May 12, 2009

TV Critic Quote of the Day

Troy Patterson of Slate, on "The Real Housewives of New Jersey":

Rather too eager to exploit a Cosa Nostra caricature of New Jersey, the new show features a title sequence modeled on that of The Sopranos, its shots capturing the signage along the New Jersey Turnpike. That signage, as the initiated will frothingly tell you, is one of the elements that imbue a drive along the Turnpike with a unique brand of wretchedness. Would it kill them to be clear that you want Exit 13 for Staten Island? If the speed-limit signs were actually legible, then the speed limit would be seen to fluctuate constantly. The speed of traffic itself varies between 90 miles per hour and none, sometimes in the same lane. The roast beef sandwiches at the rest-stop Roy Rogerses get less meatlike with every visit. In featuring this nerve-spraining stretch of road so prominently, the show implies that the terrain is hostile to outsiders, the natives literally unyielding. It joins the novels of Philip Roth, the catalog of Bruce Springsteen, and the experience of loitering at the Short Hills mall as a key part of the state's cultural iconography. Trenton makes—the world takes—the soul aches.
It doesn't even have anything to do with the show, I just love that passage.

Posted by Stephen Silver at May 12, 2009 10:18 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?