Thursday, 10 July 2014

Next on Netflix: Greek

Okay, let me get this straight first. I've refrained from writing this so far because I'm beginning to think that I'm one of those people who seems to become obsessed with any TV show thrown my way at the mo. After last week's Fancy Things Friday review on Kyle XY, whereby I was coming down from a particular high of obsession that can only come from watching an entire TV show in quick succession over the space of just a few days, (which can trick you into thinking a show is better than it actually is) I didn't think that I would be able to move on so quickly. However, I followed the next recommendation Netflix made for me the following day and began watching Greek.

I wanted to go into this show with a level head and a certain amount of detachment. I thought I'd be okay, given that I started to outgrow the classic Teen Romance school shows a few years back... I was a Dawson's Creek girl growing up and everything has always been a comparison to that show ever since, usually falling short of it. I also tend to, as a rule, get annoyed with this particular genre half the time as all it seems to do is drag out 'will they, won't they?' scenarios and you can forget any hope of getting invested in couples as they only ever stay together for one series max before everything goes wrong and they go from wanting to spend the rest of their lives together to never wanting to speak to each other again, but still throwing longing looks at each other from across the room because deep down they still know that they were the 'one that got away' and they will never feel the same with another person again... until another person turns up and then the whole cycle starts up again... ugh. It pisses me off. I've mentioned it before, but I really think that writers need to realise a series can still be good if they have just one couple who don't actually break up. Go on writers, do it once. Stop forcing us to get invested in your characters and then taking away all our hopes... it's really annoying.

Of course, a lot of people like the drama. Maybe because they like drama in real life, or maybe because they are able to watch a TV show with some form of self restraint and healthy approach whereby they are able to walk away from an episode and not spend every moment away thinking about it... I understand that's a normal approach to fiction... However, it's never been something I've been able to master.

Due to all of this, I started watching Greek against my better judgement. Apart from anything, the whole Greek system in Colleges in America is completely bizarre to me. We don't really have anything like that in the UK. We just sort of go to University and learn and hang out. It's a bizarre concept, granted, but it seems to work for us.

Right off the bat, watching the pilot of this show, I had mixed feelings. On one hand, there wasn't really anything ground breaking about the show. It was once again another classic teen angst type of show... however there were a few quirks that convinced me it was worth continuing to watch.

First, the character of Cappie (middle guy in the above photo) and his particular fraternity. There is a fair amount of teen drama going on throughout the episode, lots of love and lust and classic teen relationship problems which is pretty standard for this particular genre. However, the scenes that involved this particular fraternity provided a certain amount of light relief and laid back fun that really appealed to me. They were part of this bizarre tradition of Fraternities and Sororities but yet were completely detached from the bitchiness and competitiveness of it all. In short, they just didn't care. It works as a really good balance to keep the episode from getting too heavy, giving me the ability to make my eyes roll.

Second, they are all in college so immediately the most annoying 'having sex for the first time' teenage girl drama that seems to become the focus of the first four series of any teen drama series is eradicated. I'm sorry but those situations have been the most annoying for me when watching past shows.

Third, as mentioned above, I have absolutely no clue about this concept of the Greek system in Colleges, except for what I've seen in Legally Blonde, so it was quite educational for me to see how it works.

So, I decided that I would continue to watch this show and see how I fared. To be honest, I really didn't think I'd last to the end. I was sure that it would annoy me at some point and I would give up... as such, you can imagine my surprise when I found myself not only not losing interest, but actually getting more and more invested in the characters and storylines. I'm currently at the end of all the episodes offered on Netflix and am now onto the series after that, and I have to say, it's getting to be one of those shows that I can't stop thinking about.

So, what is it about this show that makes it worth watching, where others in its genre have fallen short?

I think the main thing, for me, that has kept me going is that it never really gets to that puberty driven intense level that so many others have before it. Sure, it skirts around it. There is plenty of backstabbing, cheating, falling in love, 'will they, won't they?', friendships, hate, bullying etc and so forth, but all of it seems to skim across the surface and the characters actually react to it in a healthy way that doesn't drag out for series after series until you can't stand it anymore. The bitchiness between the sorority houses is probably the most intense it gets. It's really been the only bit that got me annoyed, but once again it's balanced out with the laid back attitude of their friendly neighbourhood Fraternity, run by Cappie.

Yes... Cappie is a also a massive factor involved in my watching of this show as well. He's one of those guys who, when I first saw him, I wasn't too sure about, but after three episodes of his comic relief one liners, I was drawn in. His whole fraternity freakin rocks. Seriously. I'd be all over the Greek experience if it meant I could hang out with those guys the whole time.

It is also a show that seems to just get better as it goes on. It gets funnier all around and becomes this fun show to watch. I've been suitably impressed and happy to watch it for the most of this week, although I'm now getting to a point where it is becoming the thing that I am thinking about when I'm not watching it. I do think that might have a lot to do with how many episodes I have watched in such a short space of time, but unlike Kyle XY which I am becoming less and less impressed with the more time I have had away from the show, I do think that it is actually a very well written show.

Don't get me wrong, if you're looking for something of more substance than romance, friendships and college life, this will not be the show for you. However, of the series I have watched in this genre, of which there have been many, I think this might actually be one of my favourites. It just feels like the writers get it a little more, in that you can have a successful show about this shizzle without making it depressing and 100% angst all the way through. They put more focus on the fun that can be had being at College which is far more entertaining for me than any of the others I have seen.

I appreciate that this is yet another show I am getting into far too late, and that it has already finished, but I do think it's worth a watch if you fancy watching something that you think is just a bit of fun and then find yourself realising that you have become far too invested in the characters than is healthy and you cannot, for the life of you, work out when that happened, but you're kind of glad that it did. Trust me, there are worse shows out there to get invested in. So, if you are past the age of caring about these type of shows, try it out and see what you think. It might not be for you, but it's as close as you're going to get in that genre... Also, there are some very funny lines in this show that I am desperate to quote to like minded people, and at the moment I don't know of a single person who has seen it... mainly on account of the fact that apparently I'm 'too old' to watch shows like this anymore.


Peace out my lovelies.

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