MTV owes a debt of gratitude to SallyAnn Salsano. Salsano, the founder and president of 495 Productions, has given MTV the Holy Grail of reality shows, “Jersey Shore.” Now, her most recent show, “FriendZone,” is on its second season.
Everyone eventually goes through the “friend zone” stage, and the idea for “FriendZone” came during Salsano’s own experience with dreaded relationship stage. “I actually came up with this show while I was in the friend zone,” she said. “The kicker was that I was 35.”
Her other motivation for creating the show came from seeing others struggle with the conundrum of whether to tell their crush about their feelings. “Some people stay in that friendship too long,” she said. “This show is like a ‘shit or get off the pot’ situation.”
The overriding drive to create “FriendZone,” however, is her passion for creating great television. “I think it’s really fun and I love making TV,” she said, also mentioning her production company’s credits, such as Spike TV’s “Repo Games,” Oxygen’s “Tanisha Gets Married,” as well as upcoming shows such as VH1’s “Mama Drama” and Spike TV’s “Tattoo Nightmares”. “It’s really exciting. There are people who have been doing this with me for seven to 10 years, and it’s become like a family.”
Telling your friend you like them is the only way you’ll know where you stand with them, said Salsano. “I just say go for it,” she said. “Otherwise you’ll be stuck in dating purgatory forever. If you tell them and you find out they don’t like you in that way, and if you both can get past it and you can still be friends, then you can keep looking for that someone who is out there. [However,] you’re fearful [to tell them] because you don’t want to lose the friendship. No one wants to be rejected.”
It goes without saying that Salsano wants you to watch “FriendZone.” “You see the real deal, the real emotion.” The show does, indeed, show the frightening, uncomfortable, and sometimes rewarding reality of the friend zone.
The Season 2 premiere of “FriendZone” airs Tuesday, May 29 at 7/6c on MTV.