Vinny from Jersey Shore knows more about climate change than the president

Vinny, for those of us who never watched Jersey Shore, was the “nice guy” of the Shore House, a political science major with a 3.9 GPA who “followed the others’ lead when it came to the ladies on the shore and also managed to avoid most (not all) of the arguing and fighting,” according to a surprisingly detailed entry …

Jersey Shore’s The Situation indicted on tax fraud just in time for summer, baby

Jersey Shore star Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino has been hit with multiple charges of tax fraud, the Associated Press says, including allegations of tax evasion, filing bogus tax reports, and falsifying records. It’s a stunning rash of indictments that could spell serious legal trouble for Sorrentino and his brother…

Watch what you read: 19 essential books about TV

Among its 100-plus lists, the 2009 Inventory book (now available for the low, low price of a penny!) contains “TV Guides: 5 essential books about TV.” The books it highlights—The Late Shift by Bill Carter, Live From New York by James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales, Total Television by Alex McNeil, The Glass Teat by…

MTV remembers music exists, launches a 24-hour online music festival featuring Gavin Degraw, Questlove, and Hanson

MTV may be busy filling you in on pregnant teens, Snooki, and catfishing scams, but the network hasn’t forgotten about music altogether. The channel that once actually showcased music on television is teaming up with its sister networks, VH1 and CMT, along with its parent network Viacom to launch a 24-hour online…

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Buckwild – “F. The Neighborhood”/“Dump Truck Pool Party”

Buckwild—MTV’s latest attempt to capture the hearts, minds, and hormones of America’s most bored demographic—is full of warning signs. I don’t mean “warning signs” in the “early indications of cultural decline” sense of the phrase, though that definition would apply as well. I mean literal signs: title cards, the…

A Tyler Perry academic conference applies highbrow criticism to a lowbrow empire

Sometimes the secret purpose of academic conferences, roundtables, and symposia seems to be to make whatever subject they’re covering more substantive than it actually is. That particularly applies to academic conferences devoted to seeming pop ephemera, like last year’s University Of Chicago academic conference…

Why Couples Therapy and Courtney Stodden epitomize the empty narcissism of reality TV

I began watching VH1’s disgustingly addictive Couples Therapy out of a morbid desire to see Bay Area independent-rap pioneer Too Short resolve his relationship issues in an exhibitionist, queasily exploitative group environment. So it brings me no joy to report that Too Short is a total washout as a reality-television…