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"High School Reunion" Review

By Shawn McKenzie 01/07/2003

I am a little biased about this show because I am 28-years-old and I will (hopefully) be going to my 10 year high school reunion, so I was looking foreword to checking out the WB’s “High School Reunion.”  I was wondering if it would be the settling of old scores and reuniting of people with old crushes.  It was all of that and more.


The way this show works is that the Oak Park River Forest Class of 1992 in Chicago reunite at a huge Maui mansion and spend two weeks together.  Actually, it’s only 17 former classmates (the first 14 in the premiere episode), but it’s not known which 17 students until they all arrive on the island.  Like real life high school, his or her individual high school label identifies each person.  Ben, “The Nerd,” was a small little guy who never had a date in high school, but grew up into a very handsome man.  Dan B., “The Player,” was one of those popular love-em-and-leave-em types, and it doesn’t seem like he has changed much (though he is the only one who looks like he put on some weight.)  Nicole, “The Tall Girl,” was an athlete, but she was really shy and had a big crush on Dan B.  Natasha, “The Popular Girl,” was, well, popular, and anyone who wasn’t popular didn’t seem to exist, a mind frame that she still seems to have.  Tim, “The Artist,” was one of those weird rocker dudes who got into anything arty (theater, poetry, etc.), and not much has changed with him either, other than he has a shaved head now.  Summer, “The Flirt,” was a girl who flirted with many guys, but never really let one get her, and now she seems a little more mature.  Dave, “The Bully,” was the athlete who was a jerk to everybody, and the bad boy all the girls liked, and nothing has changed, other than his victims aren’t so small anymore.  Chris, “The Misfit,” hung out with jock friends and caused trouble, but now he is slightly more mature, with only a lingering hatred for his biggest enemy, Dave.  Jeff, “The Class Clown,” was that guy who made jokes a defense mechanism, and is still pretty much the same.  The others not fully explored in the first episode include Patricia (“The Gossip”), Holly (“The Shy Girl”), Jason (“The Pipsqueak,” who got very big and buff), Maurice (“The Loner”), and Amy (“The Chubby Cheerleader,” who isn’t chubby anymore.)  Next week, they introduce the last three former classmates Maya (“The Homecoming Queen”), Sarah (“The Bitchy Girl”), and Dan P. (“The Jock.”)


The action gets started before they've even had a chance to unpack.  Nicole and Ben discover “Hall Passes” on their pillows.  “Hall Passes,” which are distributed at random throughout the two-week reunion, gives the person who gets one the chance to ask anyone they choose out on a romantic date.  Ben wants to live out the fantasy of asking out a popular girl (something he could never do in high school) and asks out Natasha, who accepts his offer.  They have a great date.  Nicole of course uses her pass to ask out Dan B. (after stewing about for a while.)  They have a good date, but Nicole gets her hopes up too high, and Dan B. honestly tells her that he doesn’t know what will happen (if Nicole was in a more normal mind frame, she’d realize that was code for the fact that he is still a player.)  The rest of the class members get busy checking out who is rooming with whom.  Summer confronts Tim, her high school ex, about breaking her heart.  Chris digs up old gripes after Dave insults him.  Jeff strips down to a pair of tiny briefs and pretends they are a thong (and unashamedly shows off the gut he has developed.)


I loved this show, because it made me see the weird psychology of high school life.  It goes to prove that some people can change with maturity, but maybe that maturity takes a little while.  They don’t get a whole lot into what has happened to these people in the ten years since high school that has made them change (or not change), but I’m sure we will get into it more in future episodes.  I can’t wait to see more old scores settled.  I am mature enough myself that I really have no desire to settle old scores with the people who were jerks to me in high school, mainly because high school sucked so much that I have pretty much forgotten who was who in high school.  If I go back and the same jerks bring their old jerky ways with them, I have developed the self-esteem in the last ten years to laugh it off and make them feel like idiots for acting like jerks.


I have a couple of minor gripes about this show.  One of the joys (I imagine) of going back to a high school reunion is seeing how the people you hated in high school have let themselves go.  While Dan B. is a little huskier than he was in high school, he is still a handsome guy.  The previews for next week indicate that Sarah has gotten a little bigger, but from her profile on the show’s web page, she wasn’t one of the popular girls, so that isn’t as much guilty fun.  The other gripe I had was that everyone was single.  Some had been married before, and some had kids, but all of them were currently unmarried.  I know that if they had been married, they couldn’t take advantage of their “Hall Passes,” but they could still settle old scores, couldn’t they?


I don’t imagine my own reunion will be anything like “High School Reunion,” but it is fun watching the show.  I have talked to a few of my older friends and they all skipped their reunions.  They didn’t have the best time in high school, and didn’t want to relive it.  I wouldn’t want to relive high school, but I do want to see if my particular class has involved.  Unlike the show, it will probably only be one evening, not two weeks.  I just want to show them that they didn’t bring me down.  I’ll be interested in seeing how the students on this show turn out after the two weeks.  I hope that at least one of them realizes that, while high school sucks, life in general is great if you make it that way.


Ratings System:


Try to catch this show every week...

If a better show is on, tape this one...

If nothing else is on, maybe this will be good...

If this show is on, change the channel immediately!


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