You can't tell it from Randofu
's writeup, or from most of the ads for the show, but Popular was not
a teen comedy
in the vein of 90210
, Dawson's Creek
, etc. It was a spoof of these shows, taking the same themes to the point of the ridiculous. Nichole, the "evil girl" isn't just bad, she is the spawn of satan
. Sam, the "unpopular girl" is beautiful, and has just as many friends as Brook, she is just arbitrarily labeled unpopular.
Every episode of the show was a surreal send-up of some cliched teen theme, usually with a innovative twist.
They had a beautiful homage to Dangerous Liasons episode for the prom which left us with the beautiful phrase "malkovitchian scheme", a play on machiavelli for the Dangerous Liasons theme.
The first season finale was advertised as incorporating "sweeps stunts," with an array of cliched trick to increase viewership, like killing off one of the characters, holding a wedding, etc.
They also had a deeply amusing mullet episode in which we see the pure evil of this hairstyle. "Did you use your evil mullet powers?" "(sheepishly)yes."
All in all, one of the most subversive spoof shows. Unfortunately, this didn't come across in the advertising, so most people who would "get it" didn't watch it thinking it was a 90210 clone, and those who watched for a 90210 clone were mostly left uninterested or confused. Truly a tragedy that it only went two seasons. If you can find some episodes, watch them with the right attitude and you will have fun.