College Hill: Virgin Islands – DVD Review


Available at Amazon.com

Creator:

Sean Rankine

Cast:

Jaron “J.T.” ………. Himself
Willie McMiller ………. Himself
Devon “Chicky” Luis ………. Himself
Andres Kitts ………. Himself
Krystal Lee ………. Herself
Fallon Favors ………. Herself
Idesha Browne ………. Herself
Vanessa Hamilton ………. Herself

The Show

The Real World is one of the original and most popular reality TV shows on television today. Every show after it has copied The Real World in some way. Some shows just straight up steal The Real World concept totally. BET decides to go that route with its copycat show, College Hill.

College Hill is basically The Real World with an all African-American cast. There is a twist to the concept of The Real World, though. College Hill takes 8 students and puts them in a house together on a famous African-American college. The show is supposed to focus on the student life of the college and the roommates. But really that’s a minor point. It’s really about the drama away of school.

Season four of College Hill decides to be completely unique for the series. They decide to set the show in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The house is filled with 4 kids from California and 4 kids from the Virgin Islands. This ends up being a setting that is more like The Real World: Hawaii than the previous seasons of College Hill.

The cast this season is pretty typical. Eventhough they are all African-American, there still seems to be certain stereotypes portrayed on the show that was made famous by The Real World. This season is unique in that there are two groups of kids from different cultures. They eventually mix together, but there is lots of segration during this season. That’s interesting despite it being totally predictable.

If you have seen one season of The Real World, then you pretty much already know what College Hill is about. There is nothing but drama on this island. There may actually be more fighting and drama on this season of College Hill than previous ones. In fact, you might as well call this season of College Hill, The Real World: Virgin Islands.

Episodes:

Disc One:

Episode 1
The eight new cast members of “College Hill” arrive at the house, four of them from Los Angeles, the others from the islands. Although all eight are excited about embarking on this journey for the next two months, the split between the two sets of cast members is immediately obvious as differences in culture abound. Will these differences keep the cast from bonding, or will they get past them and become a happy family?

Episode 2
The chemistry between JT and Idesha made sense from the start, but JT is confident that he will stay faithful to his girlfriend while away that is until the cast decides to play a little game of Truth or Dare. Liquor starts to flow and clothes come off, and suddenly staying faithful doesn’t seem so important to JT. He and Idesha start to get hot and heavy, and the attraction Idesha first felt seems mutual. But as JT begins to sober up, he starts to feel guilty and decides to confess to his girlfriend. Will their relationship survive, or will he suddenly find himself single? Will Idesha be there to pick up the pieces

Episode 3
From the beginning, Krystal has prided herself as the consummate Cali girl, a shopaholic from the OC. So when the drama in the house starts to get to the girls, Krystal jumps at the opportunity to go shopping with Vanessa and Fallon. Only her dream day out turns into a nightmare when her credit card gets rejected and she realizes she has a negative balance in her account. Her fellow cast mates are sympathetic, with William even offering to loan her $100, but Krystal is inconsolable. Finally, she breaks down in her room and finds comfort in the most unlikely of people, Vanessa. Chicky and Willie are in competition to see who can get Vanessa. What about her boyfriend? The deed is done! J.T. and Idesha get down!

Episode 4
Krystal’s lack of income continues to stress her out this time when she can’t afford to get lunch or a manicure with the other girls. Things only get worse when JT uses the ground beef she bought with her precious savings to make hamburgers, leaving her with none for her pasta sauce. JT’s inconsiderate actions thus spark the Ground Beef War, which ends with the majority of the cast siding with JT, and with Krystal finding support only in Fallon.

Episode 5
With the ground beef war still brewing, cast members are at odds with one another. They discuss an intervention with Krystal but aren’t sure how to do it. When the opportunity arises during a group lunch on the beach, things turn ugly, and the cast members gang up on Krystal. Suddenly, the divide is no longer Island vs. LA but Krystal against the world. And it seems this split might last a long time.

Episode 6
With Chicky out of town, the rift between island and L.A. continues to worsen. Krystal and Fallon continue to criticize the island, and the island kids continue to get defensive. After a passive- aggressive conversation between Idesha and JT about the two sides segregating, they decide to bring everyone together with a little Bible study. What starts out as a joke, turns into a pretty intense session, and in the end, everyone learns a little more about their housemates, especially Idesha and JT.

Episode 7
With the positive vibes from the church service still flowing, a softened Krystal seeks advice from a friend from home, who tells her to take advantage of the cease fire and reach out to her roommates. Krystal is still cautious but, realizing that she may be at fault, Krystal makes her own peace offering in the form of cooking dinner. Although the cast eats together and is seemingly at peace, the calm only lasts for a few moments as a freestyle session between JT and Vanessa reveals that Vanessa still harbors a lot of hatred for her skinny, little friend.

Episode 8
The brief peace between the L.A. and the island kids comes to an abrupt end when the L.A. kids’ segregation at a campus event angers the island kids, and suddenly the two groups are more polarized than ever. Fights begin to break out between the two sides: first between Andres and Krystal, then Ides ha and JT. With each altercation getting more heated, things go from bad to worse and, ultimately, Vanessa takes things to the next level when she physically attacks Krystal. When the two girls are separated, the cast is left in shock.

Disc Two:

Episode 9
The cast is still in shock over what happened between the two girls, and they are left to pick up the pieces. No one wants to lose a housemate, but it seems Vanessa’s fate is sealed, and Krystal is worried she too may be going home. The chasm between the two groups grows bigger, and the house is completely at odds. Blame is tossed all around, and they wonder if they will ever be a family again. Now, no one knows whom to trust.

Episode 10
As the cast heads off to Miami, Idesha is skeptical that the trip will help heal the rift among the cast, but in the end the cast, led by Willie, decide to make the most of it. And, despite the trip’s inauspicious start, the majority of the cast members have a great time. During the trip to Miami, the factions morph from Islanders vs. Californians to Krystal and Fallon vs. the world. Upon their return from Miami, the housemates’ newfound distaste for the dynamic duo of Fallon and Krystal is evident, and the void continues to grow. Fallon and Krystal do nothing but talk about their roommates, while the rest of the house is fine to have nothing to do with them. They even go as far as to spend more time with Vanessa outside of the house.

Episode 11
The cast continues to live it up in Miami and are hopeful that the trip will bring them together. Although Idesha isn’t happy about not having Vanessa around any more, she vows to put her problems behind her and have a good time in Miami. With her change in attitude, she finds herself once again close to JT, a situation that angers Fallon. The cast does come together as they enjoy the city and play paint ball, but the honeymoon ends quickly when Idesha and JT resolve their differences, sending Fallon into a tizzy. The pair fights, and the tension follows them back to the VI.

Episode 12
Things continue to be heated between JT and Fallon, and Krystal is brought into the fold. Once again, the central theme of the fight is food. This time it’s Krystal and Fallon hiding food from the boys that starts the beef. Lines are drawn in the sand, and things get ugly. Krystal steals JT’s watch. JT steals Krystal’s makeup, and it gets so bad, JT wants to go home.

Episode 13
The housemates are still at odds when they receive word that they will be participating in a scavenger hunt. No one is very excited, despite the fact that $2,000 is on the line. The race is tight, but in the end, JT, Idesha and Krystal are the victors, and everyone is surprised that they were able to make it through the whole day without a fight. With the new money, and the ceasefire in the house, they decide to throw a barbecue. The party is a success, and even Vanessa’s presence can’t ruin the vibe. The party was such a success, even Willie meets a girl that may actually be interested in him.

Episode 14
The housemates head over to Virgin Gorda on a school trip and, for the first time, the L.A. kids feel like they are a real part of campus life. Inspired, Willie and JT decide to plan a comedy show. Things are looking good for them, until they piss off Krystal and Fallon by not buying the groceries the girls requested, once again splitting up the cast. The boys don’t let the girls get to them, and even tell them they are not welcome at the auditions. Things seem to be going well for the show, until no one shows up for auditions, and the boys are forced to wonder if they can pull the show off at all.

Episode 15 (Season Finale)
With their time winding down, the housemates gather for one final meal. The mood is light, and everyone is excited to get dressed up. Unfortunately, the light mood lasts only so long as Krystal and Fallon are surprised by Vanessa’s arrival. However, the real drama begins with a “we hate Andres” session, and suddenly this once happy family seems to be falling apart. The cast members survive the dinner, and Krystal even makes a peace offering to Vanessa, showing that she has in fact grown. Thus ends another season of “College Hill.”

Episode 16 (Bonus Episode)
Basically, this is like The Real World‘s “The S**T They Should Have Shown” episode they usually air after each season. It’s a collection of all of the stuff they didn’t air, which is meant to be funny and light-hearted.

The Video:

The video is given in fullscreen color with an aspect ratio of 1.33:1. Transfer is good with minimal distortion. It’s pretty standard quality for a TV show these days. No real problems at all.

The Audio:

The audio included is available in English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo sound. There are subtitles available in English. Again, it’s pretty standard quality for a TV show. The dialogue comes out crisp and clear.

The Extras:

Audio Commentaries
There are two audio commentaries from Willie and JT. They talk about the 1st episode of this season and the 8th episode of the season. Those are both milestone episodes. Both commentaries are pretty funny. I would say that more cast should be involved with these, but they basically picked the right men for this job.

“The Making of College Hill: Virgin Islands” Featurette
A 20 minute featurette with the cast talking about their experiences on the show and how it changed them, etc. This is pretty interesting as we also hear from the crew about the show in general and this season specific. Everything you want to know about making this season is here.

“College Life in Paradise” Featurette
A short featurette about the University of the Virgin Islands. Chicky and Vanessa take you on a tour of the school that was used as part of the setting of this season. Short but interesting.

Before They Were Famous: Cast Auditions
This is a 10 piece that features the real audition tapes from the cast. These are always cool and should be in extras on more DVD sets of reality shows like this one.

Deleted Scenes
This was billed as being the “too hot for BET” deleted scenes. That’s somewhat true, but there is no nudity or anything. Basically, there is more “colorful” language and a some more sheets moving up and down.

Bellargio Estate Tour with Krystal
Krystal gives us a tour of the house. This is like an episode of MTV Cribs. Fits in with the rest of the show.

THE INSIDE PULSE

The Real World has done all of this drama before and better at times. If you are a College Hill fan, you may not like this season as much as previous ones as it’s an almost completely different concept. Still there are some interesting personalities on this season, which is why you watch a show like this anyways. If you haven’t seen it and like these shows, then check this out. I can’t really recommend buying it for anyone, though, until the check it out at least once.

The DVD Lounge’s Ratings for College Hill: Virgin Islands
CATEGORY
RATING
(OUT OF 10)
THE SHOW

5
THE VIDEO

7
THE AUDIO

7
THE EXTRAS

5
REPLAY VALUE

5
OVERALL
5
(NOT AN AVERAGE)