With VH1 having carved out a lucrative niche chronicling the nonscripted (if heavily staged) antics of the once-famous and notorious, it’s not much of a surprise that its foray into comedy would be unconventional and undisciplined; unfortunately, it’s also mostly unfunny. Narrated by a barista named Dr. Rod (a reference to Serling, one presumes), this mish-mash built around the “turning 30 sucks” theme has moments of energy in its rapid-fire gags but can’t decide what the hell it wants to be, thus adding up to not much more than nothing at all.
Created, written and directed by Brice Beckham and David Fickas, who are also featured in the ensemble, “I Hate My 30s” is loosely structured around a group of office co-workers who all fall roughly within the title’s demographic range.
In the premiere, Carol (Megahn Perry) frets about turning 30, in part because she’s mutually pining for Chad (Fickas), though she fears an office romance would “shatter a comfortably ambiguous work relationship.” She’s constantly insulted by the vain, self-absorbed Mandy (Jill Ritchie), who in the second half-hour convinces lovelorn office assistant Kyle (Liam Sullivan) to pretend to be her boyfriend so she won’t have to attend yet another wedding alone.
The rest of the characters, frankly, are so nondescript as not to register, with Dr. Rod (Ric Barbera) essentially delivering an array of non sequiturs about the vagaries of escaping one’s 20s and assuming greater life responsibilities.
For no particular reason, the episodes also close with an advice segment featuring an animated fox (C.L. Fox, as in “Crazy Like a…”), which merely underscores the program’s willy-nilly tone and lack of much beyond a title to guide it.
That said, even a blind pig finds an acorn occasionally, and there is one inspired sequence in the second half-hour — a guy-gal musical spoof of the “Summer Lovin’ ” number in “Grease.” It’s almost a throwback to the old VH1’s music-based roots, as well as a hint of what could be a more interesting series, or at least a better way to obscure the show’s irritating lack of plot.
Coming-of-age rites have always been ripe fodder for comedy, but, with “I Hate My 30s,” about all VH1 accomplishes is to remind us that we’re getting older, slowly, while we’re watching it.