediately thought, Wow, now this is something that would just make sense. Something that you could really have a lot of fun with and not just have it be some straight, dry take; instead, it could really benefit from our more ridiculous writing style. Thus, we roughed out a scene or two script-wise and sent it off to Zero; they loved it and we went right into production with a press release to the industry.
W! It’s interesting that both versions of the parody have gotten a lot of mainstream media attention (as does everything attached to “Jersey Shore”), but almost no one has picked up on the fact that there are two coming out, a week apart! Why do you think that is?
BB Honestly, I think it’s because on a fan, or porn fan, level, no one really cares. The fact of the matter is that a person who wants to buy an adult parody of a show doesn’t care that there’s two, three, or ten different versions. They are going to go to their local store or their online retailer and buy whichever one they think looks the best, has the best cast, or is the first one they see on the shelf. So while there has been a ton of attention for both in the media, and it helps both productions, the reality is that whoever is on the street first is going to win.
W! Why do you think Jersey Shore was such a cultural phenomenon? Why was yet another ridiculous, over-the-top reality show such a huge hit?
BB The cynic in me seems to feel that the reason it is such a popular show is that ultimately, people like/love to judge other people. They like to feel superior to folks they think make asses of themselves. As programs continue to devolve into studies of one particular niche culture, it will only make sense that this sort of elitism will continue to create wildly popular programs like Jersey Shore. Sadly, none of us seem to accept that we all fall into cultural niche’s and any one of them could be made fun of if put under a microscope.
W! Do you think Jersey Shore is a legitimate statement of a certain kind of ethnic culture, or a contrived bunch of behaviors MTV made for the rest of the country to make fun of?
BB Being from the East Coast and spending a lot of time on the Jersey Shore, I can guarantee that the kinds of people featured in Jersey Shore are truly a culture that exists. You can go to Seaside Heights every summer and run into folks exactly like the folks you see on that program. However, again, it’s just one cultural niche. MTV certainly understands that more outlandish, or unique a cultural style is, the better TV it is…
W! Is Jersey Whores going to be making fun of Jersey Shore, or celebrating it?
BB Our version of Jersey Shore is definitely poking fun at the entire thing. There’s no question about it, however, I don’t think we are malicious. Instead, we sort of take the ridiculous nature of the characters, accept them for who they are, and take it to the most absurdist conclusions possible.
W! Do you believe that the term “guido” is a word for a lifestyle, or is it a derogatory ethnic epithet?
BB Honestly, the word means nothing to me. I claim no ownership to it so I don’t really worry about it. I assume that almost any word can be viewed as a positive or a negative, so it’s up to the individual to decide for themselves.
W! Does Jersey Whores have a XXX version of “fist pumping”? Cause I’m not really into that.
BB Haha, no, we thought of ways that fist pumping could be include in some sort of sexual act, but honestly, the humor in the way these characters view fist pumping as a serious, legitimate dance expression is way funnier than anything we could add to it…so we kept it true to it’s foundation. There’s a great fist pumping scene in Official Jersey Shore Parody that you kind of have to see to believe…but it’s not sexualized.
W! How about pickles? Will there be any lessons on how to eat a pickle, using a cock to demonstrate? How about “smooshing”? “Vibing”?
BB Again, we kind of wanted to stay away from obvious redo-s of the original show. Sure, there are obvious directions you could take with the whole pickle thing and Snooki, but when we were writing the script, it just seemed too obvious. So, we decided to shift the concept around a little bit and make it our own in hyper-real sort of way.
W! Did your cast re-enact the Snooki punch that was edited out of the show?
BB Now that part we were NOT gonna stray from…look, if you do a Jersey Shore parody Snooki has to get punched. She just has to and in Official Jersey Shore Parody, Snooki gets punched…repeatedly.
W! In a way, the people on Jersey Shore are kind of parodies of themselves, or at least are presented that way. Was it difficult to make a parody of a parody? Or did you just try to act like the real cast?
BB No, honestly, as I mentioned when you start looking at a concept that is already, “out there” it’s a much more fun project. You can allow yourself to write these characters into more and more absurd situations that give fans something different. An alternate take on that universe rather than a standard repeat with sex tossed in so I think folks will really dig our version.
W! Did you guys approach any of the real Jersey Shore cast to take part in your parody?
BB Haha, we did at first. We have The Situations phone number and made a few calls to him, but honestly, when we started thinking about it, none of us really wanted to deal with him on set. We only assumed it would be annoying.
W! Which version, Jersey Whores or Jersey Shore XXX, will be hotter? Funnier? Guido-ier? Why?
BB Well, I have no doubt that Official Jersey Shore Parody will be a much better movie than any other version of Jersey Shore. The fact of the matter is that we really went all out with this movie. We had an amazing cast and crew, a great script, budget and locations. When it comes down to it, all you need do is put the box covers side by side. Which looks better? Watch both trailers one after the other? Which looks better? Which looks funnier? Line up the cast side by side, which cast do you actually want to see fuck on film?
Really, there’s no real competition. Any customer that purchases Official Jersey Shore Parody is going to see a funny, ridiculous and retardedly hot porn. That’s all we can do.
—Interview conducted by WHACK!’s favorite female staffer, Miss Lagsalot.