When I was young, MTV had this incredible pull on my psyche. I clearly remember staying up late and watching 120 Minutes or Headbangers Ball, and, back in the day, when The Real World was actually real (and compelling television). I have long since mourned the loss of The Real World as legit television. People who go on it are far too aware of the brief fame/notoriety the show will give them, so their behavior cannot be seen as anything but camera whoring. Even in the 90s I tolerated when TRL ruled the airwaves because, sometimes, a band I would like would go on there to promote an album. I always thought Carson Daly sucked a little bit, though.
Then, as MTV evolved into not-so-real reality shows and celebrating being rich and obnoxious (two polite terms for the girls on My Super Sweet Sixteen), I grew much more indifferent than anything. "Really," I said to myself, "it's not like this is the lowest possible denominator. It's bad, true, but it could be worse."
Then MTV released its most horrifying and offensive show to date.
The Hard Times of RJ Berger.
Allow me to summarize the concept: every cliche about high school in the history of ever. Every cliche about fat people, nerdy people, jocky people, everyone really balled up into one show. But this show, you see, has one incredibly hilarious difference that, clearly, makes it worthy of our time.
RJ Berger has a huge penis.
Wow. Groundbreaking television work here. You might say, "Well, you know, it could happen." And you're right. It's entirely possible that a high school student with a huge dong would happen to have his pants pulled down near center court of a basketball game and expose his gigantic manhood to the entire school. Then, all logic and reason fly out the window, and you wonder if it would be likely that every conversation for the rest of this kid's like would center around his penis. Because that is what this show asks us to believe.
RJ had friends before this- two fat (but, God forbid, not too fat) people, a boy and girl, who are awesome stereotypes. The girl is a horny obsessive, and finding out RJ's schlongadilly is big just sends her right over the edge. The boy is, like all teenagers, hilariously obsessed with achieving sexual intercourse. What well developed, interesting, and imaginative characters, MTV. Really, all they need now is some racism and...
Oh, the show mentions that a Japanese woman's mouth isn't big enough for his penis. Oh, okay, they've got it all covered then.
This show is actively bad for people to watch. I am stupider for having endured part of several episodes. It's sort of how I feel about teaching a lot of the time- we get asked to do all kinds of things outside of what we might normally do as teachers. I ask myself each time if what I'm being asked to do is good for kids, and if it isn't, I try my best to make it as such. But when something is bad for kids, I feel powerless to stop it (I see you, No Child Left Behind). I feel powerless to stop stupid bullshit like The Hard Times of RJ Berger, but I sure as hell can complain about it a whole bunch.