TV review: MTV's 'Scrubbing In'

Wednesday, 23 October 2013 05:07 PM Written by 

scrubbing blog

MTV's "Scrubbing In" (10 p.m. Thursday) is essentially a season of "The Real World" if the whole cast worked in the same career field (they're all traveling nurses) and lived among apartments in the same complex rather than in one big house. (Read a feature on the nurses here.)

It's also just as tawdry and filled with seemingly horrible people, some of whom are from Western Pennsylvania.

Read more after the jump. ...

The good news for Pittsburghers: The show doesn't seem likely to leave the same sort of black eye that "Dance Moms" has. Only the first six minutes of "Scrubbing In" are set in Pittsburgh -- and they are a painful six minutes between the clearly staged conversation scene between Heather and her boyfriend, Dalton, and the girls looking down their noses at Pittsburgh -- then the cast members who are from Western Pennsylvania depart for their new jobs as traveling nurses stationed at a hospital in Orange County, Calif.

"I'm so sick of this weather. I'm so over Pittsburgh," one of the girls says in voiceover. But nevermind because there's a beauty shot of Downtown! And the Duquesne Incline!

One of the bigger challenges in watching "Scrubbing In" is telling the women apart. The show gives short shrift in its first episode to the two, more distinct blond women -- one has short hair, one has long hair -- and focuses on three look-alike brunettes.

Viewers first meet Heather at Smokin' Joe's Saloon on the South Side as she and boyfriend Dalton play pool and attempt to recreate a conversation about her plans to leave Pittsburgh to become a traveling nurse. Neither is an actor so it comes off as the fake conversation that it clearly is.

"I think because I do my makeup and have big, fake boobs, people think, she looks like a stripper so she's an idiot and that pisses me off because now I have to prove to the world I'm the whole package," says Heather, the Snooki of the cast. "I'm an awesome [bleeping] nurse."

But when she gets to Orange County, it turns out she's also an awesome [bleeping] nurse without an RN license so she gets sent home from work on her first day. It makes one begin to doubt her credentials as an awesome [bleeping] nurse.

Michelle is the nurse who is close to her mom and Chelsey is the other brunette, the only cast member who is married. The blonds are Crystal (long hair) and Nikki (short hair), who producers are so uninterested in they don't bother to identify her by name until 20 minutes into the show.

Once the Pittsburgh Five reach California, they're joined by four other characters, including Southern, tries-too-hard-to-have-game Chris and attitude-filled Tyrice, who start out as friends but quickly devolve into nemeses. Their drama takes over the episode and centers on a scene that isn't shown. Tyrice claims Chris rolled up in her grill but given some earlier exaggerations and jumping to conclusions she makes, it's difficult to believe her. She seems like a nut who craves drama. This, of course, makes her perfect fodder for an MTV reality show.

As for the show's nursing backdrop, it's practically invisible. Producers are more interested in the drama of the gang's booze cruise and infighting. Time spent at their workplace is nil.

Fans of this sort of overheated, calculated drama will be thrilled to have a new guilty pleasure in "Scrubbing In." Viewers who prefer to feel clean will want to scrub out immediately. 

The "Scrubbing In" cast attempts to debunk myths about nursing in this video:

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