High school. Just the thought of my high school years brings on a wave of nausea. The wanting to fit in. The wanting to be an outsider. They love me. They love me not. Finding my way without getting lost in the process.
Lawd, my head is spinning. I think I need to sit down.
As you can imagine, reliving those years is not on my to-do list. But I am willing to watch someone else go through high school angst. That someone is Liz Lee from the MTV series, My Life as Liz (Mondays, 10:30 p.m. Eastern./Pacific).
The highly stylized reality series (more about this later) features Liz, a high school senior, who was once part of the cool, yet very fake set of bleach blond, self absorbed girls but now runs with a crew of devoted nerdy boys. We experience Liz’s travails and triumphs as she tries to get through her final year at Burleson High School located in a conservative exurb of Dallas/Fort Worth, TX.
Among my twitfam (Twitter family for the underinformed) there was a lot of buzz about the show. “Is it a reality show, for real, or is it scripted?” they asked. And, “How did she get her own show?” Many made comparisons with the MTV animated series of yesteryear, Daria.
As someone who lives to keep you informed, when I got a chance to talk to the girl herself, Liz, I asked her those questions plus a few others.
But first, you’ll get the answers my question and then I’ll get to yours.
As for where is Liz now, well she’s no longer in Texas and is now studying Art History at a college New York City (I know which one but I’m not telling you. So there.). She is interested in becoming a curator but would also like to work behind the camera as well.
Brace yourself for a lousy, rocky transition…
Speaking of working behind the camera,in the first episode, we see Liz and her nerdy boys, or as she calls them, her “nerd herd”, working on a potential project for her Broadcast Journalism class. Well, it was through this aforementioned class that Liz caught the attention of MTV executives and ended up landing her own show. According to Liz, MTV wanted to do a sequel of its series, The Paper, and put out a call to high school journalism classes. Someone, not Liz, sent in a video, answering questions that MTV had prepared. Casting people from the network made a couple of visits to the high school (It’s real by the way. Look it up. I did) and the series developed from there.
Okay, now that you know how Liz got her own series while poor you have been toiling away at Cold Stone Creamery in the middle of the coldest winter on record, you want to know if it’s real or scripted. Well, Liz said that the “relationships are real”. She and her nemesis and former friend, Cori, really do hate each other. (Cori is a member of the bleach blond, big boob, small brain crew) and she’s really friends with the “nerd herd”. The events are real as well, said Liz, but certain things are “stylized”. Because we see those “events through her eyes,” elements were added to “help the viewer get into her head”.
And that head turns out to be a pretty interesting place.
More from “My Chat with Liz”
Liz loves living in the NYC and calls it an “interesting change”.
Liz’s mom, who is rather “conservative”, at first, wasn’t too cool about Liz making the switch from compliant insider to red-headed outsider. By the way, Liz’s natural hair color is brown.
Her mom is “hispanic” and reportedly makes some killer Mexican food. Moms cooked for the crew who thought her food was the best. Liz is now in search of some good authentic Mexican food in the NYC. If you know of any place(s), hook a sistah up.
Liz’s Inspirations: Music, comic books, Star Wars and her friends.
Favorite Band: Animal Collective — a group she liked since 9th grad. Liz said that you “build relationships with certain music which helps you get through the rough and the good times.
How Does She Like Seeing Herself on TV: Liz described it as being “awkward”. “It’s like being on a phone call and you hear feedback. [Realizing it’s the sound of your own voice] you cringe a little and wonder, ‘Do I really sound like that?'” For Liz, it’s that reaction “to the max”.
“It’s hard to watch. Showing yourself so vulnerable on camera is the ultimate way of opening up. It’s also challenging to relive the losses but it’s also fun to watch the victories.”
Liz on Twitter (@MyLifeAsLiz_Liz)
Season 2 of My Life as Liz begins, Tuesday, February 8 at 11P Eastern/10P Central. Click here for the trailer.