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ElectricBoogaloo

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Even though I wasn't in middle school at the exact same time that this show takes place, I remember all those elements of middle school - finding the perfect first day of school outfit, getting a bad haircut (mine happened when I stupidly let my little sister cut my hair with regular scissors because I was too impatient to wait until the next day to get a haircut), liking boys who have no interest in you, the cruelty of other kids, and feeling ugly. They touched on so many things in just one episode.

What I really love is Maya and Anna's absolute loyalty to one another. When Maya told Anna that it would be better for Anna not to be her friend after the whole "your dad's dead" debacle, that was true adolescent sacrifice. There is nothing lonelier than having no friends in middle school, but Maya was willing to do it in order to let Anna escape the social taint of being her friend. Meanwhile, Anna refused to leave Maya on her own. That is the kind of female friendship I love. I was actually afraid that Maya was going to end up ditching Anna for the popular girls at the beginning of the episode, so I liked that they didn't go that route.

I also loved the unexpected support Maya got from her brother. I laughed so hard at the aardvark penis insult that he told Maya to yell at Brandt.

On a shallow note, the music and the clothes are so perfectly 2000. I loved that Maya was trying to give herself a Sarah Michelle Gellar haircut. That bowl haircut she ended up with thanks to her mom was all kinds of awful.

ETA: Endng the episode with TLC's Unpretty was perfect.

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo
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I've watched the first episode and found it so painfully accurate that I had to stop after one and will pick up with episode 2 at a later date. I was starting 7th grade in 2000 as well and some of this stuff hit home so hard (music and clothing, mainly) that it was like I was back in middle school. 

I was confused by the actresses ages at first. For the first couple minutes of the show I thought I was going crazy and asked myself if these two were my ago or are they really mature looking teens. Once they got to school and were around age-appropriate actors I realized it was a deliberate choice to have the 30ish-year-old actresses play 13-year-olds, and that one or both of the two probably created the show based on their real life experiences. 

28 minutes ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

What I really love is Maya and Anna's absolute loyalty to one another. When Maya told Anna that it would be better for Anna not to be her friend after the whole "your dad's dead" debacle, that was true adolescent sacrifice. There is nothing lonelier than having no friends in middle school, but Maya was willing to do it in order to let Anna escape the social taint of being her friend. Meanwhile, Anna refused to leave Maya on her own. That is the kind of female friendship I love. I was actually afraid that Maya was going to end up ditching Anna for the popular girls at the beginning of the episode, so I liked that they didn't go that route.

Totally agree with all of this. I too was worried that Maya was going to ditch Anna (even if she returned by the end of the episode), so it was a happy surprise that she didn't. I also loved that Maya calls Anna "Na". For some reason that really rang true for their ages. You really can't shorten Anna into anything other than Ann, but of course Maya calls her Na. I feel like in real life, 10 years after this period, one would randomly remember when Maya called Anna "Na" and they'd laugh about what a strange nickname choice it was. I had some weird nicknames for my friends too.

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S1.E2: Miranda

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Maya and Anna become fascinated with the mature girls in their class who smoke. They are faced with the age-old question: stay home and play pretend or go out and do drugs?

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Awwww, I felt bad that Maya and Anna let everyone else ruin something that they loved doing. Not everyone has the same interests and there's nothing wrong with playing with dolls when you're 13. But I totally get that shock of seeing other kids who are your age doing other stuff and feeling like they're so much older (and hence cooler).

Maya and Anna crank calling Sam was perfect - all the giggling and then hanging up while screeching. I also laughed when they freaked out after buying lighters and hearing the police car.

The show does such a good job depicting Maya and Anna's friendship from wanting to do everything together devolving into competitiveness because they were scared and insecure. Their silent conversation at the party was also perfect. I've had those conversations before! Their struggle over the sliding glass door totally cracked me up.

One of the reasons I loved My So-Called Life was how realistically it portrayed high school. This show really captures what it's like to be in seventh grade. I totally felt for Maya when she was afraid to kiss that boy and did anything she could to avoid it.

I love the details that the show gets right like Maya's pencil case.

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Ha, the (non) Stussy S!

I totally cracked up at Anna suggesting that they tell their parents they're going to see Chicken Run and then sneak into Coyote Ugly instead. Anna getting excited about b*witched made me laugh because even though everyone kept singing one of their songs, I still couldn't remember anything about that group besides their name. Even after I watched the entire video for C'est La Vie, I still felt like I didn't remember anything about them.

When Sam said that the Spice channel showed a boob every 48 seconds, I thought of some of the boys I knew in seventh grade.

We don't often get depictions of burgeoning female sexuality so I liked that we got this storyline. Normally when we get plots about teen female sexuality, it's about a girl being pressured to have sex with her boyfriend so it was nice to see a story that was purely about her own pleasure. I was hoping that imagining her grandfather watching her all the time wouldn't make her feel guilty. I hated that when she confessed to Anna, she said that she was a gross pervert and that she shouldn't be masturbating. I was glad that Anna reassured that she did it too and that it was normal.

Poor Anna. Her parents suck.

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo

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S1.E4: Solo

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Trailview’s Night of Amazing Music is coming up. Anna hopes to win Alex’s heart with a classical aria while Maya is consumed with a lie.

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I was in choir, so seeing the hand movements while they warmed up brought back some memories.

The band teacher putting his picture on the front of the program totally cracked me up. Take it down a notch, dude.

Gawd, Anna's parents suck. I don't understand why it's so difficult to sit next to each other and not fight for the two minutes it takes to watch your daughter's choir sing ONE song. Like seriously, have you NO self control at all?

I laughed so hard when Maya went nuts on the drums. That was one hell of a solo!

I felt bad for Maya earlier. Her relationship with her dad is easier when he's on the road and she can idealize everything in her faxes. Dealing with him in person is harder because there's nothing to hide behind and she wants to impress him.

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S1.E5: Community Service

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There’s an exclusive fashion show at the local nursing home. Somehow Anna and Maya make it in, but feelings of inadequacy lead them down a shady path.

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Heather is a grade A bitch, but OMG, you cannot steal another girl's underwear and then try it on! And all the other girls were in the next room - they could have come back at any second! But Maya becoming entranced with her own ass was hilarious.

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S1.E6: Posh

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Maya gets a questionable nickname during a school project. Anna goes along with it, resulting in a test of their friendship and identities.

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I really love that this show is hitting on things that we don't often see. Asian-American identity is something that's rarely dealt with in mainstream American tv shows, let alone what it's like to be half Asian. When you are not white, there is often a moment or experience when you realize that no matter how American you may feel (because you like or dislike the same things as your peer group), people don't see you as fully American because you look different.

I also felt bad for Anna because her heart was in the right place. Once Shuji and Evan pointed out that she was complicit in the whole Spice Girls situation, she felt bad and wanted to do something. I'm not saying that what she did was the best option, but intent does count and she's only 13. She couldn't have known that her skit would result in boys yelling racist shit at Maya.

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OMG the early days of AIM! I remember the first time I was introduced to the internet and chat rooms. I was about the same age as Maya and Anna and my friends and I giggled as we typed to these random people.

As we've seen, Maya can be a bit reckless so it's good that she has Anna to rein her in.  When Maya wanted to send a picture to her new internet friend and then meet him in person, I was glad that Anna kept trying to talk her out of it. Thank goodness it ended up being Sam and not actually a 30 year old guy.

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18 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

Heather is a grade A bitch, but OMG, you cannot steal another girl's underwear and then try it on! And all the other girls were in the next room - they could have come back at any second! But Maya becoming entranced with her own ass was hilarious.

Yeah, I just thought that was just really cringey. I get that they wanted to feel like Heather, but eww.

Still, it was pretty funny. I'm a year ahead of these girls (I was in 8th grade in 2000-2001) and this show is so incredibly accurate with the music and clothing. Thongs were basically everywhere in 2000 and most of the girls I knew wore them. I'm a dude, and on that side the fashion is pretty accurate but I'm still waiting for a guy with bleached blond hair wearing a white tank top because they want to look like Eminem.

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OMG the early days of AIM! I remember the first time I was introduced to the internet and chat rooms. I was about the same age as Maya and Anna and my friends and I giggled as we typed to these random people.

I was howling at the conversations because that is how dumb they really were. I was pretty active in the M4M rooms and ugh, the filth. When I was 15 in 2001 my sister caught me talking on the chat room to a 20-year old and told me I was "done." LOL.

I thought the fantasy guy had way too much facial hair to be accurate for 2000, but whatever. I think more likely it would have been like a trimmed goatee rather than the scruff. It kind of stood out to me because they have been so incredibly accurate.

Edited by methodwriter85
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S1.E8: Wild Things

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It’s a viewing party to watch the newly released VHS movie, Wild Things. The night gets sexy and Anna and Maya try to keep up.

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Ha, Anna's face after Brendan kissed her is probably exactly what my face looked like the first time a boy shoved his tongue in my mouth. I blame boys watching too much porn for thinking that girls want their faces devoured while choking on an invasive tongue. Blech. Like Anna, I had a bad kissing situation and decided to break up with this boy because I knew I did not want to deal with that happening again.

Maya's awkwardly avoidant yet surprisingly direct conversation with Sam was painfully realistic, as was Anna's break up note.  Only a seventh grader would start a break up note by reminding their boyfriend who they are (first and last name) and how long they've been going out.

I didn't know whether to laugh or cry when Anna's parents tried to talk to her about Brendan breaking up with her. These two really aren't in any position to give relationship advice.

I remember how everyone went crazy for Wild Things. In retrospect it's a pretty terrible movie. But who can resist Denise Richards making out with Neve Campbell?

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S1.E9: Anna Ishii-Peters

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Anna gets to sleep over at Maya’s house on a school night and can’t wait to become part of the Ishii-Peter family. But things turn as Anna gets a little too comfortable.

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My mom told me to punch a pillow when I was upset but I didn't find that effective.

I felt bad that Maya let her jealousy ruin Anna's visit.

Once again, Anna's parents are THE WORST. They actually think that Anna didn't know they were constantly fighting? Talk about delusional. My parents were the same way. They somehow thought that we were deaf and didn't hear them yelling at each other.

The other super annoying thing that I recognized from my life was when Anna was on the phone with her mom who kept making comments to someone else. Pick a person to have a conversation with, preferably the person who you're on the phone with. But don't keep talking to someone else while you're on the phone! Heh, apparently I have a lot of feelings about this episode.

One aspect of the show I really like is how it shows that being 13 is in that weird gray area where one day you're trying to act like you're older (drinking beer, watching Wild Things, stealing your rival's thong) and the next day you're crying in your mom's lap. It's a strange time when you're becoming an adult but you are still a child.

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S1.E10: Dance

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It’s the night of their first school dance but Anna and Maya are on bad terms. They’ll have to navigate this unfamiliar terrain set to billboard hits by themselves.

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Awwww, I hated seeing Maya and Anna deal with their personal problems without each other. In real life, they might not have ended up forgiving each other so quickly (if at all), so I was glad when THE POWER OF DANCE brought them back together.

Anna is right - Brandt is an asshole. "Do you want me to finger you?" is just so classy and romantic.

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I just learned about this show over the weekend, and ended up binge-watching most of it in a day. The two leads are pretty amazing - I honestly forget that they're not actual 13-year olds because their speech patterns, body language, etc. are so spot on. I had seen Maya Erskine in supporting roles on "Insecure" and "Casual," but I have a whole new appreciation for her after seeing this show.

I generally don't enjoy crude humor and more explicit content, so there were a couple of plots that I had a hard time watching, but I thought there were a lot of hilarious moments that perfectly captured the awkwardness of junior high - and plenty of poignant ones. I skipped some episodes here and there, but I think my favorites were "AIM" (brought back memories with the chat rooms, etc.), and "Anna Ishii-Peters" (probably the most emotional episode - I liked that it explored a different dynamic between Maya and Anna). I also liked the show's take on casual racism and "othering" in "Posh" (e.g., Maya, as the one non-white kid, being forced to be Scary Spice). The show really doesn't shy away from the fact that junior high school kids - even the awkward, unpopular ones that we're inclined to root for - can be assholes sometimes. (Case in point: I found Maya insufferable at points, and Maya and Anna were pretty rude/unwelcoming to the other unpopular girl in the thong episode.)

Oh, and the final episode reminded me a bit of Romy and Michelle (in a good way).

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Currently binge watching. The episode "Posh" has me all messed up, as an Asian- American who was often the butt of jokes. Even until recently, I would tell self-deprecating jokes about myself and my race/culture in order to make my white friends or acquaintances feel more comfortable with my otherness.  The tears are flowing, ya'll. 

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I think the "I am Japanese" moment was inspired by the 2015 Brandeis University "microaggressions" exhibit that was supposed to enlighten people but instead offended students.

I'm also Asian-American and growing up those "otherness" moments of casual racism would kind of blindside me, so that felt pretty real. As an Asian, you're not really part of that whole dichotomy between white/black racial divides so you feel immune to it until suddenly you don't.

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Binged this over the weekend and really enjoyed it. I was around that age at that time, and though I didn't see myself in the main characters on a personality level, so much rang so true about the era and just generally being a 13 year old girl.

I really appreciated that the kids (other than the leads of course) looked like actual 13 year olds in all their awkward glory instead of being played by impossibly attractive 16 year old models. 

The attention to detail on the fashion and hair was also amazing (Brendan showing up at the dance in a Limp Bizkit shirt and dog collar was so real) although I agree there weren't enough frosted tips. The early 2000s was a uniquely awful time for mainstream fashion, music and pop culture in general. 

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19 hours ago, retrograde said:

The early 2000s was a uniquely awful time for mainstream fashion, music and pop culture in general. 

I did notice that the show didn't seem to go beyond about October 2000- if the show goes on for multiple seasons, I wonder if they'll try to keep things in 2000/early 2001 because everything changes during September 11th. On the other hand, I'd love to see them cover Avril Lavigne if we see these girls in 9th grade. LOL.

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I love this show. It's like Girls and Freaks and Geeks had a baby.

The way it encapsulates youth and friendship is perfect. The humor is spot on, the writing is marvelous, and the relatableness brings me back to being 13 again in middle school. 

I've never felt so close to my 13-year-old self. So weird, but so cool!

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I adore this show. I was a high school senior in 2000-2001, but close enough that this show is super relatable. I particularly like how well Anna and Maya have that super intimate, intense friendship that teen girls do. My favorite episode was probably the AIM one or maybe the masturbation one because I appreciate the recognition of the female sex drive - a rarity! I really hope there's more seasons. 

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Were they actually bff's from that time or did they just recreate high school friendships/situations? I love this sooo much and also makes me crazy. Anna's dad seems super cool and her mom seems to be the trouble.

Did Brendan break up with her because he sensed the bad kissing? Did he think she was the bad kisser? I've been slobbered on like that. oi

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On 3/24/2019 at 12:27 AM, nachomama said:

Were they actually bff's from that time or did they just recreate high school friendships/situations?

They're just recreating junior high situations- Maya grew up in Los Angeles, while Anna is originally from Boston.

Maya gave an interview on potential story lines...apparently the show is pulling a Babysitter's Club and keeping the girls in 7th grade for the entire duration of the show. Which is actually smart- the show would eventually have to cover 9/11 and that would just change the whole mood of innocence. (It actually wouldn't be a bad series finale for the show- the girls beginning 8th grade and dealing with the emotional fallout of 9/11.)

I do think if the show DID progress to high school, Heather would get taken down by Becca. Becca seems like the beta female who is plotting to take the Alpha's spot while pretending they're best friends.

Edited by methodwriter85

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12 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

I saw this new today and I was like YES!! After finding out Santa Clarita Diet was canceled(FU Netflix!) this makes me very happy.

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I think Netflix is coming Disney, as in they cancel all shows after 3 seasons. I know most of the Marvel shows were gone because of Disney but seriously I'm unhappy with netflix

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