TV Review'The Pauly D Project,' not all that badImagine 'Jersey Shore' meets 'Real World.' This is not that show
By Tom Conroy, Media Life Magazine
To paraphrase the famous opening text of "The Real World," this is the true story of four friends, picked to live in a suite and have their lives taped, to find out what happens while they continue to act like reality stars.
A spinoff of "Jersey Shore," MTV's new series "The Pauly D Project,"
is, like the earlier show, a reuse of the "Real World" formula: Take a group of young adults, install them in living quarters they probably couldn't otherwise afford, give them a fake job and see how they handle too much alcohol, partying and camera time.
The differences in "The Pauly D Project," which premieres this Thursday, March 29, at 10:30 p.m.
, are that the young adults are all males; they knew each other before moving in together; and its title star is already famous from "Jersey Shore." But the main action -- dancing and drinking in nightclubs, followed by hookups or throw-downs -- is too familiar.
On the positive side, Pauly and his friends have a relatable camaraderie, and they are, on average, less jerky than the typical "Real World" male housemate and less self-dramatizing than the other "Jersey Shore" regulars. Fans of Pauly or of "Entourage"-style misbehavior could do worse than this show.
As "Jersey Shore" enthusiasts may already know, Paul "Pauly D" Delvecchio is actually from Rhode Island and is an aspiring DJ. In the series, he auditions for and then gets a "DJ residency" at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, which is, not coincidentally, where the cast members in the 2002 season of "The Real World" stayed.
Somehow the club's budget allows Pauly to bring three friends with him for the gig. They are his DJing "mentor," Biggie; his "security," Jerry; and the group's "social director," Ryan, whom the others count on to attract women.
It takes a while for the boys to establish residency in Las Vegas. In the opening minutes, Pauly is living at home in Rhode Island with his father, who is recovering from a stroke. Pauly gets a call saying that the Palms wants him to audition in one of the resort's nightclubs.
When he and the boys check in to their suite, we get the usual montage of the new arrivals checking out their sweet deal. They immediately head out to a club. As "The Real World" has shown, it's easier to pick someone up if you're being followed by a camera crew. Since these guys have the advantage of Pauly's fame, their first night of partying in Vegas pays off with several girls.
One of the pickups strips down to her panties and leopard-pattern bra and gets in the suite's small pool with Ryan. Jerry, who is seriously overweight, puts on his trunks and a shower cap and hops in with them, blocking Ryan's progress. Pauly, meanwhile, has sneaked away with his girl to his room, where we get another classic "Real World" visual: the couple pulling the bedspread over their heads to hide from the ever-present cameras.
The audition in the club is less interesting. A technical glitch occurs suspiciously early and is resolved suspiciously quickly, right after a commercial break. The boys know things are going well when they see the Palms' "marketing dude" doing what Biggie calls "the open-palm fist pump."
Nonetheless, six months pass before they hear whether they'll get the steady job. In the meantime, Jerry loses a lot of weight. Biggie, who is an imposing man, is rather touchingly worried about how his girlfriend, Mary Jane, would react to the news that he'll be living in Vegas.
By contrast, Pauly's attitude toward women may be best expressed by his high school girlfriend Angel, whom he describes as the one real relationship in his life. "I was with him for like seven years," she says, "and he was with me for like two months."
The second episode, which was also made available for review, focuses more on the boys' social life in Vegas than on Pauly's turntable work. When they head out to a club their first night back in town, the newly svelte Jerry manages to attract a few potential hookups, but he winds up taking care of a girl who vomits in the suite.
As Jerry takes the girl to get a cab, Pauly says, "Jerry's generally a nice guy. Maybe he'll get a kiss."
Ryan, meanwhile, is more interested in doing shots. Refusing to call it a night even after Biggie and Jerry have gone to bed, he spends the rest of the night drunkenly confronting other men. He says he's unsure whether they want to fight him or hug him.
Partially because Pauly is already familiar to us viewers, he fails to make a strong impression in these episodes. But Jerry and Biggie are increasingly likable and funny. The latter tries to remain relatively sober and faithful to Mary Jane.
Ryan is a rather more typical reality type. A montage of upcoming highlights at the end of the first episode doesn't indicate whether or not he'll clean up his act, but at least it isn't full of drunken brawls. In the same montage, we see Biggie making the supreme sacrifice: refusing to accompany the others to a strip club out of loyalty to his girlfriend.
Applying any reasonable critical standards, one would expect "The Pauly D Project" to be excruciating. The fact that it's bearable merits at least one open-palm fist pump.http://www.medialifemagazine.com/art...-that-bad-.asp