The Hard Times of
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
previously warned viewers about MTV’s new program, The Hard Times of RJ
Berger. Such warnings were appropriate, given that press releases stated the
show’s premise: a well-endowed teenager exposes his genitals to his entire
school, becomes wildly popular as a result, and is pursued by various adult
women and teenage girls seeking sex.
But no press release or
warning could have prepared audiences for the torrential flood of explicit and
perverted sex that greeted viewers Sunday night. For unleashing extreme sexual
content worthy of a pornographic film – and targeting it at an audience of teens
and children – MTV’s premiere of The Hard Times of RJ Berger (June 6,
11:00 p.m. ET) is the Worst Cable TV Show of the Week.
The episode opens on the
geeky high school sophomore RJ Berger masturbating. As RJ lies in bed before
school, the viewer sees tissues and lubricant scattered nearby and RJ fondling a
fantasy picture with his other hand. In voiceover, RJ lists the ways Nature has
done him wrong, then declares, “I'm not about to roll over and be Nature's
bitch. I'm gonna BEAT IT!” The covers bounce as RJ strokes himself harder. He is
then interrupted by his mother, whose innocent touch makes him climax.
At school, RJ is approached
by the chubby, sex-crazed Lily, who is obsessed with having sex with RJ: “I
arranged to be study buddies with a certain someone. You know, for all those
last night CRAMMING sessions.” Lily then mentions that she “thought about” RJ
that morning, as a flashback shows her seated in the school library,
masturbating to a yearbook photo of RJ, her hand banging the underside of the
table wildly. When RJ asks Lily why she is determined to ruin their friendship,
she replies, “Why are you so afraid to ruin my sheets?...Take my offer, RJ. Any
time. Any place. Any orifice!” (Later in the program, Lily is shown wearing a
t-shirt with RJ’s photo and the words “I Want You Inside Me.”)
At home, RJ (and the viewer)
is subjected to a dinner party, during which he must endure the sexual innuendo
of his swinger parents and another middle-aged couple. RJ later hears them all
having group sex in the next room.
The next day during a school
basketball game, RJ is humiliated by jock Max, who rubs sweat from his own
armpit, then wipes it on RJ’s upper lip, declaring, “That’s how a man smells.”
When a fight breaks out, RJ must substitute in the game for the last few
seconds. He misses the final shot and accidentally drops his shorts and jock
strap, revealing his genitals to the high school audience. Girls point at RJ,
saying "It’s like a tripod!" Lily gasps, “I’m soaked!,” while RJ’s coach says in
awe, “It's a goddamn Buick Regal!”
Later, RJ tells his friend
Miles that he considers his endowment a curse. A cartoon sequence in the style
of Japanese anime shows why: during a tutoring session between RJ and
Japanese student Natsumi, they begin to French kiss. Natsumi unbuttons RJ’s
pants and moves downward, implying that she is going to perform oral sex on him.
“This terrifying Godzilla penis presents a challenge, but Natsumi will prevail!”
she says, then moves her head downward. Beads of perspiration appear on her
face as she performs oral sex. She chokes, however, due to the large size of
his penis. Miles comforts RJ after hearing the story: “The Japanese mouth is not
designed to handle that kind of size. You see those little egg rolls they eat?
She wasn't ready for an American foot-long hotdog. Dude, you have something
that every guy in school would kill for!”
The episode concludes with
RJ and Miles attending a party given by Jenny Swanson, on whom RJ has a crush.
While Miles gets another girl drunk and peeks at her breasts in a hot tub, RJ
endures crude jokes about his anatomy, but manages to make a date with Jenny.
Jenny’s boyfriend Max punches RJ, who gets revenge by unzipping his pants in
front the entire party, wiping sweat off his genitals and rubbing it underneath
Max’s nose, stating triumphantly, “That's how a man smells, bitch!”
How many teenagers think,
talk, and act like this? Very few. The program is all too clearly the twisted
fantasy of sex-crazed adults projecting their own warped desires onto high
school-aged children. The fact that MTV is willing to provide a platform for
adults obsessed with teenage sex should give every parent pause.
Along with its grotesquely
sexual and perverse sexual content, the program also featured the apparently
requisite MTV bleeped profanity (the f-word, references to RJ’s c***, and
others), as well as unbleeped references to RJ’s “donkey dick.” About the only
good news is that, at least in the first episode, advertisers are not joining
in. The show’s premiere contained very few commercials – Red Bull, Dell
computers, a couple movies, and (unsurprisingly) Spike TV were the sole sponsors
of this depraved program. Advertisers will be well advised to stay away from
this disgusting show.
While RJ Berger might
possibly be appropriate for a hard-core pornographic movie on a pay-per-view
channel, basic cable channel MTV is deliberately targeting it at an audience
composed of children – and is forcing their parents to pay for it.
Between the nonstop
profanity on the MTV Movie Awards and the blatant premise of RJ Berger
– and the fact that both programs were rated TV-14 -- it is clear that MTV is
engaged in a deliberate campaign to corrupt children by deluging them with adult
language and sexual content. For being the centerpiece in this campaign, The
Hard Times of RJ Berger is definitely the Worst Cable TV Show of the
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