NOW THAT'S FUNNY
Television shows about New Jersey are racking up big ratings for cable TV. We may be the butt of many jokes, but apparently the jokes are ones that people want to keep watching. Or maybe it's the butts that people want to watch.
"Jersey Shore" is the biggest hit, drawing over 8 million viewers for each of its episodes so far this season. "Jerseylicious", a show about stylists set in a salon in Green Brook, N.J., is a breakout hit for the Style Network. Its final episode this season was the highest rated telecast ever for that network.
TLC Network has had sweet success with "Cake Boss", whose fourth season premiere drew 2.4 million viewers. It's so popular that it has led to a spin-off: "The Next Great Baker".
Let's not forget "The Real Housewives of New Jersey", a smash for Bravo. The "Real Housewives" franchise is a solid hit, but the New Jersey gals are the highest rated of all the groups of wives.
Why has America fallen in love with New Jersey? Or are they just so freaked out by us they can't tear their eyes away?
There are, of course, many leafy, genteel places in New Jersey where conservatively dressed people speak in moderate tones to each other. No one wants to see that on TV.
The viewing public wants JERSEY, baby, and we're giving it to them. In fact, I have a few more ideas for Jersey reality shows that I think will bring in big ratings:
Jersey Little League — the nepotism of the coaches, the sobbing of the eight year olds who strike out, the rivalry on travel teams, the moms wearing tank tops in the bleachers ... it's a home run!
Jersey Property Tax — ever been to a school budget meeting? Parents who don't want art cut from the program vs. the elderly who can't afford another dollar in property taxes. It gets loud, fast.
Jersey Prom Night — the limos, the gowns, the after parties! Spray on your tan and gloss up your nail tips — nobody "proms" like New Jersey does.
Not for nothing, but we've got an image, now, and we're going to work it. We like our tans dark and our hair with plenty of product. We're outspoken. We are not burdened by a confining sense of decorum. Tick us off and we'll curse you out. But then we'll make up, hug it out, and binge drink at your house during Super Bowl.
That's what I'm talking about.
Pam Lobley writes the "Now That's Funny" column. Sign up for her mailing list at pamlobley.com.