“Made in Jersey” follows the journey of first-year lawyer Martina, who works in a New York law firm but comes from North Jersey. The character is an awkward combination of Fran Fine (Fran Drescher) from “The Nanny” and Andy (Anne Hathaway) of “The Devil Wears Prada” (2006). Martina comes complete with her North Jersey accent and family, which is meant to be endearing in a George Costanza kind of way.
With such an endearing protagonist, why did CBS can the show?
“Made in Jersey” is the first ABC show to be cancelled. Beyond simply cancelling it, the network pulled it from the air due to low ratings and decided to show reruns of “Hawaii Five-O” and “NCIS” instead.
With a title like “Made In Jersey,” many members of the potential audience were probably confused. I intentionally avoided the show after only hearing the title for a few reasons. I’m not really into shows like “Jerseylicious” and “Jersey Shore.” Had I known that “Made In Jersey” was about a personable female lawyer, I might have given it a chance before it got pulled.
As a native of Pennsylvania living in South Jersey, I agree that the stereotypes perpetuated on some of the TV shows about New Jersey are untrue of this region and I tend to avoid shows insistent on reflecting that image of the state.
While the show references “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” and the big-hair, cosmetology culture of North Jersey all-too-frequently, it’s really more of a “Legally Blonde” and “Beautician and the Beast” hybrid.
Additionally, Jersey-everything is saturating the TV market and people are getting tired of it-whether it’s reality TV or meant to be fictional and endearing.
Office Dramas Need Wit and Speed
Despite an excellent reference to the Hulk (Season 1, Episode 2), “Made In Jersey” falls short when it comes to clever. Shows like “The Newsroom” and legal dramas such as “Suits” have created an intelligent audience that expects fast dialogue full of immediately accessible humor.
“Made in Jersey” offers flat attempts at humor mixed with serious courtroom drama. Scenes between characters are too short for character development.
Overall the New Jersey theme has been overdone; women who want a strong female protagonist skipped over this show due to the title in favor of shows like USA’s “Covert Affairs,” which features a more vocal, gun-toting lead who also manages to remain intelligent and at the top of her field.
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