RJ Berger is well-endowed, or so I’ve heard. Recently, my seemingly small love of MTV has grown into a full-fledged mass obsession with the network. I simply can’t get enough of their “unscripted, documented reality” shows…cough, cough…The Hills, The City and the newest edition to the team Downtown Girls. Just kidding, to be honest, I was practically done with the network. A guy can only take so much girl-on-girl drama…
But finally, MTV has created a show that is admittedly scripted and from the previews looks promising. The Hard Times of RJ Berger, is a show about a not so popular kid in high school, struggling to find his place in the world. It isn’t until he somehow manages to find his pants around his ankles in front of the entire student body (I’m still not quite sure how this happens), do we learn that Mr. RJ Berger is smuggling quite the package.
“It is really important for us to let the viewers know that we’re not just one big dick joke,” says directer and co-creator, David Katzenberg. So if the show’s not a dick joke…what is it? Although the show’s premise is seemingly all about RJ Berger and his massive meat, it really centers on the classic coming of age story. What it’s like to be a high school student in the world today.
“For all the raunchy jokes and sexually explicit situations RJ finds himself in, we actually do try to have him do the right thing,” says writer and co-creator, Seth Grahame-Smith. “It’s just a noisy way to do a story about growing up.”
Hard Times is only the first in a string of scripted shows MTV is currently developing. “Getting into scripted shows is an important piece of the puzzle,” says Tony DiSanto, MTV’s programming chief. “The key to MTV’s success is not getting too homogenized and moving too much in one direction.”
Although reality shows won’t entirely disappear from the network’s circuit, it finally feels like MTV is done shoving them down our throat. I mean c’mon, after Lauren Conrad left The Hills, nobody really cared anymore and let’s face it, Whitney Port is just entirely too boring to have her own spin-off. So in the end, it’s great to see a show that is truly a break from the downward spiral that was MTV.
“I remember having some skepticism. I wasn’t sure how they were going to handle such aggressive material,” says Paul Iacono, who plays RJ. “But . . . I think ‘Hard Times’ could be what ‘Weeds’ was for Showtime. That sort of first ambitious step forward.”
Well I hope you’re right Iacono cause if you’re wrong, I might find a new love with VH1…at least their shows have some ethnic diversity.
Official Website: The Hard Times of RJ Berger
Check out the premiere this Sunday June 6, 2010 on MTV.