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'Greek': Five reasons the show gets an Alpha plus from me

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Greek_l

Greek_lAfter a far-too-long hiatus, Greek is coming back with new episodes tonight. And I couldn’t be more excited. It’s not just another teen show! Greek has a surprising mesh of earnestness and silliness, and has that rare element of actually seeming a little like college. Think Felicity and Undeclared, not 90210‘s college years. Don’t believe me? Here are five reasons I’m obsessed with Greek:

1. Cappie Probably the zing-iest character on TV, he’s the head of the slacker frat Kappa Tau. But he’s not a one-note party animal. His constant sarcasm belies a slightly softer side — “We’re all adults here, why don’t we say exactly what we’re thinking? How could they cancel Gilmore Girls?” — and he’s a surprisingly good role model in certain capacities. Seriously, though, it’s the lines like “You’re so nice and carefree and beach-babe beautiful — I feel like I’m in a tampon commercial” that keep me coming back. You know, for lines like “In your virgin mind, women are like these mythical creatures. Likeunicorns. With breasts! But let me tell you something: That’s a myth.Women are just normal people with breasts.”

2. Spencer Grammer Casey Cartwright isn’t exactly Cher Horowitz or Elle Woods — but she’s not that far off, and Grammer’s performance is definitely up there with Alicia Silverstone’s and Reese Witherspoon’s. Perky but not deluded, Grammer provides Casey with the right combination of introspection/depth (how do I stick to what’s important to me?) and gentle ditziness (what’s important to me is the theme of this sorority dance).

3. Shenanigans Sometimes shows or movies set in college neglect how big a role goofing off plays in those precious four years when you basically have the mental faculties of an adult but none of the responsibilities or burdens of actual adulthood. All your mental energy goes to schemes! How will we make this the best party ever? What can I do to trick that person into liking me? What will our booth be at the carnival? Remember when you spent dedicated weeks of intellectual output on such matters? Ugh, college is the best.

4. Stakes What the characters do on Greek matters. There are social risks to their actions. When Rusty’s freshman girlfriend betrayed the Greeks, he broke up with her. The whole Frannie/Rebecca Logan/Casey power triangle of hatred and perfect hair is born of a combination of rivalry, sexual politics, and legitimate dislike for one another, and all those feelings have costs. Failure, betrayal, family, anxiety — everything gets internalized. Take note, Gossip Girl (where nothing ever matters and everything is water off a socialite’s umbrella’s duck ass or something).

5. Best friends! Nerdy, sincere Rusty is BFFs with his roommate, the devoutly Christian Dale (also hilarious), and they have a Rudd/Segel-caliber bromance. Still, there are some episodes where I prefer Casey and the sort of vapid but utterly ethical Ashleigh. I love a solid friendship plot.

Okay, PopWatch Nation, who’s pledging with me? What do you love about Greek?

addCredit(“Bob D’Amico”)

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