Netflix Instant Pick: Greek
It’s been a while since we’ve recommended anything new on Netflix Instant, but it hasn’t been a lack of options—just time. But now that I’ve completed all six seasons of Greek, I can safely say it’s worth a watch, and you’ll most likely think so from the very first episode.
It’s basically a show about Greek life at the imaginary Cyprus-Rhodes University, where freshman Rusty Cartwright (Jacob Zachar) joins his older sister, Casey (Spencer Grammer, yes Frasier’s daughter) on campus and in the Greek system. It isn’t a hard decision for Rusty to pick between the fun/accepting/just-likes-to-party Kappa Tau Gamma and the stuffy, exclusive rival Omega Chi Delta. However, it is difficult for Casey to choose between her partying, immature, somewhat lost ex-boyfriend/Kappa Tau president, Cappie (Scott Michael Foster), and the ambitious, clean cut and aspiring Omega Chi president, Evan Chambers (Jake McDorman). Since she aspires to be Zeta Beta Zeta president herself, one misstep—even who she dates—can cause her to lose that title.
Aside from the obvious drama and the accurate, but out-of-control, party scenes and pranks (mostly supplied by Kappa Tau), this show is about showing the Greek system for what it really is without painting the cliché picture of fraternities and sororities being evil places filled with soulless brothers and sisters. There are certainly a few bad apples, but mostly it’s just clubs of fun, normal people who like theme parties (some of the best ones include Prohibition, The End of the World and the Fairytale Ball) and have to deal with a larger amount of Greek politics than is reasonably fun. Though I’ve never rushed, it seems fairly realistic.
That isn’t to say that there’s not a mostly good/fun frat (Kappa Tau) vs. a mostly stuck-up/boring frat (Omega Chi) as well as calculating sisters (Frannie Morgan [Tiffany Dupont] and Rebecca Logan [Dilshad Vadsaria]) vs. more genuine ones (Casey and Ashleigh Howard [Amber Stevens West]), but the best thing about this show is that even the demonic-like characters aren’t demonized. Everyone has both good and bad, all the characters are well-rounded and sometimes the selfish tend to come through when you least expect it. Tolerance as well as true friendship and forgiveness overcoming obstacles and mistakes are often themes.
I will say, however, that Kappa Tau seems way more fun than anyone else and that both frats portrayed seem to be more fun than any sorority portrayed, even the winning Zeta Beta. So that part of the show is somewhat unbalanced. But I think the makers just know their audience. Guys and girls alike are more likely entertained by unwashed frat boys drinking next to racing turtles with flames painted on them or completing in last-man-standing nerf gun competitions, than watching sorority girls bitch-out or more serious frat boys brand each other. So they keep the latter to a minimum.
This show also rocks at building interesting characters. You’ll fall in love with Beaver (Aaron Hill), since the actor portraying the good-hearted, seemingly slow, but smarter-than-anyone-realizes Kappa Tau frat guy does such an amazing job, especially in the episode solely devoted to his point of view. You’ll even love Rusty’s intolerant, bible-pushing roommate, Dale Kettlewell (Clark Duke), though you won’t think so at first. But he makes quite a journey before show’s end.
And I’m glad to report that the ending is just as satisfying as watching the young Rusty Cartwright slug Evan Chambers with a pledge paddle to defend his sister’s honor that very first episode. (You’ll never believe Cappie’s real name!)