Roommates, the new MySpace TV original Web series, has all the plot dexterity, acting ability, and subtlety of a low-budget porno flick, without any of the payoff. Parents, the chances of your child encountering an actual sexual predator or engaging in actual criminal activity on MySpace.com are pretty low, statistically speaking. But if your kids are watching Roommates, you want to put a stop to that pronto. This is some psychologically damaging stuff.
The premise of the "show," which launched yesterday, is that four aspiring model/actresses...er, recent college grads...are living together in a house in L.A., while four others, who are slightly less attractive and don't rate full-time camera positions, live together somewhere else and send in Webcam videos. Each of them appears to have some cardboard-cutout personality-type attached, like "the fashionista" (because people actually call each other that), the bitchy smartish one, and the Webcam-only hippie chick (who's not at all dirty or, like, yucky Burning Man grungy, because ew!).
In the first episode, we are treated to such pulled-directly-from-soft-porn moments as accidentally (!) walking in on a character (!!) who's in the middle of changing clothes (!!!) and is strategically placed in perfectly matching lingerie (!!!!) and who does not get dressed or run away from the camera!!!!! Then there's two women "wrestling" on the couch without any pants on. And finally, my personal favorite, the unintentionally hilarious moment when one of the Plastics announces that they all need to relax and "light a candle." Yep. Because it stinks in here.
I can't actually get through the entirety of Episode 2, but it involves Truth or Dare, lots of booze (parents? you listening?) and dancing replete with lots o' butt shots and a mysteriously appearing DJ hand. After all, what bad faux-porn show wouldn't do drunken dancing and Truth or Dare?
Now, lest I sound like I'm up on some feminist high-horse about the objectification of women...well, I totally am. But I'm also insulted, as someone who does Web video, that this is the best MySpace thinks it has to do to launch a Web video presence they're calling "MySpace TV." Even the cheesiest VH1 faux reality show (which I totally watch) can do better than, "Ohmygosh you guys, I'm changing!" They're not even trying. They're just putting together a pretty collection of young girls and getting them to make out with the camera--figuratively and literally, but that's where I bailed on the second episode. Watch it if you must, but this stuff will rot your brain.