Guilty pleasure television is as available on a daily basis as the blue handicapped buttons are accessible on the River Campus. In other words, very, very available.
They are the shows that play in repeat on the Soap network. It’s the reality series that have taken over the world with their mind-draining super powers. Even the competition dramas that draw in viewers by the millions each week fall in this category.
As a girl that prides herself on watching only quality television, I have to say I don’t waste my time with the mindless entertainment that has brainwashed millions. I watched ‘The Real Housewives of New Jersey” with my Jersey native friends who were, for lack of a better word, obsessed. Honestly, I don’t get it and I don’t care. No offense to all you reality lovers out there, but you really are wasting your time.
My guilty pleasures do not lie in the thrill of watching the pointless lives of ‘real” people. They are far less real than the characters of scripted dramas that are written to portray relatable and likable (or detestable) people.
I take an hour out of my Monday evenings instead to watch the ABC family drama ‘Greek.” Yes, it got me in spite of my better judgment. I blame Cappie and his Kappa Tau shenanigans.
I dropped past the horizon of the ‘Greek” black hole senior year when it wasn’t uncommon to romanticize the experience I would embark on once I graduated. Creator Patrick Sean Smith captured the glamour of mid-western sorority and fraternity life while seamlessly combining it with the studious side of school. What high school student wouldn’t want to watch?
Upon arriving at UR, it was clear that there were no mansion-like sorority houses and the frat houses were never, ever as clean as Omega Chi. But ‘Greek” does capture the essence that is college life.
Rusty Cartwright (Jacob Zachar) embodies the sense of self-discovery that students bring with them to school. Smart, dorky and lacking social skills, Rusty arrives at Cyprus-Rhodes in the first season with a goal to change his image. His drive to rid himself of his dork stereotype throughout the past three seasons has caused him to struggle with the ever-present scale of balance between social and academic life at school.
To help him along the way is his reluctant, popular and pretty sister Casey (Spencer Grammer). Once president of the top sorority on campus, Zeta Beta Zeta, Casey could not be more different than her brother. Their polar opposite characterizations are just what make their relationship so engaging.
But a brother-sister relationship at college is not the food of guilty pleasures. The heart of ‘Greek” lies in the love triangle between Casey and her two ex-boyfriends Evan Chambers (Jake McDorman) and Cappie (Scott Michael Foster).
‘Greek” has many qualities that do make it more than simple teen drama, but the best episodes are the ones that have girls swooning over the ultimate slacker and underachiever, Cappie, no last name. Foster has erupted as the breakout star of the show, not only as a heartthrob but also as a great actor.
I don’t care what you tell me, but in college everyone is looking for someone whether it is someone for the night, someone for the week or someone for the rest of his or her lives.
Smith’s characters portray this quality of college life in mass quantities, but not in a soapy, desperate, teenage ‘Gossip Girl” way.
The characters of ‘Greek” are smart and entertaining with well-written stories and backgrounds.
Whether it is overprotective parents, trust funds gone bad, fame in a place where you just don’t want it or coming to grips with your sexuality; you name it, ‘Greek” has it. Throw in the occasional ‘Matrix” reference and you’ve got a winning show.
This is not to say that the show is without its flaws. ‘Greek” is far from perfect, but so is college life.
Calvin Owens, (Clark Duke), Rusty’s best friend, sometimes has forced story lines centered around life as a gay college student. Don’t even get me started on Frannie. But thankfully she’s gone and we don’t have to worry about her anymore.
In spite of the kinks and faults of ABC Family’s most successful series, in its four seasons on the air, ‘Greek” has proven itself as a competitor amongst Monday night television.
When the stars align and the dialogue is on spot with the actors’ chemistry thriving, ‘Greek” is not a teenage angst drama, but a genuinely good show to occupy an hour of your time.
While ‘Greek” may fall in the guilty pleasure category, by the end of an hour the guilt is gone and only pleasure is left.
‘Greek” airs on Mondays on ABC Family at 9 p.m.
Rosenberg is a member of
the class of 2012.