By ELINA TARKAZIKIS
New Jersey is more than the state of fist-pumping and guidos. Actually, much of New Jersey is not that way at all, and most of its citizens are not fans of that association. Some viewers are hoping a new show will change the state’s image.
Oct. 4 marks the date of the infamous Jersey Shore’s season premiere. This will be the show’s sixth and final season. With the Shore out of the way, people are hoping New Jersey can get a better reputation.
“I think it’s given us a bad reputation,” said N.J. resident Alyssa Covello. “Whenever people ask if we’re from New Jersey they look back and they think we’re very trashy and they think of the Jersey Shore and they think of Snooki and we’re really not like that at all.”
This fall, as one Jersey show goes out, another comes in. Cue CBS’s Made in Jersey.
Made in Jersey stars Janet Montgomery as Martina Garretti, a Jersey girl who lands herself a job in a high-profile Manhattan law firm.
Garetti uses her street-smarts and style from back home to make her impression on the big name company. It almost seems like a “jersey-fied” twist on the popular comedy, Legally Blonde, with a bit of Marisa Tomei’s role in My Cousin Vinny.
Yes, her family is Italian. Yes they eat a lot and have loud accents, and yes, Garretti has big hair with a slight poof. But this seems to be more of a story of success and family values.
Montgomery shared positive thoughts on her empowering character Martina Garretti
“She is smart. She is resourceful. She is a female lead of a show that isn’t looking for love. That’s not her priority,” said Montgomery in an interview with HITFIX. “She embodies a lot of what the older generation like my mom’s generation have made possible for women to be both feminine and have a position of power like an associate in a law firm. She is great to play. She says what she thinks before she thinks it through. She is such a great character.”
“Jersey Shore” was good for making people laugh. It was a trashy show with young kids making fools of themselves, according to critics.
“I’ve definitely watched the show, but just because it’s funny and ridiculous. It’s actually really embarrassing for us in New Jersey though,” said Covello.
Shows like the Style Network’s Jerseylicious and Bravo’s Real Housewives of New Jersey kept up the Jersey Shore tradition. There were catfights and cheetah print and extensions being pulled in each.
Some Jersey residents hope that Made in Jersey will give the state a better name.
“I hope the new show can change people’s minds on what they think about New Jersey because we definitely need a different outlook and a new image,” said Kerry Wooldridge of Ramapo College of New Jersey. “I’m a little worried that [Garretti] sort of looks the part like the other shows but that doesn’t mean she’ll act that way. We’ll see.”
The new series will air on Friday, Sept. 28 at 9:00 p.m.