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MTV 'Reality' Show Follows UW-Madison Freshmen

By: Tim Cuprisin, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

MTV's new "reality" show about four University of Wisconsin-Madison freshmen has a far more real feeling than most such programs.

Part of that comes from the fact that the four subjects of "College Life" - premiering at 9:30 p.m. Monday - are shooting their own stories with hand-held cameras. That means plenty of blurry images that stir college memories for some of us.

The first installment features plenty of drinking, lots of boy-girl stuff and even a bit of time devoted to studying in the half-hour weekly show.

These types of shows can take weeks to really let us into the lives of the participants. It's too early to know whether this one offers an honest portrayal of campus life.

Most interesting to Milwaukee viewers may be Andrea, a self-proclaimed virgin from Mukwonago who spends more time with her sophomore ex-boyfriend, Josh, than is probably healthy. He still considers her his girlfriend, and she says she wants to be just pals.

Most of us know that won't stay the same.

The other freshmen provided with cameras to document their lives are:

• Jordan, whose mother is Jamaican and father is Canadian and comes from Wheaton, Ill.

• Alex, a Texan who gets upset because the guy she's dating calls her his girlfriend. "I'm just tryin' to meet people," she tells a friend.

• Kevin, a hard-partying Minnesotan who already is on probation for drinking in his dorm room.

MTV blazed the trail for modern "reality" programs with "The Real World." The difference, of course, is that this program lacks the elaborate production and glitzy home base you'll find in each "Real World" season.

"College Life" offers a lower-tech and potentially more interesting alternative.


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