I vaguely remember loving Highschool Reunion the first time it aired, back in 2003; what isn’t fun about watching the former nerd finally get a shot with the head cheerleader he’s harboured feelings for for 20 years? Well, I have no idea what I was thinking in 2003 because it turns out that while that storyline may be a lot of fun on Gossip Girl, it’s not as much fun to watch unattractive and unimpressive 38 year olds from Arizona play it out.
But let’s assume I come to terms with the generally dismal content. I still find TV Land’s new season of the show (it premiered last night) troubling. The reason for this is simple: I like the wrong people.
In the fictional worlds I usually choose to inhabit, Joey Potter (the tall girl from the wrong side of the tracks), Rory Gilmore (the quiet bookworm) and Winifred Burkle (the quirky idealist) all get the guy in the end; Chuck Bartowski and Seth Cohen are ladies men, Xander Harris rarely gets his heart broken and Harrison John has the whole highschool fighting for him. I’m used to cheering for the underdog, the nerd, the person who, for all intensive purposes, is an outcast.
Here, in the world of Highschool Reunion, the “ugly duckling” who’s finally getting her big crush to notice her is actually a playboy bunny who looks like the product of a Mattel Halloween experiment gone wrong and seriously seemed like she may have invented her own tragic backstory to match that of her date. Meanwhile, the girl who confronts a former classmate with a cry-me-a-river “I developed early” story turns out to have made someone else’s life hell in high school. But you can’t feel bad for that tortured girl either, because a) all she’s done so far is complain and gossip about people and b) she sort of deserved it (you can’t just tag along with other people, get your own friends or amuse yourself you crazy wannabe!).
And now for the biggest twist of all… after 1 episode, not only are the “ugly duckling” and the “wannabe” my least favourites (along with the “cheerleader” who claims to have been teased about having boobs… by the way, as if!), my absolute favourite so far is the homecoming queen! You’re not supposed to like the homecoming queen! Isn’t she the main villain of like half of Freddy Prinze Jr.’s movies? But no, in Highschool Reunion-land people actually voted for someone because she was nice and had a pretty smile, not because she bribed them with snickerdoodles and handjobs. (Also, I’d like to point out that Kara, “the homecoming queen”, seems to be the only woman there who has aged exactly appropriately: no over-processed hair, no sun damage, no obvious plastic surgery, clothes that actually fit, etc…)
So apparently if I decide to waste my time again next week I’ll be cheering for “the homecoming queen” and her ex husband “the jock” to work it all out (something that the show seems to want to tease me with but is absolutely never going to happen) and that maybe something heavy will fall on “the ugly duckling”
…I’m a disgrace to outsiders everywhere! Excuse me while I go watch season 1 of Veronica Mars.