TV review: "Hard Time of RJ Berger"

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

With "The Hard Times of RJ Berger," MTV debuts its first single-camera comedy. The format's not particularly new to scripted television, even if scripted television is new to MTV. (Kind of.)

Coincidentally, more than a few aspects of this show are unoriginal - starting with the protagonist, whose very large penis leads him to a series of misadventures.

Sounds a lot like HBO's "Hung." And, unfortunately, the show gets more hackneyed with every character.

Our well-endowed hero (Paul Iacono) is, in typical fashion, an overlooked nerd who pines for the most beautiful girl in school. She's, of course, dating the biggest jock/douche in the school.

RJ's only friends are a chubby foul-mouth (think Jonah Hill in "Superbad") and a nerdy girl with no verbal shutoff valve who says things like "any time, any place, any orifice."

It's all typical high school in TV land until RJ's shorts fall down during a basketball game. Now he's the talk of the school, and his confidence is rising. He's going to fight for the girl, stand up to bullies and "rub nut musk" under his enemies' noses.

"Hard Times" is a rip-off of an idea that wasn't fresh to begin with - "Hung" is basically "Boogie Nights" without the porn, after all. And most jokes are sad retreads, like when RJ's caught masturbating, a la "Fast Times at Ridgemont High."

But I'm especially miffed because the show did have a couple humorous moments, they were just spoiled by all the stereotypes and cliches.

"The Hard Times of RJ Berger"

Premieres 11 p.m. June 6 on MTV

One star