I don’t usually write about Mercy, the nurse drama on NBC, but this week’s episode was so evidently “inspired” by one of my all-time favorite shows Jersey Shore I had to. Frankly, I’m kinda surprised it took the writers this long to spoof the hit MTV reality series considering Mercy Hospital is located in Jersey City, NJ. However, I think they made the right call because the way they were able to use the St. Patty’s day episode to pit the young Irish-Americans against the Italian-Americans was hilarious. The best thing is how the writers managed to exploit as many elements of the Jersey Shore stereotype as possible. Try to keep count as I recap what happened whenever the Jersey Italians were on screen.
The nurses walk into the ER at the beginning of their workday (we are told sometime before 11am) to find the ER flooded with Jersey Shore-type guidos and guidettes fighting with lots of Irish peeps, all of whom have clearly been drinking. Given the reputation we saw on Jersey Shore that young Italian-Americans like their liquor, they of course had to partake in the drinking holiday. The Irish Americans took issue with Italians celebrating an Irish holiday and they all ended up in the ER with non-serious injuries they sustained while fighting each other at the bar. The nurses and security had to break up several fights between the (already injured) dueling groups as they wait in the ER for approximately 5 minutes.
Of course, the Italian crew is all done up and put together with some serious tans and bling. The girls wear tight clothes, big hoops, big hair, high heels, and heavy makeup. The guys, who are all fit and fancy themselves real tough guys, sport tight sweaters with popped collars and the zipper down to reveal their wife beaters. Larry, the head guido, also has diamond studs in both ears and gelled up hair, although I wouldn’t really call it a blowout, its a little too tame for that.
The episode also teases the reality TV component of Jersey Shore by having a camera crew follow a doctor for a TV special. When the doc sniffs around for a good case, one of the guidettes wastes no time in stepping in front of the camera. An Irish girl confronts the guidette about her orange complexion (aka too much time in the tanning booth) and a heated argument ensues. Chloe eloquently states, “Can you get the cameras out of here? Its like catnip for morons,” brilliant!
Then, an Irish dude punches Larry in the stomach and he passes out—apparently he had a heart attack because he was high on cocaine, insert medical explanation here. Now things really get interesting as the plot focuses in on the fallen guido and his guidette. The guidette, sorry I never caught her name, talks with a heavy Jersey accent and chews gum loudly with her mouth open. She also sports a Snooki-poof and breast implants, like JWOWW. But most importantly, she is in a crazy passionate relationship with her juiced up man, like Sammi and Ronnie! After Larry comes out of surgery he has another complication and crashes because there are cists in his liver or something, which were caused by steroid use! Larry admits he needs to make some lifestyle changes and the guidette tells him after his second surgery that he doesn’t need to be juiced up for her. And then they have their happy ending of sorts, intensely making out inappropriately in front of his two doctors. Awkward…for the doctors that is, because the two young’ns are too focused on shoving their tongues down each other’s throats to notice the docs slipping out.
Lets single out all the components of the Jersey Shore stereotype the writers were able to incorporate into the episode, shall we:
Drug use – cocaine and steroids
“Juiced up” men
A penchant for fighting
The Jersey slang & accent
The open-mouthed gun chewing
Hypersexuality (I think this is more of a salute to young people in general)
Big hoops and other bling
Disclaimer: Just because I’m listing all these does not mean that I support how Mercy’s writers chose to portray the young Italian-Americans. I did, however, thoroughly enjoy being reminded of my favorite reality TV stars.
Unfortunately, the writers didn’t give a fist pump to the legendary fist pump, clubbing, absurd amounts of gel, the blowout (Pauly D’s staple hairstyle), or THE SITUATION.
Did I miss anything? Check the episode out for yourself here. Mercy, currently in Season 1, airs on Wednesdays at 8 on NBC.