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FDL Movie Night: Anyone But Me

I love teen melodramas. I still faithfully have the original Beverly Hills 90210 running in the background twice a day–I have seen almost every episode of its ten year run–and I watch The OC and One Tree Hill, though wow those high school kids in Tree Hill sure drink a lot in bars, and without fake IDs, either!

So when friends told me about Anyone But Me–created by tonight’s guests executive producer/writer Susan Miller and executive producer/writer/director Tina Cesa Ward–the web series about teens coping with love, life, high school, and sex, I was hooked. I watched all nine under-ten minute episodes and the cast interview back to back. And unlike BH 90210 and my other fave network teen shows, there wasn’t the “issue of the week/meet the gay student who disappears after the problem is resolved.”

Instead in the first episode of Anyone But Me we meet in a very direct and open way Vivian and Aster, girls who love each other as only teenagers can, with all the rush and joy of first love, and are facing separation. Vivian is moving to Westchester County with her firefighter father who is on disability after pulling people out of the World Trade Center on 9/11.  Aster is rich and a little spoiled, more experienced. Both miss each other and must come to terms with distance and their relationship.

Vivian must also learn to navigate the tricky hallways of her new school and neighborhood: What does the principal have in mind for her new friend Archibald when he asks the talented artist to be his eyes in the student body? How will Vivian cope with the conflicts of homophobia and Aster’s pressure to come out? Will their relationship last the 29-minute train ride and social divide between Manhattan and the suburbs? What is beautiful Sophie’s secret? And will Vivian’s aunt admit to her long-term feelings for her brother-in-law, Vivian’s dad?

This sweet and honest series has become a celebrity favorite and received heaps of positive reviews, and watching it, it’s totally understandable. The filmmakers understand the subject, the genre, and the nature of webisodes, a very different medium than a 44-minute television show. And like the original 90210, there a distinctive original feel and style to the shooting that makes it feel as fresh and new as the take on the subject matter.

The second season of Anyone But Me starts tomorrow night. I can’t wait!

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Lisa Derrick

Lisa Derrick

Los Angeles native, attended UC Berkeley and Loyola Marymount University before punk rock and logophilia overtook her life. Worked as nightclub columnist, pop culture journalist and was a Hollywood housewife before writing for and editing Sacred History Magazine. Then she discovered the thrill of politics. She also appears frequently on the Dave Fanning Show, one of Ireland's most popular radio broadcasts.