MIPTV 2012: The Jersey Shore vs. The Cote d'Azur


As MTV's hit series prepares for a French makeover on Gallic broadcaster NT1, here's THR's guide to the seaside spots on both sides of the bridge, tunnel and Atlantic ocean

France is known for its unparalleled culture, and now the country famed for its sophisticated fashion sense, extravagant gastronomy and brilliant cinema will be getting a cultural makeover from MTV’s Jersey Shore. Viacom International Media Networks broke the news at MIPTV that French broadcaster TF1 has snagged broadcast and format rights for the show and will air a local version on its NT1 channel. Fake tans, gelled hair and clothing a few sizes too small descended on the Croisette when the stars of the hit series Deena Nicole Cortese and Vinny Guadagnino visited MIPTV to promote the show with MTV’s executive vp programming and head of production Chris Linn and VIMN’s senior vp international program sales Caroline Beaton for a keynote showcase titled “Jersey Shore: How MTV Is Cracking the Millennial Code.”

While the Jersey Shore and the Cote d’Azur may be a bridge, tunnel and Atlantic ocean away, the cast members weren’t too far from their element on the French Riviera. Here’s The Hollywood Reporter’s guide to The Jersey Shore vs. the Cote d’Azur.

Stomping ground: The Boardwalk vs. The Croisette

The beachside boardwalk in Seaside Heights is where much of the action goes down on MTV’s hit series just as the seaside Croisette is the center of all Cannes happenings.

Sport of choice: Weightlifting vs Pétanque

On the cote d’azur, old men dressed in white throw metal balls. In Jersey, young men dressed in wife-beaters lift metal dumbbells.

Lifestyle: “GTL”/ gym, tanning, laundry vs. la vie en Rosé

Coined by The Situation, GTL is the official regimen of a true Jersey Shorer. Back on the Riviera, it’s sea, sex, sun and cigarettes, with copious glasses of rosé on outdoor terraces.

Regional seafood: Clams vs. Sea Urchins

Clams are the Jersey Shore’s unsung culinary treasure, while “oursins” are a gastronomic delicacy on the Riviera.

Typical female: A Guidette vs. Une Cagole

Guidette n.f. [gwee-det] The female version of a “guido,” a derogatory term for a lower middle-class urban Italian American, particularly of lower NewJersey origin.  Une cagole n.f. [kah-goal] A French word from the city of Marseille designating a slut.

Signature dance move: Fist pumping vs. Fist pumping

The celebratory gesture involving a fist raised from the torso to the body in a swift motion to denote enthusiasm musical euphoria to the tune of techno club music is an international phenomenon.

Favorite breeding ground: The Jacuzzi vs. the Mediterranean sea

The Jersey Shore cast are infamous for “doin’ the nasty” in the outdoor Jacuzzi, while Cote d’Azur goers prefer the more spacious Mediterranean sea for their underwater escapades. Whether you’re DTF or DTS, there’s a body of water out there for you.

Notable native: Snooki vs. Paul Cézanne

The post-impressionist painter hails from Aix-en-Provence and the post-reality TV personality from Marlboro, NY, but both are associated with their respective regions. Both have had “dark periods” (Cézanne spent his with Pissaro and Renoir, and Snooki with Jionni and Vin) and “mature periods” (Cezanne married and settled down in Provence during his and Snooki recently shocked the world with her pregnancy announcement and claims to be settling down herself). Cezanne is known for “The Great Bather.” Snooki is also known for her bathing rituals. 

Cocktail of choice: Ron-Ron Juice vs. Champagne

Ronnie is working on bringing his favorite cocktail to the masses with a new business venture that may see his watermelon, cherries, cranberry juice, vodka and ice concoction at liquor stores all over the country by the end of the year. Meanwhile, champagne served in tiny French-sized flutes float around most Riviera spots.

Favorite food:  Fried Pickles vs. Fried zucchini flowers

Snooki declared her discovery of fried pickles a “life-changing experience.” On the Cote d’Azur, zucchini blossoms are stuffed with cheese and fried to make regional favorite beignets de fleur.

After-hours hangout: Karma vs. VIP Room

Jean Roch’s St. Tropez hotspot epitomizes the after-hours Riviera bling bling scene, while Seaside hotspot Club Karma is the best place to make a scene.