I’ve now watched the entire series and I still don’t know how I feel about Blue Mountain State. It’s crude and juvenile, but I inexplicably found myself wanting to watch episode after episode. If you asked me if I found it entertaining I would say yes. If you asked me if I found it funny I would also say yes. But am I concerned and judgmental that neither might have actually been the case? That would have been a yes as well. But maybe there’s just something wrong with me. Almost as if you woke up after a hazy night of drinking and you remember having a good time but aren’t quite sure what it was you did – I’m left wondering how I feel about what I just experienced.
Blue Mountain State is pretty much a mix of Animal House, Van Wilder, and Friday Night Lights. I think that pretty much says it all, but I’ll describe a bit more. Alex Moran is a talented but lazy 2nd string quarterback of a celebrated college football team, The Blue Mountain Goats. Thad Castle is the overbearing and abusive linebacker captain of the team. These two guys are pretty much the entire reason to watch this show. Rounding out the main cast, there’s the coach himself, and there’s also Alex’s best friend Sammy, who’s actually the creator and producer of the show. These two guys have their moments, but they’re mostly fodder for Alex and Thad to have reason to shenanigate (just pretend it’s a word).
The show is full of college antics, drinking, drugs, swearing, and sex (as much as Spike can allow). But again, circling back to the main draw of the show, Alex and Thad are the ones to watch. Darin Brooks channels a great deal of Ryan Reynolds’s Van Wilder character in Alex Moran, but it comes off so naturally that it doesn’t feel at all like an impersonation but a coincidence that they might just happen to share similar character traits and speech patterns. Alan Ritchson, who plays Thad Castle, is probably one of the most nuanced blowhard jackasses I’ve ever come across in this kind of genre. He starts out the series much like any mean, over-muscled jock football captain, but as the show progresses, Ritchson turns the character into an amped up, maniacal crybaby. The weird thing is the first and only other role I’ve seen Ritchson play was a recurring role as Aquaman on the CW’s Smallville. In that role he was extremely reserved and almost stoic to the point of stiff of stilted. I just assumed that wasn’t an acting choice but a limitation of his acting ability. To see him play Thad Castle is to blow that misconception out of the water. The guy’s got chops and absolutely no fear or shame. There really needs to be a compilation video of all his best moments.
There are other interesting and quirky characters that populate the Blue Mountain campus, the lamer of which are quickly excised out of the show while the more entertaining are given more featured moments. I won’t go into any more of the show for fear of spoiling however much a show like this can be spoiled. I would say give it three episodes and you’ll quickly see if this is something for you. In the end, it’s definitely stupid humor, but it’s damn entertaining, almost cartoonish in a way that you don’t see in lesser attempts. It’s just the nature of the show itself that can be enough to throw people off, expectedly. But, if this is even slightly your kind of thing, get excited to revel in the gratuitous ribaldry.
It also features the best high octane theme song in the history of television. Makes you want to storm down a field just hearing it. You remember how it feels…
Blue Mountain State can be watched in its entirety, all three seasons, on Netflix or on Spike’s website.