|"F%ck New Jersey!" was the battle cry on South Park|
- Randy Marsh, South Park
While the fictional expansion of the Garden State to "everything East of the Rocky Mountains" on South Park is meant as farce, there has been a steep rise in Jersey-ness this past week on the televison. Besides South Park slaying New Jersey's reality shows Jersey Shore and The Real Housewives of New Jersey, this past week has been littered with plot-centric references to Jersey. Bones, Bored to Death and even Rubicon all found themselves utlizing Jersey as a place for answers. Add to that historical perspectives from Boardwalk Empire and the HBO documentary The Promise on Bruce Springsteen, and you might just have the most Jersey-centric week in popular culture in my television viewing lifetime.
|Brennan looks at "guidos" from an anthropological perspective.|
|George (Ted Dansen) appreciates Jonathan's suburban roots: "I love New Jersey!"|
The bad guys are forced to drive off with 10% of the promised payoff. "Jersey Sucks!" yells Jim Norton's character. But George (Ted Dansen), who just found out he has prostate cancer, relishes the stability of where Ames was raised. "I love New Jersey" he remarks, sipping warm cocoa while sitting in Ames' old bedroom.
The Red Album of Asbury Park Remixed. It's a rock n' roll noir that takes place in Springsteen's Jersey, Asbury Park in the late 60s to early 70s. Jersey boardwalk attractions Mr. Peanut and the Diving horses of Atlantic City figure prominently, luring in both tourists and our hero into the mystery. Much like Rubicon intimated this week, wayward sons rule the shore, only with organized crime taking advantage through strong arm recruiting. Don't get put off by the garish cover and the red herring of a title -- it's a fine read, especially for those who like a little rock in with their reading. Speaking of that, a free audio podcast reading of the book is currently streaming on Podiobooks.com, backed by a soundtrack of Asbury artists.
Free audiobook podcast on Podiobooks.com
Playlist: Novel Sndtrck - The Red Album of Asbury Park Remixed
The book makes for a decent Jersey cleanser, after dealing with the guidos and the "garbage" from you know where all this week. Also recommended: Any of Brian Williams' guest appearances on The Daily Show, Clerks, a Meryl Streep viewing marathon... and then later this month the big Springsteen box set for The Promise, featuring a ton of lost songs from the Boss.
Springsteen documentary The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town