With the obligatory girl-on-girl kiss, screaming bikini-clad party-goers and wasted bros, the opening theme for G4’s “Campus P.D.” doesn’t bode well for the rest of the show. But then, against all odds, the program turns out to be a toned-down, light-hearted look at the daily grind of campus police. This kind of show might not appeal to the more boisterous, drunken college student, but it will be an entertaining way to pass some time on Wednesday nights for those students content to chill in the living room.
Wednesdays at 8 p.m.
The show leaps from college to college with each commercial break, showing us a wintry party at the University of Cincinnati before jumping to a tow truck full of half-naked men at New Mexico State. The nature of the crimes depicted varies from location to location, but the one constant is that all the cops are incredibly poised and restrained. With a clear demographic of college students, “Campus P.D.” could have taken the easy way out and made the cops look like abusive power-mongers. But this isn’t a show to appease, justify or avenge the partying masses — it’s just an honest look behind the scenes of campus police.
That isn’t to say the show is only for shut-ins. There are scenes that will entertain everyone, regardless of usual sobriety or weekend social plans. Who doesn’t love a drunk girl explaining to the police that they should be patrolling poor neighborhoods where everyone is “murdering people and raping people and snorting drugs”? The show’s got everything from intentional, out-of-pants outdoor urination to unintentional, in-pants outdoor urination. See? Something for everyone.
One of the featured police officers in “Campus P.D.,” while talking about why he enjoys his job, stumbles upon why this show succeeds in areas “COPS” doesn’t. What that officer says he enjoys most is the personal interaction, and crazy college kids are going to interact with the police more than they probably should. “COPS” is often full of blurred, silent faces trying to avoid self-incrimination. But “Campus P.D.” is full of enthusiastic youths, perfect for entertaining banter.
Unfortunately, not all the segments feature that level of enthusiasm. While the first half of the season premiere had it’s fair share of fun, the second half slumped into the classic “COPS” formula of stupid people not saying much or muttering lies to the police, then getting caught. It’s important the segments not all be the same, but there’s no reason for “Campus P.D.” to pick downright boring clips.
Still, there was enough promise in the premiere to make “Campus P.D.” worth a second watch. Just don’t expect to be yelling “Yeah, you show those pigs, bro!” at the TV screen.