A frat house notorious for parties is turned into a co-ed residence for four freshmen under the supervision of a graduate student and her occasional boyfriend, a party animal from the closed... Read allA frat house notorious for parties is turned into a co-ed residence for four freshmen under the supervision of a graduate student and her occasional boyfriend, a party animal from the closed fraternity.A frat house notorious for parties is turned into a co-ed residence for four freshmen under the supervision of a graduate student and her occasional boyfriend, a party animal from the closed fraternity.
Seasons Reviewed: 3 seasons (aka Co-Ed Confidential, Co-Ed Confidential: Sophmores, Co-Ed Confidential: Spring Break)
Deep down in the bowls of television obscurity lies a little Cinemax After Dark series called "Co-Ed Confidential". Amongst the rest of the soft core, late night sex shows that have given Skinemax it's reputation, "Confidential" is a damn near mind-blowing creation. Half porn, half sitcom. It's the closest thing the network has ever come to a real show- and a fun one at that.
The thing about porn, is that the traditional standards and rules don't apply. As long as there are half-way decent sex scenes (which "Confidential" has plenty of) , it can get away with anything. Bad acting, terrible writing, hapless directing. "Confidential" appears to know this and has a lot of fun with it, resulting in acting and writing that is better than anything else in the genre.
"Confidential" is a take-off on the usual college fraternity comedy. The characters (with a largely rotating cast) are as minimalist as they should be, streamlined into one-note traits. Normally something I decry in a show, but the rules are different here and characters as deep as "the nerd", "the jock", "the party animal" are exactly what is required. It works because the performances are actually pretty good, in that they are perfectly in line with the material. James (Kevin Patrick) is the Van Wilder, the frat boy who has permanently set up shop at the Omega house and becomes the custodian of a group of incoming freshman who due to a wacky mix-up don't otherwise have residence. Residents include party girl Karen (Michelle Maylene), geek Larry (Bradley Joseph), Freddy (Andre Boyer) and Lisa (Sandra Luesse), whose trait as the virgin makes her a short-lived character despite being the best looking in the cast. The stories and drama center around ladies man James' on-again-off-again relationship with Ophelia (Hanna Harper), well played by both.
"Confidential" is refreshing and surprisingly funny, both intentionally and unintentionally (though I suspect the unintentional kitschy moments may be jokes on us). Watch the show and you're going to get a fun mix of not-so-subtle pop culture references, movie quotes and lines to the effect of "If we don't raise enough money to keep Double D's bar open, Dick Johnson will buy it and take over". From the fights with the stiff campus Dean to James' loud, wacky shirts to the natural improbability of all the sex scenes and the drama of Ophelia and James break-ups, "Confidential" is the type of show that acknowledges cliché and can only be enjoyed by those that can revel it its absurdity. I can't decide if this is a surprise or not given the state of most TV, but in its own charming slap-dash sort of way, "Co-Ed Confidential" is actually funnier than a lot of the lame sitcoms on network TV. Given how clinically over-sexed most network sitcoms are – and given their inability to pay the sexual tension off- I'm willing to bet there are legions of shows that wish they were "Co-Ed Confidential". Plus, I'd put this show up against ANY of the endless National Lampoon or American Pie direct-to-DVD college movies.
My favorite episode of the series is "Rolling Royce" in which James' battle with Ophelia's fiancé Royce (Eric Aston) explodes in a class presidential election between the two in which James launched a "Vote with your C**k" campaign. Given that it aired in an election year, the sitcom/porn hybrid reached into a little political satire. I can honestly say I've never, ever, seen anything like that.
I've underplayed the soft-core aspect of the show, because frankly, that's actually not its strength. That's the surreal thing about it. Yet, the sex scenes in "Confidential" are actually fun. A stark contrast to the low-lit, melodramatic scenes you'll find in other shows which are limited to women finding their soul mates and making beautiful love to them while soft music croons over it. Oh please. Where fem-porn has taken over the soft-core genre, "Confidential" steps up to deliver for both genders. Yes, believe it or not, men actually watch soft-core porn too.
The soundtrack, in and out of the sex scenes, pops with punk, rock themes. I dare anyone not to watch the show and not rummage around the internet for a copy of "Better than Me", the show's ending theme.
Kitschy, funny, sexy, lacking any pretension to be anything more than it is, "Co-Ed Confidential" is a marriage of several familiar elements in a way that makes them all fresh and original again. I never thought I've be seeing a porn/sitcom hybrid. And even at that, what are the odds it will be as much pure fun as "Co-Ed Confidential". It's the first porn series strong enough with characters and story to deserve a mainstream DVD release. If you have Cinemax and aren't watching this show you're wasting your money.
* * * / 4
- Apr 12, 2009