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The Hard Times of RJ Berger

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Television series
German Title The Hard Times of RJ Berger
Original title The Hard Times of RJ Berger
Country of production United States
Original language English
Year(s) 2010–2011
Length approx. 22 minutes
Episodes 24 in 2 seasons
Genre Comedy
Idea David Katzenberg,
Seth Grahame-Smith
Music David Gregory Byrne
First broadcast 6. June 2010 (USA) on MTV
German language
First broadcast
22. August 2010 on MTV Germany
Cast
  • Paul Iacono: Richard “RJ” Berger
  • Jareb Dauplaise: Miles Jenner
  • Kara Taitz: Lily Miran
  • Amber Lancaster: Jenny Swanson
  • Jayson Blair: Max Owens
  • Marlon Young: Coach Sinclair
  • Beth Littleford: Suzanne Berger
  • Larry Poindexter: Rick Berger
  • Ciena Rae: Robin Pretnar
  • Noureen DeWulf: Claire

The Hard Times of RJ Berger is a U.S. comedy series that premiered on June 6, 2010. The idea for the series came from David Katzenberg and Seth Grahame-Smith. The series is produced by the music channel MTV, which also holds the broadcast rights in most countries. The protagonist is RJ Berger, a teenager plagued by low self-esteem.

Storyline

The series is about high school student RJ Berger, the chronic “loser” who is anything but a ladies’ man. His only friends in high school are Miles Jenner, obsessed with the dream of popularity, and sex addict Lily Miran. RJ leads a dull life, constantly referring to himself as a “pale, strange creature” and is especially bullied by basketball player and heartthrob Max Owens, the school’s arrogant and self-absorbed student body president. This life takes a sudden turn, however, when RJ’s pants slip down during a basketball game and most of the student body sees RJ’s “not-so-little secret,” his huge penis. Because of this unexpected fame, he suddenly comes to the attention of RJ’s crush and (at the beginning of the series) girlfriend of Max Owens, Jenny Swanson. As the series progresses, RJ becomes more confident and tries to make his “celebrity” work for him. In the penultimate episode of the first season, Lily is hit by a bus which, according to the bus driver, has “no brakes” left. She is seriously injured and falls into a coma. She awakens from this coma for a short time on the night of the prom, which is the season finale, as RJ had promised to deflower her that same night, and intends to make good on that promise despite Lily’s injuries. The two make love and the season ends with RJ leaving the hospital saying, “My name is RJ Berger and I just did the right thing.” Meanwhile, Lily’s heart stops and the doctors rush to revive her.

Synchronization

Name Actors German dubbing voice Duration of the main role Duration of the secondary role
Richard “RJ” Berger Paul Iacono Carsten Otto 1.01–2.12
Miles Jenner Jareb Dauplaise Nico Sablik 1.01–2.12
Lily Miran Kara Taitz Magdalena Turba 1.01–2.12
Jenny Swanson Amber Lancaster Kaya Marie Möller 1.01–2.12
Max Owens Jayson Blair Tim Knauer 1.01–2.12
Coach Sinclair Marlon Young Martin Keßler 1.01–2.12
Suzanne Berger Beth Littleford Andrea Aust 1.01–2.12
Amy Caitlin Crosby 2.05–2.12
Rick Berger Larry Poindexter Frank Röth 1.01–2.12
Claire Sengupta Noureen DeWulf Maria Koschny 1.06, 1.07

Charisma

USA

The Hard Times of RJ Berger was produced for the American network MTV. The first season began airing there on Sunday, June 6, 2010[1]. The series premiere followed the 2010 MTV Movie Awards to capitalize on their high viewer interest. The series pilot was repeated the following Monday, and in the same Monday night slot, the remaining episodes of the first season ran until August 23. The renewal of the series for a second season was already announced at the beginning of August.[2]

The second season was shown in the United States between March 24 and May 30, 2011, again on MTV. On August 11, 2011, it was announced that the series would not continue after the second season.[3]

Germany

In Germany, the series The Hard Times of RJ Berger is shown on pay-TV on MTV Germany and on free-TV on VIVA, which belongs to the same corporate family as the American MTV. The German series premiered on MTV Germany on August 22, 2010. The season ran there until October 31, 2010.

The second season was shown on MTV starting August 21, 2011,[4] while it was shown on free TV on VIVA from September 22, 2011.[5]

Episode list

Season 1

No.
(ges. )
No.
(St. )
German title Original title First broadcast USA German language first broadcast (D)
1 1 Pilot Pilot 6. June 2010 22. Aug. 2010
2 2 Yes we can’t Yes we can’t 14. June 2010 22. Aug. 2010
3 3 The Berger Cometh The Berger Cometh 21. June 2010 29. Aug. 2010
4 4 Here’s to you, Mrs. Robbins Here’s to you, Mrs. Robbins 28. June 2010 5. Sep. 2010
5 5 The Rebound The Rebound 5. July 2010 12. Sep. 2010
6 6 Over the Rainbow Over the Rainbow 12. July 2010 19. Sep. 2010
7 7 Tell and Kiss Tell and Kiss 19. July 2010 26. Sep. 2010
8 8 Nerds Gone Wild Nerds Gone Wild 26. July 2010 3. Oct. 2010
9 9 It’s all about the Hamiltons It’s all about the Hamiltons 2. Aug. 2010 10. Oct. 2010
10 10 Behind Enemy Lines Behind Enemy Lines 9. Aug. 2010 17. Oct. 2010
11 11 Lily Pad Lily Pad 16. Aug. 2010 24. Oct. 2010
12 12 The Right Thing The Right Thing 23. Aug. 2010 31. Oct. 2010

Season 2

No.
(ges. )
No.
(St. )
German title Original title First broadcast USA German language first broadcast (D)
13 1 RJ’s Choice RJ’s Choice 25. Mar. 2011 28. Aug. 2011
14 2 Cousin Vinny Cousin Vinny 28. Mar. 2011 4. Sep. 2011
15 3 The Lock-In The Lock-In 4. Apr. 2011 11. Sep. 2011
16 4 Ugly Jenny Ugly Jenny 11. Apr. 2011 18. Sep. 2011
17 5 Deadliest Crotch Deadliest Crotch 18. Apr. 2011 25. Sep. 2011
18 6 Saving Dick Saving Dick 25. Apr. 2011 2. Oct. 2011
19 7 You, Me And Weezer You, Me and Weezer 2. May 2011 9. Oct. 2011
20 8 Give Me a P Give Me a P 9. May 2011 16. Oct. 2011
21 9 Hunkeez Hunkeez 16. May 2011 23. Oct. 2011
22 10 Sex. Teen. Candles. Sex. Teen. Candles. 23. May 2011 30. Oct. 2011
23 11 Steamy Surprise Steamy Surprise 30. May 2011 6. Nov. 2011
24 12 The Better Man The Better Man 30. May 2011 13. Nov. 2011

Criticism

The series often received very scathing reviews. Ken Tucker of the US television magazine Entertainment Weekly wrote:

“The new show was a mixture of attention-getting, badly-phrased crudity, cheap racism, and contempt for anyone in front of the camera. Berger’s friends are just horny idiots; his parents lascivious lushes.”

“This show was a mix of attention-grabbing, poorly worded crudeness, cheap racism, and contempt for everyone on camera. Berger’s friends are just horny jerks, his parents lecherous morons.”

Ken TuckerEntertainment Weekly[6]

Trivia

  • The series is based on the short film The Tale of RJ, directed by David Katzenberg and produced by Seth Grahame-Smith. In this short film, RJ is played by Christopher Mintz-Plasse, who has also portrayed dramaturgical loser types in Superbad and Role Models?!
  • Each episode of the first season was shot in just three and a half days.
  • On the online service iTunes, as well as the online video store Maxdome, each episode appeared in the German version three days earlier.
  • Scenes (especially flashbacks) that were too difficult to show were shown in cartoons.
  • Although Jareb Dauplaise, Kara Taitz and Amber Lancaster are over 30 years old, they play 16-year-olds in the series.

Web links

Individual references

  1. Bernd Michael Krannich:Play By Day: “The Hard Times of RJ Berger” Launches on MTV.serialjunkies.com. 6 June 2010. retrieved 14 August 2011.
  2. Bernd Michael Krannich:MTV extends “The Hard Times of RJ Berger” – thanks to Justin Bieber?.serialjunkies.com. august2, 2010. retrieved august 14, 2011.
  3. Bernd Michael Krannich:MTV is canceling The Hard Times of RJ Berger after season 2.serialjunkies.com. august13, 2011. retrieved august 14, 2011.
  4. The Hard Times Of RJ Berger 2. MTV.com. Archived from Original september 16, 2011. Info: Thearchive linkwas automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check original and archive link according to instructions and then remove this notice.@1@2Template:Webachiv/IABot/www.mtv.de Retrieved August 14, 2011.
  5. Mariano Glass:VIVA with a bunch of new series from the U.S. and Canada.seriesjunkies.com. 10 August 2011. retrieved 14 August 2011.
  6. Ken Tucker:‘The Hard Times of RJ Berger’ review: Where are Beavis and Butthead when we need them?.Entertainment Weekly. retrieved March 25, 2011.