Wednesday 16 July 2008


"Popular" was, apart from "Daria" and "Freaks and Geeks", my favourite High School Show. I got into "Buffy" in season 4, when the Scoobies already had graduated, so that doesn't count. Anyway: it's hard to get to the core of why "Popular" is such a great and underestimated show. For starters, it is completely over the top. If you've seen "But I'm a Cheerleader" by Jamie Babbit, who was one of the producers of the show, you kind of know what to expect. At the same time, while being campy, trashy, weird, like you've fallen through the rabbit hole, it has loveable characters that actually grow through the mere two seasons the show was given by the WB (it ended in a horrible cliffhanger). The clear distinction between good and bad, the cool girls and the popular girls, vanished, even super-bitch Nicole (played by Tammy Lynn Michaels) was given surprising character turns, and there's still wishful thinking websites out there pointing out the subtext (what was really going on between the two sisters).
"Popular" now, in retrospect, while watching it for the first time after actually getting out of school, feels more real to me than all the retro "let's portray what those rich kids do in California" shows. The fact that "Beverly Hills" is getting a new generation RIGHT now says a lot about how difficult being a teenager must be in the year 2008. I'm actually really happy that I'm over that, happy enough to be nostalgic.

Mary Cherry does Falco:

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