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I remember early in the year 2000 listening to a local AM Talk Radio
Station in Los Angeles (I believe it was Phil Hendrie). The topic of
the hour was "What's your favorite TV Show currently on the air?" For
the next hour I heard a lot of references to two shows: "Malcolm in the
Middle" and this other show, "Popular." I couldn't believe what I was
hearing. I had already seen "Malcolm" and knew it was hilarious. But
what about "Popular?"
The commercials made it look like a typical weekly teeny-bop High School show, a la "Saved By The Bell," but in Prime-Time (lest we forget Zach did go to college in the evenings though). The amount of praise I heard for "Popular" made me check it out.
The advertisements were wrong.
What I found in this show was a sleek, hilarious, dramatic, clever, filled to the brim with 80's references show not about kids in High School today (circa 1999-2000), but if kids from my generation were to go to High School today (yes, I went to High School in the 80's).
I think the failure of "Popular" was the advertising I referred to earlier for the show...it was going after kids in high school for ratings. But the show was made for (I feel) an entirely different generation. If only the ones it was made for had watched....it would probably still be on.
This is one of the few programs I have ever seen that managed to balance outright slapstick comedy with serious drama...and it did it so well in my opinion that I seriously mourned the loss of the show when it was canceled.
My favorite Season Two moments -
1) Mary Cherry's (Leslie Grossman) audition for judges, including Jim J. Bullock (way before "American Idol" became a household name). "Rock Me Amadeus, by FALCO!"
2) Nicole Julian's (Tammy Lynn Michaels) "rise" to Class President (one of the most clever and complex episodes ever written for television -- flat-out incredible comedy).
3) Every scene with Michelle Phillips ("Abra-abra-cadabra!!!!").
4) The "Gay" episode about Bobbi Glass (Diane Delano) - it gave me chills and again proved how the writers were almost magically able to juggle comedy and drama every week.
The casting of the show was simply brilliant. Everyone did an incredible job and I am pleased to see several of the cast riding other roads to fame as of 2008 (Christopher Gorham on "Jake 2.0" and then the successful "Ugly Betty").
The only thing I can pray for at this point are either reruns (Lifetime or Oxygen I'm guessing...but maybe Comedy Central?) or, *gasp* -- A DVD Release. Then a lot more people can have a chance to see a show that I firmly believe should have been "Popular."
*EDIT* Both Seasons are on DVD now. There really IS a God!
My personal thanks to the callers of that Los Angeles AM Talk Radio Program who touted the praises of this show. You got it right, and I'm glad I saw of it what I did.
In opposition to the previous reviewer (what the hell were you watching - a
rerun of Dawsons' or a home video??)
Anyways, Popular is without a doubt one of THE best teen tv shows to hit screen in the US/UK.
The show has just the right mix of comedy and drama which is reminiscent of Heathers. Even the music used with the show sounds like the same music that was used in Heathers.
Yes, the show spoofs 'teen issues' but, also adds its own unique take on them.
I think you just have to be able to know when to take it seriously and when to laugh - take note previous reviewer! You need a BRAIN.
Anyway - just wish they'd get on with it and put it on DVD. It's the least they could do since they unceremoniously ended the series without a proper resolution (b*****ds!)
This is one of the few TV shows I can think of that was always consistent during its time on-air. There was a great ensemble cast who never failed to entertain week after week and could perform both comedy and drama to a high standard. The writers managed to bring out every emotion. A great example is the episode 'Ch-Ch-Changes' (#118) about a male teacher going about a sex change. The first half of the show was extremely funny, but then it seamlessly changed in tone to be about discrimination and had an ending that couldn't help but leave a tear in your eye. Despite some great dramatic storylines the show never took itself too seriously, and characters like Nicole and Mary Cherry were always around to provide some light relief. The show has been sorely missed since its cancellation.
'Popular' is one of the best shows on T.V. While "Friends" is one of my
favorite shows, "Popular" is the ultimate comedy. "ER" is the top-rated
drama, "Popular" can create drama you actually care about.
This show has overcome many obstacles, bad ratings, some bad plot lines
(Harrisons leukemia will always be the low-point in this shows
and some rather unfriendly reviews. This show sports some of the hottest
young talent today, Leslie Grossman is the best comedic actress on
prime-time, nothing can top Mary Cherry, Sara Rue gives her character
and is the most realistic looking teen on T.V., I love Carmen, and Tammy
Lynn Michaels plays Nicole (or as Mrs. Glass calls her "Satan's Child")
such priss and wit she is right up there with Megan Mullaly on "Will and
Grace". The other actors are top-notch, too. Sometimes the drama dialogue
sounds lifted from "Dawson's Creek", but it is usually something you can
relate to and care about. Situations are exaggerated for comedic relief,
and it almost always works.
"Popular" is underappreciated greatness, just waiting for the attention it
deserves. Watch now, I can not stress that enough.
I didn't see POPULAR until January of 2000, but once I did I became addicted to it. I began to buy the books and tape every episode. I found the writing and acting to be better than any other show on television at the time. Sure, the ratings weren't great, yet none of the WB Network shows get too good of ratings. It would be nice if the WB Network would give this show another chance because I've found a real fan base for the show.
Popular is a really great teen sitcom about the popular and unpopular kids at Kennedy High. A mix and match of a cast here too with Leslie Bibb playing the most popular girl and the likes of Carly Pope and Tamara Mello playing the unpopular girls. I'm not to keen on that Ms. Glass though. The show always keeps you interested all the time. So, catch it if you can. It's really good.
I love this show. I didn't get to see the second season of this and
hope it is as good as the first season. I bought the first season the
day that it was released. And still could not believe that it was
released. This show is so funny in so many ways. Every character is
funny in some way but "Mary Cherry" is the funniest yet she is so mean
but so funny about. Since they took this show off the air which is so
not cool. They should of done a spin-off with Mary Cherry and her
mother "Cherry Cherry". I watched the 3 episodes with the commentary
and creator Ryan Murphy said that they were thinking of doing it but
guess never ended up doing it. My favorite episode of season 1 is
"Caged" its is so awesome and hilarious.
Anyway they should do a reunion or come back and do season 3 if DVD sales are good. Thats what they did with "Family Guy". They cancelled it and brought it back because of the DVD sales. Anyway Popular is a show all on its own like no other teen school show ever and is brilliant. BRING IT BACK!
Popular is best described as a dramedy, for its 43 episodes it both had its bittersweet moments ones that made you cry to it's repulsive laugh out loud black comedy moments which made us die with laughter. Popular dealt with the issue we all face in high school the divide between the popular people and the unpopular people and for once it shows us that those people arent losers as they were in other stereotypical teen dramas. The cast were first class, the leads were good choices as they did seem like representable teenage girls. Plus the fact that Sara rue (perharps one of the best actresses on the show) represented fat people like me without any difficulty because shewas so honest with the role. I've read on here that people think this season made fun at delicate issues. That is not true it did indeed show that they were done in a new light. not with the same softpading done with other shows. Honest Brutal and touching. Popular dealt with issues truthfully the way we have to in the world and in the world it shows us not everything is peachy. Plus we finally got funny moments admist the sadness which took away the depressing parts of the show. So for all the cast the top acting skills which i plan to continue enjoying i enjoyed after last moments of brooke and co and sam and co as it was good to see something other than stereotypical rubbish when popular broke the boundraries of our modern society
I thought that this show would be somewhat stereotyped when I first tuned in. The only person who is really stereotyped is Nicole, but I don't really like her anyway. I do think that casting Sara Rue as Carmen was a great choice. More casting directors should take a tip and cast more curvy girls! Leslie Bibb and Carly Pope are great as Brooke and Sam, and I really like the character of Lily, played by Tamara Mello, she is so underrated and deserves more attention. Leslie Grossman and Ron Lester are hilarious as Mary Cherry and Sugar Daddy. And before we go into a debate over whether Josh is cuter than Harrison, let me answer HARRISON hands down! So just watch this show, and enjoy it as much as I do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I think this is one of the best shows on television today. Its fresh and smart, with great writing and terrific actors. The writers delve into deep topics concerning eating disorders, child abuse, cancer, and drug use. I'm amazed watching every week, that the writers manage to cram so much into just one hour of programing. They use comedy and drama, to make the show truly worth-while. And is what I'd truly call Must See Tv compared to NBC's lackluster Thursday lineup. However, this year its been moved to Fridays at 9 PM on the WB. If you must go out, make sure to set your VCRs for the best hour of programing on television today.
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