ABC Family doesn’t have the biggest lineup of original programming, but that just means you should check out some of its previous shows, too. Greek ended in 2011, but it’s still a show that I think about on a near-daily basis, and that I firmly believe everyone should watch (hey, it’s available on Netflix). Shows set in college rarely work (or when they do, like Undeclared, they are immediately canceled), but Greek was the exception to the rule.
It wasn’t just a show about the Greek life on a campus, despite the promos depicting red plastic cups and the disturbing amount of Plain White T’s songs that littered the episodes; it was a show about friendship, self-identity, and growing up. The key to Greek is that the characters were people instead of college stereotypes. They talked the way 19-year-olds talked, not the way aging TV writers believed 19-year-olds talked. They behaved like people behave in college — they drank, smoked, and had sex — but it wasn’t glorified in an MTV-like, “look at how controversial this is!” way. It was in the background of the bigger stories.
The show remarked on frustrating sibling relationships, class differences that divide friends, the inability (or decision not) to grow up because everything outside of college is too terrifying, and tons of other clever stuff you wouldn’t expect from a funny drama about fraternities. Embarrassing admission: Thanks to the finale, I can now say that an ABC Family show made me cry.