Let’s be clear about this right up front: Bromos isn’t exactly reinventing the wheel. The new web satire simply takes MTV’s Bromance, a celebration of consumerism-fueled man-love featuring Hills alumni Brody Jenner, and pushes the homoeroticism to the next level in order to execute its satire. It’s the online video equivalent of dancing the Macarena. Everyone knows the steps.
However, Bromos isn’t just going through the motions — it’s executing them with flair. Bromos chronicles famewhore Gaston Jennings’ (Michael Rautins) selection of a “bromeo” from a pack of odd characters, none of whom a normal human being would want to share an elevator with for more than three floors. The competition is fierce, the product placement is painfully obvious, the pacing is ruthlessly tight, and the one-liners are hilarious. Reality TV may be an easy set-up for parody, but it means the good stuff stands out all the more clearly.
There are a number of clever gags and backhanded tributes to the reality show genre, such as the only black guy on set, the boom operator, being referred to only as Black Guy and becoming the first person to be voted off the show (a riff on the fact that minorities are usually the first eliminated from these shows). And the character of Gaston, who cites as proof of celebrity a brief stint as “the bonus Jonas brother,” is insanely well-crafted in his egotism, coming up with ridiculous reasons for not eliminating candidates for his friendship. “You look like a gay Carlos Mencia,” he tells one candidate, “but that guy’s hilarious, so you’re in.”
The creators of Bromos are young but already have some impressive cred. Show creator Nick Bernardone day-jobs on 30 Rock, while others have experience working for shows like Celebrity Apprentice and MTV’s reality empire, as well as solid production skills. And that professionalism has paid off. Picked up by Channel 101 NY, the screening series/quasi-network that previously introduced unknowing web audiences to 28 Day Slater, Water and Power and Sandwich of Terror, Bromos‘s second episode was voted first at last week’s monthly screening.
It’s important to note that Channel 101 success is the very definition of fleeting — in fact, Sandwich of Terror went from receiving the most audience votes at April’s screening to receiving none and being canceled from the one held in May. But on the web, true cancellation is flat-out impossible if the dudes behind the show want to keep producing episodes outside of the Channel 101 venue. This hopefully means that even if the show is dropped from the screenings, we online will still get to see the thrilling conclusion of Bromos. After all, love him or hate him, you want to see how exactly Gaston Jennings chooses to celebrate the determination of his one true bro. My guess? The steam room will probably be involved.