After almost four years, one of my favourite shows came to a end on Monday but of course, being in the UK, I had to wait until the following day to catch up on how life ends for a group of students at fictional Cyprus Rhodes University. However, before I go into the review of the last episode, Legacy, I want to cover briefly as I can, the journey of the last three years.
It all started for me back in May 2008. I saw a trailer on BBC One for a new series that was to screen on BBC Three on Sunday evenings at 9pm. I was sold by the trailer, the concept of freshman nerd Rusty wanting to “Rush”. At that stage, I did not even know what the concept of rush was, or even the other ideals of the GREEK system. The trailer was enough for me to to want to find out and more and I watched the first episode, “Pilot”. (Not when the BBC wanted me too, I was too impatient to wait for the screening on BBC Three, plus Sunday evenings tended to be a chilled out affair with Top Gear and perhaps MOTD2.) The first episode had me hooked, so many great characters and funny scenarios. Overall it was the realistic drama which I found perhaps the greatest appeal. This was not trying to be American Pie for College. The characters were real and you could relate to them, if not their situations directly. The script writing was perfect and would remain at a high standard throughout. My favourite character was Dale but I enjoyed the variety in the storylines, there was love, betrayal, brotherhood, companionship but also the reality of life at University. The GREEK system was a revelation but it was great to be able to look up certain rituals online to get a deeper understanding. Although I love teen comedies and am now very much out of that demographic, they have never really been able to explain the GREEK system. Suppose it is much harder when you have only a few hours or so, much easier in a television series which runs for over a year and beyond.
It was gripping stuff and I recommended the show to my friends, even to the point of sending a few of them DVDs. Sure the show is not for everyone, but for me it captures a special period in our lives that you wish could last forever. I cannot talk for everybody, but I felt it when I left home to go to University. It was a very strange feeling inside and it was unique for that freshers year. In subsequent years I would feel a similar but not quite the same feeling. Perhaps the air of familiarity made it less unique. American dramas can be over the top, crazy and completely a charicture of life itself. ABC Family got the balance perfect, comedy yes, but some seriously gritty plots intertiweened among a group of believable down to earth characters. That is not to say there were not moments of sheer craziness, but it was all possibl within the context of college. If anything, it had been wishing I had been born in the land of the free and home of the brave!
Rarely do series end with so much to be settled in the final episode. I had known that this would the final series, when the show was commissioned once again for what would be the last time. Slowly information came out onto the interweb that the final episode count would only be ten. In my opinion not enough to catch up on everything (as we had fast forwarded a whole academic year, so a handful of cast members were graduating.) As a fan, I would of course always complained that there were not enough episodes but everything must come to an end and just as our characters soon discover. Even college does not last forever, (as much as we would like it to) you have to become an adult in the real world eventually. No matter how long you put it off for. Symbolically I felt they would end on a high note, but the ending was not what I expected at all. For once the fraternity were not able to hold back the reality of the real world and in the end had to come together in the decisive moment, even if that alliance did result in painful defeat. It truly was the end of an era but it was done so well and perfectly that I could not ask for producers for much more. Even Dale with his final lingering kiss for Cassie, which had Cappie respond with a rather strange expression of puzzlement. It was perhaps one of the endeering relationships right there beween Greek advocate and USAG leader, although he was turned eventually.
Looking back at this post, I feel I have waffled, which I tend to do, when talking about a show very few people in the UK have actually been that keen to watch, if you consider the BBC3 / BBC2 viewing figures. Plus, it is easy to go on at length about a television show you love, when your audience perhaps have not got a clue. I therefore point you in the direction of Ann’s Take On Television blog, which not only has a fantastic review of the final episode (including excellent quotes and screengrabs) there is always a dedicated blog post with her favourite quotes from each of the main characters. Of course I have to link directly to the post honoured to the dearly beloved Dale Ian Kettlewell. In fact I got into the ritual of after watching each episode to go to Twitter and search for Dale plus Greek as a phrase. (I believe I even saved it as a twitter search). I would then go through and favourite some of the best dialogue from actor Clark Duke. Usually only a single line but it would have been on the floor with laughter. Boy I am going to miss him! What will I do on Tuesday evenings from now on?
So Many Adventures Couldn’t Happen Today
So Many Songs We Forgot To Play
So Many Dreams Are Swinging Out Of The Blue
We Let Them Come True
It must have been difficult to pick a song to end such a emotional journey of a series. The choice of Forever Young, by German new wave group Alphaville was perfect and poetic justice. Rather than use the original 1980s version which would have sounded so dated on television screens in 2011, they selected the cover by Australian rock band, Youth Group. I must say the music throughout the series has been fantastic and I am sure I have mentioned it on numerous occassions, even going to the official ABC website to pickup the name of artists and song titles.