The meathead and floozy fest that is "Jersey Shore" returns for a second season this week. For those who somehow missed the pop culture sensation that is the show, it's essentially the peek that you didn't really want into the buzzed and vapid lives of young people on a mission to de-flower most of the Garden State. There's more nocturnal wildlife in one episode than an entire season of "Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom," insane levels of tanning, enough hairspray to knock a new hole in the ozone and, perhaps most notable, a six-pack on one guy that's so serious he's named it.
In anticipation of even more of all of this, we can't help but wonder why Jersey gets these bragging rights. What about Maryland? What about Baltimore? We've got trainwrecks. We've got shameless fame-mongers. Abs, we might be little bit short on… But still.
We've already brought the cable world "Ace of Cakes," and we've contributed contestants (even winners — hello Christian Siriano!) to other shows. So we definitely have material and we double-definitely have characters. Just get those cameras rolling….
The situation: After a hard day's crabbing on the Chesapeake Bay, the rough-hewn watermen of the Eastern Shore prowl bars and shanties, in search of cold beers and hot action. If you thought the fights on "Jersey Shore" were epic, you've never seen an Eastern Shore scuffle. Two words: Crab mallets.
The abs: The only six-packs here are cans of Bud, lukewarm from sitting in the back of a boat all day. There are, however, fairly substantial beer guts protruding rather cinematically from M.R. Ducks T-shirts.
The hair: The shorter, the better (don't want to be mistaken for no hippies), though a few '80s holdovers still rock mullets beneath their sun-faded NASCAR caps.
'Survivor: Inner Harbor'
The situation: A cast of tourists, as clueless as they are enthusiastic, is dumped and stranded at the Inner Harbor… for 39 days. Survive that, Minnesota Elks Lodge! They'd be out of money after parking their car and one trip to the Aquarium, fighting to hold onto their sanity while bumping up against throngs of sightseers, and drawing on the last fiber of their patience while waiting for a table at the Cheesecake Factory.
The abs: They might have been OK going in, but the chain restaurants will fix that faster than Jeff Probst can say "The tribe has spoken."
The hair: Have you felt this city's humidity? Frizzy. Frizzy. Frizzy.
The situation: Like "The City" and "The Hills," "The Avenue" chronicles the goings-on of a pack of social animals. But this time they're native to Baltimore, particularly the environs of 36th Street: the Hampden Hipsters. The men are in skinny jeans and inside-joke T-shirts and the girls are in purposely ripped tights. There would be much smoking of organic cigarettes and much disinterested flirting with one another at Rocket to Venus.
The abs: Abs? And no tans, either. Maybe, just maybe, some toned calves from pedaling around town on yard-sale bikes.
The hair: Unwashed and, of course, facial.
' Sheila Dixon: My Life on the D-List'
The situation: The series follows the life of deposed high-style Mayor Sheila Dixon as she seeks to balance shopping for furs and Jimmy Choos with her community-service gig at Our Daily Bread. Stripped of her municipal entourage, including her one-time driver, she endures the indignity of chauffeuring herself in a luxury SUV and doing her own banking. Plotting a return to power, she considers taking City Hall by force, armed only with a high heel.
The abs: Ripped as ever
The hair: A little less coiffed than when taxpayers were picking up the tab for her stylist, but still looking good
'So You Think You Can Balance the Budget?'
The situation: Oh the fancy footwork needed to get Baltimore's beleaguered budget into the black without charging fed-up taxpayers an extra dime. A beverage tax? A little pitchy, dawg. Parking increases? Keep dancing! Watch uncomfortable politicians trip over their own feet — and words — as they struggle to do the annual fiscal jig.
The abs: All that belt-tightening doesn't translate to flat tummies
The hair: Receding hairlines and overly-optimistic comb-overs.
Sun reporters Jill Rosen, Sam Sessa, Tim Swift and Laura Vozzella contributed to this article.