Why I like "awful" television

Thanks to various bittorrent site memberships, I manage to keep up (or catch up) with a solid number of television shows. There’re a few, though, that I tend to downplay in discussion - but always come out, guns blazing, to defend the merits of. Tonight my champion is GRΣΣK.

Exaggerated social stereotypes and brief flashes of cheesiness aside, Greek contains surprisingly sharp writing - and humor that sneaks up on you. Once you accept that you’re watching a television show about Greek life in college (and with that, the knowledge that it’s going to be about college students and the frivolities that surround them), you actually start to care that the nerdy protagonist is able to rush the freshman athlete he cares about, and that the little sister-big sister relationship is patched up.

Absent (mostly) is the overwrought teenage angst and eye-rollingly complex drama of Gossip Girl - gone are the repeated and unbelievable plot twists of Heroes (is Sylar dead or is he not?)… Greek is a largely feel-good television show about human heroes that stay good but make mistakes, real-life villains that have their own agendas but have human streaks, and entertainingly realistic awkward situations between collegians.

Sometimes the existential questions are best left to Battlestar Galactica, the moral, to Law & Order, the supernatural-meets-coming-of-age, to Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It’s nice to just enjoy a television show for the sake of the characters and the chuckles. A cute snippet from an earlier episode:

Rebecca, having discovered her emerging interest in women, is discussing a new love interest with a known gay acquaintance, Calvin.

R: Hey! Wait up! [cooing] So… how are youu?
C: Rebecca, do you even know my last name?
R: It starts with a T. N? R!
C: One lesbian kiss and it’s like you’re just one of the gays, huh?

R: Oh Cal. Not every gay person has to go through a self-loathing shame spiral before coming out.
C: Well then - welcome to the team! Our uniforms come in lavender for the boys and denim for the girls. [walks off]
R: … Your last name starts with an S!

Let me know what you think on Twitter.