A writer and provocateur, Dan Savage has an easy-going, glib manner when the subject is sex advice that’s well suited to TV — and especially engaging college students, as he tours and lectures dispensing much-needed wisdom to the hormonally challenged population.
MTV tries to bottle that in a new series, “Savage U,” premiering on April 3 at 11 p.m. And while Savage’s quick wit, no-nonsense observations and racy ripostes play well, the show proves a little bit too cute for its own good by seeking to create a sort of rom-com-style banter (minus the sex) between its star and his producer, Lauren Hutchinson, who’s basically reduced to following him around saying “Oh no you didn’t!”
Fortunately, the half-hour episodes (MTV’s ordered 12) go down pretty quickly, and to give you an idea of Savage’s approach to sex ed, there’s no way he’d let someone say something as suggestive as “go down pretty quickly” without making a joke about that.
Savage recently hosted the MTV spec “It Gets Better,” a much weightier effort based on his admirable viral video campaign, designed to provide a comforting shoulder to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youths.
“Savage U” skews toward the lighter side, and there’s room for that too. It’s just an elective, to put it in terms college kids can understand, as opposed to a core requirement.