When MTV wanted to get into live-action formally scripted programming (beyond the obviously scripted Real World franchise) one of their earliest pickups was a coming of age sitcom, The Hard Times of R.J. Berger which follows the travails of a geeky high school boy beset by a popular jock bully and besotted with a beautiful cheerleader. But this being MTV, the premise has to have an edge to it… so the titular hero is well-equipped.
It’s like The Wonder Years, but with a large penis.
Actor Paul Iacono plays R.J. Berger
The show just finished up its second season this past Monday, proving the premise has legs. Three of them. When we heard the two-part finale contained a “shocking” gay reveal, of course we had to check it out!
SPOILER ALERT… Skip ahead to the videos below if you’d prefer watch the finale and be sorta kinda surprised. (But not really.)
See, it turns out that Max (Jayson Blair), the popular jock bully who has been making R.J.’s life miserable for the past two seasons is secretly gay. R.J. discovers this when he walks in on Max making out with another guy in the shower.
Seems like secretly gay bullies have become a standard theme on television these days. It feels like it’s starting to become a bit of a cliche. Still, news of this development on R.J. Berger gave me an excuse to actually watch an episode, and I was mostly entertained by it, even if some of the high schoolers look like they’re pushing thirty.
The steamy shower gay reveal occurs at the very end of the first video below. The second video and second part of the finale deals with the aftermath, where R.J. wrestles with using this new information against his nemesis Max… or whether he should be “The Better Man.”
It is uncertain whether the series will be renewed for a third season, so it is unclear whether Max will continue to be R.J.’s primary antagonist now that his gay secret has been revealed.
We’d love to hear from people who regularly watch this show. Did you see this reveal coming? And besides the welcome steamy visuals of that shower scene, is Max being gay a positive development for the series?