September 25, 2020

Steroids in Popular Culture

“Jersey Shore” Uses Well-Known Steroid Reference to Promote Series

“Jersey Shore” has been broadcast to an international audience in 30 countries with commercials using a well-known reference to anabolic steroids. “Get Juiced, Get Jersey Shored” is the slogan in a television commercial targeting English-speaking markets overseas.

The hit MTV reality television series has courted its share of controversy with its portrayal of Italian Americans as “guidos and guidettes” but one ad spot appears to capitalize on suspicions that some of the more muscular cast members may have used anabolic steroids to obtain their physiques.

The New York Times discusses the use of the steroid reference “get juiced” to promote “Jersey Shore” along with MTV’s denial that this is the case.

[Read more…]

“Whatever It Takes” to Demonize Steroids

Several years before Congress found it politically expedient to explore steroids in wrestling and bodybuilding, Hollywood decided to treat us to its own perspective on the issue. The result was the 1999 movie called “Whatever It Takes”, starring Don “The Dragon” Wilson and Andrew Dice Clay who played two undercover cops investigating the illegal distribution of anabolic steroids to bodybuilders and wrestlers.

The movie’s  anti-steroid propaganda is pretty extreme. The movie goes one step beyond the usual sensationalistic treatment of steroid side effects. It doesn’t just suggest testicular atrophy or even penis shrinkage as a side effect. The possibility that a steroid user’s penis may actually “fall off” is introduced to the audience. [Read more…]

Strangers with Candy and Girls with Steroids

Occasionally, television and cinema explore the topic of anabolic steroid use by women, usually for comic effect. Such is the case with the sitcom, Strangers with Candy. The main character is Jerri Blank – a 46 year-old former drug addict who lives with her parents and has re-enrolled as a freshman at Flatpoint High School. Given the absurdity of the premise of this Comedy Central sitcom, we can only expect an equally unrealistic treatment of the topic of female steroid use. [Read more…]

Anti-Steroid Propaganda on NBC Television Drama “Life”

The short-lived NBC crime drama television series “Life” demonized anabolic steroids in the plotline of the episode entitled “Everything… All the Time.” The producers of “Life” blamed anabolic steroids for murder, roid rage, a suicide attempt, steroid overdose, and bleeding from the eyes in this bit of far-fetched anti-steroid propaganda. The “roid rage” scene rivaled the classic “Ben Affleck Roid Rage After School Special” in its imaginative and fictional portrayal of roid rage. [Read more…]

Steroid Documentary Selected for Sundance Film Festival

Several months ago, Bill Llewellyn and Rick Collins told me about an independent filmmaker that was interested in hearing their perspective on the “steroid issue”; Chris Bell patiently spent several hours with each of them for on camera interviews. They had a good feeling about the film he was making finally hoping to see a truthful examination of anabolic steroids in society appear on the big screen.

I had the opportunity to meet Chris Bell, the director and screenwriter of “Bigger, Stronger, Faster,” at the 2007 Ironman Pro Expo in Pasadena thanks to an introduction from my good friend Rehan Jalali. After talking with Chris, I could understand why so many people were excited by this film. Clearly, Chris was striving for an open and honest examination of steroids free of the hysteria that is so commonplace nowadays. The irony is that it is most likely this same hysteria that makes financing of such independent documentaries possible. [Read more…]