The Hard Times of RJ Berger, “Pilot”

File this one under: I watched this so you didn’t have to.

For some really weird reason, I found myself watching the pilot episode for The Hard Times of RJ Berger last night. Right after Breaking Bad, even!

As you can imagine, the transition was not very seamless.The idea of MTV trying to craft their own scripted high school drama makes a lot of sense, but I’m surprised that they didn’t try something about teen moms first. You know, since that’s what all the unscripted programming is about. Anyway, despite my hesitance towards this series — you know, since it’s all about a schlong joke — I tried not to come into it with the idea that I wasn’t the target market for MTV anymore. I’m still just 22, I couldn’t be that far out of touch with young culture, could I?

Well, either I am completely out of touch with young culture or I’m totally right and this is one of the most clichéd, unoriginal and purposefully nasty series to hit television in the past few years. Berger takes — and I mean TAKES — its influences from “Superbad,” “Mean Girls,” and any other marginally solid high school comedy film, mixes in some Hung, puts them in a giant blender and spews out a product that’s full of unnecessary obscenities that are surely supposedly to be edgy or something.

I know it’s just the pilot episode full of set up, but there isn’t one moment in the 25 minutes of Berger that you haven’t seen before. The main character is a dweeb with no social life and dreams of hooking up with the school hottie. Of course, when he watches her walk, it’s in slow motion while she takes off her clothes and wind machines blow her hair everywhere.*

*Just a note, but trying to parody that “Fast Times” cliché has become more cliché than the moment itself so there’s no way it’s funny.

Said hottie is also not as vapid or dumb as she seems, but her jock boyfriend is a total tool that she can’t even understand why she’s with him. The best friend is a fat loud mouth that makes ridiculous remarks as if that counts for funny. The third friend, a girl, is overtly sexual with her comments, is sort of emo and only wants to have sex. All the time. Oh, and let’s not forget the parents who are obvious swingers and complete fools. Completely original, right?!

Now that RJ’s “big” gift — hahahahaha, get it?! LOLZ — has been revealed people will look at him differently. Girls might be more interested, guys might be jealous and for some reason, he’s now able to stand up to the hottie’s jock. Expect lots of shenanigans, bleeped out cussing and d*ck jokes to come in the following episodes. But hopefully you’re not expecting them because you’re not planning on watching. Please don’t.


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