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Better Than Expected: The Hard Times of RJ Berger


I've figured out where MTV wants to fit into your television viewing life cycle. It's a place they've been filling already, only now they're adding scripted programming to the mix. As teens grow beyond 'iCarly,' there's been no place to go. Adult shows are too sophisticated; dealing with issues they either aren't ready to tackle yet, or don't even understand.


Enter 'The Hard Times of RJ Berger.' As my esteemed colleague Joel Keller pointed out earlier this month, 'Berger' -- 'Hung' for the junior set -- seems to rather quickly ignore the titular appendage. That's actually an asset for the future of the show. What kind of legs can a high school comedy be if its obsessed with its lead character's genitalia all the time?


It does come up again in the third episode, in an incredibly awkward way, but it's everything that happened around that moment that worked as comedy. Perhaps the series speaks too closely to my own insecure early years, but I think 'The Hard Times of RJ Berger' nails the teen experience of its target audience in an uncomfortably authentic way.


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