“Underemployed” follows five friends dealing with the reality of post-college life. With those ups and downs, there are plenty of opportunities to laugh and cry, as in real life, which begs the stylistic question: is MTV’s new scripted series a “dramedy”?
The show’s Emmy-nominated producer, Craig Wright (“Dirty Sexy Money,” “Six Feet Under”), recently offered some clarification to MTV News. “To call the show a drama would be a mistake. To call it a comedy would be a mistake.”
“It really is sort of everything. I mean, the show can hold all kinds of tones and all kinds of scenes,” he added.
In the show, Miles (Diego Boneta), Raviva (Inbar Lavi), Lou (Jared Kusnitz), Sophia (Michelle Ang) and Daphne (Sarah Habel) are all dealing with the various frustrations, challenges and disappointments of what they thought life would be like after college vs. how things have really turned out, particularly given the rough economy and the state of the job market.
“When I think about the show, I have this thing that I call ‘The Underemployed Effect.’ It’s my way of identifying what the show is,” explained Wright. “The show is about these young people who really aren’t prepared for the world and aren’t ready to be adults. But the more they try to act like adults, the sort of sillier it gets.”
That’s the first part of “The Underemployed Effect.” The second part? “They’re coming into the world with a lot of sincere hopes and dreams. And the bigger their dreams are, the more impossible it will ever be for them to achieve them.
“That’s sort of touching and sad,” the show-runner added.
The show’s identity, in terms of tone, is all about that intersection between those two concepts.
“When the comedy of trying to be an adult hits up against the challenges of ‘I’m not going to get to live my dream.’ Then I know I’m on ‘Underemployed.’ That’s what the show’s about. It’s about the tenderness and the sweetness of that struggle.”
“Underemployed” returns Tuesday (October 30) on MTV at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
How would you define MTV’s “Underemployed”? Give us your one-worded descriptions in the comments!