January 15, 2013 3:45pm PT by Sophie Schillaci
Snooki & JWoww on the State of Reality TV, Why Their Spinoff Is a Success for MTV (Video)
“We're just normal people,” says Jenni “JWOWW” Farley, star of MTV’s Snooki & JWOWW, formerly of Jersey Shore.
The reality star, alongside best friend and co-star Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, explains that despite their celebrity status, they maintain shockingly non-celebrity lives at home. And it’s those average (or not-so-average) everyday encounters that keep audiences tuning in.
“When I’m home, I’m not getting bombarded by paparazzi. I’m not a celebrity at home,” says Snooki. “We like to show our real life instead of us doing interviews, [because] that’s not fun.”
Amid declining ratings for Jersey Shore, which aired its series finale in December, and no second-season renewal for fellow spinoff series The Pauly D Project, Snooki & JWOWW returned for its second season last week -- on a new night and with a new one-hour format -- to a respectable 1.1 rating among adults 18-49.
Asked to explain why their show holds up against similar programming, Snooki and JWOWW are quick to credit their real friendship. “We’re good because we’re girls and also because we’re best friends,” explains Snooki. “I think a lot of girls envy that, and they look up to us because we go through what other girls go through.”
The girls, while acknowledging an over-saturation in the marketplace, laugh off some of their competition’s lack of “reality.”
“We’re staying true to reality TV. This is real life,” says JWOWW. “I’m noticing a lot of reality TV is staged.”
Adds Snooki: “I can tell when it’s not real. On our show, you can’t make this stuff up. Even how they talk and it’s just, it doesn’t feel real.”
Among the tell-tale signs of a faux reality program are “T.P.,” or “talking points,” says JWOWW, as well as multiple camera angles and non-blurry background faces, indicating that all people on camera have signed release forms.
Laughs JWOWW, “On our show if you see someone blurred, that means they ain’t signing cause they want nothing to do with it.”
Email: Sophie.Schillaci@THR.com; Twitter: @SophieSchillaci