MTV’s new reality show College Life premieres tonight (10:30 ET), and I’m kind of anxious to see how it’s going to play out. Instead of calling on their regular camera crews (and, ahem, expert lighting people – thank you, Hills), the network sent four college freshmen off to the University of Wisconsin with just a hand-held camcorder and their own raging hormones. The self-produced series is supposed to give viewers a voyeuristic look into the lives of these co-eds as they face the ups and downs of campus living (think: hook ups, finals, and partying).
In theory, this sounds like a great idea – after all, last year’s documentary American Teen, which had a very similar angle (real teenagers in their real environment), won critical acclaim for its compelling narrative, but those teens weren’t in charge of the power button on the camera following them. It makes me wonder just how much these College Life students were willing to record and how much they were able to hide. Those of us who have experienced higher education know that the last thing a massive hangover or a bad grade needs is a lens magnifying it, so it’s hard to imagine these 18-year-olds were completely candid.
After a look at a sneak peek clip from tonight’s premiere (press play below) it seemed like there was some leniency given in terms of when the camcorder could be turn on and off. Andrea, for example, had a dorm-room “date” with a new boy to watch Gossip Girl and One Tree Hill (racy, right?) but says she “couldn’t shoot it.” Now, of course, I want to know why!
PopWatchers, what about you? Are you going to register for College Life? What do you think about MTV”s “new” way of documenting these stories? And how many apology notes do you think the four stars will have to issue to their parents on Tuesday mornings from now on?