The Biggest Difference Between ‘Jersey Shore’ and ‘Jersey Shore: Family Vacation’

If you’re a fan of Jersey Shore, you’ve probably noticed a difference between the original MTV reality series and the reboot, Jersey Shore: Family Vacation. A producer who worked on the first two seasons of the reality show explains the biggest difference between Jersey Shore and Jersey Shore: Family Vacation.

Is 'Jersey Shore' fake?
Pauly DelVecchio, Mike ‘The Situation’ Sorrentino, Nicole ‘Snooki’ Polizzi, and Sammi ‘Sweetheart’ Giancola | Photo by Larry Marano/FilmMagic

Contrary to popular belief, ‘Jersey Shore’ isn’t a scripted series

Many reality shows feel scripted and overly produced, but Jersey Shore is as authentic as they come. Everything on the original series — from the fights to the tears and the partying — is real. “I think we were the realest reality show,” Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi told Bustle in 2018. “I can watch every other reality show and tell you, ‘That’s not real, someone told them to say that.’”

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Part of what makes the show so popular is how relatable it is. “I feel like people in life do [what we do on the show], they just don’t put it on film,” DelVecchio added. That relatability adds to the series’ authenticity.

Here’s why ‘Jersey Shore’ can feel produced at times 

If you’ve noticed the cast frequenting the same bars, gyms, and tanning salons, you may think the show is staged. A former story and field producer explained why the show might feel that way on Reddit. “[Everything the cast did] was scheduled and planned in advance to get filming permits and all that red tape in order, not to stage anything,” they wrote. “It’s not just the cast that needs to get to the location — the film crew, their equipment, A/V setup, producers, all need to be at the location too.” A lot of moving parts go into making Jersey Shore entertaining, but that doesn’t mean it’s fake.

Viewers think ‘Jersey Shore’ is fake, but a former producer confirms it’s not

That same producer for the MTV series also addressed the biggest misconception surrounding Jersey Shore on Reddit. They said, “I think people think that based on editing, that the show [is] fake.” This producer worked on seasons 1 and 2 of Jersey Shore, so they could only speak to their experience.

“It wasn’t [fake] during the early years. The editing could look sloppy at times, but it’s because production is trying to protect the integrity of the show, keep a storyline intact, and prevent it from breaking the fourth wall all at the same time.” If there are portions of Jersey Shore that look incohesive, that’s likely why. 

‘Jersey Shore: Family Vacation’ is more produced than the original ‘Jersey Shore’ 

The drama surrounding Angelina Pivarnick’s wedding on this season of Jersey Shore: Family Vacation has exposed how different the reboot is. Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi revealed how producers insisted she make a speech at Pivarnick’s wedding. “I literally told producers, ‘I’m not going to do a speech because I’m not comfortable doing one; I don’t think we should be doing one,’” Polizzi told The Ashley Reality Roundup. “We were forced to do something we didn’t want to do.”

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Production may not have impacted earlier seasons of Family Vacation as much, but they likely weighed heavily on season 3. The former field producer says “Angelina’s wedding was paid for by the network, production, and sponsors.” This means producers controlled lot of the events that day and an impact on the roommates’ actions.

Regardless of how forced Jersey Shore: Family Vacation feels, fans are eager to see how relationships change after this season.