Shasta McNasty is full of surprises. Actually scratch that. Shasta McNasty is full of surprise, singular, and the surprise is that Jake Busey’s character is not named Shasta McNasty. The rest of this godforsaken sitcom is exactly what you might expect for a sitcom that debuted in 1999. I’ll start by saying this isn’t exactly a nostalgia trip for me. The one thing I and everybody else remember about this show is the name. I suppose it’s possible to have nostalgia for the name of a thing even if you didn’t see the thing itself, and if it is I should have continued to ride the nostalgia. I knew a second thing as well, that this show featured Jake Busey in it. Regarding his performance, he did an excellent job of looking like a younger Gary Busey. Really nailed it.
Tomorrow Shasta McNasty turns 20, and I watched the pilot in order to write about it for this website. It’s available on YouTube but I won’t link to it. This time it has nothing to do with respecting intellectual property law, I just believe that the only reason anybody should watch this is accidentally. I may have tipped my hand already as to my feelings about this show, but just in case I haven’t been clear here is a screenshot of a portion of the notes I took while watching it:
I always assumed that Shasta McNasty was a rip off of Parker Lewis Can’t Lose, which of course is a rip off of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. I guess if anything it’s a ripoff of VH1 Pop Up Video, crossed with a ripoff of Rear Window. Yes, I know what I just typed.
Consulting my notes again, one of the first things I wrote down was “is he a white rapper?” The answer is partially yes. To be more accurate, this is an ensemble show starring three best friends, who collectively make up the rap group Shasta McNasty. Technically they are not a white rapper (or white rappers) because one of them is black, but let’s just say that the vibe is very rap rock or nu metal, so while individually not all of the members of Shasta McNasty are white rappers, when they combine shitty Voltron style (I think that’s called M.A.S.K. style) they form a white rapper. Jake Busey is one of the guys, and honestly the names of the other ones aren’t worth mentioning. Jake only makes the cut because he’s a Busey. If there was a Caan or Russell occupying some of the other space I’d make note of it. Let’s just say that if you’re going to catch Jake Busey in one thing this year, make it Stranger Things Season 3.
The plot? Ugh, only because I need to explain the Pop Up Video and Rear Window references. They’re a music group that doesn’t make any music because their label (What the Func) went bankrupt. Instead they spy on their next door neighbor and videotape her having sex with her boyfriend. More than half the set pieces in this show involve them watching and recording the neighbor and/or her boyfriend sleeping with somebody. The Pop Up Video reference? One of the characters gratuitously abuses a pet parrot and the words “not a real parrot” pop up onscreen. The same character jumps out of a window onto concrete, prompting the words “not a real guy” to appear. Would you believe that the entire season aired? UPN was truly the no expectations network.
I just checked my notes again to see if there’s anything else worth mentioning and there is, if only to reiterate that you should stay far away from this piece of trash. Their dog is named “Dinner” because they got him from a Chinese food restaurant, where the owner referred to the dog as tomorrow’s “dinner.” The last thing is less repugnant than it is an admission that nobody thought this show was worth taking seriously as an actual television show. There was a running gag involving trying to make the pizza delivery guy late so that the pie is free (not at all hack), and at the end of the episode the recurring delivery guy is replaced with a new guy, played by WWE’s The Big Show. One of the characters tells him he looks familiar, and he responds that it’s probably because he’s The Big Show and you’ve seen him on Smackdown on UPN. Yes, the pilot of the show ends with a promo for a different show on the network.
Final Thoughts: This show should have to roam the Earth until the second coming Wandering Jew style for the crime of taunting comedy.
Have you ever seen this pile of excrement? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter.
I don’t know if Shasta McNasty is available to buy and honestly it’s not worth checking, but one of the show leads also played the first ever victim in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series. Buffy is an amazing show, so click the link below if you’d like to buy the pilot of that.