Secret Girlfriend - Variety Review

Adapted from the Web, Secret Girlfriend is in essence comedy as single-player videogame, with the camera standing in for the show's twentysomething protagonist as he pals around with goofball roommates and juggles two women -- a psychotic (but hot) ex-girlfriend who won't stay "ex," and a new (and also hot) gal who seems refreshingly normal. Fitfully funny, there's undeniable energy but also obvious limitations to this approach, which perhaps explains each half-hour's segmentation into back-to-back 11-minute episodes -- a format regularly associated with Saturday-morning cartoons. Such is the perceived attention span of young guys.


When the show begins, the hero (that would be us) is in the midst of his latest break-up with Mandy (Alexis Krause), and his buddies Phil (Derek Miller) and Sam (Michael Blaiklock) endeavor to cheer him up by getting him laid. On a beer run, he encounters Jessica (Sara E.R. Fletcher), who clearly likes him, based on the way she keeps winsomely leaning in toward the camera.


The buddies, meanwhile, try to create viral Web videos and do things like eat lunch at a strip club because they actually enjoy the food. The surly Mandy follows them, stripping herself. And so it goes.


Expanding their web product, Jay Rondot and Ross Novie approach their task with all the finesse of a beer commercial, but it's periodically effective -- and a bit like virtual porn. It's also indicative of the inherent difficulty in migrating online quick hitters -- built for visual gags, without all the bother of plots -- onto television.


Still, one can easily see "Secret Girlfriend" generating a cult following, and the concept is perfectly tailored to the kind of Web crossover promotion that Comedy Central has in mind.


Besides, if the series doesn't work, the channel can always dice it up and toss the funniest bits online -- right back, come to think of it, where they best belong.


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Oct 11, 2009 2:05AM EDT

It's not just the downfall of the American education system, but also the creation of shows like Secret Girlfriend, that contribute to the "dumbification" of America. This show looks like it was made by a highschool student with a DV camera. The acting is below C level, reflecting the limited talent of the director. There are better shows that stroke young men's fascination in attracting beautiful women, that don't use the creepy first person perspective, that limits the protagonists ability to develop. If the show stays in POV, audiences are going to get bored, and just stroke their ego's in Porn websites. How can a character that doesn't speak get so much ass? This show seems to capitalize of people's fantasies in such an extreme way that it's going to fall, for limiting its capacity to expand to different realms. Comedy central can you please leave Secret Girlfriend on the internet and actual put something with substance, and social depth?

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Nov 11, 2009 10:26AM EST

lol dawiseman i dont think comedy central has ever had a sitcom with substance and/or social depth. Its all stupid and I think it is meant to be stupid.

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RachelLEditor
Nov 11, 2009 12:57PM EST

@thetravellerjohn21 - Do we count South Park as a sitcom? Also...I thought Demetri Martin's quick little show last season was pretty intelligent. But I totally hear you...!

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