05 October 2008
Despite being beautiful and charming, Megan is a type of protagonist one doesn’t see every day. Let me amend that, she is a protagonist one sees every day, just not on TV. Megan (played by Joanna Garcia) is awkward, but she’s not TV awkward. Megan is more like someone you might actually know. She is incredibly smart but often doesn’t sound it, she’s nosy and superior and idealistic. She makes references that people usually don’t get and oftentimes fails in her attempts at wit (a very un-tv-like trait). She’s defensive and cautious but also pretty brave, but not in a particularly heroic way. She’s always trying to save people. She’s not very trusting. She’s not conventionally social. She’s not fashionable or fashion challenged, just somewhere in between. She’s only had 1 boyfriend, ever, and that doesn’t make her a loser. She can read her best friend’s mind and calls her sister when she wants to talk, even though they don’t usually get along. She’s cool without being cool. She’s not the loner or the nerd or the jock or the princess or the freak or the drama queen- she’s just a person, and that is SO COOL.
She’s adorable. Lucy Hale brings so much to the character. Especially next to the horrid Ashley Newbrough’s Sage, Rose shines as a sweet reminder that not all spoiled kids are in fact spoiled rotten.
I love him. I even love the fact that he is secretly in love with Megan (a plot line I usually hate). Their chemistry is flawless and the way that the writers and Michael Cassidy have established the story makes it much more organic than other versions of a similar thing. First of all, like Joey and Dawson (a “I’m in love with my best friend but he doesn’t see me” story I didn’t mind) his feelings have been established really early on in the show and subtly enough that it is believable that Megan hasn’t noticed, or even that he’s only just caught on himself. Better than Joey and Dawson, however, Charlie has a real Eponine-esque vibe going on. He loves her, really loves her. Not just in a “can’t eat, can’t sleep because of the thought of her” kind of way but in a “this is my best friend and her happiness means the world to me” kind of way. Charlie is there for Megan no matter what. He listens and encourages her in her new relationship with Jacob, though he’s sacrificing his own happiness to do it. The only true TV comparison I can make is early Jim/Pam. When Pam wanted to be with Roy, Jim sat back and was her friend, knowing that the only way he could be happy with her was if he knew she were happy too. That is love. The real, unshakable kind and that’s a story I can get behind.
He’s excellent comic relief and exposition without slipping into stock character or caricature territory. He’s sassy without being cold, balancing sarcasm with support perfectly.
It’s been used before, but I am a sucker for the story of the guy striving to become the guy who’s worthy of the girl. When Marco told Will that he needs to become the guy at the end of the movie before he can be with Megan, I knew I would like Will’s journey. Right up there with Charlie’s Eponine-esque plight, Will’s story promises to make that inevitable love triangle the first since Dawson-Joey-Pacey that I’ve actually been torn over. After all, there are few things more lovely than the idea that, as Jack Nicholson said in As Good As it Gets, “[she] makes [him] want to be a better man]”.
6) It’s not afraid of being preachy.
Just like Megan said, self respect was big in the ’90s but is in need of a comeback. It used to be that a topic like sex deserved entire episodes of conversation (remember the buildup to Brenda’s first time on the original 90210? The new 90210 had oral sex on screen within the first 10 minutes). In a time (and on a network) that values a good sex scandal above a complex character arc, this week’s episode of Privileged crossed the preaching line and felt no need to look back. Megan’s warnings against Rose having sex might have been called judgemental and nosy by the characters but they were also true to the character. In this past week’s episode, Privileged found a way to actually deal with the topic of sex (not just feature it). While most shows these days shy away from featuring such wholesome points of view, Privileged chose to stay true to the character of Megan and her arc by having her be so protective of Rose and still sexually nervous herself. To a character like Megan, sex would be a big deal and, without fear of 7th Heaven comparisons, the showrunners behind Privileged allowed it to be.