Ian Spanier Photography
Like a tan growing pale, "Jersey Shore" is fading into the TV sunset. Thursday marked the beginning of its sixth season — its last. It began as just another low-budget MTV reality show, with lower expectations, that would chronicle the fist-pumping antics of its ultra-bronzed, ultra-average stars who would be cooped up in a house in Seaside Heights, N.J. Then the series aired in December 2009, and it quickly and curiously morphed into a surprisingly potent pop force that made "Snooki" a household name, turned an unknown cast into late-night punch lines and, ultimately, its title became shorthand for the further dumbing down of American culture.
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