‘My Big Friggin’ Wedding’? Matzoh Luck! Ideas vs. VH1 Reality Shows


We all remember UNICO National, the Italian-American service organization that tried, unsuccessfully, to get Jersey Shore taken off the air last year.

Now they’re fuming that a new reality show with a heavily Italian-American cast and a sure-to-be-clunky bridal theme, My Big Friggin’ Wedding, is coming to VH1.

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Yo, Angela! Yo, I mean, Tony, yo, hey, wassup, yo, Goomba, what’s the big friggin’ deal, yo?

Couldn’t resist.

Let me instead clutch my Mezuzah and quote from the press release:

Describing the show as yet another disgraceful and disheartening chapter of Executive Producer SallyAnn Salsano‘s malicious exploitation and stereotyping of young Italian Americans for profit, UNICO National is asking VH1 to pull the plug on “My Big Friggin’ Wedding.”

“Stereotyping and slurring young Italian Americans means big, big bucks for bottom-feeder networks like MTV and VH1,” said Andre DiMino, UNICO’s Chief Media Executive and immediate past National President. “No one does this better than Salsano, who’s done more harm to the perception of young Italian Americans than everyone before her, combined.”

Salsano’s “495 Productions,” that specializes in trashy reality programming, also produced MTV’s infamous “Jersey Shore” series, which UNICO National successfully fought last year.

I don’t know how UNICO defines “successfully,” since Jersey Shore is still on the air and I must have counted Snooki poufs into the triple digits on Halloween. And I’m still waiting for someone to give me proper etiquette for addressing The Situation. Do you call him “The”? Or “Mr. Situation”? (I once had the same question about Mr. Ed. Probably would get the same answer.)

What I really find extraordinary, breathtaking even, is the snarling tone of UNICO’s attack. The idea of My Big Friggin’ Wedding is offensive, especially if your frame of reference for what is offensive on TV is 1970 or 1980 or 1990. Sad to say, but if My Big Friggin’ Wedding is the most offensive thing on TV, I humbly submit that we’re improving. (CNN has picked up on this story.)

Check out these graphs, again from the release:

“…Salsano actually tops the damage she did to the Italian American community with Jersey Shore with her newest pile of garbage on VH1,” DiMino said…

…Salsano outdid herself to find the “… worst bunch of bad-acting, insipid individuals portraying themselves as trashy, drunken, low-class, bimbos and buffoons.”

And I get accused of going over the top? Yeah, that darn Salsano: the Pol Pot of American TV.

Notice how UNICO even goes after a particular cast member it really, really detests:

…Johnny DeCarlo, who in the past has blogged and appeared on a panel, defending the use of the pejorative term, ‘Guido,’ in Jersey Shore. “It appears Salsano paid him back for defending ‘Jersey Shore’ with an opportunity to disgrace himself before a much wider audience,” DiMino said.

There is also the standard and expected appeal for people to contact Viacom, protest the show, make a lot of noise, air a lot of upset and fret over the total destruction and demoralization of the known universe. (Christine O’Donnell was a candidate for the U.S. Senate. The total destruction and demoralization of the known universe is already underway.)

The following, in all seriousness, is an unsolicited and sincere suggestion.

If UNICO really wants to rally the troops, shouldn’t they broaden the playing field? After all, Jews and Catholics and gays and women and the disabled and the like don’t like being maligned either, right? So perhaps one way to draw some attention is to go all Yes Men and start thinking counter-intuitively. Ethnicity by ethnicity, religion by religion, sexual preference by sexual preference, political philosophy by political philosophy, they can promote completely fictitious, completely horrendous ideas for reality shows that are guaranteed to infuriate somebody. Let’s start with the Jews, my people. How about Myrna, Where’s My Matzoh?, about the ultra-cheap Orthodox Jews of Brooklyn. No no, I know that I can do better.

Based on MTV and VH1’s current programming, and a few game shows for good measure, here goes:

  • Are You Smarter Than Shavuos?
  • Babushka Wives
  • Don’t Forget the Kishkas
  • Mario Lopez: Saved by the Bubi
  • The Real World: Gaza Strip
  • 16 and Pregnant on Passover
  • The Hard Times of Yeshiva University
  • The Shvitzes
  • Putzed
  • Let’s Make a Brucha