Get ready for a new crop of teenagers to covet your lifestyle, Brokelynites. After a whole mess of promotional buzz and Jersey Shore interruptions, MTV’s new stab at a scripted series I Just Want My Pants Back premiered last Thursday. The Williamsburg/Greenpoint-based series follows a pack of post-grads with Diablo Cody-style rapport who soothe the crappiness of being broke and hating their jobs with substances and sex. Sounds familiar enough, and yes, sex is a great (and arguably free) form of recreation, but who is having this much of it? I thought everyone else living in Brooklyn was as lonely and involuntarily celibate as I am …
Here’s a rundown of the show, in the likely case that you don’t have a TV (or won’t admit to watching MTV): Jason is an aspiring music journalist with a shitty clerical job when he has his pants stolen from him by a witty bar-nymph who favors sex in fridges. His best friend Tina has an equally shitty administrative job, and aspires to be more than a late-night text girl to her poet/chocolatier hookup buddy. Oh and they have interracial couple friends named Stacey and Eric that call each other “White Lightning” and “Chocolate Thunder.” The bulk of comic material that isn’t a hipster critical punch-line is derived from the exceedingly frequent and bizarre sexual encounters of our heroes and heroines. So while the “Pants” sex/dating scenarios are based on plausibly true events, they would unfold much differently in the real-life uber-self conscious Brooklyn that I know.
ON DRY SPELLS
MTV Brooklyn: 6 weeks without sex = As Tina identifies Jason’s dry spell, this is the length of time to be considered a “born-again virgin.”
Real Brooklyn: 6 weeks without sex = You have no right to complain about being horny.
6 months to 1 year without sex = A veritable dry spell, with potential to turn into the sexual potato famine. But until your frustration affects your wallet and you have to buy a new vibrator, it hasn’t been too long.
(PS: what do you consider a dry spell? Tell us in the comments!)
ON CRAIGSLIST MISSED CONNECTIONS
MTV Brooklyn: Jason turns to Missed Connections to find pants girl in Episode 2. He tries super hard to make it sound like he’s not trying too hard, and racks his brain for an ironic line to bait his indie minx: “You still have my pants and I think I might have some other clothing items that might fit you.”
Real Brooklyn: I admit to checking missed connections after exchanging coy words with good-looking strangers. But instead of finding a cute, non-Ted Bundy opener that might be for me, I mostly find creepy soliloquies directed at Park Slope mothers.
ON FLIRTING WITH BARTENDERS
MTV Brooklyn: After receiving an answer to his missed connections ad, Jason goes to a bar only to find a strange woman who isn’t the pant-burglar! This is when Jason notices the fuckable bartender, who commiserates with him over their rocky relationships, and ultimately suggests that the two of them “go somewhere and help each other heal.” They rub their parts together.
Real Brooklyn: You notice the hot bartender giving you a sexy-time look, and flirtatiously chat him up while ordering round after round and tipping handsomely. You totally have a chance, and ask when his shift ends. He says “not for a while”, your friends are leaving, and you’re too drunk to stay there on your own. At night’s end, the bartender shakes off the desperate come-ons of his patrons and returns home to watch Netflix. Or have sex with his model girlfriend.
MTV Brooklyn: After a few glasses of wine, Stacy and Eric find themselves ensnared in an almost-orgy with the sexually liberated models upstairs, trying to prove to each other how free-wheeling and unpredictable they are. The neighbors’ third roommate enters into the mix, and they’re ultimately too square and awkward to go through with it.
Real Brooklyn: After a few hits of nothing weaker than herbal ecstasy, the hipster bros have an enlightening experience exploring each other’s bodies. Each of them are illuminated to their bisexuality. Their girlfriends drink red wine in the next room. True story.
ON DE-VIRGINIZING SOMEONE
MTV Brooklyn: Tina sleeps with the underage office intern only to find out that he’s a VIRGIN! Egads! She grimaces with disgust when he divulges his secret, being that she somehow couldn’t tell during the fact. He becomes obsessed with her, and bakes her heart-shaped cookies.
Real Brooklyn: All the ladies I know who have de-virginized innocent little flounders have had extremely awkward experiences. It might fall out a few times, go in the wrong hole, or he would prematurely ejaculate. Not to mention, he would most likely ignore the fact that this event even took place because it was painfully shameful.
Compared to the network’s “reality-based” series quota, I Just Want My Pants Back is standard in the amount of sex it makes you think you should be having. The show’s alleged everyperson spin, however, is what makes it feel so disingenuous. Pants cloyingly “quirky just like you and your friends” overtone is too annoying to make me truly care about any of the characters. I feel like I can empathize more with Jersey Shore’s Deena tangling her weave more than Tina’s “late-night text” laments in any realm of life. At least I can truly believe that Deena knows what a real dry spell is.
Follow Arielle: @arielledachille.