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Featured TV on DVD Review: Blue Mountain State: Season One

October 3rd, 2010

Blue Mountain State: Season One - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray

Blue Mountain State began airing on Spike TV at the beginning of the year and quickly proved popular enough with viewers that it was renewed for a second season. However, critics were less kind to the show. So is this a case of the critics just being too judgmental and the show being entertaining, if not exactly high quality? Or were the critics right?

The Show

Blue Mountain State takes place at the fictional Blue Mountain State University, a football obsessed school. It follows the exploits of Alex Moran, the second-string quarterback, who is content to be the backup and nothing more. In fact, when he's given a chance to start, he does everything in his power to prevent it. It seems he's found the perfect balance of stardom and slackerhood in being the backup. He still gets the perks of being on the team, like easy access to women and booze, without having to do any of the work. He roommate / best friend is Sammy, the team's mascot, who has managed to find the exact opposite combination. It turns out being the mascot is not the key to popularity he hoped it would be.

Alex's teammates include Craig Shilo (played by Sam Jones III, most well known for playing Pete Ross on Smallville). Craig is a fellow freshmen, but has a much brighter future, thanks in part to his skill, but also his work ethic. He's dating Denise, his high school sweetheart, who is not sweet. Not only is she interested in him more for his potential salary as a professional football player, she refuses to have sex with him till their married, and is cheating on him behind his back. The only other player we really know more about than a name is Thad Castle, the captain of the team and complete jerk.

If you read any reviews for this TV show, you will inevitably see it compared to American Pie, Animal House, Porky's, and / or Van Wilder. This is bad news for two major reasons. Firstly, it's very strong evidence that there's not an original thought behind this show. Secondly, every single one of these movies is R-rated, while Blue Mountain State is on Basic Cable, which means it is essentially limited to a PG rating. I'm not saying you need nudity to be entertaining, but if you are going to try and make a Teenage Sex Comedy, which is what this show basically is, it really helps. It's not like the show can survive on the writing, which is nearly universally terrible. Jokes are predictable, they are nearly always tawdry, and almost never delivered with the sharp wit needed to sell them.

The Extras

All of the extras on this two-disc set are found on disc two, starting with eleven minutes of outtakes. Locker Room Rewind is the most interesting of the special features. It's a picture-in-picture video commentary track of the pilot episode with most of the main male cast (everyone but Sam Jones III) plus the co-creater. Finally, there's a five-minute in character interview by Sammy Cacciatore of his step-sister, Mary Jo, about being a member of the Blue Mountain State cheerleader squad.

I don't have the Blu-ray to review, but it is actually cheaper than the DVD.

The Verdict

Blue Mountain State is a dumb, dumb, dumb show. Its for people who watched Porky's or American Pie and were turned off because they thought the film was too intellectual. Even if you are a fan of Teenage Sex Comedies, there are far too many alternatives to bother watching the show, while the Season One DVD and Blu-ray are utterly skippable.

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