It was on December 3rd, 2009, that New Jersey suffered one of the most serious blows to its image as MTV aired the first episode of a show called Jersey Shore.

They rented a house in Seaside Heights and filled it with reprobates, most of whom were from New York. It was a reality show that showed the reality of the boorish behavior of out-of-towners who pollute the pristine shores of New Jersey every summer. Cast members with names like Snooki, the Situation, Pauly D, and J-Woww brought a lot of attention to New Jersey, but it was not without criticism.

The show came under fire for perpetuating Italian-American stereotypes, including the use of the terms “Guido” and “Guidette.” Former Governor Christie was not a fan. In 2011, he vetoed a $420,000 tax credit from the state’s Economic Development Authority citing the negative attention it brought to New Jersey. The show was a success, though, attracting as many as 8.7 million viewers for an episode in August of 2011. And it may not have been as detrimental as had been believed; as quoted in Wikipedia, a Fairleigh Dickinson poll showed people who were familiar with the show had a more positive view of New Jersey than those who didn’t. The success of the show spawned spinoffs and sequels.

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