Hard on the heels of the happy news that New Jersey finished in the middle of the pack of a Forbes '50 happiest states' rankings comes the debut of a depressing Bravo series called 'Real Housewives of New Jersey.'
The former is quite a coup for the much-maligned Garden State, alternatively known as 'America's armpit.' New Jerseyans told Forbes researchers that they were doing just fine, thank you, in such areas as: well-being, life evaluation, work quality, basic access to infrastructure services, healthy behavior, and physical and emotional health.
For the record, Utah finished first in the happiest states rankings (I guess plural marriages do work) and West Virginia finished dead last (my apologies to faithful readers Lunchboy and Lance LePoer, who have direct ties to the coal mining capital of the U.S.).
So, while I was pleased to see my beleaguered home state do fairly well (and finish far ahead of New York and those snobby Manhattanites. Take that, Ms Scheluter-Brown-Schleuter), I was simultaneously dismayed to read about the debut of Bravo's Real Housewives of NJ series. The latter will quickly undo any good done by the Forbes rankings and, like the Sopranos before it, convince viewers everywhere that the state is populated by hordes of mindless, silicone-enhanced, dyed blond gold-diggers named Teresa, Dina and Caroline who spout such mal mots as, 'Her heart is as big as her bubbies.'
Hey, we New Jerseyans are used to taking the good with the bad. For every Bernardsville, Spring Lake and Upper Saddle River, we also have a Camden, Trenton and Bogota. For every Woodrow Wilson, Peter Rodino and Vince Lombardi, we also have a Sharp James, Robert Brennan and Aaron Burr.
Our state's image and reputation may have scored a momentary victory with a decent Forbes ranking, but it's almost expected that a Bravo-type series will counter with a body blow of a reality show that perpetuates NJ's love affair with Mob-connected families from Franklin Lakes.
But, hey you got a problem with that? You want a piece of me? You think New Jersey will ever have a good image? Fuggedaboutit!
I like the post, but Utah polygamy jokes are really cheap shots. The LDS Church outlawed the practice in 1890. Mormon religion has its faults, but they do a lot of good in the world; reinforcing those stereotypes is offensive.
It’s yours. Take it and use it, my friend. But, when I finally get to your routine, the two drink minimum will be covered by you!
Great observations, Lunch. I should have thought of the ‘housewives of the Monongahela’ angle. Damn!
Oh man. Where to begin? A timely post as I might be returning to the hills of WV this weekend. I will be with three gents from the Wild, Wonderful state. All of them are pretty well off and hard workers…and they will take this as an insult. I’d be interested in knowing how many people from WV took part in this survey if a total of 950 North Dakotans were called. There are close to 200 millionaires in Morgantown, WV alone. (Mylan Millionaires). Also, there is something to be said for a sorry state that does have one of the best unemployment numbers in the country (5.3%).
As for Bravo!, methinks that reality TV will be the downfall of the USA – not McDonalds. Just think of people’s behaviors toward one another and the impressions these shows make on their viewers. Nows we gots to deal with the Jurzy aksents and crwayzy tawlk!!!
That being said, I bet you can add plenty of fodder to your routine about Bravo’s plans for a Real Housewives on the Monongahela. Those housewives (ahem, sisters and cousins) would be sure to win you a laugh or two from the crowd.