A post on the Ink Spot blog caught my eye today. Lois Winston noted that one of the cast members of Jersey Shore–the one named Snooki, to be exact–has signed a deal with Simon & Schuster wherein she will “write” a book, a novel, no less. Now, Lois went on to point out that Snooki herself has admitted to reading only two books in her entire teddy-bear-clutching life (Twilight and Dear John). Nevertheless, she’s reportedly getting paid upwards of $500,000 to “write” this novel.
Yes, you read that right. Five hundred grand. That’s the figure I’ve heard. Whatever the exact figure is, you know that it will be a ton of money.
Lois was properly pissed at this news, and frankly, so am I. It also occurs to me that some of Snooki’s fellow cast members might not be too happy with it, either. But, hey, that’s the free market. Apparently, Simon & Schuster are convinced they can pay her a half a million dollars or whatever and still make money. I’ve only seen a couple of episodes of the show, and I didn’t care for it. So I say, it’s S&S’s risk. Let them take it.
But I also say this: take heart, fellow writers. What Snooki and the rest of her crowd don’t know yet is that their fame is oh, so fleeting. It wouldn’t surprise me to learn that somewhere deep inside her mind (what a place that must be!) is the notion that people will always want her autograph, someone will always want to take her picture, she and the rest of them will always be known and adored and high-fived wherever they go from now on, and–here’s the one they really don’t know–the TV execs who are fawning all over them now will spit them out like poisoned meat the very nanosecond the ratings of Jersey Shore take a nosedive.
Then where will they be?
They’ll be stars without a starring vehicle. No one will return their calls. The income will dry up. The insurance bills on those Porsches and Escalades will come due and my God, there won’t be enough left in the account to pay them. The big houses they bought, those palaces, tributes to their own wonderful selves, will still require high taxes and higher mortgage payments. Even worse, if they bought any houses for their parents, then the parents will be stuck with these bills. They won’t be able to buy as many new clothes, therefore, they won’t be on top of the fashion styles anymore. The comped hotel suites, the first-class air travel to the Coast, the goodie bags, all gone. Never to be showered upon them again. Can’t you just feel their pain already?
You see where I’m going with this, right? Before too long, no one in Miami Beach or LA will care about them anymore. There’ll be fewer and fewer fans coming up to them with adoring words. They’ll have to move into smaller, more modest apartments. They’ll have to sell the big cars to finance what’s left of their lifestyle. If any of them are doing drugs, well, you know where that will lead. In any case, they will all eventually be forced to do the unthinkable.
Go back where they came from.
To the old neighborhood.
Now, I don’t know if they’re all actually from northern New Jersey or not, butÂ judging by their accents,Â it’s a pretty safe bet none of them will be more than an hour away. And whatever neighborhood each one goes back to, it will undoubtedly be gray, dreary, and utterly without hope, relative to their dizzying ride on the roller coaster of television success.
I predict they’ll go back to the blue-collar jobs they were originally intended for, jobs that will pay them a living wage, require that they work hard, and without any trace of a Hollywood payoff at the end of the line. They’ll go back to their childhood friends (those they haven’t alienated with their “I’m famous” attitude) and get married and produce more kids who, by the time they become teenagers, will be out of control. They’ll spend their spare time slugging shots and beers in dim taverns, and, years from now, telling younger co-workers that they used to be famous.
At first, after the final curtain falls on the TV show, they’ll probably all stay in touch, because when you think about it, what do they really have at that point but each other? But once reality sets in and they have to leave Miami Beach or wherever, they’ll see each other less and less. There may be a reunion or two in the first few years where they stand around getting drunk and waxing nostalgic about all the free swag they got that time in the LA hospitality suite, but after that, it’ll be over. Old resentments will emerge from hiding and you’ll hear remarks made in private such as, “I never liked that bitch, anyway,” or “He was always such a fucking asshole.”
All the while, they will not know what has hit them.
And that’s a reality show I’d love to watch.