Reporting Jon Keller
SOUTH BOSTON (CBS) – For better or worse, Jersey Shore is a big hit. Millions of people tune in to the MTV reality show to see the hard-partying young adults who share a beach house.
Now the show’s producers are looking for new talent in Boston. From “Goodwill Hunting” to “The Town” and “The Departed,” Hollywood has been fascinated with the gritty stories of working-class Boston neighborhoods for some time.
But now there’s a push on to add South Boston to the trashy world of reality TV, and some of the locals are pushing back.
WBZ-TV’s Jon Keller Is At Large
The producers were inspired, perhaps, by an online parody exploiting some of the more insulting Southie stereotypes.
In a press release, the producers of “Southie Pride” claim they’ll be offering an insider’s look at “Beantown’s beating heart.” Already, you know there’s a problem. But they really tip their hand when they promise to spotlight, “The most in your face subculture on the Eastern Seaboard”.
Maureen Dahill, a Southie native who helps run a popular neighborhood blog, says the producers of Jersey Shore have been running into brick walls in their effort to cast their Southie reality show.
Do people suspect they’re looking for lowlifes? “Yes, right away, it’s a red flag, people suspect they’re looking for a Southie Snooki, and nobody wants to be portrayed that way,” says Dahill.
Every town has its clowns, of course. But Dahill notes that gentrification and generational changes have mostly turned the coarse Southie images into an outdated joke.
We all have our teeth,” says Dahill. “Girls go to college now, they have careers, they have children later in life as opposed to earlier in life, so yeah, things have changed completely.”
So are the producers going to find what they are looking for? Dahill doesn’t think so. “They’re really struggling, I know that,” she says.
Although crews from “Southie Pride” were filming exteriors in South Boston last weekend, Dahill says the casting process is not going well, and some local businesses have refused to cooperate with the production.
Maybe they should make a show about the resistance, then the title “Southie Pride” might be a good fit.