Sunday, June 14, 2009

College Life

A few months ago I was mindlessly changing TV channels when I saw a show that seemed to be set in a UW dorm. Indeed, that was the setting for much of College Life, the recently-concluded MTV show set in Madison, without the university's blessing.

College Life was billed as "real, not reality," and was the product of a handful of UW students given cameras to record their lives. What unfolded was what appeared to be a fairly standard representation of student life in Madison.

Which was surprisingly boring.

Here were the main players:

-Kevin, a kid from Minnesota who for most of the first semester was drunk and on the verge of academic disaster. This is the kid who, upon getting busted early on by his housefellow, resumed his party moments later. By comparison, when Butch and I got busted early on freshman year by a housefellow, I was so torn up I couldn't eat for three days. (Butch suffered no such angst.)

Kevin then gets kicked out of the dorms. When he tells his mom, she says she's disappointed, because she wanted him to have supervision. "But I don't need supervision, Mom!" Uh huh.

But Kevin turns things around and gets good grades in the second semester. Good for him. Seems like a nice, goofy kid who needs to be slapped down a few times to get his head right.

-Jordan, a kid from suburban Chicago, tells us early that he doesn't want to go to Badger football games because he doesn't like the "mob mentality." Wow, this kid must really have it together. Not really -- a little while later he decides to spend two grand on a ridiculous tattoo, money he was supposed to use to pay his parents for tuition.

Later Jordan breaks up with a girl because she has a Nickelback song on her iPod. Deep, man, deep.

-Andrea goes to great lengths to tell us how Christian she is, which makes her turn as a lingerie model interesting. She also seems to, ahem, kiss a lot of dudes. One of them appears to be J.J. Watt, my choice to save our defense from total disaster this year.

-Josh is Andrea's old boyfriend from high school. Even though they're not together, they have a regular dinner night scheduled and spend lots of time together. Yet Andrea can't figure out why Josh can't move on.

Josh's pathetic actions -- bitching and moaning about girls who seem to be leading him on, sending lame text messages (in our day it was just email), then surrounding himself with random floozies in a drunken haze -- remind me of a lot of dudes I knew in college, probably myself included at times.

In the end they start dating again. They deserve each other.

-Lindsey seems okay, and dates Josh for awhile, then turns off her social life to immerse herself in her studies. Which is stressful for her. Which also doesn't make for very compelling television.

-Some other chick from Texas was on early, her big drama being getting dumped by some loser wannabe rocker. Then there's a tornado or something in her hometown so she turned her camera off for good. No big loss.

Other than the J.J. Watt semi-sighting, the only sports reference, if you can call it that, is Kevin's shirt that says something like "Water covers two-thirds of the Earth, Bucky's wang covers the other third." Classy.

College Life suggests this:

We all look back on our time in Madison with great fondness, and will cherish those memories forever. But if we'd been recording it all for posterity, chances are strangers from around the country would not have found it all that interesting. Except, maybe, for my mom.

6 comments:

Toohey said...

Schwib had mentioned this to me, I think. Never saw any of the episodes (sadly, I no longer watch MTV) but I can guarantee if we all had recorded our freshman year in college, it would have been pretty damn entertaining.

Wait. Well maybe entertaining for us to look back on. I guess you're right. Unless you actually experience it, no one will probably give a rats ass. :D

Millie said...

How about a shout-out for the appearance at the Nitty Gritty. Represent!

Scott Tappa said...

I think I saw Garza making Josh's Gritty Burger at Lindsey's birthday bash.

Millie said...

Odds are that he was involved in some way, shape or form.

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