The only thing missing from “Crush Landing” was a laugh track and a wacky neighbor. Greek rolled out enough sitcom stereotypes in the latest installment to make The King of Queens blush. The episode’s central storyline revolved around Casey and Ashleigh lusting after the same boy at a ZBZ crush party (the oh-I-wished-they-hadn’t-brought-him-back “Hot-ness Monster,” potentially from Hotmanastan), a mutation on the classic “one guy, two dates, same night” situation made famous on Three’s Company. And the rest of the character’s plots toed pretty close to How I Met Your Mother territory. Rusty lost his lust for engineering, and needed to solve a zany puzzle to regain his passion for polymer, while Cappie and Rebecca used her newfound celebrity status to get all sorts of free stuff. Not shown – Calvin being molested by the bicycle man.
Borrowing ideas from sitcoms, one of the sections on the TV totem, may not be super smart, but that stupid charm on full display during “Crush Landing” is what separates Greek from other teen-oriented dramas. During commercial breaks, I flipped over to the new 90210 to check out one of the most hyped shows of the fall. Watching this, along with checking out Gossip Girl clips on YouTube in an effort to figure out why people are ga-ga over it, made me appreciate Greek’s stupider endeavors. Those other shows take themselves too seriously, while Greek isn’t afraid to feature the lines “I want to bite things, I want to bite her.” Give me stupid LOL over stupider OMGWTF anyday, even if I get Just Shoot Me vibes sometimes.
ZBZ’s crush party is upon us, throwing Casey and Ashleigh into a downtrodden state given the lack of boys in their lives at the moment. Life starts to turn around for sorority president and hottie Casey when she hits it off with a hot guy at career services. Turns out this hot guys is Ashleigh’s “hot-ness monster.” The two don’t know how to handle the situation, but settle on both hanging out with him at the crush party and letting him decide. Elsewhere, Rusty has become bored with his major, and contemplates switching to a new field of study. He tries to get advice from the awkward senior R.A., who helps him reignite his engineering flame (through zany methods!). Cappie and Rebecca exploit the controversy surrounding her to get free stuff. And Evan and Frannie do stuff more boring than the RNC.
Representations of College
- Nobody in Rusty’s dorm knows who the R.A. is. In fact, no one has ever even seen him. How can that be possible? Don’t they have to at least hold one meeting? Wouldn’t they patrol the halls at least once, even just for show? Don’t they have to earn the free room and board by, you know, actually doing stuff?
- The highlight of the episode, and early contender for moment of the season, was Cappie falling asleep during Rusty’s spiel about why he’s an engineer. Because, quite frankly, other people’s passions can be absolutely boring. When I hear someone start babbling about why they love acting or geology, I’m playing Connect Four in my head. Bravo for Cappie being human and not caring about Rusty’s uninteresting life.
- College girls swoon over Johnny Depp…but Christian Bale? [In Batman voice]: WHERE’S THE “HOT-NESS MONSTER?!”
- The USA Today featured in the episode looks nothing like the real USA Today.
Examples of Greek’s Bad Writing in Action
- Cappie is obsessed with Garfield, even saying at one point “he’s a cat who likes lasagna.” This isn’t funny, it’s stating a truth, like saying Marmaduke is a dog or Dilbert sucks. I think this comic strip sums up the writer’s mistake.
- Rebecca to parking permit guy Toby Kwon: “Help me Toby Kwon, you’re my only hope.” To quote Darth Vader in Return of the Sith, “NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”
- The introduction of the extra-kooky character of Betsy, the lovable recovering alcoholic. She exists for no good reason. She’s almost as bad as the “hot-ness monster.” Almost.
Closing Question – Wha’choo talkin’ bout cast of Greek?