There has been a lot of speculation about what, precisely, MTV’s My Life as Liz is. Scripted reality? An episode of Liz has more narrative structure than, say, an episode of The City, but it’s also less grounded in reality than Teen Mom. Is it some kind of Laguna Beach-meets-My So-Called Life hybrid? The real people! The unrequited love! The angst! My God, the red hair! MTV maintains the show is “real.” This season, like last season, is about her “real” life with her “real” friends and her “real” school (the Pratt Insitute). According to the network, Liz’s involvement is solely in front of the camera, not as a writer. She lives her life, and MTV tries to capture it the best they can. That makes total sense. I regularly stand in white rooms and have dodge balls hurled at me by unseen hands.
Last night’s season two premiere of My Life as Liz brought the whole gang back, including Sully and Co., Taylor, and Liz’s semi-ambiguous boyfriend Bryson, in all of his trucker-hat glory. This time around, Liz has ditched her small town of Burleson and is going to art school in New York. She’s also busy attracting hot guys like a magnet while dumpster diving for potential art. That happens to me all the time, so maybe it’s not totally unbelievable.
Season Two opened with a convenient summation of last year’s events, courtesy of Sully, captain of the nerd herd. In case you missed it MTV’s recent marathons, here’s the rundown of season 1. Liz is alternative (Her hair is red! She sings Band of Horses covers!) After surviving her oh-so-painfully mainstream high school, she now walks around New York to the tune of Jay Z’s “Empire State of Mind.” OK, all told, I actually did do that the other day.
Liz is keeping in touch with Bryson, who’s busy hanging out by himself in the back of a truck down by the river. But alas! Long distance relationships are hard and it’s not quite working out. Meanwhile, the nerd herd is planning a trip out to see their beloved Liz. Props for bringing back the thumbs-up campaign T-shirt from last season to represent the missing nerd. Unfortunately, their surprise-road-trip scheme was foiled when they discovered Bryson is in New York. Even more unfortunately, they broke the news to Liz before she even knew. Oh no, double foiled!
Despite her homesickness, Liz is busy flirting with new guy Lewis, the aforementioned dumpster overseer. After Sully’s call broke up a session of walking around very slowly, Liz ditched Humpty Dumpster and spiraled into a pit of anxiety and more slow walking. Was Bryson in New York? Why didn’t he call? But wait: there, pasted on a random wall in NYC, was a poster of a band he likes! And quelle suprise! They were playing a show that night.
So Liz, in pursuit of her maybe-boyfriend, showed up at the concert. No Bryson — but Humpty Dumpster was there. You could cut the coincidence with a butter knife. After another session of slow walking, Liz finally came to terms with the fact that maybe the fates want her to be happy in New York, without Bryson. But that would be boring, so Bryson turned up on her doorstep. Platonic hug time!
I must say, I’m very curious to see how this season goes. According to MTV, there will be some interesting romantic developments between Liz, Bryson and Humpty Dumpster. But even more exciting? Sully gets a potential romantic interest of his own!
Whatever level of reality My Life as Liz takes place in, one thing is certain: I wish my friends talked like the nerd herd. Because then they would say things like this:
–“Like a ham with two pieces of bread, it’s between them.”
–“I’m just as surprised as you are. This is an unexpected twist. We’re in an M. Night Shyamalan movie.”
–“It’s like a punch in the wiener hearing you say things like that.”
–“It’s a sewing kit. What’s he gonna do with this? Macramé himself a pair of jean shorts?”
PopWatchers, what’s your take on the season opener? Are you excited for all the trucker-hat wearing and shoulder-shrug/half-smile comboing Bryson can muster? Are you on the edge of your seat in anticipation of more Sully-isms?