• Ohai, the cast of MTV’s “Underemployed”

Remember when MTV was the apex of teen life, from Real World and Road Rules to crowds screaming for TRL in Times Square? Remember when that mattered? Carson Daly was hot shit, Britney Spears claimed ” . . . Baby One More Time” wasn’t smutty, and Ja Rule was still a thing. And then the Internet killed the video star and MTV bet the farm on reality TV, so we were left with The Osbournes, Punk’d, those awful Jessica Simpson shows, those even worse Orange County soap operettas, and everything on down to Jersey Shore.

Things are different now. The kids in MTV’s demographic, us dag-gone millennials, can’t really remember a time when MTV messed with music videos. With all these reality shows, the brand they know has always traded on other people’s established fame or notoriety for 30 minutes at a time, and that’s not such a draw. So now that you can have almost all your fun online—and because Real World-Road Rules: Sexting won’t happen—MTV is making scripted TV, hoping to call its signature demo back to the house.

I’m sort of fascinated by the couple of scripted MTV shows that are aimed at my peers, the failing, entitled, sardonic college grads for whom finding work is a lot harder than it was when their parents graduated. HBO made waves—like, praise-from-the-New York Review of Books waves—on that part of young adult life with Lena Dunham’s Girls. MTV cancelled its first go at twentysomethings, the brilliantly crappy I Just Want My Pants Back, about a wannabe actor living in Williamsburg who couldn’t get even a little bit of his act together. Last week, a more heartfelt successor-in-ennui premiered: Underemployed, a comedy about five recent grads futzing around Chicago trying to actualize their lofty professional-life dreams.