One of MTV's most successful forays into the reality TV genre, Jersey Shore did surprisingly well for six seasons, running from 2009 until 2012. We sat transfixed, unable to take our eyes off the almost neon-orange glow of their skin, their fixation on their hair, faces and bodies, and their inability to make rational and adult decisions without shouting or melting down completely. This motley bunch of guidos and guidettes introduced not just US viewers, but also bemused audiences worldwide, to a small slice of US culture. Now many of the love-to-hate cast members are back in a new chapter of Jersey Shore—season one premiered in April, and season two is already in the works, according to Nylon.
While many who saw even just a little bit of the antics that the Jersey Shore cast got up to probably decided they would never, ever want to go to the actual New Jersey shore, there are actually many worse places in America—and the rest of the world. A fixation on the superficial can be found in some pretty unlikely places, and as hard as it is to believe, there are worse places on Earth than the Jersey shore. From spray tans, Botox injections and cat fights to plastic surgery and single-minded dedication to partying, check out this list of places worse than the Jersey Shore.
20 Panama City Beach, Florida: Spring Break In Overdrive
Known throughout the country as a spring break destination, when thousands of young college students descend upon the normally tiny town imbibing and debauching their way through the all-too-short week, Panama City Beach has taken a few hits in the last couple years. Locals finally had enough with half (or completely) unclothed college revelers carousing and partying at all hours, and took steps to restrict spring break, according to My Panhandle. The Jersey Shore cast—hard partying experts—would have fit right in, but sadly spring break just isn't what it used to be in Panama City Beach.
19 Las Vegas, Nevada: What Happens There Follows Us For Life
The appeal of Las Vegas is that not only do we all know it's trash, but so does the city itself. What happens in Vegas will soon go worldwide, because the Jersey Shore: Family Vacation cast is taking on The Strip in season two, as per Refinery29. Gaudy Las Vegas, home of every excess of body and soul, is a perfect fit for Pauly D and friends. A fabricated desert oasis is the place for the strip-club-loving and spray-tan-having type of people that make a night of partying so much fun, and the morning after so much more difficult to face.
18 Rio De Janeiro, Brazil: Where Looks Matter, And Nothing Else
There's a hotbed of surgically sculpted and tanned bodies in America—South America, that is. Whereas the New Jersey shore's guido lifestyle is arguably one particular subculture, entire academic studies have pondered the incredible ego and overwhelming vanity of both the men and women of Rio de Janeiro, according to SciELO. In fact, an entire music genre exemplifies the singular focus that a large number of the city's various favela inhabitants have with objectifying the opposite gender, as well as the glorification of money and material things. Rio also hosts Carnival every year—a dazzling spectacle of bronzed perfect bodies.
17 Belfast, Northern Ireland Boasts The Fakest Tans Around
In a city full of men, women and children where up to one fifth have fake-tanned in the last year, there's something more than a trend going on. Belfast can claim the title of the most fake-tanned city in the UK—a dubious accolade, as per YouGov. More than a quarter of the population were considering getting tanned in the near future. Both spray tans and tanning beds are favored in northerly Belfast, and as less skin cancer-inducing methods come on the market, more and more Belfast residents may be walking around with Snooki's orange glow.
16 New Orleans, Louisiana Is Crawling With Waste
New Orleans might be a reveler's paradise on Friday night in Jackson Square, but it's a squalid, urine-soaked den of sadness on Sunday morning—that is, for those who weren't shot on Saturday, the most dangerous day of the week in The Big Easy, according to The Advocate. In fact, rates of firearm violence exceed both Baltimore and Chicago. While Bourbon Street offers some protection to bar-crawlers because it's a tourist area that is perennially crowded, wandering just a few blocks off the beaten path is not advised for the type of people who flash their stuff.
15 Riccione And Rimini, Italy Will Give Jersey Girls The Boot
Fans might remember when the Jersey Shore housemates spent some time “discovering their roots” in Florence, Italy. Locals were pretty much disgusted, heckling the bronzed and gelled cast as they “worked” selling pizzas and faithfully checked out the nightlife, as per New York Post. Florence might not have been tacky enough, what with its art and all—the mayor did ban the group from the Uffizi Gallery. That's why the cast was sent to the beachside resorts of Remini and Riccione, where there's a much younger crowd with less discerning taste and a penchant for the same style of party.
14 Liverpool, UK Wants To Be Ireland
Jenni Farley—usually called JWoww—and her cohorts Deena Cortese and Nicole Polizzi never go anywhere without a nearly fluorescent tan glow. While they might fit in perfectly in some select places in America like the Jersey Shore, they could very well get lost in the crowd in Liverpool. At least half of young people surveyed have used a sunbed at least once—and often become regular users, according to The Guardian. A spray tan isn't good enough for these bronzed broads who live for the now. Liverpool women claim that they can't go on holiday without a tan.
13 Manchester, UK Takes Partying To A Whole New Level
What some celebrate, others bemoan: Manchester has consistently earned high marks as a party city in recent years. DJ Pauly D might feel right at home during the Warehouse Project, and with a dizzying array of pubs and clubs, there are plenty of venues to get kicked out of with newly-met women in tow, according to Student Hut. Manchester is starting to look like party central compared to the Jersey Shore as per capita use of recreational substances is higher than any other city in the UK, and most US cities as well, as per Metro.
12 Seattle, Washington Is Too Hip For Its Own Good
The only thing worse than a city spray-tanned and tucked within an inch of its life is a city that is so “real” it becomes pretentious. Because we all apparently care about who was doing it before it was cool, there's a Global Hipster Index and Seattle, Washington ranked as the fourth most-hipster city in the world, according to MoveHub. Whether people love the farcical shenanigans of the likes of Snooki and JWoww or not, the only thing worse than a group of people obsessed with their orange glow and Botoxed brows is a city full of the holier-than-thou.
11 San Francisco, California's Cha-Ching Factor
Snooki and pals are all about that GTL life—gym, tan, laundry—but as it turns out, there are other cities that focus on fitness just as much. While the general feeling in San Francisco might be more wholesome, its denizens certainly believe in working out even more than the guidos and guidettes. Ranking ninth in the category of fitness, San Francisco believes in the sound body mantra, according to NBC Bay Area. Where San Francisco comes in worse than the Jersey Shore is cost: it's home to the country's most expensive gym memberships on average.
10 Atlantic City, New Jersey Keeps Closing Up
Once a middle-class beacon of destination getaways, Atlantic City just can't seem to play a winning hand, as hotel after hotel closes in a bust. This quainter part of the Jersey Shore had been ailing for years already when gambling came in the late 1970s, as per NPR. Those casinos took in a lot of money, but couldn't match the grandeur and attractiveness of the old Boardwalk. Despite the massive profits, a surprisingly small amount was invested in the aging Boardwalk and surrounding city, and now even the casinos are closing in failure as the city limps into the future.
9 Miami, Florida Is A Materialism Mecca
Miami is a fitting place for the Jersey Shore cast and their body-conscious ways. JWoww, Deena and the rest were spotted on the infamous Ocean Drive, a mecca for the Botoxed and tummy-tucked fashion-conscious, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel. It probably felt comfortable and familiar to the Jersey party kids. In a survey ranking the US' “Most Superficial” cities, Miami comes in at number eight—Jersey Shore isn't even ranked in the top ten, as per CBS Local. It's a city increasingly focused on style rather than substance, where hot bodies and hot cars are all that matter.
8 Washington, DC Needs Clearing Out And Cleaning Up
When people think about a nation's capital, they don't usually think of trash—but that's one of the most recurrent themes in Washington, DC. Considering that it's the workplace of the most powerful lobbyists and power-hungry people, there's no way that the Jersey Shore cast at their worst could ever compete with the backstabbing antics and crass behavior of DC's infamous denizens. Underneath the noses of the US policy-makers is a city choked with massive poverty and an actual trash problem littering the streets and sidewalks, according to Vice.
7 Denver, Colorado Dating App Doldrums
Pauly D, The Situation and just about the entire cast looked for love in all the wrong places in the original run of Jersey Shore and many of them are continuing that trend in the current revamp, so it's doubtful they'll be making any trips out to Denver, Colorado any time soon. Denver ranks among the very worst cities in the US for love and dating—apparently the town's full of too-passive men, as per Denver Post. To add insult to injury, mobile data speeds are some of the worst in the country.
6 Boston, Massachusetts Slows Us Down
Getting in the car to head out for a night of fun with friends is a gamble that many drivers lose in Boston, Massachusetts. The city's drivers have consistently ranked the worst in recent years, only just recently finally giving up the coveted spot of most terrible car drivers this year, as per Boston. It's tough to go out for a night at the hottest clubs if the roads are so congested that it takes hours to arrive. Somehow a show following a group of party-going fun-seekers sitting in a car and getting into accidents doesn't sound like good TV.
5 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania For The Poor
Maybe it once was the city of brotherly love, but nowadays it's the city of violent crimes and rampant poverty, as per USA Today. Philadelphia has earned the un-coveted number-one spot as worst city in Pennsylvania, and one of the worst cities in the US. The orange legs and stiletto heels of Jersey Shore veterans Deena and company don't look so good stepping over the poor, homeless and downtrodden. More than a quarter of the city's residents live in poverty, and many of them probably aren't out partying because the unemployment rate is well above national average. Crime is also an issue in the downtrodden city.
4 Houston, Texas: Where The Traffic Is Bigger, Too
Houston ranks pretty low on a number of lists, including visual appeal—there is none—and traffic commute times, according to Paper City. While apparently those interested in the kind of personal parties that bookstores for grown-ups cater to will have no problem shopping around the nightlife might just be too hard to get to. A less-than-stellar city layout that doesn't benefit walkers and bicyclists means tons of cars idle in traffic at pretty much all hours of the day and night. Houston has been given top marks in one thing—it's the second most-superficial city in Texas, as per Houston Press.
3 Chicago, Illinois: Where No One Is Single And Ready To Mingle
Although the returning cast of Jersey Shore all claim they're older and wiser, not all of them have settled down with their one and only. DJ Pauly D and Vinny Guadagnino are single and ready to mingle, while Ronnie Ortiz-Magro might be mingling when he's not supposed to, as per People. It's doubtful that these guys will be heading to Chicago anytime soon then, since the city has the distinction of being one of the very worst cities in the US to meet other singles, according to Urban Matter. Lonely singles in Chicago cite the high cost of date activities.
2 Dallas, Texas Is Not-So-Safe
Texas makes the ranking of places worse than the Jersey Shore once again with Dallas, a city so unpleasant at times that even its residents dog on it, according to Dallas News. Dallas natives cite traffic and high taxes as huge drawbacks to living in the metropolis. Going out after dark is also more adventurous—or dangerous—than it used to be, as residents are increasingly unhappy with the response time of law enforcement and emergency services during the nighttime. Maybe the younger Jersey Shore kids wouldn't have minded getting in a good fight—but they're supposedly older and wiser now.
1 Gadsden, Alabama Isn't For The Kids
Gender equality is a questionable concept already in places that focus on objectifying the body, but Gadsden makes the superficial Jersey Shore look like a woman's lib conference. The rate of women with higher education degrees is half that of the national average, as per Advance Local. The pay rate gap between men and women is astronomical, and newborns don't fare so well at birth. Snooki and JWoww have both started families—their young kids are far more likely to get a decent education than the young kids in Gadsden, Alabama.
References: Nylon, My Panhandle, Refinery 29, MoveHub, New York Post, NBC Bay Area, NPR, South Florida Sun Sentinel, CBS Local, SciELO, Vice, Denver Post, Boston, YouGov, The Advocate, USA Today, Paper City, Houston Press, The Guardian, People, Urban Matter, Dallas News, Advance Local, Student Hut, Metro, Bustle