MTV Hired -- TV Review

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The job market sucks; take it from a freelancer. But MTV isn't talkin' to my generation with its new half-hour nonfiction series (calling it "reality" seems to miss the mark) "MTV Hired" -- it's after the twentysomethings more or less fresh out of school who are having a hard time of it. You know, the ones who in their post-collegiate indolence would once sit around the apartment watching music videos all day.

Truly, based on the applicants featured in this first episode -- which centers on a company's search for the right candidate or candidates -- the younger generation needs help.

American Rebel, a small Los Angeles PR firm, puts out a job for an account executive and gets more than 1,000 resumes in just a few days; MTV follows the experience of a recruiter winnowing that number down to a handful, then that handful being interviewed as they nervously sit on a couch and root around for writing clips they really thought they'd brought along. "It's almost a courtship-type of experience," Rebel owner Chris Detert says.

The good is the behind-the-scenes look at the hiring experience, at least for a small firm like American Rebel, in which the owner is involved in all areas of the process. Watching him and his assistant discuss the pros and cons of the applicants they've seen should be a useful tool for anyone applying; overhearing them later after final candidates have submitted a sample essay is a little more disheartening, as good personality trumps actual writing ability.

The not-so-good? By MTV standards, this show is a wet noodle, with "Saved by the Bell"-era graphics and a washed-out cable-access look to it. (Note: MTV insists the DVD sent for review was not the final version ready for air.) On the one hand, it's nice to see that not every show on the network has to be accompanied by a death-metal soundtrack, fancy wipes and animation, but there's so little life in the stagnant "Hired" that it hardly seems to fit among the programming.

As a public-service announcement, "Hired" is informative, in a high school/life skills way. As entertainment -- nay, as "reality" show -- it barely rises to the level of cheap 1980s music video.

Airdate: 6:30-7 p.m. Monday, May 17 (MTV)
Production: Chesler/Simmons Prods., No Regrets Entertainment, Matt Westmore Media, MTV News & Docs
Executive producers: Jessica Chesler, Sam Simmons, Noah Scheinmann, Matt Westmore, Marshall Eisen, Dave Sirulnick
Concept by: Noah Scheinmann, Matt Westmore
Developed by: Jessica Chesler, Sam Simmons, Noah Scheinmann, Matt Westmore
Supervising producer: Robert Liano
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