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Reviewed by Will Harris
uy” shows suck.
This may seem like a slightly incongruous opinion for someone who writes for an unabashedly guy-centric web magazine to offer, but dammit, it had to be said. There’s nothing wrong with trying to appeal to a male demographic, but to offer up a series about a college football team that’s filled from top to bottom with gross-out humor and then suggest that it’s the kind of show that guys are supposed to like, well, geez, you hate to throw around a phrase like “gender stereotyping,” but really, what the hell else would you call it?
There’s a quote on the back of “Blue Mountain State: Season One,” lifted from The Boston Globe, which describes the series as “an unapologetic take on movies such as ‘Porky’s’ and ‘Animal House.’” As adjectives go, “unapologetic” is definitely one which hits the nail squarely on the head (the DVD box also describes the Blue Mountain State Goats as “the team with the nastiest sacks in all of college football”), but if anyone affiliated with either of those films decides to check out the series, they’re likely to be horrified at what their work has wrought.
In truth, “Blue Mountain State” comes closer to approximating the straight-to-DVD entries of the “Van Wilder” and “American Pie” franchises. If you’ve ever seen any of those flicks, then you may feel that you already have some idea of the depths to which the “comedy” of this series will sink. You will almost certainly underestimate how low they are prepared to go, however, until you’ve actually sat down and watched the show, and for a starting point, there’s no better place to begin than with the episode entitled “Pocket Pussy.”
Actually, forget about watching it. Just reading the title has probably sent 80% of you running for the hills, and I can probably lose another 10% if I add that there’s another episode entitled “Craig Loses His Promise Ring in a Stripper.” If you’re still reading at this point, then either you’re laughing at the mere thought of just how awful “Blue Mountain State” truly is, or you’re thinking, “Damn, man, this sounds like my kind of show!” For those in the latter category, here’s a little bit more information about the series.
As noted, the focus is on the Blue Mountain State Goats, a football team led by Thad Castle (Alan Ritchson), whose middle name might as well be Stifler, so indebted is he to the character played by Seann William Scott in the “American Pie” films – which is to say that he’s a complete and total asshole. Other key team members include Alex Moran (Darin Brooks), a freshman second-string quarterback whose interest in college football seems to be limited to enjoying its fringe benefits (sex, drugs, booze, and more sex), and Craig Shilo (Sam Jones III), the team’s star freshman, whose girlfriend – Denise Roy, played by Gabrielle Dennis – is holding out on having sex with him in order to make him a better player. Most of the other players are pencil-sketched characters at best, but also in the mix is Sammy Cacciatore (Chris Romano), who’s trying to get drunk and laid whenever he isn’t wearing the team’s mascot costume… and sometimes even when he is.
You can’t really say that Ed Marinaro (“Hill Street Blues”) truly adds class to the series as Coach Marty Daniels, given that his dialogue is usually at least as crass as that of his players, but it’s at least nice to see the guy getting work. There really aren’t many other recognizable faces amongst the cast, though, unless you’re a fan of “Smallville,” which gave Jones work for several years as Pete Ross, or “Days of Our Lives,” which was Brooks’ day job for half a decade. Romano, meanwhile, was one of the minds behind “The Sarah Silverman Program,” along with Eric Falconer, and the two of them are the ones who created this series. Not that Sarah’s program wasn’t prone to setting aside of good taste for gross jokes, but geez, guys, this really feels like you’re taking a step backwards.
“Blue Mountain State” does have a few legitimate laughs scattered throughout the scatological and sexually-explicit material, but for the most part, it panders to the dumbass demographic. Granted, that’s the demo which is key to the success of Spike TV, where the series airs, but unless you want to feel your IQ slipping away from you a little bit more with each episode, you’d be better off watching something slightly more intelligent. Like, say, “Jersey Shore.”
Special Features: The bonus material is pretty limited, but if there’s one feature which can be labeled a highlight, it’s “Locker Room Rewind,” where the cast and creators of the show take a picture-in-picture look back at some key scenes from the season. At the very least, you do get a sense of the enthusiasm these guys have for their series, though the funniest thing about their discussion is probably Ed Marinaro admitting outright that this is the first time he’s ever really seen the show. Also included on the set is a collection of outtakes and deleted scenes, though the decision to present them together in one big clipfest is pretty lame. Not as lame, however, as “Making the Squad: The Cheerleaders of BMS,” which is actually just an attempt to hype Season Two of “Blue Mountain State” by making it sound like you’re going to be getting a behind-the-scenes look at the cheerleaders on the show. Boooooooo...