Remember that episode of The Apprentice when they tried to target a magazine at the Loaded generation, only to find out that the new Loaded generation expected something a little classier these days?
We’re guessing that episode didn’t make it across the Atlantic, because out now on DVD, fresh from a stint on MTV, is Blue Mountain State: a US comedy drama that does for American college jock dramas what George Michael does for Snappy Snaps. Don’t think of it as a comedy. Think of it as a televisual car crash that’s too lame even to motivate you to pull over and rubberneck at the damage.
If you’ve recently seen E4’s comedy drama, Beaver Falls – which looks like Ibsen compared to this – you’ll know the drill. There are three Loveable Losers™ who live on the fringes of college society and spend their time instigating hilarious escapades involving bodily emissions, while all the time yearning to get their rocks off. Sigh. They are hindered in this by college jocks who inhabit a world of jock straps and ball sacs, and – wait, wait, because this is the hilarious part! – deny being gay while all the time indulging in homoerotic initiation ceremonies. It’s enough to make you come over all Oscar Wilde at the irony of it all.
These three central characters have names, but the programme doesn’t spend much time establishing these, because, like, d’uh! – why do you need to know someone’s name when you could show shots of girls making out? A profound thought.
The women characters, it goes without saying, are defined by sex and fulfil the usual roles of cougar, cheerleader and, that figure well known to society: the seriously hot and sexualised bikini-clad vixen who, nevertheless, is an adherent of the ‘true love waits’ philosophy. Of course. Even the unattainable, Bosnian, dork-magnet fox is revealed as a part-time stripper. Now read that sentence again and feel your soul die a little.
And so the tone is set. Cue endless jokes about nudity, butt cheeks and wedgies, and a script which seeks to be the new Porky’s or Animal House, but ends up channelling the sticky pubescent fantasies of a lobotomised Tenth Grader. Badly.
Believe me – we don’t want to write like this. We don’t want to sound like the love child of Mary Whitehouse and Quentin Crisp sucking a lemon – even if the thought of the love child of Mary Whitehouse and Quentin Crisp sucking a lemon is infinitely more entertaining than this tawdry exercise in cultural emaciation. We’ll happily celebrate a witty, confident teen drama that chronicles the absurdities of American college life. But this isn’t it. Not every TV programme needs to be something you can watch with your mum; but it does need to be something you can watch with your brain. That is all.
Released on DVD on Monday 22nd August 2011 by Lions Gate Home Entertainment.