Tuesday, July 19, 2011

"Camp Victory, How Wonderful You Are"

You can consider this "Only the Good Die Young" Part II.

I didn't think I'd like Huge. It's about kids at fat camp, after all, and aired on ABC Family, which is not known for its realistic and nuanced depictions of teen life. But a glowing review by Lauren finally persuaded me to watch the show, a year after it originally aired.

People, this show is so good, it will just break your heart that it was killed after only ten episodes. It isn't perfect, but it's better than 99.9% of the teen dramas that have been brought back for multiple seasons. Although discussions of weight tend to quickly devolve into harsh and judgmental territory, this show actually manages to portray fat people without moralizing. Being fat may have brought these kids together, but their fat does not define them. There was a strange episode about an "authentic Native American spirit quest", where I couldn't tell if cultural appropriation was being satirized or just occurring thoughtlessly. It was a puzzling inclusion for a show that seemed to be trying its best to be sensitive about a wide range of topics.

For me, I know a show is good when my favorite character is ever-shifting. I was going, "Oh, Wil is totally my favorite...no, Becca...no, Trent...no, Alastair...". It means the characters are multi-dimensional and have emotional depth. Characters of all genders (and I can actually say that and have it make sense here, because Alastair may be genderqueer in some way) have inner lives that go beyond checking out hot people or trying to get laid.

And yes, there is an asexual, aromantic minor character, a camp counselor named Poppy. She's not a sociopath or a misanthrope! There is, however, one word that does describe her:

She's incredibly dorky, perhaps verging on derpy. But she means well, is very warm and friendly, and obviously cares a lot about her campers. And she plays ukulele!


1 comment:

Kathy Garolsky said...

I really love this post.Very interesting and informative.thanks