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Popular: The Complete Second Season

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Carly Pope, Leslie Bibb, ...
POPULAR: Byron Cohen

We gave it a B+

The teen cult fave cocreated by Nip/Tuck‘s Ryan Murphy was an ecstatic mix of outrageous farce and poignant insight that marked another example of puberty programs prematurely dumped by the networks (see: Freaks and Geeks, My So-Called Life). While the first season of this show ā€” following the inevitable clash of high school castes when the single parents of a misfit alterna-teen (Carly Pope) and a cheerleader goddess (Leslie Bibb) hook up ā€” sustains a steady level of awesomeness, the second (and final) year doesn’t age as well. In the soph season, the snarky banter and burlesque asides (Gucci demon exorcisms, gay monkey kidnappings) that make Popular so distinct sometimes give way to frustrating mawkishness (cancer subplot, substance-abuse issues). EXTRAS But as cast commentary reveals, the network mandated a return to reality before abruptly canceling the show. Damn The WB for denying a resolution to the series’ cliff-hanger ending! And for trying to turn this Mean Girls forerunner into My So-Called Melodrama.