In the October 18th edition of The New Yorker, Nancy Franklin delves into the teen world of this season's new shows. When she arrives at the subject of Get Real, she refers to Meghan's speech in the first episode, asserting that this show won't be like My So-Called Life, and that there's nothing more annoying than a show featuring teens acting like they know it all. She remarks that the reference to So-Called was more of an homage than anything else, since the shows share an executive producer, but that the reference came off more "like Dan Quayle's comparing himself to John F. Kennedy." She goes on to mention that Get Real has "three of the most irritating characters ever to appear on TV."
I think Nancy has a good point. I also see why this happened. The characters on Get Real are all attempting to be other characters that we've seen and loved before. They hope we'll tap into our love of these past characters and just transfer this love like hand-me-downs to the new generation of hapless teens.
I've composed a chart to show who the Green kids are supposed to be, in what ways they are similar, and what went heinously wrong.
- Supposed to be
- Kevin Arnold of The Wonder Years
- Puberty-ridden voice that cracks at inappropriate times
- Shorter than normal stature
- The love of his life moved away quickly and unexpectedly
- His best friend is always there, but not in an obtrusive manner
- His older brother is abusive
- His older sister is distant
- He of all three children is the most in tune with his parents' problems and can see where the parents are going wrong even when they can't
- Prone to voice-overs that cue strummy, thoughtful music
- What went wrong
- Kevin Arnold has charm, good looks and a sense of humor
- Kevin genuinely cared for his best friend, Paul
- Kevin had Daniel Stern and Joe Cocker
- Sometimes Kevin even had The Beatles
- What Kenny has over Kevin
- An iBook
- Supposed to be
- Ferris Bueller of Ferris Bueller's Day Off