MTV has angered many a special interest group throughout its history. In recent years, the most notable kerfuffle has been the feedback from the Italian-American community and the entire state of New Jersey for the against-all-odds megasuccess of “Jersey Shore.” The latest group offended by MTV’s not-so-realistic portrayal of them on national TV? Nurses, who aren’t very pleased with “Scrubbing In,” the network’s newest reality series.
National Nurses United, a national union for Registered Nurses, hasn’t formally called for a boycott of the show, about pretty, twentysomething traveling nurses living, working, partying, crying, and partying some some more in Orange County, Calif.. They are respectfully waiting to actually screen the show, which premieres Oct. 24, before they make their outcry official (a tactic other groups should probably try).
However, having seen the first three episodes, it’s doubtful the NNU will be happy with what they see. There is an attempt to show the group at work dealing with patients, but by far the focus of the show is the interpersonal drama, cut with some crazy party scenes to boot. This means confessionals with young women claiming “I’m an awesome f—–g nurse” are intercut with a young man introducing himself to his new coworkers by telling them his brother’s recent death and his family’s struggles with the healthcare system inspire him to do a good job. Unfortunately, those discussions don’t pop up very organically, as well-intentioned as they might be.
Ultimately, “Scrubbing In” is just another take on the network’s bread and butter — young people drinking and fighting, only this time they’re nurses instead of [fill in the blank: guidos/rednecks/waitresses/socialites/etc.]. But that doesn’t mean it’s worth boycotting. By now, TV viewers should realize that reality shows aren’t actually very real (the end of MTV’s “The Hills” addressed that very obviously), and that people who willingly allow cameras to document them doing stupid things probably don’t represent the majority of the nurses in America/residents of New Jersey/etc.
So, should the NNU boycott the show? It depends on how much publicity they want to give MTV. This is another take on a genre that became tired about two “the next ‘Jersey Shore’s” ago. It’s not terrible, persay (depending on your thoughts on reality TV in general), but it’s not explosive enough to become the network’s new big hit. Leave it alone, and it’ll likely fade out quietly, making way for a new group of young people to make idiots of themselves on TV. Ah, the circle of life.
“Scrubbing In” airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET on MTV.