College Hill, television’s first dramatic reality series featuring a predominately African American cast, entered its second season last January depicting what some students described as a “not-so real” view of Black college life.
“It seems like the show is scripted and unrealistic,” Sakira Cook said, a senior international business major at Howard University. “Last season threw me because the cast lived in a dorm with an R.A. on a power trip. This year, the show takes place off campus but nothing interesting ever happens off campus. The students end up coming back on campus just for excitement,” Cook said.
According to prnewswire.com, 1.4 million viewers tuned in Jan. 27 to see the special one-hour series premier at 9 p.m. on BET. This season takes place at the historically black Langston University in Langston, OK, a different setting from last year’s Southern University in Louisiana.
Cook, who was excited last season when the show first aired, lost interest because she said the show became repetitive.
“I kept seeing the exact same things over and over,” Cook said. “When you’re in college you’re a student first and College Hill does not show students engaging in any type of scholastic activity. I’d much rather watch CSI Thursday’s at 9 p.m.”
Students at other colleges prefer to watch College Hill not for educational purposes, but for the drama it provides.
With characters such as “The Freak,” “The Rumpshaka” and “The Flirt” providing weekly entertainment, students like LaToya Ellis will tune in faithfully.
“I like the drama,” Ellis said, a senior communications major at Clark Atlanta University.
Although Ellis said the characters on College Hill are stereotypical of African Americans, she continues to watch every week.
“The characters do stereotype our race but they are only intended to increase the ratings,” Ellis said. “In reality, you can find those types of people at any black college.”
Timothy Hughes, a senior African American studies major, agrees.
“I currently don’t attend a black college, but I see people similar to the people on College Hill every day,” Hughes said, a student at the University of Georgia.
Hughes said he gravitated to the show because it is about black college students with whom he can relate.
“It’s a reality show about lack college students doing the same things I do and going through the exact trials and tribulations as I do on a regular basis,” Hughes said.