Did you know there is a Dutch Jersey Shore? An Australian Jersey Shore? A Danish Jersey Shore? Unauthorized reproductions of the most hungover MTV reality series have been springing up all around the world — demonstrating that the appeal of watching moderately attractive drunken, tanned young people who use "gym" as a verb cavort in a vacation home is universal. As with the U.S. show, which attracted criticism from Italian-American groups for perpetuating negative stereotypes, many of the international editions have proven controversial for the ways they portray other minority groups. Let's take a closer look at America's most sozzled cultural export.
Title: Jersey Shore
Nation: USA! USA! USA!
Premise: Bunch of young Italian-Americans drinking and partying in Seaside Heights, New Jersey
Synopsis: If you aren't already intimately familiar with the goings-on of Snooki, Vinny, D.J. Pauly D., JWOWW, The Situation, et. al....why are you reading this?
Notable Slang: Grenade - An ugly woman
Atomic Bomb - A really ugly woman
Cookie - Casual sex partner
DTF - Abbreviation for Down To Fuck
Guido/Guidette - a term for a working-class Italian-American man/a term for a working-class Italian-American man given a female-gendered diminutive suffix that does not, in fact, exist in Italian (-ette is French, people. F-R-E-N-C-H.)
GTL - Abbreviation for Gym, Tan, Laundry
Juicehead - A guy so well-built he appears to be on steroids
Meatball - A woman who is short and stout
Mint - Something really, really, really awesome
Who is the Situation: A struggling actor from Vermont
Who is the Snooki: Mila Kunis
Trivia: Vinny Guadagnino was a Political Science major who interned for New York State Assemblyman Michael Cusick in 2008. He graduated from CUNY with a 3.9 G.P.A. "Vinny was a very intelligent and hardworking intern for us," says Cusick. "He's a good kid."
Total Jersey Shore-Ness Score: 10/10 flip flops — a head-to-toe Ed Hardy outfit with extra rhinestones
Title: The G.C.
Nation: New Zealand
Premise: Young New Zealand Māori living in the Gold Coast of Australia
Synopsis: There's an old saying that holds that when a New Zealander moves to Australia, the average I.Q. of both countries is improved. The G.C. stars 11 Māori who have left their native lands for the beaches and high-rise developments of Queensland, Australia. They like to drink, they like to work out, they like tattoos, and they like to pursue what one calls "the glamorous life." Two cast members are would-be models, two previously competed as singers on the Australian X-Factor, one is an aspiring rapper, and fully four are (or would like to be) making big money in real estate. The show has only been on the air for three episodes, but it has already spurred significant controversy in New Zealand due to its portrayal of Māori youth as drunken, venal, and superficial (and because the program, like most New Zealand television, was partly made with public funds). And also because Kiwis hate it when their young people move to Australia.
Notable Slang: Aunty — single woman
Broadies — the neighborhood of Broadbeach, Queensland
Mozzie — what the cast members call themselves; a contraction of "Māori" and "Aussie" (that also happens to be slang for a mosquito)
Mumsy — girlfriend
Neff — Man
Whare — the 40th-floor apartment where the cast lives ("whare," pronounced fa-ray, is Māori for house)
Who is the Situation: Tame Noema, who responded to the question "Who is the last to leave the party?" on the official show Web site by saying, "That would be I."
Who is the Snooki: Jade Louise Harawira Dewes, who like Snooki is adopted (Jade Louise is A SECRET AUSTRALIAN)
Trivia: Cast member Alby Waititi is the second cousin of Academy Award-nominated director Taika Waititi (his acclaimed film Boy is now in limited U.S. release)
Requisite Denial of Being a Jersey Shore Knockoff from a Cast Member: "It's totally different," says Rosie. "There is a lot more depth to The G.C.. The guys on Jersey Shore have no real dreams like the Māoris do here."
Total Jersey Shore Knockoff Score:7/10 flip flops — sweaty dude at the gym won't mop up after himself
Title: Kongerne af Marielyst ("The Kings of Marielyst")
Premise: Young people living the dream in the resort town of Marielyst, located on the island of Falster in the Baltic Sea
Broadcast: The 12 episodes of Season 1 aired in 2011
Synopsis: Eight hardbodied young Danes live in a vacation house and party on the beach. According to Google translate, in most episodes "there is sheet gymnastics in several rooms." The cast includes a bisexual named Prada — there's that famed Northern European tolerance! — and a bunch of women who would not look out of place on the Rock of Love tour bus. As on Jersey Shore, the eight strangers have to work summer "jobs" at the same local business in order to remain in the house. The cast is given to tattoos, hair gel, binge drinking, bronzer, and includes a girl who kinda-sorta looks like JWOWW if you squint.
Notable Slang: The show catchphrase seems to be "Fedt mand spa." (A five-minute clip of a cast member saying "Fedt mand spa" on repeat has been viewed over 95,000 times on YouTube.) I was hoping that would be Danish for "Gym, Tan, Laundry," but instead seems to mean something like "Fat, man, a hot tub." Let's assume "fat, man" means "awesome, dude."
Who is the Situation: Walid "Knaldperlen" is clearly and manifestly the Danish Situation. His Facebook fan page has 4,695 "Likes."
Who is the Snooki: Anja "Vodka," because her nickname is "Vodka"
Trivia: Proof that Scandinavian design is superior across all income and taste levels, the house the cast lives is in a lot nicer than the Jersey Shore house in Seaside Heights
Requisite Denial of Being a Jersey Shore Knockoff from a Cast Member: "Jersey Shore can't measure up to The Kings of Marielyst. I can rejoice!"
Total Jersey Shore Knockoff Score: 9/10 flip flops — leaking saline implant
Title: Kungarna av Tylösand ("The Kings of Tylösand")
Premise: Eight young Swedes...you get the picture
Synopsis: Kungarna av Tylösand actually preceded (and shares a broadcast network and a production company with) Kongerne af Marielyst, making the Danish series technically a knock-off of a knock-off of Jersey Shore. The Swedish Jersey Shore features a lot of bad techno. The resort island is Tylösand and the cast has to "work" at a surf shop.
Notable Slang: Skägg — Swedish for "beard," it means "awesome"
Who is the Situation: Hard to say; could either be Joachim "Jockyboy" or James "El Machinero." James' nickname contains a definite article, but Joachim's hair is very impressive. Maybe Joachim is more the Pauly D of the cast.
Who is the Snooki: I'm going to go with this girl, Erica "Lady Lapdance." She says her favorite memory from the show was either the time everyone got so drunk they threw up and blocked the toilet or "wrestling with the dog on my bikini bottom."
Trivia: Cast member Nemo Hedén is the son of Swedish musician Mats Hedén
Requisite Denial of Being a Jersey Shore Knockoff from a Cast Member: None found, but this year-and-a-half-later "Where are they now?" story from the Aftonbladet tabloid includes gems like, "'Today, no one will remember me,' says one of the participants."
Total Jersey Shore Knockoff Score: 6/10 flip flops — drunk too much akvavit to enjoy oral sex
Title: The Shire
Network: Channel 10
Premise: Young Australians living in Cronulla, south of Sydney, known as the Sutherland Shire
Broadcast: Still in production
Synopsis: Australia's answer to Jersey Shore is probably the only knockoff show set in a neighborhood where it's considered great to be tan — so long as you're not too tan. Yes, we're in Cronulla, Australia's most race-riot-prone suburb! The not-yet-broadcast show is already proving controversial: footage of the cast intended to be part of a pitch to potential sponsors leaked online (and was swiftly pulled amid threats of legal action, inspiring the parody you can see above), leading denizens of the Shire to denounce the reality show as tasteless. "If they're coming through with a story like this about porn stars and false boobs, I mean, it's crazy," sniffed mayor Carol Provan, who regrets granting filming rights. "We're a family Shire."
Notable Slang: Arvo - Afternoon
Bash - Party
Bogan - A working-class person who may like tinkering with cars and definitely likes drinking
Bung - Put or shove ("Bung it in there")
Dag - A total loser
God's Own Country - What the Shire calls itself
We grew here, you flew here - What residents of the Shire chanted at people they believed to be immigrants during the race riots
Who is the Situation: This may be premature, but my money's on cast member Mitch Dean. We'd need to see him shirtless to be absolutely sure, but he has the biceps.
Who is the Snooki: KC Osbourne, known as "Dollface." She wants to be a singer.
Requisite Denial of Being a Jersey Shore Knockoff from a Cast Member: "People have seen the leaked clips of the show and got the wrong idea. We'd never go on a show that was like Jersey Shore," says Mitch
Total Jersey Shore Knockoff Score: 7/10 flip flops — being mistaken for an immigrant in the Shire after dark
Title: Oh Oh Cherso and Oh Oh Tyrol
Nation: The Netherlands
Network: RTL 5
Premise: Young Dutch running wild in European vacation hotspots
Synopsis: The only Jersey Shore knockoff to endure into multiple seasons, Oh Oh... follows eight young people who like the gym, the beach, drinking, and more drinking. Oh, and also sex? (And this is the Netherlands, so the show is pretty emphatically NSFW.) Oh Oh... introduced one important development to the Jersey Shore narrative: the presence of a group of characters known as "The Neighbors," a group of slightly older Dutch holidaymakers with whom the cast often clashed. The first season, set in the Greek isles, was watched by fully 10% of the Netherlands' population. Seasons 2 (set in Tyrol, Austria) and 3 (back to Chersonissos, Greece) never recaptured that buzz. It's not known whether a fourth season will be made.
Notable Slang: Ketsen - Literally meaning "ricochet," this is what the Dutch call skipping stones. And what Oh Oh Cherso cast members call "doin' it."
ODOL - An abbreviation for "Ongelooflijke Dikke Ochtend Lul," or "Incredible Morning Thick-Dick." Morning wood.
PINO - An abbreviation for "Potentieel Interessant NeukObject," or "Potentially Interesting Fuck Object," someone you'd like to hit on
PLORK - An abbreviation for "Perfect Lijf Op Rotkop," or Perfect Body, Ugly Face. Buttaface.
WOKNOK - An abbreviation for "Wijd Openstaande KletsNatte OchtendKut," or something like "Wide Open Morning Cunt." The female equivalent of ODOL.
Who is the Situation: Cast member Joey Chip, who goes by "Matsoe Matsoe"
Who is the Snooki: Bibi "Leprechaun" Breijman, because she's petite
Trivia: A planned spinoff with a Belgian cast was killed after footage leaked online ahead of the show's broadcast debut
More Trivia: Cast member Tony "Star" Wyczynski got a Flavor of Love-style reality dating show out of his Oh Oh Cherso fame. Wyczynski has two party stars tattooed on his shoulders. His pickup line is, "Would you like to see my third?"
Total Jersey Shore Knockoff Score: 8/10 flip flops — bottle of vodka at the club (which costs $400)
Title: All of the North American Jersey Shore knockoffs
Network: Too many to name
Premise: Random Ethnic/Linguistic Minority + Cameras + ??? = $$$
Examples: The Persian Jersey Shore. The Boston Jersey Shore. The Russian Jersey Shore. The Korean Jersey Shore.
They're also about to start taping a French Jersey Shore. Like MTV U.K.'s Newcastle-set Geordie Shore (and unlike those listed here), it will be an official licensed franchise of the original.
God bless America.