My Life as Liz

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My Life as Liz
LizLee.jpg
Season one promotional photo
Genre Mockumentary
Comedy[1]
Created by
  • Jessica Antonini
  • Lindsey Bannister
  • Clayton Cogswell
  • Betty Park
  • Joseph Van Harken, Jr.
Starring
  • Liz Lee
  • Taylor Terry
  • Collin Sullivan
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 21 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
  • Lindsey Bannister
  • Marshall Eisen
  • Dave Sirulnick
  • Joseph Van Harken, Jr.
  • Betty Park
Producer(s)
  • Jessica Antonini
  • Clayton Cogswell
  • Howie Miller
  • Jesse Paddock
  • Heather Walsh
  • Justin Zimmerman
  • Kevin Felix
  • Micah Weisberg
  • Rob Masterson
Editor(s)
  • Brian Murphy
  • Betty Park
  • Jon Philpot
  • David S. Tung
Camera setup Single-camera
Running time 20-22 minutes
Production company(s) MTV
Distributor MTV Productions
Broadcast
Original channel MTV
Original run January 18, 2010 (2010-01-18) – May 3, 2011 (2011-05-03)
External links
Website

My Life as Liz is a mockumentary-style American comedy television series that centers on the life of Liz Lee, a misfit high-school senior living in small town Texas. The series debuted on MTV on January 18, 2010.

The first season finale aired on March 8, 2010.[2] Filming for the second season began early 2010 in New York City,[3][4] mostly at Pratt Institute,[5] the college which series star Liz Lee attends. Season two premiered February 8, 2011, and consisted of 12 episodes. The series was not renewed for a third season, and the series finale aired on May 3, 2011.

Genre[edit]

My Life as Liz uses the camera-work and editing typical of reality television. The show hints at Liz living in a small country-like town where her individuality is constantly threatened. The Texas city Liz lives in is a rapidly growing city of over 35,000 residents. The show targets isolated scenes repeatedly to hide this truth and leaves something to be desired in the lack of diversity. The Los Angeles Times asserts that the show "is quasi-reality -- real people, in their real environment, leading lives that are being in some way dramatized" and that the show "flirts with documentary but intersperses scenes of high-school hallway conversations".[6] An MTV executive has stated, "We don't look at it as just a reality show. We weren't going to call it a sitcom, because it's not."[6] Executive Producer Marshall Eisen stated, "The rule was, when Liz is around other people, we played that as straight as we could. When she's alone, that's when we were able to stylize things more."[6] Liz herself has confirmed that there are multiple scenes that are 'planned', citing the scene in 'Liz's Got Talent (Part 1)' where Liz dresses as a superhero and in 'Summer of Suck' where Taylor Terry is shown in front of a black screen, but the events and relationships are true.[7] The series frequently uses music from Faded Paper Figures, both for its end credits and during various episodes.

Series overview[edit]

Season one focused on the life of Liz Lee. She lives in Burleson, Texas a conservative, religious suburb in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, she is extremely proud to be a geek and she is happy to have her friends.[8] The show also focuses on its main antagonist, Cori Cooper, her minions, Taylor Terry and Tori Langley, and all of Liz's friends such as Bryson Gilreath, (who is also her love interest) Colin "Sully" Sullivan, Miles Reed and Troy Yingst. Season one shows Liz's journey through her senior year in High School, and her struggles with her enemy, Cori Cooper.[9] Season Two is set in New York with Liz adjusting to old and new friends.

Cast[edit]

Elizabeth "Liz" Lee The show's main character, is a girl from Burleson, Texas. She is a self-proclaimed individualist and geek. She feels that in her town people are either stuck up or narrow minded. She admits she used to be a typical "preppy girl" until Cori Cooper betrayed her in high school. She enjoys reading comic books and is obsessed with Star Wars. Season 1 covers how she dealt with high-school drama, sometimes with Cori involved. In "My Secret Valentine", she begins to develop a crush on her friend, Bryson, even though he had a girlfriend at the time. Their friendship gradually gets stronger as he gives Liz support during her high school talent show, even playing guitar alongside Liz to make her less nervous when performing. Despite their friendship, Bryson rejects her offer to go to the prom and makes Liz want to forget. But in the Season 1 finale, Bryson finally confesses his feelings to Liz. After high school, she moves to New York to attend Pratt Institute. However, she meets very few people and has troubling juggling her long-distance relationship with Bryson. It was in New York when she met Louis, a possible boyfriend when Bryson was dishonest with her in "The Morning After".[10]

Colin "Sully" Sullivan Liz's sidekick and best friend. He takes pride in his comic book collection and is always there for Liz. He is a huge supporter for her, especially when she auditions for her school talent show by making T-shirts in support for Liz. It's revealed in "The ABC's of Friendship" that he secretly likes Liz but will not take the chance of asking her out; he fears it might jeopardize their great friendship. During high school prom, Liz invites Sully to come with him after being rejected by her love-interest, Bryson. In "A Prom to Remember part 2", Sully shows that he wants to get Liz and Bryson together by distracting Bryson's date in order for them to have alone time. In season 2, Sully remains loyal to Liz and her relationship with Bryson. He gets extremely protective of Liz when he meets Louis for the first time in "the new morning ". During his visit in New York, he meets a girl named Marlene who shares his love of comics and inevitably develops a crush on her. In the Season 2 finale, Sully returns to New York finally admits his love for Liz in order for him to move on towards Marlene. However, Sully fails when Marlene "pulls the friend card."

Bryson Gilreath Liz's crush during season one, however, Bryson had a girlfriend. They almost kiss at the end of season one, but their friends awkwardly cheer before the kiss. In season two, Bryson surprises Liz in New York and they finally kiss, however, Liz finds out that Bryson supposedly has a girlfriend back home in Austin. He is supposed to love her but it seems like he does since he leaves school for the weekend and spends it with her. Afterward, Bryson desperately tries to contact her, but Liz continues to ignore him. Once he finds out that she is dating Louis, he gets jealous and due to Sully exposing his feelings about Liz, he admits to Liz that he does in fact love her in the season 2 finale.

Taylor Terri A past sidekick for Cori Cooper, known as the "Queen of Mean". At first Liz didn't trust her because of Taylor befriending Liz in the summer but ignoring her while in school. But throughout Liz's senior year in Burleson High, she and Taylor slowly become good friends when she stands up for Liz against Cori Cooper at her ABC party. While helping Liz to be with Bryson, Taylor also befriends Sully and the rest of the gang, and is seen during season two frequently hanging out with the group while Liz is in New York. In Season 2, it was revealed that Taylor has decided to go to college in New York as well.

Louis Johnson (Season 2 - present) An aspiring musician in a two-man band who met Liz in the season 2 premiere while she was dumpster diving for art project materials. At first, she considered meeting him as a sign of moving from Bryson until he visits her in New York. After learning of Bryson's girlfriend in Texas, Louis is the one who cheers her up. He continues to flirt with Liz while she searches for an apartment and even lets her move in with him temporarily. When Louis finally gets the chance to go out with her, he ends up meeting Sully and the gang, who were skeptical of him at first and make it their priority to make sure he won't hurt Liz. Liz actually offers to sing with Louis at an 1980s gig, where they share their first kiss after their performance. In the Season 2 finale, Liz and Louis decide to put their relationship on hold while he goes on tour with his band Augustine.

Cori Cooper (Season 1) Known as the "queen of mean", Cori is very self-absorbed and hates "anyone who has an original thought". She is the most popular girl in school, because she's the prettiest. She is also a member of the "blonde squad" which consists of her, Taylor, and Tori. She will do whatever it takes to get what she wants, and no one can stand in her way. She always looks for ways to get back at Liz, her nemesis. Cori does suffer a few personal defeats in the series, such as when she verbally attacked Liz at a party being given by Taylor, who stood up for her against Cori's insults. Cori then demanded that she choose between her and Liz. Taylor, finally having had enough of Cori's hateful behavior, chose Liz. Later in the season during the "A Prom to Remember (Part 2)" episode, Liz had a mini meltdown right before the school announced the prom queen which was awarded to someone else. Cori then had a meltdown and went to the bathroom with her other friend, crying about how she feels and how she thinks everyone in the school hates her and now realizes that her shallow, stuck up, and vindictive ways have finally led to her downfall. It was revealed in season 2 that she had a baby.[9]

Episodes[edit]

Season Episodes First Airdate Last Airdate
Season 1 9 January 18, 2010 March 8, 2010
Season 2 12 February 8, 2011 May 3, 2011

Critical response[edit]

Todd VanDerWerff of The AV Club gave the first episode of season one a C rating. He compares the show to the style of the Coen Brothers films and of mockumentary of Christopher Guest but criticizes it for having learned all the wrong lessons. He credits the show with having some goofy charm but is disappointed by the same old stereotypes. He questions if the show is a sitcom blended with a reality show or the other way around. He criticizes the heavily scripted nature of the show but notes the show could be fixed if it was more honest and decisive about what it really wants to be.[11]

Mike Hale of The New York Times gave a somewhat similar opinion, saying "It registers more as a sitcom than a reality show — it's so stylized and carefully planned and post-produced, it's the next best thing to scripted, if it isn’t in fact a wholly scripted put-on", but remarks, "And that's the point." He thinks of the premise as "It's as if the geeky misfit viewer who hates all those blonde women on The Hills were suddenly part of the show." Although he says the main protagonist "Doesn’t make her life or her opinions seem interesting enough to draw you in" he finds some of the other characters make more of an impression.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "My Life as Liz". IMDb. 2007-09-07. Retrieved 2010-12-09. 
  2. ^ Andy Dehnart. "MTV's latest fake reality show, My Life as Liz, breaks new ground with its fakeness". Retrieved 2010-05-02. 
  3. ^ "Filming season 2 - Streets". Retrieved 2010-10-21. 
  4. ^ "Filming season 2 - Pratt". Retrieved 2010-10-21. 
  5. ^ "MTV announcing to Pratt Institute students fiming at campus". Retrieved 2010-10-21. 
  6. ^ a b c Jon Caramanica (February 14, 2010). "The truth about 'My Life as Liz'". Los Angeles Times. p. 3. Retrieved 2010-09-08. 
  7. ^ "Radio interview with Liz Lee on the "Somewhere in Vegas" podcast". Retrieved 2010-06-11. 
  8. ^ "Liz, My Life As Liz". MTV. Retrieved 2010-05-02. 
  9. ^ a b "Cori". Retrieved 2010-09-03. 
  10. ^ Jocelyn Vena (Mar 9, 2010). "Why Liz Moved to New York". Retrieved 2010-09-09. 
  11. ^ VanDerWerff, Todd (January 18, 2010). "My Life as Liz". The AV Club. The Onion.  Rating C
  12. ^ Hale, Mike (January 26, 2010). "'My Life as Liz' and 'The Buried Life' - Youthful Reality, MTV-style". The New York Times. 

External links[edit]