Jersey Shore’s cast, creator say nothing was staged, but season four will ignore their fame

MTV’s hit reality show Jersey Shore returns for its fourth season tonight, and the cast heads off to Italy to do its part to damage the United States’ reputation and their livers.

While in Italy, there were reports that the show staged or re-shot scenes, and we know that Snooki faked an injury, though perhaps just as an awful joke. But the show’s cast and creator, SallyAnn Salsano, all told the Los Angeles Times that there’s “not a chance” anything was staged or re-shot. “At the end of the day, when you put those eight together, not the best scripted writer in the world can come up with what these guys come up with,” Salsano said.

That lines up with what she told me when I interviewed her earlier this year: the show worked in part because she filmed everything and just waited to see what the cast would give her.

However, there is a bit of The Hills slipping into the show, as the show won’t address the cast’s popularity in real life. Deena Cortese told the paper, “We interact with some people, but they’re not allowed to talk about the show with us. If they want to talk to us, they have to talk to us like normal people and not like fans.”

Of course, they’re not normal people any more, and that’s going to be the series’ real challenge as it moves forward: keeping that raw authenticity that made it so engaging to begin with.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.