You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Blue Mountain State

More closely resembles the frat-boy hijinks of "Animal House."

Alex - Darin Brooks Craig - Sam Jones III Sammy - Romanski Thad - Alan Ritchson Denise - Gabrielle Dennis Coach - Ed Marinaro

Guy-oriented Spike doesn’t have much of a track record in scripted programming, but it appears to possess a clear idea what men are supposed to like — a tawdry combination of babes, violence and near-death experiences. So its latest foray into scripted comedy, “Blue Mountain State,” is ostensibly about a fictitious college football powerhouse, but more closely resembles the frat-boy hijinks of “Animal House.” If only there were even a trace of that film’s wit, as opposed to a mindless torrent of homophobic taunts, bouncing boobs and (count ’em) two sequences involving masturbation in this first knuckle-dragging half-hour.

The surprising part is that there’s actually an interesting crumb hidden within “BMS” that’s sadly overshadowed by its thudding excess. That would be the character of Alex (Darin Brooks), a backup quarterback who — fearing his dad’s humdrum existence — doesn’t really want to play; instead, he’s content to screw coeds and drink with his nerdy roommate Sammy (played by series co-creator Romanski, who goes by one name), sucking all he can out of the college experience before disappearing into anonymous middle age.

Alas, Alex is just a small part of a squad otherwise drawn from an utterly familiar playbook. They include freshman running back Craig and hazer-in-chief Thad (played by Sam Jones III and Alan Ritchson, respectively, both alums of “Smallville”); readily available coeds; sexually adventurous cougars; and stunts like a race involving cookies wedged in butt cheeks.

FX has enjoyed some recent success with crude comedy, but “Blue Mountain” embraces that aspect of Spike’s mandate over all else — putting the bodily function/semi-nudity cart before the sitcom horse. (The uniforms, by the way, bear a strong resemblance to Boise St., a relatively new NCAA power.)

One-time college star Ed Marinaro has been cast as the team’s hard-driving coach, but despite the participation of “Varsity Blues” director Brian Robbins, any inspiration casting-wise pretty well ends there — and not incidentally, most of the college underclassmen look about 35.

While it’s nice that Spike is seeking to widen its narrow unscripted profile, by hewing so closely to its formula, the net has simply made this too-blue “Mountain” into a comedic molehill.

Blue Mountain State

Spike, Tues. Jan. 12, 10 p.m.

Production: Filmed in Quebec by Falconer/Romanski in association with Varsity Pictures and Lionsgate. Executive producers, Brian Robbins, Sharla Sumpter Bridgett, Romanski, Eric Falconer; producer, Madeleine Henry; director, Robbins; writers, Falconer, Romanski.

Crew: Camera, Bruce Chun; production designer, Jean Francois-Campeau; editor, Ned Bastille; music, Mark Mothersbaugh; casting, Juel Bestrop, Seth Yanklewitz. 30 MIN.

Cast: Alex - Darin Brooks Craig - Sam Jones III Sammy - Romanski Thad - Alan Ritchson Denise - Gabrielle Dennis Coach - Ed Marinaro

More Scene

  • Jessica Biel Limetown Premiere

    Why 'Limetown' Star & Producer Jessica Biel Thought the Show Was Based on a True Story

    In a world of increasingly outlandish headlines, the story behind “Limetown” — in which an entire community in rural Tennessee disappears overnight — seems plausible. Even Jessica Biel, who executive produces and stars in the Facebook Watch television adaptation of the hit 2015 podcast, was initially convinced that it was real. “I just thought I [...]

  • Yahya Abdul-Mateen II Watchmen

    Yahya Abdul-Mateen II Talks 'Watchmen,' 'Matrix 4': 'I'm Not Nervous At All'

    Yahya Adbul-Mateen II is facing some serious pressure. The actor is in the middle of a massive career surge, taking on roles in HBO’s “Watchmen” and the upcoming “Matrix 4” — and with those roles, the expectations of their fans.  “I have the responsibility of upholding something that was already done while also bringing in [...]

  • David Lindelof Watchmen Premiere

    'Watchmen' Creator Damon Lindelof Weighs in on Martin Scorsese's Marvel Criticisms

    Damon Lindelof disagrees with Martin Scorsese about his recent claims that Marvel movies don’t qualify as cinema. The director’s proclamation, along with the polarized critical reception of “Joker,” are the latest salvos in a long history of questioning comic book movies’ place in cinematic history. The lingering question: Can superhero fare be considered “high art?” [...]

  • Anne Hathaway Modern Love

    Anne Hathaway Talks Mental Health Awareness, Playing a Bipolar Woman on Amazon's 'Modern Love'

    In Amazon Prime’s upcoming “Modern Love,” Anne Hathaway sheds light on an important facet of living with mental health issues, playing a bipolar woman who struggles with dating. “We’re all becoming more sensitive, wiser and more cognizant of gentility, and especially emotional gentility. I think those conversations are starting to happen. And I think the desire [...]

  • Margot Robbie, Nicole Kidman, Charlize Theron.

    Charlize Theron Could Win Second Oscar for Playing Megyn Kelly in 'Bombshell'

    Charlize Theron walked on stage before a screening of “Bombshell” at West Hollywood’s Pacific Design Center on Sunday night and announced to the crowd, “I’m about to s— myself.” The Oscar winner had good reason to be nervous. The screening of the Jay Roach-directed drama about the fall of Fox News boss Roger Ailes was [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content