In the first ten minutes of BET’s new reality TV show, “College Hill,” Kevin, a recently born again football star was caught trying to play the field off the field. This example revealed the inherent contradictions that are destined to plague this series.
“College Hill” looks like a low-budget homemade video with MTV “The Real World” rejects posing as multi-dimensional, goal-oriented characters. Despite the show’s classification, viewers get a false sense of reality when the college characters in the first episode are immediately shown in the club or behind closed doors making up their own “anatomy” exams. Evidently, the location being Southern A&M University in Baton Rouge, La. was not critical for what the creators wanted to portray, who are loose, vapid excuses for intellectuals.
Kinda, the 18-year-old Baton Rouge native, who everyone calls “No draws,” for obvious reasons, gets more spotlight than Delano, the aspiring rap artist and Jabari, the eccentric computer science student, combined. “Everybody has a freak bag in their underwear drawer,” Kinda blurts out in one scene. Each time she speaks, it becomes even more clear that “draws” are not the only thing missing from this girl.
The active camera was intended to create a sense of movement, but the sluggish plot along with the degrading dialogue sequences only made “College Hill” all the more nauseating. The rapid scene changes and random confessional angles make the show seem more like a dim-witted documentary than a reality TV series. Seemingly, Viacom, the parent company of BET, MTV and VH1 is using the so-called black network as its experimental lab rat. But once again, this rat is trapped in tedium.
Although some of the characters and discussions are somewhat identifiable and can be traced back to this Hill, the show fails to capture the essence of black college life. What about the impressionable children who will watch this show and believe it depicts all that historically black colleges and universities have to offer?
The anticipation for the first black college show since “A Different World” was high. However, between the female catfight in the street and Kinda’s pointless “Kim Possible” rendition, this show is not a different world. It is a disgusting one. And “College Hill” will have to make quite a steep climb to redeem itself next week.
Contact Russell Nichols at firstname.lastname@example.org.