I never thought I’d say this: I couldn’t be more stoked about school being back in session. And that’s because the aforementioned bastion of learning whose bells are once again chiming is Cyprus-Rhodes University, the fictional college at the center of ABC Family’s delightful fraternity and sorority romp, Greek. Now, for today and each of the next nine weeks, I’ll be watching the drama with you and presenting my digests on Tuesday mornings here on PopWatch. How fittingly collegiate is it of us to get drunk together on Greek every Monday night? God, I miss college.
To begin, class, we must start with a little history lesson. When we left Cyprus-Rhodes at the end of last semester (errr, last season), life was falling apart for our dear little Greeks: Namely, Zeta Beta Zeta pledge (and Rusty’s girlfriend) Jen K. had just written an expose about fraternity and sorority life (drinking! hazing! big bitches!) that caused an uproar and forced a heartbroken Rusty to break up with her. At the same time, interim Zeta Beta Zeta president Casey (pictured) — the fabulous Frannie was ousted! — and Omega Chi president Evan were on the outs, while Casey’s former (and sometimes) flame Cappie was hooking up with the senator’s evil spawn, Rebecca. Plus, Zeta Beta dimwit Ashley had outed Calvin to his fraternity house. Woe was life on Greek Street!
Now, thrust back onto campus, the Cartwright siblings are at different ends of the spectrum in regards to their respective break-ups: The practical Casey thinks she’s over Evan, mostly because she “deleted emails, threw away love letters, and watched Oprah,” while the lovelorn Rusty still pines for his sweet little Jen K. with shrine-esque screen savers and mopey mix CDs. Cappie and Rebecca (loving this pairing, by the way) are still enjoying the fruits (read: nookie) of break with their “fling-tastic” get-togethers. Calvin still won’t talk to Ashley about her pushing him out of the closet. Evan seems as boorish as ever. And Dale — quite possibly the series’ best character — is as crazy as ever, commenting that he honestly loves the smell of new textbooks.
Plus: Lizzie! She’s the seriously hopped-up enforcer nationals sentto Zeta Beta to help the chapter get back on track. Even though itseemed tres fitting, I resisted putting about 4,239 moreexclamation marks after her name in that reference. It’s funny, thenotes I took during her introduction include LOTS of ALL-CAPS wordslike “CRAZY” and “CORKSCREW HAIR” and the quote, “That’s Lizzie withtwo Zeta Beta Zs!” That about sums her up, right? I guess with Franniegone for the moment, we need a truly overzealous sorority girl, yes?
Honestly, because of the mess that the Greek system was in at theend of last season, I was worried about what this first episode wouldbring: Would Greek be able to retain its ribald nature,gratuitous keggers, and lots of sex? Would this show be any good undercrackdown? Well, I’m happy to report that it definitely still has it.Natch, the kids threw a squeaky clean carnival to make nice with theadministration and raise some money for charity, but little booze andboobs weren’t really needed to get the semester started. (Although,believe me, all of that goodness won’t be gone for too long.) The devilish acts by Rebecca (okay, so there wasa little sex in the stacks!), sweet and longing tension between Evanand Casey, touching reunion between Ashley and Calvin (his is one of thebest portrayals of a young gay man on TV right now!), and quotes like,“Bros and Cheeseritos before hos,” helped this season premiere make thegrade for me.
I’m still loving that this series simply for the fact that it goes there.Calvin’s homosexuality brings up burning, contemporary questions like:How will his brothers continue to react? Can he still be welcome? Can ayoung gay man also be a fraternity brother? Dale’s ridiculouslyconservative nature gives a window into the lives of today’s confused,conservative young. Lizzie’s outrageous adherence to rules andtradition skewers the whole world on which the show is based. At thesame time, Greek is unapologetically silly, effortless, andteen-tastic, too, with throwaway college relationships and a YetiPelting booth at the carnival taking center-stage. It’s kind of thebest of both worlds.
But what’d you think, PopWatchers? How long will the Greeks be ableto keep up the goody-goody act? Will Ross and Rachel — er, I mean Caseyand Cappie — end up together this season? Should the Omega Chi housereinstate Calvin? And most importantly, will parties at Cyprus-Rhodesever feature any band besides the Plain White Ts?