Normally, I pretty much forget that MTV is a channel. With horrid reality shows like Jersey Shore and Teen Mom, most of its programming seems like it goes against everything for which I stand. However, 16 & Pregnant is kind of a guilty pleasure and while watching it one day, I saw an ad for this new scripted drama Underemployed. I first saw the ad about one day after getting fired from my first real job, so I really connected with it.
The series focuses on five recent college graduates trying to make it in the real world. In college, they were on top of the world. The pilot begins with the five of them promising to meet up in one year when they’re ruling the world. However, as many recent graduates have discovered, we’re not ruling the world.
So, the five main characters. Sofia (Michelle Ang, Neighbours) was her class valedictorian. In her commencement speech, she talked about how they were going to go out and change the world. A year later, she is working at Donut Girl while attempting to write her debut novel. She goes to work every day wearing a giant donut headband and waiting for inspiration to strike. One day, a former classmate comes in to Donut Girl and she’s faced with the highly embarrassing dilemma of having to explain to someone how she’s currently underachieving in life. Her classmate comes in with his new boss and later, Sofia has her first sexual experience.
Next up is Daphne (Sarah Habel, Whip It). After graduating with a degree in advertising, she’s currently doing an unpaid internship for an advertising firm and living with her father. She gets to assist on campaigns, in that she literally gets to eat dog food to prove to a client it’s good enough for humans to eat. She also has sex with her boss before finding out that he has a girlfriend. She comes in one day and demands to start getting paid. When he says no, she quits. She then manages to use the information about his girlfriend to get him to give her a paid position and she stops sleeping with him.
Miles (Diego Boneta, Rock of Ages) dreams of being an underwear model for Calvin Klein one day. Now, however, he’s taking various catering jobs and waiting for his big break. He thinks it might come when working one catering job where he meets an older woman who invites him to a party where Calvin Klein will be present. He goes to the party, but she just wanted him to work it. He does end up meeting Calvin, though, and leaves an impression on him.
The final two are Lou (Jared Kusnitz, Secret Life of the American Teenager) and Raviva (Inbar Lavi, For the Love of Money). They dated in college, but then broke up because “real adults” know when to call off a relationship. They do, however, manage to have sex one last time. Lou starts trying to make a career out of saving the environment, but as any person who wants to “change the world” knows, there’s next to no money in that. Meanwhile, Raviva sets out for Los Angeles to try to get a record deal. As a result of that goodbye sex, however, Raviva ends up pregnant and comes back to Lou just as she’s about to give birth. He, naturally, doesn’t take it well and she ends up back at her mother’s house. Lou decides to sell his soul and go to work for his father (Tom Irwin, My So-Called Life) who works for a company that Lou pretty much believes is the devil. However, evil pays, which Lou needs since he wants to get back together with Raviva and raise their daughter.
As a twenty-something recent college grad, I’m basically in love with this show. The head writer is Craig Wright, who has also written for Six Feet Under and created Dirty Sexy Money. It’s witty and extremely sarcastic. It’s a fairly realistic portrayal of how much the world sucks for recent graduates. The way the characters talk is accurate. I’ve had so many conversations with my friends about how “real adults” act or how “grown up” we are. However, I’ve also learned there is nothing less grown up than referring to yourself as a grown up.
It’s a fun show and I’m extremely excited to see how the rest of the season goes. The writing is strong. The characters are lovable. It’s just an all-around good show.