Wednesday, December 16, 2009

My Private Greek Marathon

Now that I can no longer afford cable, I'm watching more and more TV shows online, usually at IMDB, which gets feeds from The problem with that is, more often than not, there's usually some kind of time restriction and suddenly you get this notice that says you have ten days left to watch something like sixty episodes. This is what happened to me as I made my way through Greek, and now I have a long, long marathon ahead of me.

I'd been meaning to watch Greek for quite awhile; it'd been getting the kind of press that Glee gets now. But it's on ABC Family and, with dozens and dozens of cable networks, it's really hard to keep track of what's on when, especially because shows come and go on their own schedules. So I never really knew when Greek was on, just like it took me forever to figure out when and where Glee was on. This is something that shows are really going to have to figure out: how to effectively advertise their shows in the era of antenna/cable/digital/satellite/web/Google. Networks like ABC Family use their brand in that traditional way, hoping to attract viewers through similar programming. If you keep watching ABC Family, you'll always know the line-up and get posted on new shows. But that only works if you've drunk the Kool-Aid. If you're finding the Kool-Aid lukewarm, you find yourself watching less and less.

So back to Greek. Someone made such an enthusiastic recommendation, I made the supreme effort of looking for it online. I was really surprised by how good it is. At least episodes 1-5. After that, the episodes get kinda uneven. Greek is about life at a fictitious university as experienced by brother and sister Rusty and Casey. Episode 1 introduces us to Freshman Rusty, who's thinking of shaking up his life a little by joining a frat. Casey, the older sibling, is already part of an exclusive sorority and isn't too thrilled that her nerdy brother wants to be part of the same world. As you would expect from a show centering on a university, the cast of characters grow and grow, but the show stays true to the central theme: brotherhood/sisterhood. Again and again, the show wants you to understand what it means to create and strengthen bonds, whether through the Greek system or through dorm life or through biology. The show is very true to ABC Family, but it's also true to that fantasy we all have of this cool, amazing collegiate life where fun, witty people like Cappie exist and how your Greek sisters and brothers will stand by you, no matter how obnoxious you are or how gay, and how your roommate, no matter how ideologically different from you, will be there to support and guide you, and that college is the place where you are allowed to make mistakes so that you'll grow up to be stupendous people no matter what road in life you end up taking (unless your mistake is to rat on the Greek way of life).

That wasn't my collegiate experience, nor most of the people I know, but we all end up pretending that it was as we send yet another check to our old alma mater. And watching Greek, I certainly want to pretend that it was because it's such a lovely fantasy. In fact, Greek's version is so great, I want to go back in time and start life all over again — I mean, life just doesn't start until you enroll at Cyprus Rhodes. And I so want one of those cute ZBZ t-shirts.

No comments: