Monday, May 30, 2011

TV TOPIC: I Love MTV's "My Life as Liz"

I don't think I've ever told you guys this, but...I LOVE MTV's "My Life as Liz"! I love it almost as much as I love the original "Skins"—for different reasons, of course. I love "Skins" because of its numerous love stories that seem to cover all the bases, the modern realism of how teenagers really act today, and the sharp dialogue. My love for "My Life as Liz" is mainly because of Liz. Yes, there is a love story, and yes some teenagers do act this way, but without Liz it wouldn't be as enjoyable or relatable.
The series is a faux documentary that follows teenager Liz Lee on her journey of self-discovery. In the first season, she explained that she wasn't always a red-headed, red-lipstick-rocking, skateboarding, comic-book-loving, geek-friending dork. Just a few months before she was popular, brunette, and imprisoned in a world without freedom of self-expression. She was a Cori Cooper clone. Cori represents every obnoxious, power-hungry, popular girl that inspired Mean Girls. She was the Regina to Liz's Cady.
But then one day Liz decided to break away from the cult, stop drinking the Kool-Aid and instead pour it into her hair (it would appear). She befriended Dungeons+Dragons lovers, became best friends with the sweet dork Sully (left), started dressing like a hipster, and declared her independence. It was incredibly brave. Because Liz Lee wasn't reinventing herself or revealing her true self in New York or Los Angeles. She was doing it in Texas! The state of blonde belles and beauty queens. Attempting any sort of individuality was the equivalent of blackface. And the once friendly Cori Cooper (below) became her nemesis, never missing the opportunity to claim Liz was a poser, loser, or a freak. This was bullying at—in my opinion—its worst: when your own friends turn on you.
But Liz didn't turn this experience into an after-school special. She took it on as an adventure. She may have looked different and liked different things, but she still crushed on popular guys and was still incredibly insecure—because at the end of the day, she was still a girl. So the challenge was to navigate high school while staying true to herself. Along the way, she learned that she was judging Cori's friends as much as Cori was judging her, and soon realized that she was missing out on a friendship with the tanorexic, platinum blonde, fashion-savvy, and surprisingly-supportive Taylor Terry (left). With her help, and a little of Sully's, she was able to work up the nerve to engage in conversation with her ultimate crush Bryson (below). I say "engage in conversation," because when you like someone that much and your insecurities are at an all-time high, just talking to them is a major achievement, right up there with your first baby steps.
And ever since that day, I've ridden on the roller coaster ride that is their relationship. Every dip and unexpected turn culminates in a moment where they stare awkwardly at each other, trying to gather the right words, whether it's "Goodbye" or "I love you." And their hesitance, thick silence, and frozen stares suck the air out of the scene, hurling you back to all the times you were plunged into awkwardness. You feel for her, you root for her, and—no matter what she looks like or is in to—you get her, because you are her.
After seeing that first season, I was worried MTV would replace it with yet another documentary about screwed up white people in Middle America, who are having babies, trying to commit suicide, or going to rehab—or as I like to call it youthxploitation. So I was overjoyed when it was renewed. In Season 2, we get to see how far her relationship with Bryson has progressed, meet Louis (above), a new guy she met in NYC, watch as she comes to the realization that art school isn't as easy as she thought it would be, commiserate as she struggles to find the right roommate, and witness Sully develop his first non-Liz-related crush and actually follow through.
I hope Season 3 is in the works. I find myself jonesing for another episode like I do every time Chuck and Blair breakup on "Gossip Girl." I need to know what happens after Bryson's accidental declaration of love (above). I'm dying to find out what happens when Louis gets back from tour. And I'm hoping she finally gets the hang of art school. Liz is my id and I have to know if we're going to make it in this topsy-turvy world.

Watch episodes on MTV!

1 comment:

  1. there IS going to be a season 3!!! :D