In praise of “Girl Code”

I don’t have a ton to say about MTV’s “Girl Code,” which ends its first season tonight with four (?!) back-to-back episodes starting at 9 pm EST. It’s not a show I even would have sought out had it not been on while I was flying back from Austin last month. What turned into a 30-second curiosity viewing turned into a full blown two-and-a-half hour session that took up a good chunk of my return to Boston.

A few reasons why it stands above the “talking heads” genre…

tumblr_mlzmkqs5ad1rettz9o1_500.jpg…it is generally low-key. Too many shows of this ilk (whether they be on MTV, VH1, E!, or other networks) rely on screechy shtick in order to sell its commentary. Whenever I have the misfortune to come across the most recent incarnation of “Best Week Ever,” my ears are assaulted by the “JUST LOVE ME” vibe put across by its personalities. “Girl Code,” by contrast, has a lot to say, but doesn’t feature a parade of women (along with some men) that feel the need to yell to make their points. This cast is confident enough in their own viewpoints to simply explain their perspective, and let the laughs and insights fall where they may.

…it is gender- and sex-positive. The show isn’t all hugs and rainbows, but features as much praise as snark for the various topics it covers each shows. The comedy doesn’t normally stem from taking other women down a peg, or making men out to be JUST THE WORST at all times. There’s a lot of frank discussion on the show, with the moral compass allowing for mistakes and experimentation as a healthy part of simply existing. Very few quarters are spared on this show, but few go unpraised. It’s a healthy change from the “all snark, all the time” attitudes of these shows, which try to pretend to be above the objects of their mockery. (If that were really true, there would be no need to comment upon them, now would they?)

…it is willing to offer up a spectrum of perspectives, not variations on a single one. This isn’t to say that “Girl Code” offers up something for everyone, since the show predominantly features women in their mid- to late 20’s who live in the NYC area. Not many Young Republicans to be seen here. Still, “Girl Code” offers up conflicting perspectives in nearly every segment, which is smart. Even the supposedly “definitive” rules established within the show’s code are guidelines rather than hard-fast rules. The show understands that it needs to have a tidy end to each segment, but never pretends like the subjects themselves are tidy.

In short, check out tonight’s two-hour block starting at 9 pm EST. If you wrote this off as the type of show that’s not for you, it’s worth giving a few episodes a try. It won’t change your world, but it will offer up a new perspective on at least one small part of it.

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