So, grand Army came out a long time ago and I hardly heard anyone talking about it, so I finally checked it out on Netflix recently. I was definitely surprised but what I was faced with and had not at all expected it. For me this was a very clear case of judging a show by its cover image, and I was way off!
Grand Army is about a school in New York and a set of kids at this school, but it is a little dark. Not in the regular sense of a dark show, I feel like Grand Army is unapologetic in showing all of the worst aspects of high school. Particularly in America.
Some themes which are discussed include; friendship, selfishness, racism, sexism, feminism, terrorism, rape and sexual assault, religion, sexuality, class, poverty, pressure on women, victim blaming and more. In only a few episodes.
For me though, the most influential character was Joey who starts as a very confident woman trying to support women’s rights at their school, going against dress code norms and being confident in her body, sexuality and herself. However, this character later goes through a turmoil with rape, losing all her friends and going through the criminal process as a victim. I feel like her acting was incredibly compelling through this show.
We see her come to lose confidence in her body, her memories and her personality at points, she moves to shroud herself in clothing. A woman who stood up in her school for non sexist dress codes and free the nip. We watch her lose herself entirely for a time.
While the other stories are also important and well done, hers had the most impact to me, however they all did impact me in one way or another. But I wouldn’t want to spoil the whole show for you!
Although, I have to admit, I hated this girl so much and I hated the amount of screen time she got!
So, is Grand Army an enjoyable show? No not really, but I think the messages are very important and they didn’t totally shy away from the worst of a high school experience. You can learn things from every character. I also feel like there is a character that we can all probably relate to.
So I do 100 percent recommend Grand Army but it is nothing like I was expecting and it can be difficult to watch at points. Because they chose honesty. I think more shows should be more honest about these issues rather than recycling the same ideals and the same way to approach issues.
It is a very confronting show a times but, that added to the realism for me. So, if you have a chance, please do check it out and let me know what you think!
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