In 2017, MTV decided to try and bring back the mid-2000s vibe with “MTV Floribama Shore,” a type of spinoff of the popular “Jersey Shore.” Like many would guess, the reality series follows the stupid antics of eight young adults as they spend their summer on the Florida panhandle. With Season 3 of the series approaching, it’s a shock that it has even been renewed. After the chaotic four seasons of “Jersey Shore” came to a close, it had seemed that the desire for content highlighting the drunken activities of young adults was a fad of the past.
MTV had a different opinion on the subject. They’re using hookup drama, dead relationships, newfound independence and the burying of the past to try and drag viewers in for a taste of the mayhem, and it’s working. In 2018, nearly 1 million viewers tuned in for the Season 2 premiere. While Season 4 of “Jersey Shore” received just well over 8.8 million views during its premiere, “MTV Floribama Shore” still received surprising publicity for a series that is derivative of its predecessor.
So, why do individuals still tune in to a TV series such as this? Maybe it is the crave for disorganization. Maybe it is the desire to laugh at something or someone who comes off as dumb, or maybe it is because of the dream some have to just let loose. Whatever it is that drives flocks of viewers to the reality series, “MTV Floribama Shore” should have never been created.
On a surface level, “MTV Floribama Shore” is nothing more than a cheaper version of the MTV original “Jersey Shore.” Between its budget production and mediocre editing, the series does not pass as anything more than visual garbage. Pair this with an overabundance of intoxication, violent fights and grotesque objectification of female cast members, and the series has created the perfect concoction for a clumsy attempt to rope in viewership.
Sifting through the language used and the actions performed by cast members, viewers will realize that “MTV Floribama Shore” is far beyond simple clichés and has entered the realm of toxic and problematic entertainment. It promotes the idea to many millennials that the way the cast members live in “MTV Floribama Shore” is an acceptable one. In a world where children and young adults are strongly susceptible to the media influences surrounding them on a daily basis, the series should appear as a red flag for many more parents.
Turning away from the focus of the content of “MTV Floribama Shore,” the series additionally problematizes the art of reality TV. By definition, reality TV is meant to portray unscripted real life scenarios with individuals or contestants who are not reportedly famous. However, as the late ‘90s and early 2000s become more of a distant memory each day, the empire of what reality TV once was begins to crumble. While not the only example of a reality series that has earned a place among the realm of braindead TV, “MTV Floribama Shore” holds a high place on the list.
It is not only the series that’s a disappointment for what used to be a cult favorite television station among teens and young adults. MTV, as a cable network, has become a disgrace to its younger self. Putting the focus on music videos and classic series such as “Degrassi” behind, the network has made it obvious that they’re desperate to stay afloat in a time where streaming services are on the rise. Considering this, it seems that “MTV Floribama Shore” is an outlet for MTV to bring attention to itself, and it’s right in the name of the series.
While some might consider this a harmless decision, the reality of this conscious choice is much more than that. It’s all about marketing. Despite the continuous loss of original content on the network, MTV still serves as a staple in the sport of watching cringe worthy content. By attaching MTV to the name of the series, there are expectations that come along with this branding. Upon reading it, viewers will picture chaos, drama and an abundance of both crazy and stupid situations. Tying it back to the speculation as to why so many are drawn to this type of content, it is clear that MTV knows what they are known for and what putting their name in the title of the series means for marketing. Obviously, it worked.
On Nov. 14, viewers will be tuning in to get their fix of insanity and a series that hides behind the mask of a reality tv show. Despite the popularity and publicity that the series will no doubt receive in just a little under a month from now, viewers should watch with caution. Like most series and movies that present themes of toxicity, violence and triggers with a warning label, “MTV Floribama Shore” should carry one as well that reads, “Warning: Watching ‘MTV Floribama Shore’ may result in the loss of brain cells or the grasp on reality. Please turn off your TV.”