Mike ‘The Situation’ Sorrentino Defends ‘Jersey Shore’, His ‘Guido’ness

"It’s not a definition of Jersey or New York. It’s just a bunch of kids ... partying"

Jersey Shore, the new break-out hit reality TV show on MTV that is a mixture of The Real World + The Hills + Copious amounts of Hair Gel, is getting a lot of attention both good and bad after airing just one night (two episodes both on the same night) last week. Entertainment Weekly spoke with one of the Jersey Shore castmembers, Mike The Situation Sorrentino, to discuss some of the flak the show is getting for the way it allegedly presents Italian-Americans. In his interview, The Situation vehemently defends his right to be a self-proclaimed “guido” and explains how the term is, in his mind, a compliment:


MTV’s Jersey Shore premiered less than a week ago but already has been the subject of growing controversy. Italian-American groups, like UNICO, have blasted the series for what they perceive as a negative portrayal of Italian-Americans and the use of the words “guidos” and “guidettes.” UNICO is now asking for its members to complain to MTV’s advertisers and for the network to remove the series from its schedule. EW talked to Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino, one of the series’ cast members, about the controversy surrounding Jersey Shore, his new best friend Pauly D, and whether or not he’d do a second season.

On his newfound reality fame:
“I’ve only been out one night since the show aired and as soon as I walked into the bar it was pretty wild. People were like, ‘Oh my god that’s him. That’s The Situation.’ And then people asked me to take pictures and stuff like that.”

On complaints that the show negatively portrays Italian-Americans:
“This is what happens down here. It’s not a definition of the East Coast. It’s not a definition of Jersey or New York. It’s just a bunch of kids that happen to be partying and working and living together in New Jersey. Some of these people are trying to pretend like when you’re in your 20s and you’re single you don’t go out and have fun. Or you don’t go out and get a couple drinks. And when that happens you know there are gonna be a couple arguments. There are gonna be a couple fights. Life is not perfect.”

Um … ok. But what of the “guido” term that gets thrown around every 5 seconds on the show? What does a term like that mean to The Situation? After the jump, find out …

On whether the terms “guido” and “guidette” are offensive:
“No. No. If you do see the show, you see it used in a loving or a good way. The older generation doesn’t understand. These days in New York and New Jersey a ‘guido’ is a good-looking Italian male that likes to have fun and a ‘guidette’ is a good-looking Italian girl.”

On becoming buddies with fellow castmate Pauly D:
“I had an awesome experience with shooting and with MTV. I actually met a best friend on the show, Pauly D. Me and him are like best friends. His birthday is July 5th and mine is July 4th. His name is Pauly Michael and my name is Michael Paul. There are a lot of coincidences. We speak all the time to this day. I met a lifelong friend.”

On whether he’d do another season:
“Oh, of course. If America wants something like that, I’m sure we’ll be able to give it to them.”

I can pretty much 100% guarantee you that there will be a second season of Jersey Shore … now, whether or not any of the original castmembers will be asked back or if a new group of “guidos/guidettes” will be cast remains to be seen. After just one night on the air, Jersey Shore has become THE show that everyone is talking about. I gotta admit, I was hooked in the first 5 mins. I can’t wait to see more. From the previews alone, it looks like the coming season of Jersey Shore is really gonna pack a wallop for viewers. In regards to Mike The Situation Sorrentino … well … it would appear that a star is born.

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  1. J Jefferson

    The Situation is def the star of that show. Also, he’s brilliant @ marketing. The “I Love the Situation” panties is a million dollar idea. I hope he had enough foresight to trademark that before the show aired.

    Also, as arrogant as he is, he’s still likable(so far) which is a VERY rare thing. Hats off to the Situation.

  2. Katie

    I LOVE this show. It is just absurd but wonderful!

  3. CHASE

    I haven’t watched an episode yet but I definitely want to!

  4. Chivonne

    I liked the first episode. The previews for the second look blah. I guess to me the whole drama and sleeping and sharing tongue thing is so old and played out not to mention skanky to me.
    As for him he was my favorite. I think this show has so much potential to be better than the Hills was! The drama isn’t so contrived and blatantly fake/forced.

  5. Jstar

    So down with the situation….

  6. Elle

    This show is hilarious. My roommate and I watched it on Sunday and I actually did say out loud, “Why are they doing this to Italian people,” while one of them was putting handful after handful of hair product into his car. They’re actions are typical of young twenty-somethings who watch too much MTV and take it seriously.
    It’s like watching Housewives of New Jersey except they are even dumber because they’re younger.
    As far as what Mike(I refuse to call him by that ridiculous nickname) thinks Guido and Guidette means to young people today I think it is ridiculous only because I wouldn’t classify any of them as good-looking especially after all the tanning, boobs, big hair, gelled hair, redonkulous hair cuts, and douchy slutty clothing. Add in lame personalities and you’ve got yourselves a negative definition to the word guido.

  7. Ria

    the guido/guidette culture is one of my most beloved obsessions!

    i couldn’t stop laughing when none of these ‘italians’ knew how to peel garlic, and how the girls of the house kept referring to themselves as ‘classy ladies.’

  8. Nikki

    I was channel surfing and came upon Jersey Shore by accident, and it completely SUCKED ME IN!! I loved it.
    Except Snooki, she kept, “waaaaa”-ing and acting like a complete spaz. What a train wreck!

  9. Shellslove

    I’m w/Elle, but only in so far as I refuse to call that guy ‘The Situation’ (oh, good lord!) I think this show is hilarious though! They aren’t really making fun of Italian people as much they are specifically making fun of themselves – except they don’t know it – which makes it so amazing! Btw, I’ve spent a handful of summers in Lavalette which borders Seaside Heights and we’d go to the boardwalk bars every weekends (though I’d smack myself if I was ever sighted at The “Boo” while “fist pumping.” We stick to the bayside normally.) Honestly? Seaside really is this bad if not WORSE in reality -and you have to be as drunk as those kids were…to handle those kids. I.LOVE.IT!

  10. Claire

    I’ve never heard of this show but then again I tend to avoid anything related to MTV.

  11. Gaby

    Love this show…better than The Real World and Road Rules

  12. Kim

    i am obsessed!!! it is so ridiculous but so fun all at the same time.

    and oh doesn’t love a good ol’ cocky hot boy ;)

  13. Elle

    I hate cocky hot boys. He’s a cocky average guy who spends hours in the gym to compensate for his averageness. This guy doesn’t even have hotness on his side.

  14. nicole

    this show is sooo past ridiculous…i love it lol

  15. JenXteen

    My fiance and I live right in this area. He’s 46 and said that bar, Bamboo, was called the same thing when he was a kid and had the same crowd coming down from Staten Island, etc. Some things never change! And, yes, we watch it. I’m equally appalled and enthralled.

    Why is “Schnicker” (cracked me up when they called her that) so into the 80′s. That nail polish, that hair clip – I didn’t even know you could still buy those!

  16. Gina

    I’m an Italian-American originally from New York, but the show doesn’t offend me. It cracks me up because those girls are exactly the types of girls some of my old elementary school friends have turned into. My friends get a really good laugh out of it when I tell them that thats what I could have turned into had I not moved to the South.

    Until somebody judges ME based on what they see on that show- I don’t think it’ll bother me. It’ll just be a really good laugh. =D

  17. Irma

    There’s a constant stereotype on all of MTV’s shows. It happens. These kids love it. We love it (especially The Situation).

  18. Trent! The new 30 Seconds to Mars album dropped today! Deeeefinatly have to listen.

  19. The affection he portrays for Pauly D is endearing and I have to wonder if it’s likely gonna lead to a third offensive term, ‘Gaydo’.

    But yeah, I got sucked into this show last week too. This guy’s name just absolutely kills me, I love it.

  20. Lucy

    I’m not gonna lie i’m hooked too…it’s trashy tv at its best!

  21. Shawn

    Love this show! I want a guido…Pauly D is so freakin hot–I was heartbroken when ‘Growing up Gotti’ went of the air…but now I have ‘Jersey Shore’…YUM

  22. roxster

    lol @ Kent.

    I dunno if I agree with his definition that its a good looking italian guy/girl. I’ve seen plenty of people someone might consider a guido/guidette that are actually not even italian. To me, its not an ethnic term anymore but instead a style. Same way you’d call someone emo, punk, goth, or, prep.

  23. cLo

    RIA- you wrote it so well:
    “i couldn’t stop laughing when none of these ‘italians’ knew how to peel garlic, and how the girls of the house kept referring to themselves as ‘classy ladies.’ “

  24. Ace F

    Man that guy has a big nose? Girls find him attractive?

  25. Mr. Gyllenhaal

    Hands down the best show on TV!!! Long live the Guido!

  26. Liz

    ” I came home because I wanted some HAM and water” OMG this show is had me rolling! LOVE IT!!

  27. Nicole

    Just wait, Next year MTV is going to do the same thing with cholo/cholas

  28. SuziLee

    OMFG this show is a-friggin-mazing!! I’m soooo hooked – it’s trashy tv at it’s best. And as an italian-american from Jersey – I’m soooo not offended. There’s a diff between an italian & a guido. Guido’s like a state of being – italian is a heritage! : )
    Can not wait for tomorrow’s episode!

  29. Loool I love how it’s making frun of Italian-Americans. As I said I used to live in Rumson with an Italian family and jeeez they were annoying as fuck!

  30. Judy

    I am Italian-American and from New Jersey. When the Sopranos came out, people thought I was in the mob. Now this show, people assume when I was growing up and going “down the shore” I was a guidette. I never was a guidette, yet I laughed at them every chance I get. Yet, what if MTV folllowed a bunch of Hispanics around and had them calling themselves by an ethnic slur? Or African Americans? It’s ok to make fun of Italian-Americans… nothing ever changes.

  31. Kristen

    I grew up in New Jersey, and I have some friends there that look like this. I just don’t get why they think orange tans look good. Can’t they tell they are orange??? I’m so glad I moved away and didn’t become like this, but then again I probably wouldn’t have even if I stayed. I do have friends up there without orange tans, thank goodness. But yes, the people in Jersey really are like this. Not everyone, but there are plenty.

  32. Meredith

    But isn’t it THEIR choice to call each other by an ethnic slur? I mean, it’s not even in the title of the show. If that’s how they usually refer to one another, who are we to say anything about it? Isn’t it tantamount to those who choose to use the “N” word within their own social circles when referring to one another? While (very) offensive to many, if acceptable within their own ranks, isn’t it their right to do so?

    And let’s not forget the most important thing: you can always change the channel…

  33. alicia

    i didnt actually believe that there were people like that…. wow totally hooked!

  34. guido or not, the guy has a nice body

  35. Claire

    Noooooooo not the cholos and cholas!!! I married a guy who was born and raised in east la and I worked in montebello for 3 years. I never want to see one of those clowns ever again!

  36. I love watching Jersey Shore and I dont care what anybody thinks of mike and pauly d and I love the way they are. I am married to an italian guy and we have a little girl Danyalla Grace and he loves his daughter and he’s a great husband and father to me and Danyalla. So all the negative people who don’t live Jersey Shore don’t judge someone by the way they act not until you really get to know that person.

  37. Catherine

    What is wrong with you Mike, you are not sexy, your abs aren’t good looking, you have no true character and you hang on nothing important. You are a narcissistic piece of trash that makes you less then human. You are all jerks and you make true Italians look and feel bad. How dare you disgrace my culture and take from me my worth. You are all losers. Oh Yeah just to let you know, my daughter is better looking then all of you wish or ever hoped you could be. Oh and Mike, I’ve seen much better abs then yours. LOSER!

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