I love the ABC Family TV series, Greek. Ever since I was introduced to this ABC Family series about college students at Cyprus Rhodes University, a fictional Ohio college last year, it has become one of my favorite shows on television. It’s not just a guilty pleasure. Greek is well written, well acted, tackles some sensitive subject matter, and manages to bring a smile to my face at the end of each hour as there is a sense of hope that these characters will pull through their hardships and troubles.
The series centers around Casey Cartwright (Spencer Grammar- proving that she inherited her father, Kelsey’s, talent) and her younger brother, Rusty, a.k.a. “Spitter” (Jacob Zachar). The siblings are a part of the Greek system, Rusty at the Kappa Tau Gamma (KTT) fraternity and Casey at the Zeta Beta Zeta (ZBZ) sorority. Through these two protagonists we’ve been introduced to a wide range of characters, most of who began as supporting cast and through the years have all blossomed into important main characters. Casey’s best friend is her ZBZ sister, Ashleigh (Amber Stevens) whose outrageous fashion sense seems to reflect her sunny, yet flighty personality. There is also Rebecca (Dilshad Vadsaria), the snooty daughter of a disgraced Ohio senator. Through Rusty we’ve met Cappie (Scott Michael Foster), Casey’s old flame and the slacker president of KTT, Dale (the hilarious Clark Duke), a right wing conservative Christian who rooms with Rusty, and Calvin, a member of the rival frat, Omega Chi Delta. Calvin is one of two gay characters on Greek and his sexual orientation has always been handled with grace. Rounding out the cast is Evan (Jake McDorman) president of the Omega Chi’s, a trust fund kid who has to make a difficult decision by season’s end.
A love triangle between Casey, Cappie and Evan was halted when Casey met the cute and funny Max (Michael Rady), an introverted genius who gives up a scholarship in England to stay behind and be with Casey. Introduced at the beginning of Chapter Four is Andy (Jesse McCartney) a friend from Rusty’s hometown who winds up rushing the KTT house. McCartney turns out to be a capable actor and a nice addition to the show. His affable character is pursued by all of the fraternity houses and Rusty landing him for the KTT is a huge deal. Meanwhile, tension grows in the ZBZ house as characters vie for power and split house loyalties.
What I continue to enjoy about Greek is its attention to character development. Instead of constantly throwing these kids into silly made-for-TV scenarios, the writers of the show try to keep the show and the characters grounded in reality. As a viewer it can sometimes be frustrating watching my favorite characters flip flopping on moral decisions and using bad judgment. But that’s what happens in your early twenties; you’re still figuring out who you are and what you want to do with your life and the characters on Greek are a fairly accurate representation of what it’s like to be in college at that age.
The producers of Greek have tried to present a realistic look at the emotional life of a college student, albeit, in a slightly sanitized version to appease the censors of ABC Family. Never the less, even though this isn’t Jersey Shore and the characters aren’t hooking up every ten minutes, Greek does contain a great deal of drinking and sex. I would compare it to the Canadian import, Degrassi, which airs on Teen Nick. Both shows do their best to be compelling and entertaining, while not gratuitous or gross.
It’s been announced that next fall will be the final season for Greek, allowing the producers to properly wrap up the series, including (hopefully) having Casey and Evan graduate (Cappie is questionable). I will miss this show when it’s gone. Its charm and humor stand above so much of the junk on television. Thankfully it will live on through DVD.
The Greek Chapter 4 three DVD set from Buena Vista includes all 12 hour-long episodes from the second half of season two. The bonus features include a recap of the previous season of Greek (a nice primer if you haven’t been keeping up with the show as it airs), bloopers, a behind the scenes featurette to the milestone final episode of season 2, “At World’s End,” excellent audio commentaries and a music video by Jesse McCartney.