This show is scandalous, irreverent, blasphemous, vulgar, and trivializes immorality and sin. It is also explicitly and egregiously offensive towards the Catholic Church many, many times in multiple episodes over it’s many seasons (along with offending countless other groups and individuals).
I also find it hilarious and cannot seem to give it up and I am struggling with whether I should stop watching it (especially on Sundays).
There was only one other thread on this topic so I wanted to start another on the topic of art and media and how a devout Catholic is supposed to navigate our TV and movie-driven culture.
I will say that depicting something is not the same as promoting it (Jersey Shore does far more to promote sin than Sunny). I will also say that, while I am tempted to subscribe to the belief that “when art does not lead one into then it is permissible,” I am searching for a more objective standard to go by and wonder what that would look like.
Also, let’s remember that the show is deeply sarcastic, depicting characters who are all afflicted with myriad delusions and who choose to live debased lives and conduct themselves in debaucherous, gluttonous ways. It’s sarcastic because the writers and actors are not on a mission to convince you to live the same way as these characters. In fact, the beliefs the characters have about how “great” they are and the resultant crazy behavior never profits them, and they always find themselves worse off in the end. And we laugh at their misadventure!
I will say that when they offend the real presence and the clergy in the episode where Charlie’s mom fakes having cancer, I fast forward (Hulu). Other episodes that joke about clergy sexual abuse are also unpalatable.
I do not like their atheistic, relativistic take on things but I choose to ignore that part because if I didn’t then 99% of TV shows may become unwatchable. Spotting relativism and atheism is my specialty as I used to be a die hard atheist!
This topic deserves serious thought and consideration and I hope people avoid platitudes or sweeping generalizations. There has to be a middle ground between throwing away all my screens (TV, phone, iPad) and giving in totally and not filtering any of the shows or movies I consume.