Based on Atomicwedgietv.com's groundbreaking comedy series of the same name, the show follows you, your buddies and your multiple girlfriends as you deal with wild pool parties, lesbian bars, Internet fame and more. Each episode is shot entirely from your point of view and contains two back-to-back mini-sodes in which you navigate the local nightlife, hang out with friends, and try and decide which girlfriend to hang on to while keeping them from finding out about each other.
That's right, the show is shot entirely in first person (second person?), from the point of view "You". You is a white heterosexual man in You's 20s who must be extremely charming and good-looking because every woman You meets wants to do You. We see other characters interact with You by addressing the camera, but You remains silent, and the viewer can only see You speak through You's text messages, which don't get much more interesting than "Be there soon."
You basically spends the episode following You's wacky friends around while they unsuccessfully hit on women and make jokes that invariably fall flat. You always ends up in proximity to women undressing, pouring drinks down each other's shirts, or performing public sex acts. You also likes to ogle women by zooming in on their body parts -- it just so happens that every woman at every place You visits looks like an underwear model -- and these women LOVE to be zoomed in on. In fact, every one of them responds with come-hither eye contact. The idea is that the viewer can live vicariously through You while You gets lucky.
I'm sure the wunderkinds behind Secret Girlfriend would celebrate it being called thinly veiled porn for adolescent boys. But my question is, WHY WOULD BOYS WATCH THIS INSTEAD OF ACTUAL PORN? Teens these days can see fully naked people doing anything and everything via the magic of the internet -- and the acting is probably better! Why do they settle for this porn-lite garbage? But, while Secret Girlfriend has been panned by critics, ratings averaged 1.37 million viewers over the first four episodes. That makes it one of Comedy Central's strongest shows.
I can only guess that impressionable adolescent viewers are more intrigued by the premise than the T&A: 20-something dudes not working, getting wasted, dating lots of girls, etc. I admit it seems pretty fun from a teen perspective, and these activities wouldn't be so bad in a different context. It's just that this context is built around representations of women as giggling sex objects who happily go home with the men in the car next to them, or get turned on when they catch their neighbor spying while they do yoga. (Yep, those things happened. No, it still wasn't interesting.) Seriously, can't we just go back to the bored-housewife-meets-delivery-boy thing?
[Also posted at bitchmagazine.org]