I've already admitted Greek is a guilty pleasure of mine, and many of you also came out and admitted that you too love this show. That got me thinking: What is it about this ABC Family series that is so addicting?
After all, Greek has some cheesy and predictable plot lines, is asking me to care about beautiful young people whose biggest concerns include smuggling beer into parties, and concludes most episodes with some tidy lessons about friendship, life, and college. Why are grown-ups like me drawn to a khaki-filled, cutesy show clearly aimed at the young'ns?
The folks behind the show must know they have some older fans, because they slip in some great little references designed to appeal to those of us who can drink legally. It's like making Spencer Grammer's character, Casey, a big fan of Frasier, or quick little lines like when a sorority girl told the Dean (played by Alan Ruck) that she thought Ferris Bueller's Day Off was like the Great Gatsby for a new generation — a joke that works best when you know Ruck played Bueller's best friend. But there's more to it than just its pop-culture cred. While the kids of Greek look like college students and concern themselves with sorority sister problems, they're acting out scenarios familiar to the adult world. To see why I think some primetime adult shows could stand to take notice, just
The Greeks of Greek are, for the most part, a far cry from the hard-partying youth of Animal House. The elite frats and sororities in the fictional Cyprus-Rhodes University are mini-training grounds for the best and brightest to secure themselves a place in the boardrooms and capital buildings of America. It's a high-stakes world where power changes hands on a regular basis, and by the time you might begin to wonder why you care if Casey will become Zeta Beta Zeta president, it's too late. You care — and you're on the edge of your seat.
The already likable, well-thought-out characters are made even more appealing by the show's often hilarious and clever dialogue (one department where many network series could use some help). Clark Duke, for example, is hysterical as a nerdy, Confederate Flag-loving Baptist who fronts a band called Darwin Lied. He could be the least-tolerant of the bunch, but he often comes out seeming the most compassionate. And I don't care how old or cool you are: No one is safe from Cappie (Scott Michael Foster) and his free-wheeling, movie-quoting charms.
When I think about how easy the Greek writers make creating genuine and believable (OK, a little cheesy, but still believable) friendships and motives for the characters look, it makes me wonder why the same can't be done for grown-up entertainment like Lipstick Jungle or Cashmere Mafia, which so often seem to be shoehorning their characters into situations that simply make no sense. Greek just gets it right.
And besides: When you give the actress who launched to stardom via her YouTube series Lonelygirl15 lines to the effect of "My roommate is an agoraphobe and never leaves our room. She's like, Lonelygirl15" . . . well, I'm sold.