Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Greek 3.05: "Down on Your Luck"

“You’re a scientist, Cartwright. Variables are the only constants in the world.”

-Dr. Hastings

Monday’s episode of Greek was amusing enough, although I must admit I’m getting a bit tired of the series. I tore through the first season and a half on because the college nostalgia made me happy, but I’m starting to find the show a bit boring and repetitive overall. Perhaps it’s because, on the whole, I have a bit of trouble relating to the ZBZs. More on that later.

The plot that I found the most amusing out of the three kind-of-mediocre plots we got in this episode featured Cappie and Evan. Evan is looking for a new job, since he is still trust fund-less, and he lost that waiter job in the next town over where Calvin and Grant went for their date. Cappie happens to see Evan looking at help wanted flyers. After a some good-natured ribbing, Cappie suggests to Evan that he try being a cater waiter. I think what happens next is supposed to be an homage to “Party Down,” the sitcom on Starz about Hollywood cater waiters. Cappie and Evan wear the pink bow ties and everything. Evan is there, like I said, to try and make ends meet, but Cappie is there because he wants the phone number of a waitress he met while Evan was turning in his application. The waitress is having none of it, though. The very first time Cappie hits on her, she mentions she has kids, and it goes downhill from there. Evan feels like this sort of minimum wage work is a new form of prison. With or without his trust fund, he can’t just do whatever he wants, the poor baby (holding up sarcasm sign for those of you who, like Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory, are in need of one). Cappie is the one who ends up quitting the job, though. He doesn’t think he has a chance with the waitress, and any kind of traditional work isn’t really his style. As he leaves, the waitress reminds him that he could have just looked up her phone number on the staff list…if he was still an employee.

Rusty’s academic struggles are still as significant a part of the plot as ever in this episode, as he continues to work with his professor on his independent research. Dan Castellaneta has some funny material to work with here, as he is forced to endure Rusty prattling on about his relationship with Jordan every time they work on an experiment. Jordan took a little more of the spotlight than Rusty this week, in a kind of lame way. She sees Rusty is really happy and feeling fulfilled while doing his independent research, and she’s upset that she doesn’t feel the same way about school. She decides that studying abroad in Rome for a semester will cure everything. Rusty, naturally, isn’t thrilled that his girlfriend wants to go to another continent for three months. Jordan applied to the program at the last minute, so she wasn’t sure if she would be accepted. She receives an e-mail from the program with an attachment she can’t open. Rusty opens it on his computer and, without showing Jordan the screen, tells her she was rejected. The ridiculous contrived way in which the writers made it so Rusty had to be the one to open the e-mail (who sends an acceptance/rejection as an attachment?) leads me to believe that there’s nowhere this plot can go but “Rusty lied!”

The main, and most superficial in my book, plot of the episode was Casey and Ashleigh realizing that ZBZ is no longer considered the “best house” on campus. The pledges are restless because their mixers keep getting cancelled. I think we’re supposed to assume that the cancellations keep happening because 1.) ZBZ has had its share of scandals in the past two years and 2.) the pledges are kind of lame. To add insult to injury, the ZBZ pledges have been given November in the CRU Greek calendar, instead of their usual July. With a little prodding from the Panhel president (where she, of course, is sure to mention that her house is now “number one” and ZBZ is “fourth…ish”), Casey and Ashleigh realize that in their acute bout of senioritis, they really haven’t given the pledges the attention they deserve and need. And hey, isn’t that kind of what I was complaining about the other week when I was surprised that Casey would find being Pledge Educator so darn unfulfilling? Casey takes some initiative and figures out a way to make November sexy…sort of…but unfortunately it’s too late for the picture to actually make it into the calendar. The ZBZ pledges show up at Dobbler’s in their costumes, though, and we’re left to think that ZBZ may not be entirely unsalvageable. I guess I couldn’t identify with this plot because when I was in college, I was in the professional music sorority, which, although we were a sort of strange hybrid of a professional and social Greek organization, was at the bottom of the Greek social standing ladder, and we weren’t planning on going anywhere!

While I didn’t hate this episode of Greek, it didn’t wow me either. I liked that we got to see Cappie and Evan bond some more during their brief stint as cater waiters, however. It’s nice to see them try to reforge their friendship after it went so horribly wrong back in their freshman year. They have a fun friend chemistry. Although I liked a little bit of focus on Jordan’s academic issues as opposed to Rusty’s, the whole thing just felt forced. I didn’t understand why Jordan felt unfulfilled, and her unhappiness kind of came out of nowhere. I look forward to the coming episodes, since the drama should heat up as we head into the second half of this “chapter” of the show.

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