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MTV's 'Bridge And Tunnel' is the greatest show you've never seen

There is a television show you have never seen, and may never see, that deeply scratches an itch you don't even know you have. It is a television show so delightful, so right for the moment, that it might not even come to exist, because certainly no brand will have its products placed upon it. It is in development at MTV, and it is called "Bridge and Tunnel." It is a reality show that is the inverse of "The Hills" and "The City"; it follows a group of young people on Staten Island, New York City's oft-forgotten and oft-slandered island borough, who dream of making it all the way to Manhattan.

An excerpt was shown today in New York City before a packed auditorium of ad buyers at MTV's upfront — and did you know that ads for the season finale of Fox's "American Idol" were all sold out at circa $850,000 to $900,000 per? That's what one ad buyer told me. I nearly swallowed my Nicorette. Anyway! This excerpt introduced us to a young son of a fireman who had a rocking body, who worked part time as a "party motivator" (a.k.a. softcore bachelorette party stripper) who dreams of becoming a stockbroker.

He goes on a job interview in Manhattan. The banker dude he interviews with — who's a loser! And a jerk! I hate him! — tells our young friend that he needs to lose the diamond stud earring and that maybe someone somewhere will let him work for free. God, I hope that jerk has been laid off. And then our young hero mangles all sorts of words, like thanking the guy for his "construction criticism." This is all so amazing, and I am being totally sincere and earnest and unironic. I nearly cried!

NotebookAlso there is a girl with a Fran Drescher accent who loves popping in and out of tanning beds. Basically my notes from this portion of the screening read: "OMG OMG OMG," so, sorry, I'm a little short on further details. Look, here is a picture of my notebook to prove it!

In summary, all of you should mount a campaign with your Facebooks and your online polls and your eating of Subway sandwiches or whatever campaign didn't save "Chuck" and make sure MTV puts this on the air. Like: "Dear Stephen Friedman, general manager of MTV, I do not know if I can go on without this show in my life."

In a sneak preview for another MTV show, "The Stylist," which is a surprisingly compelling if emotionally cheap noncompetition reality show of stylists in Los Angeles, a minor character describes that delightful excruciating shameful feeling that one experiences around other people's conflict. During "Bridge and Tunnel," you could feel the entire auditorium exhale that feeling all at once.

Sean Moran, MTV's EVP of ad sales, agreed jollily that what "Bridge and Tunnel" lacks is what they now call brand-integration opportunities. What did he have to sell then if he can't put sunglasses and scarves on these kids? He expects, he said, to be able to sell audience devotion.

But on the way to getting "Bridge and Tunnel" on the air, MTV's in for a long hot summer. For one big thing, it's making Alexa Chung its everyday afternoon face, and she is selling this annoying interactive "I'm your friend! Except British and really thin and kind of creepy!" thing that, well, no. She uses the word "friend" CONSTANTLY.

Basically her new version of TRL is going to be about reading people's Twitter feeds out loud and being your Facebook buddy and she is just Rocketboom plus Julia Allison plus platform extension, which I guess means there will be like eight girls locked in a room somewhere chatting on Facebook with viewers, sending messages that exhibit all the acumen and emotional connection of Eliza. Tony Disanto, MTV's programming dude, even said that "it's like if MTV and Facebook had a baby." FAIL. In the clip we saw, she grabbed Whitney Port's phone and texted something naughty to Brody Jenner. Oh, Eliza Alexa, what a fun friend you are! You're the kooky friend we never wanted.

Whatever, she'll be gone in September. Back to England with you, girlfriend of one of the Arctic Monkeys! And take a stockpile of some of our fine and fattening American sandwiches with you.

Also MTV is doing the charming if odd "The Buried Life," which is four hot Canadian boys riding around in a bus and mixes the Jonas Brothers and "The Bucket List" and "The Wedding Crashers." They do things they want to do before they die and help you do them too, and I am not convinced they are not a cult. You may be interested to know, advertisers, that there are product integration opportunities available, if you have a wholesome, karmically good brand, or, more likely, can make your product seem that way.

Finally, apparently Lauren Conrad is LEAVING "THE HILLS" OMG WHAT WILL WE ALL DO? SHRIEK! I will get fired if I don't mention this. Unfortunately, no one in attendance had anything to say on the topic of what will become of "The Hills" without L.C. It is a mystery! Also, I wasn't aware that she was still on TV. Really, were you?

On second thought, Alexa Chung will probably be a huge success. How unfortunate for our children's children.

—Choire Sicha

Comments () | Archives (17)

Heh. Whose is this funny writer? You need more of him Times.


I'm OLD in the MTV sense (I was around when they created it back when dinosaurs still roamed the earth and the M actually stood for music) and I think this writer is amazing. Not only does the LA Times need more from this writer but MTV should hire the writer to replace Alexa/Eliza in the fall! Can't wait to see an episode of Bridge & Tunnel...can't wait to read more.
Just checked out Choire's website before I hit submit - a look into the future of news and commentary. Smart - fun - caustic - simultaneously understanding and unforgiving.

It sounds like a must see show! I live in the area and heard who the main character is. This kid is funny, sweet and from understanding she has a nic-name like Feebee that I think her Dad gave her as a little girl. Got to see it so when will it be on?

Alright, so who's going to organize a campaign to get Bridge and Tunnel on the air?

Please put this show on the air! I'm sure it is going to be amazing. I'm over The Hills and The City! Let's see something raw and something real!

I hope it makes it to air!

yeah most of the people on this show are all my friends and i really hope they put this show on the air. Its going to be hilarious if they do lol

I will hunger strike until this show airs. Seriously.

I happen to be at the goose in staten island yesterday, and they were filming, this show is extremely staged and will nit make it on TV. It's quite pathetic to be honest.

mtv,is all over the island,when is this show going to air.sick of jersey shore,they r all tramps on that show,we want to see,a show that is classy,and this show may just give us that,i will be watching,there is talk all over si,people are waiting to see the show,hurry up mtv,put this show on..............

I used to live in Staten Island and I can't wait till the show airs. I now live 3,000 miles away. Friends of mine called me and told me who will be in the show. I know these kids. They are hysterical and this is what MTV needs. A show to make you laugh. Enough with the depressing teen moms. Put a real show that I know people will watch. Can't wait till it airs. These kids deserve a break and I know it will be a hit.

on mtv web site this show is on oct 26 10;30 pm, i will be watching having a party at my home, doont know any of these kids but i seen them filming around the island, these girls are hot hot hot,guys will be watching.all the other shows on mtv girls are scary looking, theses girls r hot,and when i seen them filming,looked real alot of drama.TOM DEMARTINO.FROM LI NY.

Okay so i've seen these girls before and theyre madd pretty and I am really looking foward to this show and i know a lot of people on the island will be very upset if this show dont air because theyve been looking foward to it. And face it, this will be the next big show and mtv is stupid if they decide not to show it. These girls deserve it , and theyre really funny. Im looking foward to seeing the show.

this is garbage... i went to high school with these people. I can't believe you're giving them the time of day.

These type of people are what makes staten island seem so lame. I lived there for years and I can tell you If your not @martini red listening to mike loki spin you arnt in the right spot on the island... It seems like this show only hitup the lame guido clubs.

ok i know all these kids and they are far ffom lame,one is in school to be a lawyer one is in school to be a doctor,one is ahair stylist ,and with the money she got from the show,that did not air/she is opening her own salon,one other kid is in collage,taking classes to help,disabled children,so joe joe ur a looser,what do u do in life live off dads money? stop being a hater and mark my word this show will air in 6 months

hey haters were on our way to the bank 4 two months of filming and fun,lol bye haters


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