Summer of Suck & My Sketchy Valentine

After going through all 23 episodes of The City, I needed a new half-hour show to watch while eating my Cream of Wheat in the morning and/or winding down before bed. Enter My Life as Liz. It's a brand-new show, and lucky for me, full episodes are online at MTV.com.

So it's about this girl in Texas who, if she had been in high school while I was in high school, would have fancied herself "alternative." I'm not sure what they call it these days. ("Wannabe hipster" comes to mind?) She thinks everyone in her town is the same, but she's different somehow because she has red hair and bangs instead of blond hair and big boobs.

Seriously, I like the idea of a nonconformist doing her thing, but not if she's doing it just for the sake of not conforming. Take Clarissa Darling. Did she ever say "Everyone at my school sucks and I'm awesome because I dress funky and have a skater best friend who comes into my room through the window?" No, she didn't, because she didn't have to put anyone down to prove how cool she was and she didn't dress the way she did just to be cool.

In the first episode, Liz is bummed because she has to profile her blond cheerleader stereotype classmate, Taylor Terry, for a video production project instead of dressing up her three dorky male sidekicks as Jesus, Buddha, and Vishnu. She's thoroughly unimpressed by Taylor until they have a mini heart-to-heart and Taylor reveals that she only acts the way she does because that's what people expect of her. At this point in the show, I actually had hope that Liz might be able to see someone like Taylor as an individual rather than taking her at face value. Liz takes Taylor thrifting, and it seems as if they might even become friends. But not so fast! On the first day of school (which confuses me, because why was she working on a video project before school started?), Liz tries to wave to Taylor, and Taylor totally ignores her, thus reinforcing all of Liz's original beliefs about the general suckitude that surrounds her.

It's suddenly Valentine's Day for episode two, and Liz is disgusted by the student council carnation sale. Until she's presented with, like, 10 carnations herself. They're from a "secret admirer" who instructs her to go to the school dance to find out his identity. After hanging the carnations from her ceiling fan with little tiny nooses, she decides to go to Cupid's Bash. Surprise, surprise, it's a total bust. Liz leaves feeling like a total loser but stops for a milkshake and fries on her way home. Whilst hanging out on the hood of her car consuming the aforementioned milkshake and fries, she's approached by Bryson, this supposedly dreamy dude from her English class. They hang out under the stars for a bit, but there's no making out or anything. The next day in school, Taylor reveals that it was queen bitch Cori (one of Liz's former friends) who sent the carnations as a prank. Liz is about to go ape on Cori when she runs into Bryson. And that's pretty much how it ends.

My Life as Liz is shot to look like a reality show, but I'm pretty sure it's totally scripted. Apparently the Valentine's Day episode was actually filmed in May. Whatever, though—obviously I'm tuning in next week.