After taking a few big steps forward last season toward becoming a consistently good TV series, ABC Family’s flagship show Greek took a couple steps back thanks to re-heated plotlines and troublesome themes in the second-season premiere. One of the central stories to “Brothers and Sisters” was Rusty and Calvin’s friendship being tested by the different frats they represent, an idea already drained dry last season. And didn’t we already have an episode revolving around inter-Greek contests? And then there were the bad habits that the show seemingly had shook off. Greek, ignoring all the lessons the show learned last season, drove home a ra-ra “we are brothers/sisters because we are in a fraternity/sorority and we must stay together because we are family” lesson. I’d expect such Bush-league portrayals of college from this, but Greek should have grown out of these miscues by now.
“Brothers and Sisters” felt like one of the weakest installments of the show to date, but I have hope that the season can pick up the overall quality quickly. Seriously, did you watch the trailer to College, in that link in the last paragraph? Even Greek wouldn’t stoop to such shoddy quality.
The annual Greek Week games grace Cyprus Rhodes, and reacquainted pals Rusty and Calvin try to stay neutral during the events to avoid sparking old, bad feelings between the two regarding house loyality. Casey, meanwhile, attempts to figure out how to deal with Rebecca, who’s Spring Break misbehavior has become an Internet sensation and landed ZBZ in hot water. The troubled senator’s daughter isn’t helping by getting completely trashed in public and beating the crap out of bloggers. Evan and Frannie debate whether to make their new relationship public, especially on how to break the news to Casey. Elsewhere, Cappie dresses up like a cheerleader and prances around.
Representations of College
- ZBZ makes up a bunch of spirit shirts for Greek Week, with the girls in the house required to wear certain shirts on specific days. Every sorority sister I know owns enough house-related apparel to clothe the entire nation of Sweden, so good observation by Greek on this one.
- Rusty and Calvin attend a screening of Ben-Hur on campus. This makes no sense at all, as the only people who go to presentations of archaic movies are film majors and lonely weirdos (I should know, I’ve hit up a fair amount of vintage film showings during my Northwestern career, and I certainly am not a film major). Rusty and Calvin don’t meet any of this criteria, so they should have gone to Chipotle instead.
- After Rebecca gets wasted enough to splash around in a fountain and receive a police write-up, Cappie talks to his inebriated beau like she’s a five-year-old, using simple and slow sentences in a Mr. Roger’s tone. This is the best way to talk to a sloshed student, as anything that would go over a toddler’s head will also fly right over someone who lasted a bit too long during a kegstand.
Examples of Greek’s Bad Writing in Action
- Just because the episode features the Greek Week games doesn’t give the writers an excuse to load the show up with random references to the Olympic Games. Cappie spouts off all sorts of Olympiad trivia, and we even get the gem of a line “step away from the knee cap, Tonya Harding.”
- Rebecca, after goring a girl who was insulting her: “Put that in your blog, bitch.” Unfortunately, adding the word “bitch” to the end of a sentence has become as lazy a comedic technique as “that’s what she said” and “your mom.” Blame Britney Spears, folks.
- The Kappa Tau crossdressing cheerleader dance scene…no amount of staring at the sun can undo what I saw. The horror, the horror.
Closing Question – How soon before Cappie and Casey start having conflicting feelings for each other once again? I give it two weeks.