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S01.E01: Pilot


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Best friends are mistaken for lesbians in the opener of this series, in which two high schoolers become popular by pretending to be gay.

 

Premieres tonight at 10:30 eastern on MTV. And it's not even close to as offensive as that summary makes it sound, I promise.

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I think I honestly like this show, it's a pilot so there was of course lots of exposition crammed into a 21 minute episode but I enjoyed the lighthearted, accepting feel of it.Felt a bit like a high school utopia that I sure wish was around when I was in school, so I'll settle for experiencing the fictionalized version for 30 minutes every week. The "all guys like lesbians" bit make me cringe, but I'm hoping the show will fight against that stereotype as I think it's heart is in the right place; its honestly just refreshing to see a show like this on the air. Maybe I've just been waiting too long for a lighthearted teen show centered on queer women but I'll definitely be back next week. 

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Yeah, there was a little too much exposition (especially that clunky "blue Oasis in the red sea of Texas" bit at the beginning), and events moved along awfully quickly (I believe the homecoming dance is in episode two), but I liked it. It reminded me of South of Nowhere, the last high school teen show I can remember where one of the leads was a lesbian (and the other was bi). That show veered much more into drama than comedy as it went on, though; I'm hoping this one will stay lighter in general.

 

I'm also hoping that Liam won't be as annoying as SoN's Aidan, although I may be asking for too much there. I already don't like the guy for immediately going after a girl who he thinks is a lesbian and in a relationship, and thinking of "getting her" as a challenge. At least Aidan respected Spencer and Ashley's relationship.

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I didn't watch this show right away because the idea for the show kinda scared me a little but now that I did I have come to the conclusion that it will either be the best thing ever or the trainwreckiest train wreck in the history of train wrecks.  Either way, I am in for at least a few more episodes before I decide which one it is.  

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it will either be the best thing ever or the trainwreckiest train wreck in the history of train wrecks

That's how I feel about it, too. Amy's story is very real, and they can tell it so many wrong ways, it's almost like I'm holding my breath waiting for them to do so. Plus, the "reverse intolerance" angle (where the usually popular kids are maligned and he usual outcast run the school) is a bold premise that could be awesome or really, really horrible. After reading interviews with the showrunners, I see that they are aware of the pitfalls, but I don't particularly get a sense of whether they have a handle on what to do about it. So I'm just waiting to see how it turn out. Even if it fails, though, I think I'm going to probably have to say: Ambitious effort. Thank for trying.

 

Seriously, I'd rather a swing and a miss than just another carbon copy rollout of the same pablum we've already seen a million times before.

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I was not into this show at first but it won me over. At first I thought, oh God, here we go again with the Juno quirky banter writing. But I think this is more in the vein of Easy A and Awkward and Mean Girls. The delivery of both of the lead actresses is so much like Ashley's (Jenna) delivery of her lines on Awkward. Gregg Sulkin is a less jock-y, more Edward Cullen version of a love interest. He's as adorable as he always is and his American accent seems to have improved since his run on Pretty Little Liars. Shane is basically the gay character on Awkward slightly toned down and with more to do. And I kind of like the idea of setting the show in Austin as a blue oasis in the red state of Texas. Yeah, it's not perfect but I'm enjoying it so far. It has the energy that Awkward lost after the first season or two.

 

Also, I love all the background characters. I think I spied goths, hippies, and steampunk cliques in the initial pan around the campus. Who includes steampunk as a clique? Love it. Also the goth skateboarder (?) with his Matrix coat who baked them gluten-free muffins with his moms? This show is weird but as long as they strike the right balance between funny and trying too hard, I'm in. 

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I think MTV really kind of screwed the pooch early on with their promotion of this show, because it sounded SO offensive that people were up in arms about it before it happened.  My personal theory is that the early release of the premiere online was intended as a pre-emptive strike and course correction because they realized they kind of fucked things up and needed to get out in front of the hate.  As it turns out, [and as one of the pre-emptive haters], a lot of the promotional material was completely misleading and I thought this pilot was super cute and promising.  So I've done a 180 on this and am happy to have done so.  

 

I'm also pushing 40 [as Wing Chun copped to in her featurette], but damned if the "questioning kid falling in love with her best friend" thing didn't take me right back to a bunch of shit I've long repressed.  When I was your age, kids, we didn't have gay people on tv.  At least ones who weren't murder victims in one-off roles on detective shows.  Which is why it took me another 5 years to figure my shit out.  So I just got all wistful watching this thinking, "oh, to have had such things when I was young."  I'm going to attribute my state of arrested development to that, and since Wing Chun admitted to thinking the boy is hot I'm going to be equally shameless and say Rita Volk is my newest tv crush  Anyhow, I can already tell I'm going to over-identify with Amy.  That "oh fuck I think I'm gay look" at the end of the episode?  I remember it well on myself.

 

As for the blue oasis that is Austin, I see a lot of people commenting on what a fantasy this is, but I dunno.  Have you been to Austin?  The place is pretty funky and definitely liberal.  If someone who lives in Austin tells me it's ridiculous I will take that under advisement.  I go there once a year for a conference, and I don't have that much trouble buying what they're selling here [though it's clearly handled in a slightly absurdist/fantastical manner].  I live in my own red [well newly purple] state's blue oasis, and it's not thaaaaat far-fetched, really.  I've also worked in two industries where I kind of sort of went up in everyone's estimation for being gay, so these bubbles do exist.  It gets better, kids.  Move out of that shithole town you were born in for starters.

 

Anyhow, this was sweet and fun, and I'm shamelessly moving it to the top of my viewing queue every week.

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  • 8 months later...

I had to think about that for a minute... you mean that female friend of Liam and Shane's, right? I liked her because she called Liam out on his bullshit about wanting to turn a lesbian straight.

It's not uncommon for some characters to not make it from pilot to series, unfortunately.

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