Remember when 8:30 p.m. meant stuff like “Little House on the Prairie,” “The Waltons” and “Laverne & Shirley”? If “Shasta McNasty” doesn’t hammer the final nail into the family-hour coffin, then nothing probably can.
Here is what 8:30 looks like as we race toward the end of the millennium: A parrot screaming “Jack off!” and chomping someone’s crotch before getting pummeled to pieces. A pop-up video message informing us, “Randy is also British slang for ‘horny.’ ” Three Beavis and Butt-head-style losers leering at a buxom blonde neighbor and trying to figure out ways to “bang” her. And this is the comparatively wholesome stuff.
Where have you gone, John-Boy? No sign of him in “McNasty,” a fast-moving, mega-shallow celebration of hyperstimulated libidos starring Carmine Giovinazzo, Jake Busey and Dale Godboldo as rowdy lifelong pals sharing a pad on the Venice Beach boardwalk. They are hip-hop musicians looking to score a record deal. In the meantime, they spy on their babe-o-licious neighbor through an elaborate voyeuristic system, including a telescope and video player and work slavishly to put coherent sentences together (often without success).
The show is a frenetic mix of MTV-esque video stylings, high-energy hip-hop tunes, zany physical shtick and incessant carnal ramblings — its only saving grace being the unlikely presence in the pilot of the deadpan Mary Lynn Rajskub (late of “The Larry Sanders Show”) as Diana, the neighbor with whom our thick-skulled threesome shares a common kitchen (don’t ask).
Ultimately, “Shasta McNasty” is to shameless pandering what water is to the sustaining of life. Its message to adolescent guys is that if they don’t want to be branded as losers, they should seek out chicks to ogle, and make certain to avoid even the thinnest attempt at pro-social behavior. The show probably won’t live long, anyway, facing as it does slot competish from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “That ’70s Show,” “3rd Rock From the Sun” and “JAG,” but figure the damage it can do to good taste will be nevertheless incalculable.
Good night, John Boy.