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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

It’s all Greek to ABC Family

ABC Family hit returns for a second season

Published: March 28, 2008
Section: Arts, Etc.

diverse-city-3-28-08_final_page_2_image_0001.jpgWhile Brandeis may not recognize Greek life, students still received a peek into the inner workings of fraternities and sororities via the second season premiere of ABC Family’s Greek Monday night.

The second season picks up at the start of the spring semester at the fictional Cyprus-Rhodes University and there is no learning curve here: the show delves right back into the drama of the first season.

The series premiered in July chronicling Greek life at the fictional Cyprus-Rhodes University through the eyes of endearing, but socially awkward Honors engineering student Rusty Cartwright (Jacob Zachar). For all his social misgivings, Rusty just so happens to be the little, and until he showed on campus, unmentioned, brother of Casey Cartwright (Spencer Grammer), the golden girl of Zeta Beta Zeta (ZBZ).

Though only a run of ten episodes, the first season managed to incorporate a love triangle, fraternity and sorority power plays and a hidden homosexual relationship between brothers from competing frats. The season culminated in the publication of a revealing article on Greek life in the student newspaper, prompting the removal of ZBZ’s incumbent president and the subsequent naming of Casey as interim president. However, in dealing with sorority politics, Casey failed to notice the developing fling between her first love and president of renegade frat Kappa Tau, Cappie (Scott M. Foster) and her arch nemesis and fellow ZBZ sister Rebecca Logan (Dilshad Vadsaria) or see that her relationship with Omega Chi president Evan Chambers (Jake McDorman) was on the verge of collapse.

The season two premiere offers a lot of closure, while raising new questions as well.

At the first season’s final episode, Omega Chi pledge Calvin (Paul James) was accidentally “outed” as gay in front of his brothers and met with uncomfortable silence, prompting him to leave his pledge pin by the door. In Monday night’s episode, Calvin’s future at Omega Chi is still undetermined, but it did confirm Evan as a good guy as seen in his efforts to persuade Calvin to give the fraternity a second chance. However the rest of Omega Chi seems uncertain about making a homosexual a brother.

The atmosphere is completely different at Kappa Tau, where Calvin’s boyfriend, Heath (Zack Lively), comes out to his brothers in an anti-climatic revelation that only serves to show which fraternity the writers are rooting for.

As for Rusty, who broke up with his first girlfriend last semester for writing the controversial newspaper article, he spends the greater part of the episode debating whether or not he should see her, only to have his heart broken all over again when he discovers that she is already dating someone else.

This episode also was the first time that Casey was portrayed as anything less than perfect. As the newly minted president of ZBZ, Casey is struggling to cleanse her sorority’s reputation in light of the article, while under the all-too watchful and by-the-book eye of a representative from nationals.

Casey is also trying to redeem herself in Evan’s eyes as well following their breakup last semester due to his suspicions that Casey was using him for his family’s reputation and is still in love with Cappie. However, Evan did not seem to be receptive to Casey’s effort, stripping her of her Omega Chi sweetheart title and declaring that his fraternity no longer wanted to be associated with ZBZ.

However, Monday’s episode seemed to prove the chemistry between Cappie and Casey irrelevant, as Cappie and Rebecca decided to extend the expiration date on what was supposed to be their vacation-only fling.

While the season two premiere seemed to indicate that this season would be more of the same (love triangles and Greek life politics), being one of the first shows to debut new episodes since the writers’ strike, Greek is an injection of freshness in what has been a lack-luster TV season.