12 November 2016

elisi: (Class)
Yes, I know the world is collapsing, but surely that's all the more reason to find a show to disappear into for a little while?

It's being said that Class is like Buffy, and that's very true (with caveats). Much like Torchwood was the Angel of the Whoniverse (with its own Billowy Coat King of Pain), there are also differences...

Similarities: Both set in 'high schools' (the students we follow are in Sixth Form, so 16 - 17 year olds), and Coal Hill Academy has its own version of a 'hellmouth'. The structure is in many ways similar, with a 'monster of the week' and that whole richness & depth of writing that we knew and loved.

Ways Class stands out: Buffy was named for its lead character, and revolved around her. Class is truly an ensemble show. The cast is white, Asian, black, gay, straight, and with lots of amazing female characters. (No trans characters, at least not so far.) And oh god, what characters they are. I have rarely seen a show start off with a group of characters so interesting and complex right off the bat. I challenge anyone to say that these 'kids' aren't as complicated or engaging as some tortured 30 year old. (Besides, there are adult characters too...)

If you have never watched, or never liked, Doctor Who don't worry. The Doctor pops in for a guest appearance in ep 1 to help set things up, but it's perfectly self-contained.

Mostly I hope it runs forever because I am RIDICULOUSLY invested in these characters. They are hopeful and vulnerable and conflicted and angry and sad and fall in love and hold grudges and this goes for ALL OF THEM. The women are allowed to be angry. The boys get to be vulnerable. Everyone is a person first and foremost, and plenty of stereotypes are confronted, even as the show isn't shy about looking at issues like toxic masculinity & privilege.

Also, most shows take time to build up, can have a wobbly first season, unsure how to pitch itself (*cough*Torchwood*cough*), but Class hit the ground running. For sheer confidence & excellent writing the best example might be Firefly. This show understands TV and storytelling and it goes places the parent show can't. Partly b/c Doctor Who is aimed at a younger audience, and partly because Doctor Who can't do the multi-character story-arc.

Really, I'm sort of failing to find the right words. I'll be writing proper episode write-ups, because this show is eating my head. It's just so good. It premiered on my birthday, and it's undoubtedly one of the best presents I've ever had. Like - if someone wanted to design the perfect show for me, this would probably be it. I can't really believe it's real. (I watched today's episode on tenterhooks - I understand every narrative trick and yet it completely pulled me in. SO GOOD.)

Sadly I don't know how to watch it outside the UK, but if you can - do. And here are the official opening credits:



ETA: I believe it's available on iTunes? If you can afford a season pass.

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