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Reviewed by Will Harris
he first thought one has when watching the final episode of “Greek: Chapter Three” is, “Wow, it’s taken a ridiculously long time for the series to make it through a single year of college.” Fortunately, the second thought is, “When does ‘Chapter Four’ come out on DVD?” That’s a testament to how much fun the series has managed to be over the course of its first 32 episodes, but it does still leave you wondering just how old the actors are going to look by the time the characters that started as freshmen finally get around to graduating.
As per usual, there are certain storylines which dominate the “Greek” landscape during the course of the chapter: the sorority (Zeta Beta Zeta), the fraternities (Omega Chi Delta and Kappa Tau Gamma), and, inevitably, the romances. Casey’s dealing with the fact that Frannie and Evan have come out of the closet about their relationship, though she’s able to handle it a lot better when she finds herself dating Rusty’s new R.A., Max (Michael Rady). It would’ve been very easy to go all “Big Bang Theory” with the relationship and focus on the fact that Max is arguably smarter than Casey, but no, they stick with the tried and true “Greek” format: the class struggle of college. No, Max isn’t necessarily walking in the same social circles, which means that it’s not all that easy for him to turn in a good performance at a sorority mixer, but Casey is charmed by her new beau nonetheless. Cappy, however, is trying to figure out where things stand between him and Rebecca Logan, since they’ve broken up but still somehow keep finding themselves back in the sack.
Given the lengthy setup last time around, it’s no surprise that Casey’s presidency of Zeta Beta is a driving force within the goings-on, with considerable uncertainty surrounding her bid for re-election. In “See You Next Time, Sisters,” she takes a visit to the annual ZBZ conference with the other sisters, an event which features a nice guest role for Carol Potter, a.k.a. the actress who played Mrs. Walsh on “Beverly Hills, 90210.” The battle between Casey and Frannie gets pretty epic at various times during the course of events, and the end result of their head-to-head for the sorority presidency results in a conclusion which isn’t necessarily original but definitely doesn’t feel as clichéd as the other alternatives probably would have.
There are a few silly episodes here and there, like Ashleigh racking up a charge card bill and trying to earn the money to pay it off by learning to count cards for Omega Chi’s Casino Night. Any such complaints are forgiven during “Formally Yours,” where Rusty’s romanticism leads him to believe that the spring formal will make up for the fact that he never attended his high school prom. It’s an episode that never could’ve existed without the work of John Hughes, and viewing it in the wake of Hughes’ death will only bring the similarities closer to home. It’s also worth noting that several supporting characters get nice storylines this season, including Calvin’s boyfriend, Michael, but the best of the bunch comes in “Three’s A Crowd,” a Dale-centric episode where everyone’s favorite conservative college student learns that his choice for next year’s roommate is a hardcore pothead.
It feels more than a little bit like a gyp for ABC Family to be releasing these sets as they are, averaging less than a dozen episodes per “Chapter,” and it’s even more annoying when you know that they could’ve released it as a full season set and given viewers a chance to catch up completely before the series returns for new episodes. But when you consider that “Hell Week” – the final episode on the set, which spends much of its time detailing Rusty’s final voyage from pledge to full-fledged Kappa Tau brother – brings the first full school year to a close, you can see why they’d argue that there’s no better way to close out “Chapter Three.”
And, hey, that reminds me: when does “Chapter Four” come out on DVD?
Special Features: Given how enjoyable the commentaries for “Greek” tend to be, it’s a shame that we only get a few of them, but some is better than none. The blooper reel, of course, is funny, but the most enjoyable featurette – okay, the only one – is “20 Questions with the Cast of ‘Greek,’” where the actors are quizzed about random topics which include their own college experience, how they got into acting, and a number of queries about the show itself. Everyone’s very lighthearted throughout, and it confirms that these folks are as close off the set as they are on.