"Jersey Shore" was the centerpiece of the MTV presentation at the annual TCA summer press tour. All the stars of the reality show megahit took the stage at the Beverly Hilton for the event and the reporters in attendance all received t-shirts portraying the "Snooki Monster"-- an orange-colored, be-poufed version of a Sesame Street muppet wearing a halter top and brandishing a pickle.
MTVs t-shirts celebrated Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, the 21-year-old woman who has arguably become the most visible symbol of a bonafide reality television phenomenon. Her castmate, Ronnie Ortiz-Magro, attempted to explain the appeal of a show that chronicles the unique, hard-partying culture on the South shore of New Jersey.
"Even the people who can't relate to us, they're inrigued by us," said Ortiz-Magro
"Jersey Shore," which debuted in 2009, has become such a cultural event that Snooki was the subject of a 2,037-word profile in the New York Times July 25. At TCA, Snooki said she had yet to read the Times' analysis of her work.
Snooki also discussed her recent troubles with the law. She was arrested for disorderly conduct July 30 in Seaside Heights, New Jersey.
"Stuff like that happens in Jersey. I was in the drunk tank a little bit, I had a few too many tequilas. What are you going to do?" Snooki asked.
On Friday, Snooki's friend, Deena Nicole Cortese was officially unveiled as the newest "Jersey Shore" castmember. Cortese's casting has been one of the worst kept secrets in the television business. Word has been out for at least a week that she was lined up to replace departing "Shore" star Angelina Pivarnick.
According to Cortese, the show is a natural fit for her.
"I'm from the Jersey Shore, the Jersey Shore is my life, I go down there every summer," Cortese said.
The addition of Cortese won't be the only major change on the upcoming season of "Jersey Shore," the show will also be dealing with the emerging superstardom of its young cast. "Jersey Shore" star Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino dismissed the notion that fame might change the winning formula of the show.
"We're still the same kids ... when we go out we have fun, I cook every Sunday ... it's pretty much the same thing," Sorrentino said.
We'll see whether or not Sorrentino is telling the truth when season two of "Jersey Shore" begins July 29.